Monday, October 24, 2022

Day Twenty-Two - Giveaway Result ... and It's All Over For Now


Weetabix for breakfast ...

Followed by toast and jam and a cup of coffee.

It had to be done, after all you do have to sample the goods don't you.  The jam was delicious, slightly too sweet for me but very tasty.  I usually add a good dash of lemon juice to my jams to take the edge of the sweetness but of course I had no lemons or lemon juice on my rations.

The final giveaway from this rationing challenge is this pack of replica wartime ephemera. 

And the random number generator picked out comment number one, which was Joy.

So, if you can send me your address Joy, I will get you little bundle of goodies off to you as soon as I can.  You can leave your address as a comment as I have temporarily changed the comment settings so that they will all be monitored by me before publication ... and obviously I won't share your address with the world.  Once I have written out your envelope, I will delete the comment and reset the comments back to normal.  Thanks.

Unfortunately, I have decided to end this Challenge here and resume my normal way of eating and shopping.  It's been a really good thing to do but in these times of economic change I want to be able to buy and store more of the foods that I usually buy and eat, while I am still able to get them at reasonable prices. 

During the Challenge I have felt it was wrong to do this, so I have been spending my usual housekeeping money on items for the local Foodbank trolley, which of course I will continue to do but to a slightly lesser extent.

Thanks to everyone that has followed along and left some amazing comments. After a short break from blogging, I will be back on my other blog on a regular basis.

Sue xx 

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Week Four - Day 22 - My Compost Heap Jam ... and Christmas at Booth's

I finally got round to making the Compost Heap Jelly, there's no real rush to make it up once you've cooked the fruit trimmings and strained them, as you long as you keep them safely in the fridge.

But first I had breakfast while the cold juice came up to room temperature.

I had one litre of strained juice, so I had my fingers crossed that my sugar ration of the last three weeks was enough.  I think I have only used it for the scones that I made so Iwas pretty confident that there would be enough left.

There was plenty, I guess slightly too much really as the ratio is usually 600mls of juice to 450g of sugar, but I just chucked it all into the large stock pot that I borrowed off Alan and brought everything up to a roaring boil.  I kept it there for ten minutes and then poured the boiling hot liquid into the jars that were hot straight from the oven.

Sometimes it works and sometimes it just doesn't set first time and I will be honest and say that this time I didn't get the set, it was still runny once it had cooled down.  Now this is great if you want a syrup for pouring over ice-cream etc but I wanted a jam, so all I did was tip all this back into the pan and bring it back to a boil.  I gave it another four minutes and then jarred it up again.  I only lost the small amount that had been in the cup in the evaporation after the re-boiling, and once finished I had the four small jars and the little one which all successfully set.  

One of the jars didn't form a proper seal so that one will be eaten first and will live in the fridge.  The others have been added to my ration pantry and are available at any time I need them.  

There's no evening meal to show you as last night we went to the Booths Christmas Book Launch at our local Booths store.  We expected a few nibbles and a glass of Prosecco ... we got a three-course meal, extra buffet nibbles and Buck's Fizz, white wine, red wine, sparkling wine and a glass of Port.

The buffet nibbles.

To say we were full was an understatement, what an amazing event.

Oh well ... now it's back to rations  😄

Some weekend watching from YouTube.  This episode of The Wartime Kitchen and Garden showing the fake iced wedding cake cover that Catriona mentioned in a comment right at the very beginning of this challenge.

Sue xx

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Day Twenty One - Old Jam, Fadge ... and This Week's Giveaway


A simple and very early breakfast, hence the low lighting in the kitchen.  

Isn't it staying dark longer in the mornings now, something I quite like just as I like the dark evenings.  Something I'm not so keen on though are the high winds and heavy rain that we've been having over the last few days.  Alan's Fig tree went from leaves and fruits to just a few unripe fruits clinging grimly to the branches in the space of two nights.  Oh well we are halfway through Autumn now, so it is all to be expected.

I noticed that the jam that I am currently using is one of my much earlier batch of Compost Heap Jellies made way back in 2016.  There have been many others since then, so I wonder why this one is still around.  It's still very tasty that's for sure.  I need to get my new, much smaller batch done today.

Later I set to making some mashed potatoes.  

I drained the potatoes and kept the cooking water.  While it was still hot, I dissolved two teaspoons of stock powder into it as I thought it would be a good base for a flavoured rice on another day.

Once they had steamed dry a bit while I was making the stock, the potatoes were mashed and divided into two.

The 8oz of potato was mixed and kneaded into 4oz flour.

Then patted out into a round that would fit into my frying pan and cut into four.

I sprinkled some grated cheese on one of the farls as they were cooking and then topped it with one of the others once it was on my plate.  To be honest I could barely taste it, so although it perhaps made it slightly healthier it was a bit of a waste of cheese for flavour.

It was quite tasty, but also very stodgy.  I should maybe have remembered from the Potato Floddies recipe that I followed HERE, that potato and flour do not sit that lightly with me.  Anyway, it was a filling lunch and feeling so podged meant I did not have any inclination whatsoever to snack during the afternoon.

My tea was a simple Bangers, Mash and Gravy using the last of this morning's batch of mashed potatoes.

 Oh, I do love mashed potatoes ... especially when they are not mixed with flour.  😄

And now, time for this week's giveaway.  All you have to do is leave a comment below saying you would like to be entered and your name will go into the draw tomorrow to win this little collection of replica wartime ephemera.

Good Luck. 😀

Sue xx


Friday, October 21, 2022

Day Twenty - Minimal Shopping, Cheese and Compost Heap Jelly

Once again, this week I haven't needed much shopping, but I did want to get some more bread and potatoes, which, as in the wartime years, seem to be the mainstay of my current diet. 

 I also decided to get a few bits of salad to top up the carrots and lettuce that I still have in the fridge.  Obviously, there are no peppers or large cucumbers in my mini shopping haul as they are out of season in England now, unless grown in heated greenhouses which wouldn't have been available for the majority of people during the war years.  I know the mini cucumbers are just at the tail end of their season here as I had given Alan the last two off our plant in the garden for his tea the day before so when I saw them on the reduced vegetable shelves, I grabbed some for myself.  

I am really just trying to eat seasonally and in an environmentally friendly way.

I did however, decide to stock up on some of my favourite cheeses as for once Booths had them both in stock, they have been missing every time I've been there recently.  And with long dates on non-dairy cheese, it really is possible to buy quite a few when you see them.  Obviously, I will only take what I can have 'on the ration' for the duration of this challenge.

While I heated up my soup the other day you might have noticed in the photo this pan of all the fruit peelings and cores that I had been adding to in the freezer.  I had decided that now I have enough of my sugar ration available I would make myself some Compost Heap Jelly.

There were apple cores and peelings, the skins of the mandarin oranges that had been in the fridge at the start of the challenge and to them I decided to add the last couple of blackberries that were also in the freezer.  I knew these would add a lovely rich colour to the jelly.

It was brought to the boil and then simmered for just over an hour until everything was lovely and soft and the liquid was a glorious shade of purple-y red.  The I strained the liquid through my sieve into my largest jug.

And then gave it a final straining through the sieve lined with muslin.

It is now in the fridge and the final stage will be done another day, but if you would like to watch how to make this from the woman that I learned this off ... Pam the Jam Corbin, here is a River Cottage YouTube film showing her making it.

It's a recipe that I have used for years, since we went to River Cottage for the first time in fact, on a day out from our very first farm.  I always kept the tastiest scraps of fruit trimmings back from either the chickens, pigs or the compost heap with this in mind and it helped fill our homemade produce cupboard nicely.

My food for the day was extremely simple. 

 I had a slice of toast and butter for breakfast, a salad sandwich for my lunch, which was taken to and eaten at Mum's, I didn't take a photo as we had other things on our minds as we did some little jobs for her around the bungalow ... and on the way home we picked up a chippy tea.

I'll be back tomorrow to show you my finished Compost Heap Jelly. 

Sue xx

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Day Nineteen - Pigs in Clover, Wartime Recipe


Time to start using up those four sausages I thought to myself as soon as I got out of bed this morning.  I wanted to try a recipe that I had read about in my Victory Cookbook and in the Food Facts book.  It's called by various names, usually either Pigs in Clover or Potato Piglets.  Whatever you call it it's very simple and as you can see from the ingredients above it requires just one sausage and one potato per person that you are serving. 

And a cup of coffee always goes down well when you are planning your menu. 

Oh, and while my sausage thawed out, I remembered to photograph my porridge breakfast this time. 😀

For my lunch I warmed up the other portion of yesterdays lentil soup and had it with the last of the croutons.

The recipe for Pigs in Clover is so simple it's barely a recipe at all.

Simply take one baking potato and one sausage for each person and using an apple corer ... or a potato peeler in my case, as I haven't got an apple corer anymore ... make a hole right through the centre of the potato and push the sausage through.  Wrap the stuffed potato in foil and bake in a moderate oven for around an hour, or until your potato is soft to the touch.  Serve on a bed of lightly steamed and buttered cabbage.

Now I adapted this a little bit to suit modern times, I thawed out the Linda McCartney frozen sausage and to save on power, something that would have been approved on during the war, I used Alan's microwave to zap the potato for five minutes to speed up the cooking time.

This was absolutely delicious as it was, but after eating it and planning to make it again I was thinking of all the other ways to serve a Pig in Clover.   With gravy for a start, and perhaps with a portion of sage and onion stuffing for a small Sunday lunch type meal, or perhaps on a hot day with a side of coleslaw and a sliced tomato.  All variations that would fit in with wartime rationing or with modern eating habits.

A very tasty wartime recipe and one that I will definitely be keeping in my repertoire.

Sue xx

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Day Eighteen - Scraps Make Soup


I decided not long after I got up that I would use the scraps and peelings that I have been saving in the freezer since the challenge started, to make some stock this morning.  There's no point in them just sitting there when I knew they would make a good vegetable stock.  I had in mind a bowl of lentil soup for lunch or my evening meal, and if it was going to be just lentils I wanted to have a rich stock to make it taste good.

While I had my first coffee of the day and then got on with other jobs, they simmered away long and slow, flavour developing and according to Alan making the whole lodge smell lovely.  I still haven't got my sense of smell back at all ... I do miss it. 😞

I was that busy faffing about making stock that I forgot to take a photo of my breakfast, but it looked almost identical to this one from a previous week, so you get the gist.

I obviously had my mind on other things because I also forgot to photograph the two slices of bread that I toasted and had with jam that I ate for my lunch.

The soup turned out lovely and eaten with the croutons that I made last week made for a very filling and tasty evening meal.  And even better there's enough of both soup and croutons left for lunch tomorrow.  It was a good use of a bag of scraps and peelings, along with 4oz of my red lentils.

Sue xx

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Day Seventeen - A Star Baked Potato is Born


Another day, another weetabix breakfast.  

My large box of weetabix is serving me well and I do enjoy it as a quick grab it and go breakfast.  My posh cup and saucer were going to be used, but then I changed my mind and had my coffee out of my usual yellow Jasmine Woods Ware.  I'm not that pretentious that I need sweet roses for my breakfast cuppa ... Hyacinth Bucket/Bouquet sprang to mind 😄

My dinner was absolutely gorgeous.

I've been buying my potatoes from Aldi for the last year or so but last week I splurged when I got the last bit of shopping.  I didn't need that much but I had picked up the spring onions, bread and radishes from Aldi and then gone on another errand, when I remembered that I needed potatoes my car was in the Booth's car park so I went and picked up the four baking potatoes from there.  True they were probably twice the price of the Aldi ones, but they were bigger, and my gosh they had twice the taste.

Have I been saving myself money but in the process losing out on flavour and quality?

It wasn't even the extra cheese that this week's rations meant I could afford to put on the potato that made it taste so good, it was the actual potato itself.

I need to have a serious thought about my just using Aldi as my go to supermarket.  Yes, they might be cheaper, and yes they might be a smidge closer to me, but in all honestly ... and this modern wartime rationing challenge is making me think a lot more carefully about everything I have available and that I am eating ... I would rather pay a little bit more and really enjoy the fewer things that I am buying.

For my evening meal I used another portion of my pasta.

It looks as though I can comfortably have one pasta meal a week and stay within the ration that my monthly points purchase bought me.  I cooked the pasta in the oven in the sauce that I made out of the last of the red tomatoes from the garden.  There is one whizzed up portion left in the freezer for future use.  I added some the broccoli that I purchased in week one to the dish and a few little pieces of the white Vitalite block of dairy free cheese, but to be honest this one isn't as nice as the Violife Feta style cheese that I usually use.

A tasty day foodwise, but the star of the day has to be the humble baked potato.  I might just have to alter my menu plan and have another one tomorrow.

Sue xx

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Day Sixteen - This Week's Rations


It was only when I came to get my spread out of the fridge for this morning's breakfast that I realised that I hadn't weighed out this week's rations yet.


I've almost got it sorted in my head now and I've started just topping up the things in my containers with the new rations.  Isn't it easy with scales that you can just zero once you've stood something on them, they are a real modern game-changer.  So, another 2oz of oil went into my oil pouring bottle.

8oz sugar went into my sugar jar.

2oz of coffee topped up my coffee jar.

I'm surprised that I use less than 2oz of instant coffee each week, it's been a pleasant revelation.

Another 4oz of dairy free cheese was weighed out and added to the cheese leftover from last week.  I'll be able to treat myself to a good cheese and onion sandwich this week with all this cheese available. 😃

So, including all that I have weighed out and this week's carton of milk, along with the two sausages and four slices of Vegan Quorn Ham replacing the two eggs that vegetarians received instead of a meat ration, here are my rations for Week Three of the Challenge.

Oops ... how did I forget my 2oz sweet ration.

Each week I have been rummaging around for sweets that I already had in instead of buying sweets, and it seems that I have finally exhausted all but a couple more lemon sherbets, and as I still have last week's lemon sherbets in the tin, I searched high and low for something else.  I found the only bit of chocolate that I have left in the house, and look ... it weighs almost 2oz.  

That will do nicely then. 😄

This week is going to be a very cheesy and sausage-y week as when I went to put my two new available sausages into the freezer ...

... I found that last weeks were still there!!

So now it's time to write out this week's menu plan and make sure that I make good use of all my new foods and the leftovers and things in the freezer.

I'm going away for a couple of days now, so I will pick up where I am leaving off on my return.

Sue xx

Friday, October 14, 2022

Week Three - Day Fifteen - The Oslo Meal


The day started well with a large bowl of porridge and a cup of coffee.  I've found that my usual 50g of porridge oats is just under 2oz, never have I been converting as much as I have just recently.  It makes for a filling breakfast, so much so that it was nearly two o'clock before I even started thinking about lunch.

I wasn't really in the mood for cooking when my tummy started to rumble, so I thought what better time to try out The Oslo Meal.

The Oslo meal, or breakfast or dinner ... it had many names ... was originally a diet developed in 1920's for Norwegian school children in Oslo, then adopted by many in the UK in the 1930's as a health rather than weight loss diet.  It was picked up by the Ministry of Food during WWII as an ideal and healthy lunch for both children or adults and it was eaten regularly by many people.

The main component parts are brown bread, butter or spread, milk, cheese and some raw and mostly green vegetables, along with a glass of milk.  And after eating this for my late lunch I can testify wholeheartedly that it is very satisfying and very filling.  I ate some of it as it was and then made myself a huge sandwich with everything that was left on my plate.

Still comfortably full at teatime I decided to thaw out one of my little dishes of stewed apple and blackberries and the little bag of saved crumble mix and just have that for some supper with a cup of coffee mid evening.

So, it was a good day, with meals eaten at all the wrong times if you are being pedantic, but a very tasty and interesting day too.