The other day I was looking at the Daily Mail online. It’s my before-work guilty pleasure. The writing is terrible, and it’s full of articles of doubtful origin, yet I can’t stop myself.
One article that caught my eye was one about an exhibition of propaganda from around the world at the British Library. Entitled Propaganda: Power and Persuasion, it’s on until September 17th. If I were in London, I would definitely go along and take a look. I love looking at old propaganda posters and leaflets. They can be very creative and sometimes just bizarre. This one from the British Library’s website is a little on the bizarre side:
The exhibition also has some old English ration books and wartime recipe books. Reading the article, I was struck by a picture of a little book called “The Kitchen Front: 122 wartime recipes” which was published in 1942 and priced at 6D. I have a copy of that book, with my great-aunt’s name penciled onto the title page. It has a few grease marks on it which suggest it was used. We used to visit my great-aunt quite often, but I don’t recall ever eating at her house. I don’t remember my grandmother ever making any food for us when we visited her house either. On reading some of the recipes, I’m kind of glad they didn’t cook for us. It also gives me an appreciation of what life was like for my parents as children during WW2. No wonder my father used to say “You children don’t know the meaning of hunger,” when we’d complain about not liking some food or other. If the dishes described in the book are the kinds of things he and my mother ate growing up, I can also understand why they thought sardine paste sandwiches were an acceptable packed lunch. I didn’t as a ten-year-old – and nor did my classmates. That stuff stinks.