WWII Homity Pie / WWII Homity Pai

A pie recipe from The Second World War  found on historyextra.com
WWII Homity Pie / WWII Homity Pai

No one knows where the name for Homity Pie originates from but the dish was popular with land girls during the Second World War. As well as unrationed items, the recipe also includes rationed foods like cheese, eggs and butter – the original recipe would have used these frugally. Nowadays we don’t have to be so sparing with the cheese and butter, which only make it even tastier.

In every issue of BBC History Magazine, picture editor Sam Nott brings you a recipe from the past. In this article, Sam recreates homity pie – a hearty, vegetarian dish popular during the Second World War.

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In Contex

The Land Girls

The Women’s Land Army (WLA) was a British civilian organisation created during the First and Second World Wars so women could work in agriculture, replacing men called up to the military. Women who worked for the WLA were commonly known as Land Girls. The name Women’s Land Army was also used in the United States for an organisation formally called the Woman’s Land Army of America.

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In effect the Land Army operated to place women with farms that needed workers, the farmers being their employers.

Second World War

As the prospect of war became increasingly likely, the government wanted to increase the amount of food grown within Britain. In order to grow more food, more help was needed on the farms and so the government started the Women’s Land Army in June 1939.

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The majority of the Land Girls already lived in the countryside but more than a third came from London and the industrial cities of the north of England.

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In the Second World War, though under the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, it was given an honorary head – Lady Gertrude Denman. At first it asked for volunteers. This was supplemented by conscription, so that by 1944 it had over 80,000 members. The WLA lasted until its official disbandment on 21 October 1949.

Land girls were also formed to supply New Zealand’s agriculture during the war. City girls from the age of 17 and up were sent to assist on sheep, cattle, dairy, orchard and poultry properties.

In popular culture

The Women’s Land Army was the subject of:

South Sea Beef Kebabs with Pineapple / Syd Havs Grillspyd med Biff og Ananas

A great kebabs recipe from the sunny South Seas found in “The Best of International Cooking” published by Hamlyn in 1984
South Sea Beef Kebabs with Pineapple / Syd Havs Grillspyd med Biff og Ananas

I am a sucker for any dish containing pineapples, canned or fresh. So I’ll be sure to remember this one when the snow and cold is gone and summer is here again – Ted

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Chicken in Port Wine / Kylling i Portvin

A chicken recipe from ”French Cooking” published by
Golden Appel in 1968

Chicken in Port Wine / Kylling i Portvin

I bought this book in a used book shop here in Oslo the other day. I didn’t check it very thoroughly, just made sure there was lots of colour phictures. When I got home and started to scan the book I realised that the recipes and the pictures were not on the same page at all. Irritating of course, it makes scanning a lot more time consuming.

Well, my mistake, but I’m a stubborn sod, so I scanned it anyway – Ted  😉

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Jamaican Chicken and Potato Curry / Jamaicanske Kylling Og Potet Karri

A spicy Jamaican curry recipe found on foodandwine.com
Jamaican Chicken and Potato Curry / Jamaicanske Kylling Og Potet Karri

Jamaican curry powder is typically a blend of turmeric, cumin, coriander, mustard seeds, anise seeds, allspice and fenugreek. This flavorful chicken dish requires little hands-on prep time.

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Peking Casserole / Pekinggryte

An Asian inspired casserole recipe found in “Gryteretter”
(Casseroles) published by Hjemmets Kokebokklubb in 1979

Peking Casserole / Pekinggryte

As the seventies neared its end the interest for Asian food grew in Europe, particularly Indian and Chinese. This dish is a good example of that, although chopsticks were obviously not in style yet even though the ingredients were perfectly cut for that purpose,but the rice was suggested cooked like you would it you intended to eat it with a fork – Ted  😉

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Pommes de Terre au Pistou – French Basil Potatoes / Franske Basilikumpoteter

A delicious potato recipe found in “Fransk Bondekost”
(French Farmhouse Cooking) published by
Hjemmets Kokebokklubb in in 1980

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This is a very tasty way to prepare potatoes done in French
farmhouses and it can be served with most fried dishes.

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Blackcurrent Ham / Solbærskinke

A delicious ham recipe found in “Den Store Mini Kokeboken”
(The Big Mini Cook Book) published about 10 years ago
Blackcurrent Ham / Solbærskinke

The Big Mini Cook Book is a collection of 10 booklets bound as one book published by the Norwegian Meat Information Office. One could pick up these booklets at grocers for free about 10 yeas ago and they became very popular.

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Herbed Garlic Bread / Urtekrydret Hvitløksbrød

A spicy sidedish recipe found on cookingchanneltv.com
Herbed Garlic Bread / Urtekrydret Hvitløksbrød

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Luxury Chicken / Luksuskylling

A swell chicken recipe found in “Gryteretter” (Casseroles)
published by Hjemmets Kokebokklubb in 1979
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Chicken is very suitable for casseroles. The meat is lean and mild and lends itself greatly for a large diversity of flavorings.

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"Hot" Fish Balls / "Hete" Fiskeboller

A recipe from “Godt i microbølgeovn” (Delicious in the Microwave)
in the book series “Ingrids Beste”
published by Gyldendal in 1991
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Ingrid Espelid Hovig was Norway’s TV cook so long that people under fifty hardly remember a time when she was not introducing us all to both new and traditional dishes in her easy and freiendly manner.

The book this recipe is taken from is from a series of books called Ingrids Beste (Ingrid’s Best). This particular book deals with food made in microwaves and was published more than 25 years ago when microwave ovens was seen as the modern housewife’s salvation providing quick and practical cooking.

Our wievs on microwave ovens have change drastically since then, but remember, the recipes in this book can of course be cooked in more traditional manners. And honestly. it might  make them even better – Ted  😉

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Guisado – Filipino Braised Beef with Tomatoes / Filipinsk Braisert Oksekjøtt med Tomater

A dinner recipe found in “Asia – Culinary Journey”
published in 1987

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In this dish East and West meet. Tender roast beef braised with garlic, onions and tomatoes in Spanish manner, but fresh ginger and soy sauce gives the dish a touch of the Orient. Serve with white rice or noodles.

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1700s Mushroom Ketchup / 1700talls Soppketchup

An exiting recipe found onWorld Turn’d Upside Down
a blog you would not want to miss if you are at
all interested in historic recipes

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Stephanie Ann Farra who runs ‘World Turn’d Upside Down‘ writes: Mushroom ketchup was something I’ve been wanting to make for a long time. I love the fact that this was a common sauce so different from the ketchup we use today. In the early 1700s, ketchup was introduced to English explorers by the people of Singapore and Malaysia. Originally a sauce for fish, ketchup was made out of walnuts, oysters or mushrooms and was similar to soy sauce. The English expanded the use of the sauce and it became popular for fish and meat dishes.

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Southern Chicken Gumbo / Kreolsk Kyllingsuppe

A classic Kreole dish found in ”Soup Beautiful Soup” by
Ursel Norman designed and illustrated by Derek Norman
and published by Morrow in 1982

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Gumbos (poultry, meat, fish or shellfish) are typícal of Creole cookíng with okra added to give the soup its glutinous quality. The soup evolved from a Choctaw Indian dish.

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Veal Ragu / Kalveragu

A classic European dinner dish recipe found on dinmat.no
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Veal is a light, lean, delicate and tender meat. Use veal in a ragu. Ragu means meat diced and cooked in sauce. A deliciously tasting dish both when it comes to meat and sauce.

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Catalan Chicken / Katalansk Kylling

A spur of the moment recipe found in “Carl Butlers Kokebok”
published by Cappelen in 1974

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Nordic cookbook history was written in 1974. That year a bunch of foodie friends published a cookbook that would become one of Scandinavia’s most popular, Carl Butler’s Cookbook – This recipe is from that book.

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