Saturday, November 13, 2021

Weekend Cooking: A WWII wedding cake

I saved this quote from Railway Girls in Love when I read it earlier this year.  This is the third book in the Railway Girls series which features a group of women who come together to work on the railways during WWII.  

I wasn't quite sure when I was going to use this, or another quote I have saved, but I think this is the week! There's several reasons why. First, because it was Rememberance Day this week. I know that Rememberance Day is in memory of the end of World War I, but I tend to think about all conflicts when I take that moment to stop and think at 11am on 11 September.

A second reason is that the fourth book in the Railway Girls series came out this week, and the third reason is because I think of November as my wedindg month. We got married on a beach in Vanuatu on 1 November and then we had a celebration at home on 30 November. This weekend, sits right in the middle of those two dates. We didn't have a wedding cake at our wedding. We had a plate of lovely desserts instead, but at the celebration, my sister made a beautiful wedding cake.

It should be said that Mrs Grayson is the person in the book who manages to stil be able to make delicious treats despite war time shortages. I also like that this passage demonstrates how people come together when needed

"Mrs Grayson, please will you make the cake? I know that isn't an easy thing to manage these days."

"Leave it to me." Mrs Grayson's cheek went pink with pleasure. "I'll make one of those no-egg cakes and I'll get hold of some saccharine if there isn't enough sugar."

"We'll give you whatever dried fruit we can," said Dot. "They do say you can used grated veg as a substitute."

"There might be more dried fruit to be had now that food parcels are coming from America," said Cordelia.

"I promise you one thing," said Mr Grayson. "It'll be the moistest cake you've ever tasted."

Mrs Cooper rolled her eyes. "When she says moist what she means is alcoholic."

"We've got a bit of sherry," said Mrs Grayson, "and I can't think of a better purpose for it."

"I can probably provide a little alchohol as well," said Cordelia


And then

When Mrs Cooper opened the front door, Dot lifted her chin and sniffed the air like one of the Bisto Kids, her mouth watering at the delicious mix of spicy-sweet and fruity.

"I bought my dried fruit round." Dot offered her bag. "Am I too late?"

"Not at all. Mrs Grayson is letting everything soak at the moment. Can you smell the orange zest?"

"She got hold of an orange?" Dot was impressed.

Mrs Cooper led her into the kitchen, where Mrs Grayson, a pinny covering her dress, was consulting a handwritten recipe.

"If this is how the raw ingredients smell," said Dot, "it's going to be a masterpiece of a cake. What are you using to soak the fruit?"

"Mrs Masters provided some alchohol," said Mrs Cooper.

"She said she would," said Dot,picturing dry sherry.

"There's brandy in there." Mrs Grayson waved a hand towards the mixing bowl. "And port."

"Crikey," said Dot. "Everyone will be legless after one slice.

"Well, it is a wedding," said Mrs Grayson.

Weekly Meals

Saturday - French style chicken

Sunday - Pressure Cooker Spaghetti Bolognaise

Monday - Steak with Mushroom Sauce

Tuesday - Pork Nachos

Wednesday  - Steak and Pepper Casserole with mash

Thursday - Pork belly wraps with coleslaw

Friday - Scrambled Eggs with bacon on toast

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page


  1. Great quotes!!! And happy anniversary. I have a bunch of recipes from my grandmothers that are from the 40s and were clearly developed during food rationing and shortages.

  2. First Happy Anniversary! The book series sounds lovely, glad you are enjoying it!

  3. I love most cake but not fruit cake although I suppose deprived of sugar during the war, one would be grateful for anything sweet. I just ordered myself a copy of the first Railway Girls.