Ask the Past: earthquake supplies

My earthquake supplies need refreshing soon, and I don't want to waste any of the old tins. Can you suggest some good recipes using tinned food? I have lots of tins of peaches and pears, as well as soups, spaghetti, tinned fish, and an assortment of beans and vegetables.

With all of those tins, you have enough for a feast, or at least a dinner party for a few unsuspecting friends. Recipes with Canned Foods are Interesting is full of suggestions. This is an Oak and K branded cookbook, but I assume that you will be fine using other brands of tinned food.

For your main dish, this recipe for Salmon and Spaghetti Scramble seems like it should use up a good few tins, although alarmingly, it doesn't say much about cooking methods or times, so it's not out of the question that the spaghetti should be served cold:

Ingredients: 2 1/2 tablespoons flour; 1 1/2 oz. butter; 1 1/2 cups milk; 1 tin of salmon; 1 16oz. can 'Oak' or 'K' spaghetti; salt and pepper as required; grated cheese and breadcrumbs (optional).

Method: Melt butter and blend in flour; gradually add scalded milk, stirring all the time until sauce thickens. Remove sauce from stove and stir in drained salmon; check and adjust seasoning; arrange alternate layers of salmon mixture and spaghetti in greased ovenware dish, finishing with a layer of salmon mixture. If you wish add layers of grated cheese and breadcrumbs, which have been mixed together, between each layer of salmon and spaghetti, as it makes for a tastier dish as well as increased servings.

If that doesn't sound like a showy enough centrepiece for a dinner party, all is not lost - this Salmon and Celery Mould is sure to impress:

Ingredients: 1 11oz. can 'Oak' or 'K' Celery Soup; 1 8oz. can salmon; 1 dessertspoon lemon juice; salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper; 1 cup water; 1 tablespoon gelatine; 1 or 2 hardboiled eggs, coarsely chopped; 2 tablespoons 'Oak' or 'K' Tomato Puree; 1 cup breadcrumbs; 1 tablespoon finely-chopped parsley.

Method: Soften gelatine in a little of the water; bring remainder of water to boil and pour over gelatine, stirring until thoroughly dissolved. Combine all other ingredients and mix well; then stir into gelatine mixture. Pour into a greased loaf tin (or ring mould) and set in fridge. Unmould and garnish with slices of tomato and 'Oak' or 'K' Green Peas.

Recipes with Canned Foods are Interesting has also got you covered for vegetable dishes to go with your main. I don't know whether you hsve canned green beans in your stocks, but if you do, try this recipe for Curried Green Beans:

Ingredients: 1 21oz. can 'Oak' or 'K' Green Beans; 1 large cooking apple; 1 large onion; 1/2 cup chopped celery (optional); 1 oz. butter; 1 teaspoon currey powder (or more to taste); 1 dessertspoon flour; 1 cup stock or water; 1 tablespoon lemon juice (or vinegar); 1 tablespoon sugar; salt and pwpper to taste.

Method: Peel apple and onion and chop coarsely. Melt butter in pan and fry onion, apple and celery slowly until very yellow; add curry powder and fry 2 minutes longer over very low heat, stirring all the time. Stir in flour until well blended; add liquids, salt and pepper and simmer for 8-10 minutes. Drain green beans and add to pan; reheat but do not boil.

For dessert, you have a lot of options. You can always just eat your tinned fruit, of course, but if you don't want to waste the juice, try this recipe from The Red Cross War-Time Rationing Cookery Book

To each 1/2 pint of fruit juice add 3 teaspoons of granulated Davis Gelatine thoroughly dissolved in 1/2 cup of hot water, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and sugar to taste. When just thickening, add to a stiffly beaten egg white and beat all together until thick and foamy. Serve with custard. Another suggestion: When the jelly is just thickening pour it over some chopped marshmallows, arrange with slices of bananas or other fruits and call it "Mystery Dessert."

I'm sure that will help.

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