From the Archives Kitchen – An Old-Fashioned Roly Poly

slice of roly poly

A slice of mouthwatering roly poly. (Graham Turnbull photograph)

Have you tried a roly poly lately? Research at the City of Richmond Archives recently uncovered a WW II “ration guide” containing a recipe for this mouthwatering dessert.

Ration Book Cover

Cover of WW II ration book. City of Richmond Archives Accession 2011 24

The ration guide was produced as a result of the need to control the distribution of staple food products during World War II. A rationing program was implemented in Canada in 1942 to ensure adequate food supplies for the armed forces and for citizens through the balance of the war. Foods such as meat, butter, sugar, coffee and tea could be purchased only with the redemption of an appropriate coupon from a ration book.

Ration Book coupons

WW II ration book coupons. City of Richmond Archives Accession 2011 24

Home Canning Ration Guide Cover

Cover of WW II Home Canning Ration Guide. City of Richmond Archives Reference Files

In addition to rationing, citizens were encouraged to augment the food supply by activities such as making their own butter from milk, and by preserving fruits and vegetables.

“Here’s Your Home Canning Ration Guide” was published in 1943 “in the interests of maximum results in home canning with available sugar.” Inside, instructions were given for methods of canning without sugar, and how to use the preserved fruits or vegetables in the form of recipes.

On page 8 of the guide is a recipe for “Sweet Cherry Roly Poly,” a jelly roll-like confectionery. We thought we should try out this recipe in the interests of historical research and appetite.

Roly Poly Recipe

Roly Poly Recipe from Home Canning Ration Guide. City of Richmond Archives Reference Files

Here’s the result of our research into wartime cooking:

Wartime Roly Poly

The end result of our research, thanks to pastry chef and Friends of the Richmond Archives’ Board Director Precilla Huang. (Graham Turnbull photograph)