I’ve decided to keep most of my weight-loss struggles off my regular 1940s Experiment YouTube Channel as I will be focusing on creating some WW2 recipe videos this year. I need to be more focused on what I do, I just find that quite difficult at times as life is so full and exciting!
I’ve set up a new YouTube channel for anything to do with middle-aged weight-loss struggles, menopause and health and you can see a couple of examples here. Please feel free to SUBSCRIBE if anything like this interests you.
This week below I share a very embarrassing flirting experience and briefly talk about loss of sex-drive during menopause. Maybe that is why I am so happy being single right now. Anyway, it would be good to hear your thoughts and experiences.
How wonderful it was to have spent a couple of hours in the garden this afternoon after completing some of the chores that have waited for me all week. After doing some washing up, a few loads of laundry, cleaning the kitchen and dining room and hoovering a couple of rooms it was time for lunch and a coffee in the garden.
The few little sage plants I put in last summer have grown massively this spring. Their aroma is pungent and exhilarating (yes I love sage!) and they have grown so much that it was already time to harvest some of the stalks that were tumbling over the pathway.
I will use some fresh sage this weekend in a recipe or two but then will dry the rest and add to jars, I don’t think I will need to buy more sage for years especially as I bought 4 more tiny sage plants this spring, two of which are purple sage and variegated. I just can’t get enough!
Another delightful thing I noticed this afternoon was that the bees are visiting the cotoneaster in abundance. Red-tailed bumble bees, white-tailed bumble bees, and common carder bees are just some of the bees I have been able to identify.
I’ll leave you with a quick little video of a beautiful bumble bee on the cotoneaster.
FINALLY the “Pandemic Pantry Community Cookbook” is ready toDOWNLOAD.
Before you dive in I’d first like to say that this first version contains 38 of the nearly 200 recipes already submitted during the pandemic BUT my life is hectic, my home circumstances right now are challenging and if I didn’t do it this way it would NEVER get finished.
I’ve decided that on the 1st day of each calendar month there will be a NEW version of the cookbook FREE to download. It will be much easier for me to add in 10-20 new recipes every month and update the book with valuable resources and links to keep it current. If you do not see the recipe you submitted please know that it will be added, just download your new version every month. The Pandemic Pantry cookbook will ALWAYS be free and if anyone would like to send any frugal recipes through please do so to email@example.com.
I sincerely APOLOGISE for the time it has taken me. I sometimes feel like I am trying to climb a greasy pole to complete things as I am time challenged and the last few years, well, what can I say, we’ve all been coping with many things in different ways.
I really want to say THANK YOU to those who sent through their recipes, at last count I was up to 180 something so there will be lots to add over the coming months.
Sending much love and safety to all during these times of uncertainty, whether its medically, economically or with the recent war in Ukraine and the worry of escalation into neighbouring countries, I sincerely wish you all the very best.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! Wishing everyone a very happy and of course healthy 2022.
Love this time of year as it can feel like a good time to set positive goals. The first one on my list for 2022 is to finish the first version of the ‘Pandemic Pantry’ cookbook. I’m still busy adding in your recipes and laying the pages out. It is more time consuming than I imagined but I’ve made great headway and I hope to have every single submitted recipe in and laid out nicely by the end of the day. Tomorrow I’ll need to write up a few pages, add in some conversion charts (as we have recipes that have been submitted from different continents) and finally proof read it all then upload it to my website.
3rd JANUARY UPDATE: It really is taking me longer than I thought. I'm putting in quite a few hours each day but it takes me around 20 minutes to lay out a recipe. I have another 20+ to do plus write up and charts. In the end we will have around 70 in total. I'll put in another few hours today, I'm back to work tomorrow and will just do my best and realistically aim to get this completed by the end of next weekend.
It will always be an evolving community cookbook throughout this year as I will always be adding in extra pages if anyone else submits recipes or I add a few more myself.
Thanks once again for all who have sent me through recipes for inclusion. C xxxxx
Dear all, I’m working as hard as I can on the FREE to download ‘Pandemic Pantry’ community cookbook and am now nearly half way through the re-do! I need about 3 more full days so am hopeful about having it available to download on January 1st, 2022! Thank you for everyone who has submitted recipes!
I am also creating a downloadable recipe card for each and every recipe so thought I’d give you a teaser of some of the recipes. Each one can we downloaded or printed.
I am still open to receiving any simple, frugal or favourite recipes you have used during the pandemic and you are also welcome to send a sentence on your thoughts about your recipe, the pandemic, include a link to your website/blog or favourite charity and I will be sure to include this with your recipe.
I wondered if you could help me. I’m busy working on what will be the FREE downloadable Pandemic Pantry community cookbook. I’m redoing it from scratch as I wasn’t happy with my first attempt but want to get it right and completed by January 1st. As well as the free downloadable cookbook (thank you for people for sending in their favourite recipes for inclusion) I also want to be able to offer FREE downloadable recipe cards like the one above too!
Obviously the image size above is too small to see clearly so I wondered if you could do the following..
It’s funny to think that the first documented instance of figure-shaped gingerbread biscuit was at the court of Elizabeth I of England. She had the gingerbread figures made and presented in the likeness of some of her important guests which brought the human shape of the gingerbread cookies into popularity. Read more here.
Christmas is never Christmas without gingerbread people or houses! I’ve come across several recipes for ‘Gingerbread Men’ from around the 1940s, some using Golden Syrup (UK), some using Molasses or Corn Syrup (North America). Some contain an egg, others don’t.
Below is my favourite recipe in which I make one adaption to improve the binding and holding together of the gingerbread. It tastes absolutely lovely, is firm enough to also make slabs for gingerbread houses, we may do that next year!
I’d like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and really hope and wish that 2022 will be a year that sees you in good health and experience much happiness.
350g plain flour
140g of butter or margarine
100g dark brown sugar
3tbsp golden syrup (or molasses)
1tbsp ground flaxseed (mix with 2.5 tablespoons of hot water, it helps hold the mixture together when baking)
1 tbsp ground ginger
2tsp ground cinnamon
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
pinch of salt
Mix the flaxseed with 2.5 tablespoons of hot water. Mix well and set aside to thicken.
Melt butter, sugar and golden syrup in a pan on a low heat stirring slowly until all runny and melted. Set this aside in a mixing bowl to cool down a bit.
Stir in the flaxseed mixture thoroughly.
Add in the sieved flour, bicarbonate of soda, pinch of salt and all the spices and mix until a smooth dough is formed.
Wrap or place in container and chill in fridge for 30 minutes.
Heat oven to 180C
Roll the dough out onto a lightly floured surface to about 0.5cm and start stamping out the gingerbread.
Place on parchment paper on a baking tray.
Cook for about 15 minutes (slightly more or less according to your oven)
Remove from oven when cooked. Leave on sheet to cool down for 15 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack. Once fully cold then you can keep in an airtight container for about a week or so.
Decorate with icing sugar when fully cold. If no icing sugar available dent the dough before cooking to form eyes, mouth and buttons! Or just decorate with anything you’ve got!
The episode has aired this morning and you can listen to it by clicking here. Karen and Claud are absolutely fascinating to listen too and we all got on so well so watch this space for future 1940’s collaborations in 2022.
The Food Chain: Why I chose to live on rations.
World War Two rationing imposed severe restrictions on food, so why would anyone voluntarily go back to it?
Ruth Alexander meets three women who chose to adopt the diet endured in 1940s and 1950s Britain, one of them for an entire year.
We hear how such scarcity inspired creativity, a reverence for the ingenuity of wartime cooks, and an enduring change of perspective on the responsibility of the 21st century food consumer.
Here is Jake. Jake is my work colleague. Sorry, I mean Jake WAS my work colleague. We’ll never see him again. Ever.
Everyone, where I work, will always say this about Jake, he was lovely, he was friendly, he never had a bad word to say about anybody, he smiled even though we knew he was struggling with the loss of his father, we thought he was brave. A brave boy.
Last month I took one of the last photos ever of Jake, the one above. If only I knew he was so fragile, everyone is thinking that now about the last time they talked to Jake. If only we knew, if only we could have reached out….
Out of respect for the family I’ve not shared this for the last couple of weeks, to be honest I’ve been too sad too, but I’ve been assured by colleagues that doing everything possible to help Jakes family is something we must now all do. Jakes Mum lost her husband just months ago and now she has lost her darling boy. Being a mother who loves her children more than anything else on earth, I know her heart must be truly broken.
Mental Health, and not knowing how to deal with your thoughts and feelings, KILLS. There, I’ve said it. We have to be vigilant, make sure we have conversations out loud to anyone who will listen in our workplaces, in the pubs, on birthdays, at Christmas, at funerals. We have to normalize this quiet taker of our children, our friends, our family, in the hope it may save just one precious life so people like Jake’s mum get to hug their child for another day.
The financial burden for this family is now immense. At work we’ve decided to do all we can to at least help financially, pay for the funeral and a bit more, at least we can try.
There are two things I am asking my readers, my friends, my old friends to do right now. Any of them will help. Both of them will help more.
a) Share this post to start a mental health conversation
b) Please, please, please go without your takeaway coffee today and instead donate that money to Jakes family.
For everyone who donates anything or shares this post, I’ll add your first name to Jakes wall, I think it would be nice to give this to his Mum to show her how many people thought of her son. And for anyone who donates £5 or more I will send you a Christmas postcard, to say thank you for your kindness wherever you are in the world.
This is an effort by all of us at work so please if you donate, drop me a message with your name (and address if you’d like me to send you a postcard in December).
I really didn’t know what I could do to raise money so I hope you don’t mind.
I thank you with all my heart,
PS: Filling up Jakes wall with the first names of all those who have shared blog or social posts or donated and I’m going to print it off and mount it for his Mum just so she can see how many people were thinking of him. Thank you once again all xxx