photo courtesy of The Guardian UK
I don't have cable at home, but Mom does! So I typically get my Bitchin' Kitchen, Walking Dead and Ghost Hunters fix there (I typically head to the Hippo for my RuPaul fix). One show that has been on the Cooking Channel lately but that I haven't caught is the British show The Supersizers Go... The premise behind this BBC Two series from 2008 is the following: journalist/food critic Giles Coren and comedienne/broadcaster (TV host) Sue Perkins spend a week trying to eat, dress and otherwise live - but especially eat - like people from a specific time period in British history (with TV cameras and a smart-alecky disposition). I love getting all academic about food, so this TV show is right up my alley.
The one episode I've seen thus far, The Supersizers Go Wartime (Coren and Perkins spend a week living on rations like a WWII couple, and I'm loving Nancy Banks-Smith's backstory of the episode from when it first aired) is inspiring me not just to appreciate the fact that I have more than enough to eat, but also to explore some of the wartime recipes. Yes, I am that crazy. And were I not currently working my way through the foods of the United States I might try out some of the foods from this episode, based on the rations that the British were subject to during wartime, which was meant not just to save money for the war effort but to keep Brits as healthy as possible: all the vegetables you could grow and eat, and presumably whatever you could hunt, but a very limited amount of the rest: a little lard, butter and margarine, meat and just one egg - but lots of American powdered "eggs"!
Some of the dishes that particularly stood out from this episode: paraffin wax cake (since Coren only had a tablespoon of lard left for the week), wartime trifle (potato starch cream, mmmm), scrambled powdered "eggs" (Perkins described the smell as "rank" though the flavor was not so bad) and the snails that Perkins found in the yard (You should've seen her with a mouthful of grass in her mouth. Things were desperate.)
I wanted to find a little clip of an episode to link to, but really all the episodes are floating around on YouTube. And they're not all illegal. They have their own Supersizers YouTube channel (last activity almost two years ago but still), so I can catch up with them all. The Roman Empire one looks particularly interesting.