Friday, September 30, 2022

Day One - Vegetables, Lord Woolton Pie, Crumble Prep and Trimmed Spring Onions


Day one of my modern wartime rationing started with a bowl of weetabix, well the equivalent sort from Aldi but I always call them weetabix ... with a little 'w'.  Somehow, I haven't got the photo, I could have sworn I took it but no, it's not on my camera or phone.  Oh well, I'm sure you can picture two little weetabix with a good splash of milk in a little green Beryl Wood's Ware bowl.

Soon after breakfast I started making my lunch and evening meal, as it was to be a bowl of vegetable soup and a Lord Woolton Pie the base was exactly the same ... vegetables.

Before long everything was in the pan and simmering gently in a couple of pints of stock.

Time to get out the unsliced loaf that I bought the other day.  

I purposefully bought it a little bit early as the good old National Loaf was always sold one day after it was made, so that it would be easy to slice with little wastage, and unlike modern bread it turned into a solid brick within twenty-four hours.  

Oh, how lucky we are.  My more modern wholemeal loaf was still wonderfully soft and easy to slice.

On the menu for lunch was Vegetable Soup and bread, but the vegetables looked so good that I decided to simply have them as they were.  It was delicious.

I put 12oz of the vegetable mix from the pan into my enamel dish and left it to cool ready to be topped later, then I whizzed up the rest with my stick blender to make a pan of soup for later in the week.  That's a few lunches sorted out then.  I think I have it twice more on this week's menu so some will be frozen for future use.

After lunch, I was either brave or mad ... I'll tell you which later in the week!!

I used half of my week's fat ration to make up some pastry and crumble mix.  I just did the usual half fat to flour ratio.

Then I split the rubbed-in mixture in half.  

To one half I added some salt and water and made pastry, which went to rest in the fridge for a couple of hours.  The other half had an ounce of my sugar ration added to it and a spoonful or two of oats, this will be my crumble mix for on top of some of the apples and maybe a blackberry or two from the freezer.

Once cooled the vegetables were topped with the rested rolled-out pastry, which I photographed just in case it all went horribly wrong in the oven!!

Lord Woolton Pie

 But I needn't have worried it came out looking very presentable and it was delicious.  I should perhaps have had some gravy and cabbage with it as was my original plan, but I just fancied trying the pastry exactly as it was, and I wasn't really that hungry.  

It was delicious.

Taken from this book, but this recipe is also to be found in lots of other books, especially those written my Margeurite Patten.

So that was day one over, and I found it pretty satisfying to be honest.  I had to fight the urge to snack a few times, but a cup of coffee in my little Jasmine cup and saucer or a nice glass of cold water straight from the fridge and I was fine.

Oh, and now that the spring onions have had a good trim they fit on the shelf in the fridge. 😃

Sue xx

Thursday, September 29, 2022

It's All About the Fruits and Veggies, Bought and Scrumped


It was all about the fruits and vegetables yesterday.  Sorting out the fridge and getting all my new weeks off-ration purchases stored properly was the first job of the day.  The vegetables all fit neatly into the bottom drawer.

And the tomatoes were added to the pack I already had and put into the fruit drawer ... well they are officially fruit. 😁

You can ignore the cheeses at the back of the drawer I won't be touching them until it's time to take out 4oz for next week's rations.  The three mandarin oranges have lived in the fridge for far too long so I will be eating one a day this week, it would be wasteful to throw them away. 

Well, that's about it for the fridge, all the fruits and veggies in the drawers and the butter, cheese and vegan ham on the shelf.  I just had to put the pint pot of spring onions in the door as they were too tall for the shelves.  Once I use them I will be able to move them over, but I was determined not to give them their usual 'haircut' to make them fit.  Every little bit of food counts even more than usual from now on!!

We went to the garden centre to get some grease bands for our apple tree at the weekend and while we walked the dogs around the paddock there Alan asked if I wanted an apple or two from the old trees there, of course I said yes.  It was only when he emptied his pockets out at home that I realised he had managed to reach five. 

Meanwhile in the cafe I scrumped the plastic cups that you have to use to get water in now that they seem to have put away the glasses.  It's a shame but they are so flimsy you do need to take two. There was no way I was going to let them go into the trash or even into the recycling, so I brought them home and I will use them next year as little 'greenhouse' lids for plant pots when I start seedlings off for my Victory Garden next year. 

The scrumped apples are now in the pot on my little storage unit alongside the potatoes in the basket and the bread in the 'flour bin' ...  and the plastic cups are in the shed.

And that's it all the prep work and shopping has been done, there's nothing for it but to begin My Modern Wartime Rationing.

A fascinating collection of memories about rationing.

Sue xx


Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Getting My Ration Foods Together


First, I got together my basic weekly rations, I am following the vegetarian rations with some tweaks as I am vegan.  See the FAQs for more information.

Weekly Rations

4oz Violife Mature Cheddar Cheese

6oz Dairy Free Spread in lieu of 2oz Butter and 4oz Marg

2oz Oil in lieu of lard

1 litre of Milk

8oz Sugar

2oz Coffee in lieu of tea

2 Meat Free Sausages in lieu of one egg

4 slices of Vegan Ham in lieu of the other egg given to vegetarians

2oz Sweets

The weekly rations are supplemented with fresh foods that were not on ration, and mostly available in the shops or grown at home throughout the war years.  For my fresh supplies I am making sure that I try my best to buy only in-season British grown foods as would have been available during the war years.

My Monthly Rations

1/2 lb Onions
An extra litre of milk in lieu of Dried Milk
4oz of Instant Coffee in lieu of Camp Coffee ... this made me ill the last time I tried it

Jam and all other preserves were rationed at 1lb per person for two months.

So, my one month's supply is 4oz of Jam and 4ozs of marmalade.

My First Months Points Shopping

For more information about the points system see The Points System page at the top of the blog.

How my store-cupboard looked before I added the rations to it.

After a bit of research, I decided to leave in my cupboard those foodstuffs that would have been in daily use in the 1940's as most people did not start the ration years with completely empty cupboards.

As you can see it's mostly flavourings and custard!!

Also, anything that has been home-produced was allowed to stay so the various pickles and beetroot.

I also added back in my vitamins and Omega 3.

I am not allowed to use the large supply of homemade jams and marmalades ... except when allowed on the rations, but I have no other space to put them in.

So, my store-cupboard is looking quite healthy now and the forbidden jams etc are neatly hidden behind the Weetabix.  😀

Now I am starting to put together my menu for the whole month.  I am using a few modern meals and a lot of the wartime recipes that I am finding in my books.  There's just one more thing I would like to say, I first said it when I tried to start this Rationing Challenge back in 2020 but it is worth repeating.

Finally ...I really want to re-iterate here loud and clear that I am in no way making fun of or belittling the hardships that people went through during the Second World War.  I am of a generation that has heard first hand experiences from both my parents and my grandmothers of what they went through during this time.  I have nothing but pure admiration for each and every person that came through this dreadful period of our country's history in whatever way it happened for them.

This Challenge is dedicated to them and all that they have taught us.

Sue xx

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Off We Go AGain


Well, I had a word with Mildred and Lucinda, and they said I need to pull my wrinkly stockings up and get back to rationing .... so off we go again.  

I'm having a word about the non-veggie foods on the tray that the grocer has gotten ready to show us, and to query whether it's true that as a veggie I get a whole 4oz of cheese.

Meanwhile Mildred went off to join a queue as there were rumours of fish.

And Lucinda said something about a man on the corner with a suitcase full of nylons ....


Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Gearing Up, Giving Away and Doing Research


I am in the process of gearing up for this Challenge, which is now becoming more of a way of living for the future for me rather than just a month-long Challenge.  But I will be doing a month of wartime rationing to kick-start things and sticking quite rigidly to my modern wartime rations and then re-evaluating at the end of the month.

In the meantime, alongside eating my way through modern foods from the store cupboard and donating the modern processed foods that I no longer want to eat via the Olio App I am doing lots of research.

Some might call it reading books and watching Dvd's but I am calling it research.  😁

Sue xx

Monday, September 12, 2022

Preparing for Rationing

I am currently just back from holiday and working out how to alter rations that look like the above painting, to foodstuffs that as a vegan I will be happy to eat.  

I first thought that I would simply change the meat rations, which in the war years were valued by shillings and pence rather than pounds and ounces, to the modern equivalent in meat-free alternatives. In 1942, the year I am using for my rationing period this was 1s 2d, which in today's money is equivalent to £3.13.  This would have been fine and enough to buy me a pack of meatless mince or perhaps a meat-free burger or steak each week, but in recent months I have been moving away from this sort of eating.

I had a re-think and decided that I would instead use the 1942 wartime rations for a vegetarian, keeping it simple and taking the cheese ration as dairy-free cheese, vegetarians got an extra 3oz in place of their meat ration so I will be able to have a total of 4oz per week.  But taking the egg ration, vegetarians also got one extra egg ... so two each week as the meat-free meat replacements which I do still eat, sausages and occasionally ham for a 'bacon butty'.

It's all been a bit confusing hence my slow start to this.  What I want to do next is to check what fruits and vegetables are in season where I live during September and October, and these will be the only ones that I will be buying for myself during my rationing period.  I will be taking a list of what should be available out with me when I do go shopping and only buying what is in the shops marked 'Grown in the UK'.  Of course, I can also use what I have growing in my tiny garden as a guide, and these will be available to me too.  At the moment I have courgettes, tomatoes, cucumbers, salad leaves, baby leeks and soon there should be more potatoes.  

I need to go and register my Ration Card.  🙂

Vegetables were never rationed ... well apart from onions as supplies of these quickly dried up as they were at the beginning of the war mostly imported ... and although fruits were pretty scarce, if you grew your own or they were in season they did become available.  I have a few apples on my own tree and there should be plenty of apples in the shops at the moment as this year has been a bumper fruit year in the UK, but I am going to miss my bananas!!  I need to see if there are any blackberries left in the few places that I know of in this area ... oh how I am missing my old hillside at the moment and the copious brambles growing the length of the paddock that I used to pick to turn into Bramble Jelly.

Anyway, I thought I would just quickly come on and do a post to let you know that I am still planning this and once I have finished the holiday washing and have gotten back to normal, I will be starting my minimum of a Month of Modern Rationing.

Sue xx