Between reading my normal array of cookbooks, I recently sandwiched "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society" by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.
It was the quirky title that caught my attention.
Its story is told through a series of letters during the period of food rationing and bombed buildings of post-war London. Juliet, a writer, is contacted by a fan on the Island of Guernsey. As events unfold and she travels to Guernsey, she learns of the conditions the Channel Island locals endured while living under Nazi occupation. Despite the dark subject, I thought the book was warm, humorous and the cast of characters were as interesting as the book title.
During World War II, people had to make-do with whatever they were rationed. By way of illustration, I thought I'd share this recipe for a pie the members of the literary society "enjoyed" at their meetings. Can you imagine actually eating this? For one thing, it's pink!
Potato Peel Pie
Here's a recipe for a potato peel pie but I warn you, it tastes like paste. The more authentic it is, the nastier. These ingredients will make a very small pie. Expand at will.
1 tablespoon milk
Peel the potato and put the peelings in a pie pan. Don't cook the peels, because you're in the middle of an Occupation and you don't have any fuel. Boil the potato and the beet together in salty water, but not for very long, due to the fuel problem. Just until you can stick a fork in the potato.
Take them out and mash them up the the milk. Pour the glop in the pie pan. Bake at 375 for as short a time as is consonant with digestion (fuel again), say, 15 minutes.
The finished product will look quite attractive and pink. If you squint, you can almost imagine raspberries. Don't be fooled. It looks a lot better than it is. However, if you forgot that you were in the middle of WWII and added a bunch of butter and milk and salt, it could be quite tasty.
Recipe source: www.randomhouse.com