I’m picking wild blackberries in my garden every couple of days so today when I found a simple shortbread recipe in the ‘Eating for Victory’ book (a collection of reproduction WW2 instructional leaflets) I immediately decided the shortbread biscuits would need a blackberry on top to give them an extra a burst of flavour.
Let me tell you…the blackberries worked so well! It will take me a LOT of willpower to not devour all of them!
So the recipe is incredibly simple and I didn’t even use a rolling pin and a biscuit cutter.
3 oz plain white flour
2 oz margarine
1 oz sugar
10 fresh blackberries, rinsed and patted dry
Rub the margarine into the flour and sugar.
Knead into a dough without adding any water.
Roll out to about 1/8th inch and cut into biscuits (I simply tore off a walnut sized amount, rolled into a ball and flattened it in my palms and dented the middle once on the baking tray to place the blackberry).
Sprinkle with a little sugar.
Bake in a cool oven (about 150 c) until very pale golden brown around edges.
Makes 8-10 biscuits.
Here are some photos I snapped with my phone of the process..
So today was Day 1 of going back to rationing. It wasn’t as hard as I expected but at times it wasn’t easy as the last three months I have got used to eating anything at any time I wanted.
Today I’ve decided on 4 meals with no eating inbetween so I can get used to feeling a little hungry again, the way our bodies are supposed to tell us when we need to eat. That hasn’t happened with me in a while, I like to constantly feel full.
Yesterday I made a large vegetable stew which I could use for 3 or 4 meals over the next few days. I find having a stew on the go is vital as there is always something to have on standby. I also made a loaf of bread which will see me through the next few days AND be useful to use in recipes when it gets a little stale.
Back to Rationing Day 1 – What I Ate.
Breakfast: Mushrooms and spinach on toast (no butter or margarine)
Lunch: Plate of vegetable stew with 1/2 oz of grated cheese over the top and a slice of homemade bread (no butter or margarine)
Dinner: Cheese frizzles made with oats, flour and grated cheese (recipe to come) served with sauted runner beans (1 oz margarine in total) and a salad with tomatoes. Blackberry Shortbread x 2 pieces (recipe to come) served afterwards with a ‘Camp’ coffee made with 1/4 pint of non-dairy milk.
Supper: A plate of sauted runner beans (1/2 oz margarine), a couple mugs of tea and another blackberry shortbread (will have this later this evening).
Calories: About 1700
* 3.5 ounces margarine (shortbread, and frying cheese frizzles, mushrooms and runner beans)
* 1/4 pint milk
* 1 oz sugar (shortbread)
* 1.5 oz cheese (frizzles and stew)
* 2 tea bags
With horror the scale read 284.2 lbs this morning, about a 30 lb weight gain since end of April after taking part in the London Marathon.
Over the past month or so the extra weight is making me tired, making me hurt again and I’ve stopped walking because its uncomfortable. A HUGE contrast to just three months ago. I’m disgusted with myself and have recently been feeling a little depressed about it all. My emotions are up and down right now in private. It’s easier to be my jolly self in public but outside of work I am a fairly quiet and private person needing time to think a lot and re-charge sometimes to the extent of being insular.
Although I’ve been continuing to recreate wartime recipes, it has been quite some time since I followed a rationing plan day to day but really feel it is time to live and breathe this way of life from now until Christmas to get my back on the straight and narrow. I’ve done this so many times and it works incredibly well and I need to absorb myself into something all consuming in my fight against obesity.
So today I’ve laid out my weekly rations (I have double the amount of cheese instead of my meat ration as I am vegetarian) and stocked my wartime shelves in my old larder and I will cook stew and potatoes later so I start tomorrow with food prepared and ready.
Food rationing started in January 1940. Not all basic foods were placed on the ration at one time, it was introduced gradually. Weekly allowances varied depending on the availability of foods but my diagram above will give you an idea of the amount of food an adult was guaranteed to receive on a weekly basis using a ration book.
There were extra milk rations for small children and expectant and nursing mothers and they also received cod liver oil and concentrated orange juice.
My weekly organic vegetable box will become my produce from my allotment/victory garden and be an important part of ensuring I feel full and eat healthily.
Thank you to all the lovely comments on here and on my Facebook page today… it’s helped enormously xxxx
Woke up to a lovely e-mail this morning which has given me some much needed encouragement to persevere with the video recipes (thank you Kim)
I did a couple a year or so ago but am so insecure about my constantly changing body size I find it difficult to persevere with things like this (self-conscious) but love doing them so what the hell!
Here is a wartime recipe for padded pudding I did back in 2016. Have plans to start doing some regular video recipes online again end of September and also put some effort into including some interesting WW2 info, aim for 1 or 2 a month…
Eggs were so scarce during WW2 that many recipes were modified to adapt to rationing. Many cake recipes were created that were perfectly acceptable without eggs and this chocolate sponge was one of them. I made it today, also using a wartime recipe for a chocolate filling which I used to sandwich the sponge together and glaze the top.
The filling is very much like dark chocolate and had I not been re-creating an authentic wartime recipe, some orange oil/essence and some orange zest would have really worked well in the filling and topping.
As it stood it was a nice, tasty, moist cake despite not having a big rise on it. For modern tastes it would be really nice served with cream or a raspberry coulis.
Eggless Chocolate Sponge with Dark Chocolate Filling
1/2 lb self raising flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
3 oz caster sugar
1 tablespoon syrup
14 tablespoons of hot water
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
3 oz margarine
* Mix the flour, salt. cocoa and sugar together.
* Dissolve the syrup in the water and add the bicarbonate of soda.
* Melt the margarine and mix all the ingredients together including the essence but do not beat the mixture which should be very soft.
* Divide the mixture between to well greased 8″ sandwich tins and bake in a moderately hot oven for 20 minutes.
* When cooled use jam or a chocolate or mock cream filling between the two layers.
1/2 oz margarine
2 oz cocoa
2 oz caster sugar
2 tablespoons of strong black coffee
Melt the margarine. Remove from the heat and add the cocoa and sugar. Beat in the coffee until the mixture becomes a good spreading consistency.
Two ounces of cheese and some sliced onions, sprinkled over the top, go a long way in adding flavour to this simple, tasty and comforting wartime dish. Don’t limit yourself to just potatoes though. Throw in any leftover root vegetables to add to the potatoes and it will be delicious! Today I added chopped carrot and turnip.
Cheese, Potato & Onion Pie
3 lbs of potatoes chopped (or make up to 3 lbs with any chopped root veg)
2 onions chopped in half and very thinly sliced
2 oz grated cheddar cheese
tablespoon of margarine or butter (or fat saved from bacon)
Thyme, salt and pepper
Scrub vegetables and scrape or peel if necessary.
Chop into smallish pieces (carrot needs longer to cook so if mixed with potatoes make sure the carrot pieces are smaller).
Simmer vegetables until tender in boiling water.
Meanwhile add sliced onion to a pan with a little butter/margarine/fat and saute gently until golden.
When potatoes/vegetables are cooked and tender drain well and then mash with a tablespoon of margarine/butter and lots of seasoning. At this stage you can add extras such as some garlic powder or some chopped sauted garlic to add extra flavour. Mix well and when you are happy with the flavour add to a pie dish.
Sprinkle over the top with some grated cheese and finally the sauted long onion slices spreading out evenly over the top.
Place in a pre-heated hot oven at 220 C until the top is golden. This will take about 20 minutes.
Serves 4 as a main dish with a few green vegetables on the side or 6 as part of a meal.
Simple. Quick. Frugal. Delicious. This wartime pudding is basically summer sunshine on a plate.
Using some nectarines from my ‘Riverford Organic Fruit and Veg Box’, freshly picked wild blackberries and two slices of bread, I was able to make a mouth-watering, sweet pudding in no time at all. I whisked up the double cream I had left from a week ago (during the war you would have had to make mock cream unless you had a cow!) and added a generous splodge to top it off. Let me tell you the combination of warm pudding and fresh cream was delightful. It made me smile…
Any fruit can be used but I always think the addition of berries to the dish adds so much taste and colour.
Baked Fruit Pie
2 lbs fruit, bottled or fresh
4 oz stale bread (about 4 slices)
3 tablespoons of milk or water
2 level tablespoons of sugar
(I used half of all the above measurements to make less pudding)
If using fresh fruit stew and sweeten to taste (I chopped my 4 nectarines and added the blackberries and once bubbling, stewed for about 5 minutes with about 3 teaspoons of sugar).
Put the fruit and juice in a pie dish.
Cut bread neatly into small cubes and place on top of the fruit.
Sprinkle the milk over the bread until damp.
Sprinkle the sugar over the top.
Bake in a hot oven for 20-30 minutes.
I took some photos of the process on my mobile phone including the best bit, tasting it!