Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Anyone for Mock Goose?

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Anyone for Mock Goose?

Article excerpt

CHRISTMASTIME has always been a time for celebration, a time when our meal tables are groaning with food and we are groaning after eating it.

But it was not always as good as this, during the war people did as best as they could with what little they had.

It was not only the lack of money, what with so many men folk away in the forces but the rationing of food and virtually every other 'luxury' item as well. Even those items, which were not on ration, were hard to come by.

The first Christmas which was really affected by the war was the Christmas of 1940. In the winter of 1939 rationing and shortages had yet to bite.

The winter of 1940 saw dark days indeed, France had fallen, the USA were still neutral and the Soviet Union was sympathetic to the Nazi government, Britain really was standing alone.

Nearly everything that we consumed either had to be home-grown or brought perilously across the U-boat infested Atlantic from Canada and the United States, there was not a lot to go round.

But people did the best they could, saving up their ration coupons by going without for weeks beforehand.

Practical gifts for Christmas were popular such as gardening tools, bottling jars, seeds and even bags of fertiliser for the vegetable patch in the garden, but the most popular gift in 1940 was a bar of soap.

As for Christmas dinner, vegetables were plentiful but meat, sugars and fats were on ration. If you were very lucky you might be able to get a chicken for the table but it was more likely that the only meat you could get was rabbit or mutton.

Whale meat is often talked about when remembering the war days but although it looked like beef and the texture was similar, the pervading taste of fish was enough to put nearly everyone off.

Those who could not obtain sufficient quantities of meat for the family Christmas dinner had to resort to such delicacies as 'Mock Goose'. …

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