So I arrived back at the flat, unpacked my rations, decanted the flour into the jar I used to use for my Weetabix ... I won't be able to get any Weetabix for at least a month as cereals are on the Points system and I have spent all my points ... and the whole bag fits beautifully with just enough over to half fill my little flour dredger.
I re-arranged this corner of the worktop to accommodate my things overnight as I just knew the cupboards were going to be pretty full. You may notice an extra jar of something in amongst all the decanted lentils, rice, oats etc!
It's a jar of oatmeal that I found in the cupboard in Wales. I was watching a short film clip of Marguerite Pattern and she said that oatmeal was never on the ration, sometimes hard to get hold of but not rationed, if that's good enough for Marguerite then it's good enough for me. I also decanted my gravy granules into my lovely Bisto tin, it looks much more authentic even if the contents are not the same as the wartime gravy powders.
I have been having a ponder over the last couple of days, I realised after a couple of you brought it to my attention, that I was making myself start from scratch when that simply wouldn't have been the case in wartime. Everyone would have started off with a larder of food of some description and would have used it up as and when they needed to alongside their rations to complete their meals . Indeed in the few weeks before rationing began, the government had actually advised people to build their larders up slightly to accommodate two or three weeks worth of dried and tinned foods, if they could afford to do so.
So on the drive back to the flat I decided that whatever was in the 'dried foods cupboard' would be my pre-war larder and the main store of food would become the food that I shopped from until it ran out.
I couldn't remember exactly what was in it but when I arrived this is what I found, a bit of a hotch-potch but then this is what most larders of basics are like. So this is now my only larder cupboard and will be used for all the food that I will be eating over the course of this Challenge, along with the worktop area underneath it for all the larger storage jars ... oats, flour, pasta and rice etc.
Today's main job is to sort through the fridge and freezer. Here at the flat they are both tiny, and with the food that I had left behind before getting stuck in Wales and the new foods that are part of my rations that I had brought with me, you can see clearly that they are full to bursting.
From the fridge I can remove the chocolate straight away, it doesn't need to be in there and will be used as my 3oz of allowable sweets a week until it runs out. I will be able to see what is tucked away at the back when I begin sorting and see if I can remove anything else.
At first glance there are a few things that I can incorporate into the rations straightaway, for instance I know that at the back there are some frozen mixed vegetables and some spinach pellets both of which fall into the modern rationing arena quite nicely. The sausages will be available at two a week and any sauces can be used with my pasta.
I'll see what I have properly after I have taken Suky for a walk, now that the weak morning sunshine is taking the edge off the bitter cold I feel she will enjoy it a bit more.
The other cupboard ... the foods of which will be sorted out into categories and stored until I am allowed armed with my coupons and points to shop from ... well that's going to take some sorting out. Maybe that's a job for tomorrow, with lockdown now in full force there really is no rush!!
Hi Sue, I read that oats were 2 points per pound. If they were not rationed, it would make me happy. I could have 2 more points for January. Woo hoo! I too have expended all my points. My larder is so full that I am doing a more selective “pre-ration” selection. It would need to be generalized because I doubt people knew in advance exactly what was going to be rationed. I’ll have to think this through and address over on my blog.ReplyDelete
Yes you're right, oats were rationed throughout the war years. What I have here is oatmeal which according to Marguerite Pattern on the programme I watched wasn't rationed, but wasn't always available although oats usually were. So I thought I would use this jar as I already had it and I dread to think how old it already is so it definintely needs using up before this year is out.Delete
So, unfortunately, you don't have 2 extra points ... sorry!!
So do you think "quick oats" would be oatmeal? I have some of that as well even though I prefer the rolled oats because they have more chew. I'm trying to find out if cream of wheat was rationed as I have a box of that sitting on my shelf. I know it was advertised as something you could add to meatloaf to make your meat ration go further.Delete
Oh well on the points, I couldn't get much with just 2 points anyway.
No it's the opposite, quick oats are rolled oats that are even more processed, oatmeal is like a tiny hard grain that is harder to digest but makes great oatcakes and crackers.Delete
I would like to follow other rationing blogs. What is yours?Delete
Thanks for the interest 😀 Inchingalong.wordpress.comDelete
Hi Sue, that’s funny. Here in the US I would call any oat porridge grain “oatmeal”. Steel cut oats sound more like what you are talking about.Delete
Suddenly realizing you can 'shop' from your existing stores must feel like a great bounty! lol Oats are a wonderful staple - who says porridge is only for breakfast?! -- it's super that they're not restricted for you.ReplyDelete
Porridge oats ARE restricted and I have one pound to last the month until I get next months points allowance, in this jar is oatmeal, which can be used in the same way, but I usually use it to make oatcakes ... it's all very confusing ;-)Delete
I am only 'shopping' my own stores as if I am going to the shops when the rations are due in each week, not just as and when I want to. This will have two benefits I will be able to use up what I already have and not have to venture out too often to the shops except for fresh fruits and vegetables. We are now in a complete lockdown here in England.
I have tried to comment but no longer seem able to. I am trying again here. I am enjoying following along with your challenge and am impressed with all your research and planning leading up to this.ReplyDelete
You managed this time ... yay!! :-)Delete
Thank you. xx
Hurrah! This time it worked. I am glad to be back.ReplyDelete
Haha .... it did :-)Delete
If it works for Marguerite . . .ReplyDelete
I think you're adopting a very sensible approach in allowing what you already had. It is more realistic and more workable and doesn't contradict the overall ethos.
And I see what you mean about the freezer!!!
Who am I to contradict the queen of the Home Front years :-)Delete
I've just had a real shock at how much was squished into it!!
I think I'd get a brain overload if I was trying to sort out what to buy out of the cupboard with points!ReplyDelete
It's already starting to get a bit clearer for me ... thank goodness :-)Delete
Blimey its complicated, Sue, its a good job you enjoy researching these things 😆 With another lockdown having started its just as well you have plenty of provisions to 'shop' from too. I'm trying to use up and stretch our food stocks, I wouldn't be able to cope with rationing as well. My brain wouldn't be able to take it 😊 You've made an amazing start xReplyDelete
At least I have the time to do it now, that's one positive slant on this new lockdown AND of course my supplies will last me longer now that I am on rations :-)Delete
A favourite of mine is Wartime kitchen and garden with Ruth Mott and Harry Dobson. In the first episode the commentator said that although hoarding was frowned upon, preserving the harvest was encouraged. Would the freezer be your modern equivalent? All episodes are on YouTube to enjoy 😀ReplyDelete
It was a brilliant series wasn't it, I have it on DVD so I'll be giving it another watch soon 😀Delete
Yes, I guess the freezer would be a modern day equivalent, but I'll be using my other methods too ... especially while I have such a tiny freezer. Making jam, bottling sauces etc.
I like Sue's comment about having brain overload:) However, as always Sue you excel at challenges, giving 100% or more like 110%, you seem to be crossing all the t's and dotting all the i's:) Well done on a great start♥ xxReplyDelete
As my Dad to say 'if you're going to do a job at all, do it properly'. Although I was itching for a nice simple start I really don't want to see any food wasted