5 dishes from 1 recipe – pancakes


And after the curried carrots last night I was STILL hungry so I used my egg ration (1 egg per week) to make a batter which Marguerite Patten (she who knows ALL about 1940’s cuisine) tells me in her book, can be used for 5 different dishes..

So the batter was made up within seconds and just a minute or two later some wonderful mini pancakes found their way onto my plate and I still have enough batter left over for several more (or a batter pudding which I may try later today)

In ‘We’ll Eat Again’ it tells me that jam should be spread on the pancake and then rolled up- I did that with one and drizzled syrup on the other…..oh my gosh I had died and gone to heaven I swear.


  • 1 egg
  • 4 oz of wholewheat flour
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 pint of milk and water mixed

Mix dry ingredients together

Mix wet ingredients together

Add wet ingredients slowly to dry ingredients to make a stiff batter and then continue adding the rest, beating well until smooth

Add a little margarine into a pan until bubbling

Pour in batter and cook both sides until browned

Serve with jam, syrup or a sprinkling of sugar

Makes 6-10 pancakes

A piece of cherry pie…

It’s time for bed..

What does someone in the 1940’s have before bedtime? Well in this house I have warm milky coffee or Ovaltine if its cold or a glass of cold milk if it’s hot.

Tonight I also have had the NIBBLIES (definition: strange urge to eat the entire contents of the kitchen cupboards including the stale cookies languishing towards the rear)..

Sooo earlier I opened the fridge to see what I could have to nibble on and there was the cherry pie I had bought for the children (cos I certainly wasn’t going to cook one if I couldn’t eat it!). There was just one slice cut from it and it beckoned to me..

I removed the container from the fridge. It was as if I was a Stepford Wife and someone was working my controls…

My brain was shouting NO don’t eat the cherry pie- it-hasn’t-been-cooked-from-scratch-and-it-has-used-white-flour-instead-of-wholewheat-in-the-pastry…

I took a knife…

I opened the container

I cut a slice


Put it back in it’s packaging and bunged it in the fridge.

I had obviously snapped out of it JUST in time.

Carolynstill 100% 1940’s authentic (apart from using Becel instead of those trans fats margarines)


Curried Carrots


When I saw the word CURRY leap out at me from a small book I was reading called ‘Ration Book Cookery’ I got all excited…

Curry is one of my favourite dishes, usually devoured by myself, laden with meat and cream, fresh veggies/spices or a mixture of dried ones, added carefully until the desired taste is achieved, and then sweetened slightly with a mango chutney. I am not a fan of Saffron rice but I do love to colour my rice with Turmeric and I like the bitterness this spice brings which compliments the slighty sweet curry and finally naan bread.

it did indeed taste like carrots, onions and curry powder mix

Curried carrots, despite the fact that the only ingredients seemed to be carrots, one onion and a curry powder mix (ikkk) was at least CURRY so I enthusiastically chopped and steamed the carrots, browned the onions and followed the rest of the directions.

The result? Ermmmm – it did indeed taste like carrots, onions and curry powder mix BUT hey I was hungry so I ate it and even had seconds.

I am, after-all, living in the 1940’s…… (at meal times anyway)

Curried Carrots

  • 1 lb carrots
  • 1 oz margarine or dripping
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1-2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 pt stock or water
  • salt and pepper
  • teaspoon marmite and a teaspoon sugar (optional)

Chop and boil/steam carrots

Meanwhile melt fat in pan and add the chopped onion and fry for a few minutes

Add the curry powder and flour and fry for a few more minutes while stirring a little

Stir in the stock or water, bring to the boil, season.

Simmer gently for about 20 minutes then add in the cooked carrots

Cook for a further 10 minutes or so

Garnish with parsley and serve with a little rice

The Oslo Meal


The Oslo Meal was originally given as an EXPERIMENT to school children during WWII. This very nutritious but basic quick meal vastly improved the development and the health of the nations children. Many families began using it as a main meal on occasions because of it’s simplicity and this was very appealing to busy housewives..

it vastly improved the development and health of the nations children..

The last few days have been very busy for me and there have been occasions that once I have fed everyone else that I am too tired to cook a special 1940’s dish right at that moment for myself, so I have relied on an Oslo Meal.

The Oslo Meal

  • 2 slices of wholewheat bread spread with a little margarine or butter
  • small block of cheese grated and placed over salad if wished
  • fresh lettuce leaves
  • other salad items like carrot, cucumber or tomato
  • glass of cold milk

I know how DIFFICULT it would be to get kids to eat school lunches like this again (I am laughing my ass off trying to imagine mine doing so ) but if we as Mom’s DID do just that our purses would be heavier (with all the money we would be saving) and our kids would be healthier.

As I say- there is a LOT we can learn from this period of time..

C xx

“This post is part of Twinkl’s VE Day Campaign, and is featured in their Best Wartime Recipes to Celebrate VE Day from Home post”

Carolyn’s ‘Everything IN’ wartime stew


I have to confess, I have never seen this recipe in any of my WWII cook books..

But HELL, you just didn’t waste ANYTHING in the 1940’s so I betcha that ‘Ruby Murray’ and her delightfully scruffy, scabby knee’d children would have had a meal like this now and again to use up rubbery veggies languishing in the pantry..

HELL, you didn’t waste ANYTHING in the 1940’s

Who is Ruby Murray? Lets just say you’ll see her soon. A nosey, time traveling alter ego from the 1940’s who occasionally appears in my kitchen to make long days even longer…


Click here to watch Ruby Murray back in 2006

Meanwhile- here is the recipe

Everything IN wartime stew

  • 1 lb of mince beef or a mixture of leftover meats
  • 1 small cabbage
  • 1 onion or 1 leek
  • Any veggies that need using up
  • Several soft tomatoes that are no good for anything else
  • Oxo and marmite (marmite is optional)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Water


Brown the mince or leftover meats and onions

Chop up the remaining veg into smallish pieces

Chop up the soft tomatoes and add to meat and onions and then add water (about a 1000 ml)

Add the oxo and marmite and stir

Add the chopped veggies

Cook and occasionally stir adding salt, pepper and some dried herbs like thyme to your own taste

Cook on medium heat in the saucepan for about 20 further minutes

Enough for 8 served with mashed potatoes or bread and butter.

Week 3 weigh in- happiness

Just a quick update during my lunch break but had to share this as I am bursting……. (not actually bursting- that would be gross)

Weight loss this week 4lb !!!


If you could see me now it would be scary- I didn’t know a smile could get that wide…

C xx

Motivation – How much do you need to lose over 100 lbs?

wecandoitI have often wondered where people who lose a LOT of weight get their motivation from to keep on going..

Although currently I feel very motivated it takes a lot of daily effort to achieve this. The internet is a wonderful way to stay motivated and I spend an hour every evening like an obsessed crazy woman, stalking weight loss success stories, especially ones with before and after photos, to keep my mind focussed and determined.

Visualization is also a great way to place yourself into the future….I find this really helpful. I think of the things I will be able to do again that I cannot do now like hike, swim, jog, ride a horse & CROSS MY LEGS! And then there are the shallow things like wearing my hair back and having more choice to wear clothes that reflect my personality.

Finally I believe that in turn, these improvements will make me even happier. Shiny, happy smiling people  also have more chance of a snog. I’d quite like one of those….

C xx

Wartime Scotch Shortbread


Hurricane Bill is on his way and last night I couldn’t sleep, so instead, at 2 am, I got up, went to the kitchen and made some ‘Wartime Scotch Shortbread’..

The flour supplied to the public in the 1940’s, was a minimum of 85% wholewheat flour made from homegrown wheat (UK). It was said to have an unpopular grey appearance but I guess that really was all that was available and all recipes that called for flour would have been made out of this..

Wartime Scotch Shortbread

Melt 4 oz margarine, add 8 oz plain flour and 2 oz sugar, mix well and knead until the mixture bins together. If it is a little dry crumble it again and add a splash of milk and re knead. Put in an ungreased baking tin and press mixture down firmly so it is about 1/2 inch thick. Prick the surface and then cut into 10-12 portions.

Bake in centre of moderate oven for 30 + minutes.

Remove, sprinkle lightly with sugar


“This post is part of Twinkl’s VE Day Campaign, and is featured in their Best Wartime Recipes to Celebrate VE Day from Home post”

1940s Veggies-Grown close to home


A delicious meal of ‘grown close to home’ produce- the 1940’s diet was more environmentally friendly

Choosing to live one year on 1940s wartime rationing to lose 100 lb isn’t JUST all about losing the flab and finally being able to once in a while wear a dress and heels (last time I wore a dress was about 16 years ago). For me it is also about training myself to eat in a more environmentally friendly way..

I am convinced we have SO MUCH TO LEARN from this period of time in the way people HAD to eat. People were eating to stay healthy, it became a mission to keep yourself and your family strong and healthy. The internal propaganda has to be the BEST MARKETING CAMPAIGN I have ever seen. It succeeded in encouraging people to waste little, eat healthily and supplement their rationing with fresh homegrown vegetables. People turned their lawns into vegetable gardens, areas in parks had designated area too- it became a huge joint effort.

We have SO MANY CHOICES these days that for some folk (like me) it is very difficult to make healthier food choices when I can pick anything I like off the heavily laden shelves…maybe this is one of the contributing factors of our increased obesity in many of our nations.

1940s wartime rationing ( culinary and generally) was therefore more environmentally friendly because

  1. Most foods were grown locally or within the country (less gas/petrol & air-miles)
  2. Imported goods dropped significantly and Britain began to grow more of it’s own
  3. There was less waste- people threw less away and just made do
  4. Clothes were recycled and shared
  5. People rationed water, used less power, rationed fuel

We are so lucky and have so much these days that many of the ‘mend and make do’ thoughts that people lived with day by day back in the 1940’s have all but disappeared. We feel deprived over so many things and we think this is normal…

I think we need to occasionally step back in time and remind ourselves just how little we actually need.

C xx

Week 2 Weigh In

Start weight 315 lbs ( 22st 7lb )

Week 2 weight 302 lbs (21st 8lbs )

Total weight loss 13 lb

I am quite beside myself…

Despite having a sleepless night or two over eating two 1/2 plate sized vegetable turnovers over two days and enjoying eggless sponge quite frequently I STILL lost 3lbs.

Some of my work colleagues found out about my crazy diet today.

Work Colleague: How much did you lose so far?

1940’s crazy person: Ermmm 13lbs in just two weeks..!

Work Colleague: BITCH!

Trust me- that was very, very funny!

So today I am happy (once again!)