Cooking a meal using WW2 rations

In World War Two (WW2) there wasn’t enough food to go around, so people were given ration books which listed what each family was entitled to. (Other things were rationed too – petrol was the first thing to be rationed in 1939 (Wikipedia).)

Every week, families were apportioned a certain amount of food, specifically listed in ration books, and had to cook for their families using portions that were in some cases very different to the amount we eat today.

Different foods were rationed at different times. Bacon, butter and sugar were rationed in early 1940, later other foods like tea, jam, biscuits, cereals, cheese, eggs, lard, milk, and dried fruit were also rationed.

People could make pancakes. Eggs, milk and flour were rationed. Eggs were rationed; records show them being allocated “as available” or one egg per week for adults, up to three for children or invalids. Vegetarians sometimes got two because they were given substitutes for their unused meat quota.

Milk was supplied at 3 pints (1.7 l) each week with priority for expectant mothers and children under 5; 3.5 imp pt (2.0 l) for those under 18; children unable to attend school 5 imp pt (2.8 l), certain invalids up to 14 imp pt (8.0 l). (Wikipedia.)

Flour was in short supply and was not like the white flour we often use today.

“White flour was banned for the most part for household use… being replaced by a National Flour, with “wheatmeal” being the official name invented for it. While not quite wholewheat flour (in order to be a bit of a compromise), it left all the bran in it. It was greyish in colour. Some women in desperation would sieve it through their nylon stockings to get white flour; if you kept chickens, the bran sieved out could go to make a ration-free mash for the chickens.” (British Wartime Food.)


We made pancakes with apple sauce.


  • 3 heaped tablespoons of flour,
  • 2 eggs
  • half a pint of milk
  • knob of butter
  • 3 apples
  • sugar (if available)


  1. Put the flour in a pint measuring jug
  2. Mix in the eggs
  3. Gradually mix in the milk until the batter is smooth and creamy.

Cooking the pancakes 

  • Add a small amount of fat to a pan. It only has to faintly grease the pan so a small knob of butter will do.
  • Pour in a pool of batter, cook till it is firm, flip it over and cook the same time again, just a few minutes.

Cooking the apples 

In the war, apples were available as they grew on trees.

Peel 3 cooking apples

Put in a pan with a few spoonfuls of water and cook / steam until soft.

Mash into apple sauce.


Put the pancakes on a plate and serve with apple sauce. Sprinkle sugar to taste if available.


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