Prior to the outbreak of the Covid 19 Pandemic, the Museum had planned to host a street party in its galleries to complement the VE75 exhibition. Although are galleries are closed, as part of our Virtual Museum we have included tutorials on how to make bunting and musical shakers to help you host your own party at home. Below you can find EVEN MORE ideas to help you host the perfect street party!
VE Day 1945
In 1919, to celebrate peace after the First World War, street parties were hosted for children orphaned by the war or the Spanish flu. Street parties became a traditional way of celebrating national events. However, the VE Day street parties were the most spontaneous celebrations Britain had ever seen. After six years of war people were jubilant that it was over, even if they had incurred personal suffering and loss during that time.
VE Day was declared a national holiday and street parties reflected the national mood of celebration. Cakes were made from dried egg, liquid paraffin from the medicine cabinet (do not try that at home!) and homemade jam. Sandwiches were filled with dripping. Although rationing of some foods would go on to the 1950s, VE Day was a time to bake, eat and drink by cobbling together whatever rations were available.
Some Ideas from 1945
Mini Victoria Sponges (Makes 12)
200g (7oz) butter, at room temperature
200g (7oz) castor sugar
4 beaten eggs
200g (7oz) self-raising flour
Pre-heat the oven to 180 fan/gas 4. To make the sponge, cream the butter, castor sugar into a bowl, gradually adding the eggs, adding a little of the flour if the mixture begins to curdle. Fold in the remainder of the flour until the mixture is combined. Divided into 12. Bake for 12-15 mins until golden. Allow to cool
For the Buttercream
150g (6oz) softened butter
150g (9oz) icing sugar
3tbsp strawberry jam
A few halved strawberries
Beat the butter, icing sugar and 1tsp of boiling water until light and fluffy. Cakes can be cut in half so buttercream and jam can be placed in the middle or just place icing on top with a strawberry.
Eggs were precious commodities during the war and were in short supply. Most people had to use powered egg.
Egg-Free Fruit Cake (makes 500g/1lb 2oz loaf)
75h (3oz castor sugar)
250g (9oz) mixed dried fruit
150ml (1/4 pint) orange juice or water
Butter for greasing and to serve
250g (90z) self-raising flour
1tsp mixed spice
1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2tsp malt vinegar or cider
Place the dried fruit, sugar and orange juice or water in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5mins. Pour into a large mixing bowl and leave to cool for 30mins.
Pre-heat oven to 160 or gas 4. Grease a loaf tin with baking parchment.
Stir the flour and mixed spice into the cooled fruit mixture, then add the bicarbonate of soda, vinegar and milk. Gently fold trying not to knock out the air. Scoop into the tin and bake for 45mins or until a skewer comes out dry. Serve alone or with butter.
Finger Sandwiches with crab meat or spam
Enjoy your street party at home!
If you take any photographs- why not send them in to email@example.com