Saturday, 5 February 2011

Potato Floddies: the Home Front

Potatoes new. Potatoes old, Potato (in a salad) cold, Potatoes baked or mashed or fried, Potatoes whole, potato pied, Enjoy them all including chips, Remembering spuds don’t come in ships.   WWII Ministry of Food advertisement
I’ve been reading a lot about WWII cookery and rationing in Britain inspired by a visit last year to the Imperial War Musuem to see their exhibition ‘The Ministry of Food’). The two most sobering thoughts are that we didn’t starve (when so many did in central Europe) and that the nation was, as a whole, far healthier than when the war began.  While I’m not at the stage of putting my family on rations, there must be some lessons to be learnt from this era of austerity and some receipes worth revisiting. 
Reading through the exhibitions accompanying book by Jane Fearnley-Whittingstall I can across a receipe for Potato Floddies.  Basically you grate potato, add spoonfuls of plain flour (I also added a tablespoon of oats) and mix to a paste like consistency.  The Floddies can be sweet or savoury.  I opted for the latter and so added to the paste some paprika and mixed herbs.  Then, heat some oil in a pan to shallow fry tablespoon size ‘pancakes’ of the mixture for about four minutes each side.  Fearnley-Whittingstall suggests dripping or vegetable oil; I used a light olive oil.  I’m sure they’d taste amazing with dripping, but it’s just not something that one has around these days.  My concern was whether the grated potato would cook in time suggested, and although my floddies were small, they probably did take a little longer.  I served with Heinz tomato sauce as a side dish with fish and vegetables.  My husband and son liked them but my daughter wasn’t persuaded to even try.
It is remarkably similar to what they were selling in a local farmers market with grated onion added (I’ll try that embellishment next time) and crème fraiche.  Daughter was happy to eat those, so worth revisiting at some point.    Fearnley-Whttingstall also says that they could be served with jam and clotted cream or lemon juice and sugar.
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