Friday, January 22, 2021

Shopping, Not Shopping


I've not been out shopping for well over a week now, there's just been no need to.  

Anything I have run out of food wise or other I have been able to cobble together from something else ... no tissues, use a toilet roll instead for instance, low on washing up liquid, water down what I have and wash up once a day instead of two or three times, there's ways and means to avoid the shops if you think about it.  

And passing Booth's supermarket this morning on our doggy walk the queue was a socially distanced version of this wartime queue.  The other main difference being that once everyone got into the shop there would have been lots of food for them to choose from and no-one would have come away disappointed.

It puts a lot of things into perspective doesn't it.

Using up almost the last of my vegetables I put together a mix for a soup yesterday.

The weight shows that I have almost six of my 'five a day' in this one bowl, so splitting it into two or three meals means each one has two or thereabouts.  I'm doing my best even if I don't always get it right.

A very modern way of making soup,  but it saves on gas here in the flat which is my biggest expense.  A quick chopping session and then half an hour in the soup maker ... which also whizzes it up for me as I prefer my soups thick and smooth ... and I have my lunch for two days.

Plus, as long as I remember to fish out a ladle or two full of the mix before whizzing it means I also have the filling for a pie or pasty.  I have done this at least once every week since I started the Challenge.  A bit of pastry turns anything into a tasty and filling meal.

This soup was gorgeous, a real success.

Sue xx

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Wartime Recipe - Potato Floddies


I think it's about time I started sharing some recipes and some more photos of the food that I've been eating.  Life has been a bit hectic these last couple of weeks and I really don't feel I'm doing this Challenge the justice it deserves.  So the first recipe I'm sharing with you was on the menu on Tuesday of this week and was  Potato Floddies.

How brilliant I thought to make something that sounds filling and vaguely nourishing out of such limited ingredients, so I thought I'd give it a go.

I used the two small potatoes you can see in the bowl in the first photo and I added a pinch of garlic granules for a bit more flavour.  I have read that garlic was occasionally available during the war years,  although I guess this would have been seen as quite an exotic ingredient back then and it was usually considered more as a medicinal item than a foodstuff.  So with this in mind I will just be using up the dried powder, granules and frozen cloves that I had already in my store cupboard at the start of the Challenge and then just not buy anymore as though my 'rations' had dried up.

One example of my research into garlic in the UK during the 1940's is HERE.  And indeed I must have a copy of the leaflet mentioned somewhere in my replica leaflet stash.

I think I added a touch too much flour, in total I added three desert spoonfuls ... two would have been sufficient and although they smelt garlicky as they cooked I could barely taste it.

So what's my opinion of Potato Floddies?

Very filling, quite tasty ... especially when very hot ... but very stodgy.  Perhaps though that was due to me adding a bit too much flour, so if you have a go be a bit lighter with the flour to potato ratio.  What would make them so much better would be the addition of some grated real garlic cloves or perhaps a quarter of a grated or finely sliced onion.  They just needed something else added for more flavour, but I guess these days we are just used to our foods being a lot more flavourful and my taste-buds need to adapt a little bit more.

I would give them a 5/10.

The recipe pictured above came from this book.  

I have put links to Amazon on my sidebar for the books and DVDs that I have been watching, just so you can go and have a look and get other peoples opinions of them and not just go off mine or maybe get yourself a copy.   Some of my books are only available in the Used off Amazon, but then that's to be expected as that's where I got mine from 😀

Sue xx

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Week Three - Rationed Foods


At last I got round to actually getting my food weighed out and ready for use, and you'll see a surprise addition this week ... I have one egg!!

  One egg per week per person was the usual ration although at some points in the war it went down to one egg per person per fortnight.  I don't usually eat eggs, but as we now have no cockerel and our last laying girl is doing such a sterling job I thought for the next five weeks (that's how many eggs I have), I would share some wartime suitable recipes that include eggs.

Once they have gone I now have the added advantage of a couple of boxes of 'dried egg' that I found in Asda ... totally suitable for vegans.

I have stopped weighing out the coffee as I have discovered that my 2oz of allowable coffee in place of the tea ration that I cannot drink fills this little jar nicely and I have never managed to reach the bottom of it yet.  So each week I will just top it up from the large jar in my cupboard.  If I do run out I still have the whole of the 4oz that are part of my monthly rations in place of the Camp Coffee.

Also pictured are my two Linda McCartney vegan sausages and my carton of Almond Milk.

Here for posterity are this weeks weights and measures -

4oz Margarine 

- added to what was already in the butter dish.

4oz Bacon/Ham 

 The smidge of additional weight is the packaging.

3oz Cheese

This week some more of my ready grated Mozzarella style.

4oz Oil

 This is instead of the 2oz butter and 2oz lard.  I just topped up last weeks bottle, I'm topping things up as the contents are all being bought from the same bottles and packets.

8oz Sugar

This is the last of my sugar from the cupboard, as I haven't been using much up to now I think I will just keep a note in my book of any future 8oz's until I actually need to go out and buy some for use.

My 3oz Sweetie Ration

Such an important part of the ration, a smidge under ... but I will survive.   😀

Sue xx

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Week Three - Already!!


Time is running away with me at the moment.  I have only just worked out the menu for the week, noting down while I did it what I had yesterday.  I have not yet got out from the cupboards or fridge or photographed this weeks rations so I will do that today.

Off the Ration

In the meantime this is all I have bought up to now for this weeks non-rationed food.  One sliced brown loaf from Asda, as that is where I was nearest when I ventured out for a dog walk and fuel.

 Sanity Saver

This week I have chosen a tub of ready made hummus as my Sanity Saver.  This was picked up on an outing to the chemist for Alan's prescription, combined with another dog walk.  Alan needed supplies from the Co-op so I went too.

It feels a bit bitty this week and I feel completely out of routine after my emergency trip back to Wales, but I am determined to get back to normal over the course of today.  I will find my MR £2.96 worth of healthy foods from my own back-up stores if I can as I really do not want to go into any more shops.

Living off my Modern Rations and trying not to shop is proving as wearisome as it must have felt shopping for your foodstuffs during the actual war.  I was going to say 'but not as dangerous'  because although we have no bombs dropping or threat of them, but we do have a completely different danger at the moment that is keeping us indoors.

Once again we are being asked to listen to our Prime Minister and Government and follow their guidelines ... and it really is the least we can do.

Sue xx

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Dip Butties ... and Memories


This challenge is throwing up all sorts of memories for me. 

 Although I was born in 1960 and a few years after rationing in the UK had ended completely, meat had only come off the ration as late as 1954 and sweets the year before that, times were still hard for lots of folks my parents included.

We lived in the downstairs of my Nana's house paying her rent for the three rooms of the semi-detached house in Old Trafford, Manchester that she had bought  in 1958 just before my parents married.  What would have been the front room was my parents bedroom, the 'dining room' was mine and my brothers shared bedroom and the kitchen was everything else ... a table and chairs, two armchairs, the television on it's 1960's spindly legs and once the fitted cupboards in the alcove of the kitchen were ripped out in the mid-sixties, a 'modern' 1960s Kitchen Cabinet was stood in the alcove beside the fireplace.  We had a little pantry room off it which held the large Belfast sink, the old 1950's gas cooker, and from the mid-sixties onwards our gas refrigerator lived under the draining board.

Hot water came from a new fangled instant hot water boiler and the supplies and vegetables were stored in the shopping bags we brought them home from the shops in under the stairs, which was open to the 'pantry' as we called this little much filled room.

Anyway all those memories came to mind when I made myself a 'bacon butty' (bacon sandwich for all you non-UK-ians out there).  After buttering one of my slices of bread with my spread I had a brainwave, why not dip the other slice in the small amount of fat left in the pan after cooked my smoky flavoured vegan Quorn slices, it would make my butter ration go further.  Half bacon butty, half dip butty.

Dip butties are so called because after my Dad had had his bacon butty I used to pester my mum to lay or dip a slice of bread in the fat which after a couple of minutes it would be lifted out topped with a dry slice and enjoyed by me.  

All the delicious flavour of the old fashioned bacon and none of that awful chewiness that I hated as a child.  I have never enjoyed meat and being told to clear my plate as a child only set in place even more intense hatred of certain foods, most of which I have since gotten over ... but never the meat side.

So Dip Butties were born, and my gosh they were a treat!!

And they have now been resurrected during this Year of Modern Rationing.

And yes even though the 'bacon' wasn't real ... the flavour was 😃

Sue xx

Friday, January 15, 2021

Woolton Pie

Woolton Pie, possibly one of the most heard about and recognised recipes of the war years and one that cost pennies to make, was very nutritious and very filling.

If you are making it for yourself don't stress about  the filling, just use some of your favourite vegetables, the leftovers from the bottom of the fridge drawer at the end of the week, or if you have nothing fresh in the house raid the freezer for an assortment of frozen veggies.  

All you need are enough part cooked vegetables to fill your chosen pie dish and a bit of sauce to moisten them.  I used some Bisto gravy made up quite thickly and saved the excess to heat up later to pour over my pie, but you could use a white sauce, a curry sauce, a tomato based sauce ... the possibilities for scavenging from the cupboard are endless.

The vegetables are then topped with either a pastry lid or with freshly made or leftover mashed potatoes, it can be straight away if you are ready to pop your pie into a medium to hot oven for around 20-25 minutes, or as I have done here ... leave them to go cold ready for finishing off at tea time.

A good basic recipe is in this book, which is an amalgamation of three other wartime nostalgia recipe books, We'll Eat Again, The Victory Cookbook and Post-War Kitchen all brought together in one handy book, which is my bedtime reading for this week.

This week I am using up the roll of ready made Puff Pastry (and forfeiting most of my fat ration), so I simply out a circle out and topped it with that.  Last time I made it we had it with a mashed potato top which we both thought was not quite as nice.  The whole thing was excessively 'vegetably', whereas a pastry lid adds a bit more texture to the dish and we thought just made it more satisfying.

I think I will be trying the Potato Pastry version next time, from doing the Wartime Ration Challenge a few years ago I remember the Potato Pastry being very successful and very tasty.

Sue xx

Thursday, January 14, 2021

In the Rations Larder


I have just realised that although I mentioned about incorporating the food that I found in the 'dried foods cupboard' into my Rations Larder once I got back to the flat I hadn't photographed it for posterity properly now that it also contains my first weeks rations and some of the food bought with my Points.

As you can see there are quite a few things that will help me straight away as I kick off this year of modern rationing.  Some of the things are obviously what I have just added, the oil, tin of tomatoes, peanut butter etc.

I actually took the sugar out after taking this photo and popped it into the other cupboard, and I used 8oz of it to add to this weeks rations and I will use the other 8oz (talk about a serendipitous amount in one jar 😀) to add to my rations next week.

So panning back to see what's under the cupboard and you can see that I have quite a good little Rations Larder to start me off.  The large jars all now contain my dried stuff bought with this months Points, my oats, pasta, rice and lentils.  I already keep thinking about what I should buy with next months, it will be interesting to see what I have left over ... there will be red lentils for sure!!

I'm just prepping my Carrot and Coriander soup for lunch and at the same time half-cooking vegetables to add to tonight's Woolton Pie as per my menu. 

Before chopping ...

... and before popping into the bottom oven of the Aga.

 The kitchen smells lovely.

Sue xx

Wednesday, January 13, 2021



I've not started baking any of my own bread yet, but I do intend to at some point during the Challenge.

  I have a few flours that I am shopping from home from and a tub of yeast, but no bread flour unfortunately, although I will have a go using some of my normal flours and see what I can turn out.  But for now I will mostly continue to buy the supermarket basic square loaf, which although sliced is similar in many ways to the National Loaf .... except it doesn't go hard and turn into a doorstop a day after purchase 😃

I'm not sure what is in this cheap 45p per loaf bread but it stays fresh literally ALL week.  It's amazing stuff and great value for money.

I have found that I'm eating more bread than usual, in the form of toast, sandwiches and to dunk in my soups but it's tasty and very filling and I haven't put any weight on in the two weeks I've been doing this or felt bloated as I sometimes do eating a lot of the seeded breads I used to have.  

I'll be monitoring this situation over the next few months.

Sue xx

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

This Weeks Menu

 Sorry it's hard to read in pencil, but I alter things so much if I wrote it in pen it would be a scribbly mess!!  And of course you have to put up with the blurry marks that are still on my camera lens  😐

Slightly clearer but still with blobs!!

My veg soup is cooking away in the soup maker as I type and starting to smell delicious.

A close up of the things I'm making.

And my little notes.

And a reminder to myself!!

Breakfast ... I threw in the apple for good measure  😀

Now it's time to whizz up the soup now and get stuck in.

Sue xx

Monday, January 11, 2021

Week Two - The Food


The Weekly Rations

All this weeks food rations were weighed out last night ready for a new Monday start.  It felt all wrong running from Friday to Friday just because the first of January was a Friday, so now I have switched to Monday to Monday.

You will notice one glaring thing wrong with this photo and it's a roll of modern ready rolled Puff Pastry.  To use this up I decided that this week I would forfeit the rest of my fat ration, so no 2oz of oil or 2oz vegan suet (or similar) just my 4oz of spread in the butter dish and the pastry will be considered as having taken the rest of my fats along side 8oz of unrationed flour.

If things need using up I will be using them instead of wasting them and this sort of compromise will no doubt happen for quite a few weeks as I shop from home and use things up.

Off the Ration

My not on the ration shopping this week up to now has included bread, potatoes and a round lettuce.

  Not my usual sort of lettuce at all as I am an Iceberg fan through and through, I just love the crunch it gives to a salad or a sandwich, but they come from Spain at this time of the year ... a big no-no for me during rationing ... and round lettuces are grown in the UK all year round.  I need to go to the shops late at night when it's quieter and I can have a slower, better look at all labels to see what else is grown in the UK all year round these days as these items will all fit into my modern rationing plan.

I still have half of last weeks cabbage, most of the leek and all but one of the carrots.  I do need to do so much better at piling my plate up with vegetables.

 Sanity Saver

My sanity saver this week is a carton of ready made custard.  It was at the back of the fridge and it's date was up at the start of December ... it should be fine and will be used on an apple pastry that I intend to make later.  Hot apple pastry and cold custard ... yummy  😋

My next job today after another coffee and a spot of blog hopping is to make up this weeks menu plan and take a photo of it for you to peruse.

Sue xx

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Using Up and Storing Away

For the past couple of days as I have sorted through my cupboards here at the flat I have been using up some of the dregs from jars and opened packets.  This meal combined the last of the gluten free pasta in the large jar I needed for my 'ration pasta' with the last of an opened jar of red pesto from the fridge, and was then topped with a sprinkling of my 'ration cheese'.  

I'm sure this gives you an inkling of why I have been so confused over the past week.  A bit of this and a bit of that etc etc , but thinking about it I'm sure that's just how it would have been at the start of rationing as things were pulled from cupboards to make up meals that the family were used to.  At first 'normal' meals would have been on the table and then as rationing went on and the old larder stores dwindled it would have been time to buckle down and get inventive.

Hopefully soon I'll be doing just this and things will be so much more interesting for me ... and for you 😃 

To get some of the dried, tinned and jarred foods out of the large cupboard and be able to see what I have for 'shopping' in the weeks and months to come I bought a couple of storage crates and a lidded box from the discount shop along the street from my flat.

The lidded box is for the opened bags of dried goods that I had tipped out my large storage jars to make space for the rations.

And I have to say for just £3.99 it is a really good box and I managed to fit everything I needed to into it.  

The plastic crates are only cheap ones but are good enough to hold the tins and jars and be slid into the base cupboard in the corner and be used like drawers so I can access what I need while I am 'shopping' from home.

I had a few vegetable 'stock pots' so I have popped these into a jar and will allow myself to use them in soups and stews etc until they run out, then I will just stick with my Bisto and any vegetable stock that I make.

It feels good to be getting sorted at last, I think next week is going to be so much easier.

Sue xx

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Good News, Bad News and Sorting Out the Stores


The good news is my little jam ration is super tasty and although I made it way back in October 2016, as you can see on the label ... it is still in perfect condition.

The bad news ... although not in an earth shattering way... is that my bread of choice for this year does not fit in my little toaster here at the flat.  No doubt this cheap little toaster is going to last for years and years and years just to annoy me 😄

One of my lovely readers noticed my little 'Aga tin' on the photo on Wednesdays post and asked what is in it now and will I be using the contents during the Challenge.  The answer is yes I will, now that I have looked through it and sorted it out.

So the above is what was left in it.  I had already worked my way through all the sachets of sauces and little pots of jam etc and this is the remains.

I spent a relaxing ten minutes or so snipping all the little sachets open and tipping them into the appropriate pepper pot, salt cellar, sugar jar and coffee jar.  Although I only put in the two Nescafe sachets and one of the Kenco coffee ones into the coffee jar as I am not as keen on Kenco, and any more I felt would upset my ration amount.

Now everything is neatly in it's right place.  I had to get out the large salt container as my salt cellar was already quite full before I started.

So now the inside of the tin looks like this, I will be using it to hold any other sachets I acquire and my weekly 3oz sweet ration.  I thought if they were out of sight rather than in a glass jar I might not be as tempted to eat them all at the start of the week.  The last remaining chocolate bar for this week was consumed yesterday, so I did quite well really.  The tin will live on the worktop along with the larger storage jars.

Sue xx