See this smile…


Monday has been such a good day that I may just need pinching..

My weekly weigh-in showed a 4 lb weight-loss which means on my home scales I now weigh 259 lbs (18 st 5 lbs).

Hell thats 40 lbs in the last 3.5 months, 56 lbs from the weight I started this blog at and down 86 lbs from my heaviest weight ever. Do you know how good that feels? It feels so good I want to cry pathetically …

And then as if that wasn’t enough good news in one day, I had a terribly exciting e-mail to do with my blog which at the moment I just cannot share for fear of jinxing this little ember that could ignite or could just simply fizzle out. But getting the e-mail was enough to bring smiles and some hope to this little Green Cottage full of Hobbits in the woods…

C xxxxxxxxxx

Eggless Pancakes

Being vegan and immersing myself in the 1940s Experiment (to live on wartime rations for 1 year, recreate 100 authentic recipes and lose 100 lbs) is not without it’s challenges. Tonight I will recreate a 1940s recipe with meat in for my youngest daughter (Em) but I won’t be able to taste it… instead I will smell it and closely observe my youngest Hobbits face as she takes the first mouthful. Hopefully there will be no wrinkled up noses or horrified expressions..

But the real challenge is finding or adapting recipes from the 1940s to suit my new vegan lifestyle. Luckily many of the authentic recipes I am finding were eggless or meatless..

For lunch today I made 4 very tasty eggless pancakes and both Em and I gobbled them down. I totally recommend you try these!

Eggless Pancakes

  • 4 tablespoons of flour (UK)- 5 tbls (US) – 60 ml (Europe)
  • pinch of sugar and salt
  • milk and water to bind (vegans use almond milk)
  • lard or dripping to fry (vegans use Earth Balance shortening)

Method

  1. Mix the flour with the salt and sugar and add the water/milk to make a nice thick batter
  2. Heat the lard/dripping until smoking hot in the pan then lower the heat a little
  3. Pour in 1/4 of the mixture to make a medium sized pancake
  4. Cook until browned and then turn over and repeat
  5. Eat with jam, golden syrup or lemon juice (if being authentic)

Makes 4 pancakes

 

PS If you have a Kindle you can now take out a subscription for the 1940s Experiment on Amazon. This means the latest postings including all the photos etc are delivered automatically, as soon as they are available, to your Kindle, ready for you to read. Click here..

A message that will keep me going..

I went out last night. It was the first proper sit down meal and dance I’d been to for many, many years… to mark the occasion I wore a skirt (apart from when I’ve dressed as a pirate I haven’t worn a skirt for 15 years).

The Best Western Plus served an awesome meal. My meat eating colleagues had plates laden with their festive main course (it was a late Christmas party) and the chef had prepared a separate vegan dish for me….pasta and fresh vegetables in a thin curry/fresh herb sauce (not exactly 1940s but it would not have been fair to send that challenge to the kitchen- I’m not that evil!!). It was moist-makingly delicious …

The conversation for two hours over dinner was such fun.

But then I came home, and that insidious thing called loneliness crept up on me. I wished there was someone who would put their arm around me and listen to my stories. That can be difficult..

But this morning I found this in my inbox…it had come from a far and distant land…

“At the innermost core of all loneliness is a deep and powerful yearning for union with one’s lost self.”

– Brendan Francis Behan

“Aren’t you mid way through that journey Carolyn?  Getting the old you back”…?

It resonated with me… and in one simple moment turned around the self-destructive thoughts. It is amazing how a few words of wisdom and the kindliness of one single person can make such a difference.

Today I bake…

Keeping motivated…

345 lbs - my heaviest

I have never been so determined as I am right now to lose this hundred pounds…

As anyone who has struggled with their weight knows, especially if it is a significant amount, the struggle and the task to complete, can sometimes become overwhelming. I get moments like these…… moments when I am so very scared that I’ll wake up and that will be the day I no longer have that fire inside me that keeps me striding towards my goal.

If you have already lost weight, old photos can provide the necessary wake-up call to shock your wavering commitment into behaving itself.

I have some photos that are extremely painful to look at not because I hardly recognize the face looking back at me but because I remember the emotions that were part of my daily existence at this time. When your eating is out of control you really don’t like yourself very much.

Today I’m over 80 lbs less than I was at my heaviest weight ever and I’m beginning to like myself a little bit….

How do you keep motivated?

C xxxxxxxxxxx

312 lbs, 299 lbs and 280 lbs (work scales fully clothed)

The 1940s Experiment – Kindle Edition

This is kind of exciting! The 1940s Experiment blog is now a “Kindle Blog” and can now be downloaded through Amazon.com. The 1940s Experiment Blog app is just 99c and ensures that all the latest updates come to your Kindle.

Gotta love technology whatever century it happens to be in!

Click here for the Kindle Edition of the 1940s Experiment

C xxxx

Where there’s a woman there’s a way…

It was my birthday last Sunday….I was 46. I’m kinda noticing the obvious signs of aging and thinking ‘why does life pass by so quickly?’..it’s rather scary don’t you think?

I was very lucky on my birthday. I got an iPod touch from a wonderful, special friend who I totally adore, some money from my parents and simply delightful 1940s gifts from my husbands (we have been separated for 3 years and he lives with a lovely lady called Deborah) parents Dorothy and Simon..

The gifts included tea bags from the UK (yay!), a gorgeous card, some dollars, a ration book coaster and an amazing tea-towel with a 1940s poster image that says “where there’s a woman there’s a way…”

And today I am thinking about those women on the Home Front during WWII who kept their families cared for and bravely “kept calm and carried on” , the Land Army Girls who supplied extra manual labour on our farms to ensure the population continued to be fed and that farms could remain productive, the women who took over from the men and learned skills and trades to fill those gaps in the work force ensuring that the economy thrived as best as it could.

So here’s to women god bless ’em. If there is a way a woman will find it…

————————————————————————————–

PS Jan left this comment which I wasn’t aware of… thanks Jan

“And please don’t forget the women who had to carry on looking after the family when the bread winner lost his life for the cause. There was no family allowance in those days. The only money they were entittled to was a small widows pension. I’ll drink to these brave women any day….”

Traditional Irish Soda Bread

Traditional Irish Soda Bread is part of my younger childhood memories. Granny Hyland used to make Irish Soda Bread most days of her life and our annual holiday to Ireland to visit her and Grandad Hyland, in their gatekeepers cottage in the Wicklow countryside, allowed us to enjoy its flavour once again. The taste and smell of food has very powerful associations don’t you think?

Irish Soda Bread was the most popular homemade bread in Ireland in the earlier part of the 20th century. The climate in Ireland produced softer wheat rather than hard wheat with a high gluten content (best suited for using yeast as a raising agent). There were two common types of soda bread, one was ‘cake ‘ (where the loaf is baked as a round shape with a cross cut into the top to allow the bread to expand) and ‘farl’ (more common in Northern Ireland- the dough was flattened to 1/4 inch thick, cut into 4 pieces and cooked on griddle).

It’s the quickest & easiest bread recipe ever, it involves only a very light knead (the less the better) and no waiting for the dough to rise… I always pay a couple of dollars more for an organic non-gmo flour and even then, this loaf is a fraction of the price it would command in your local store..

Traditional Irish Soda Bread

  • 1 lb of wholewheat flour (4 cups)
  • 500 mls (2 cups) of buttermilk (1 teaspoon of vinegar added to fresh milk <<I used almond milk>> makes a good fake buttermilk)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)

Method

  1. Place 2 cups of milk into a bowl, add 1 teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice. Mix well and set aside for 15 minutes before using in recipe. Buttermilk is a necessary ingredient because it helps activate the baking soda to produce a rise
  2. Meanwhile sieve your flour into a large bowl with the salt and baking soda
  3. After 15 minutes whisk up the buttermilk with a fork to make sure it is mixed well and pour into a well in the centre of the flour
  4. Mix up with a spoon until  formed into a dough
  5. Briefly knead to ensure it is mixed well (knead as little as possible)
  6. Form into a round, very slightly flattened shape, place on baking tray, and with a sharp knife mark with a shallow cross in the middle (this allows for the dough to expand)
  7. Oven should be pre-heated to 200 c (400 F) and the loaf placed in the middle to top half of the oven for around 45 minutes. Cover with aluminium foil if it begins to brown too quickly
  8. Loosely wrap in a clean t-towel once removed and place on a cooling rack (wrapping in a tea-towel ensures a softer crust although you can wrap in cling film after it has fully cooled to achieve a similar result)

I served a chunk of this with vegetable and oatmeal goulash yesterday but it is wonderful with soup, cheese and ‘Branston Pickle’ or just with butter.. (I remember this from my pre-vegan days!)

Each loaf is about 1600 calories