1940s Experiment on Pinterest

Hi all… just thought I’d let you know that I am adding all my wartime recipes to Pinterest with a link back to the recipe on the blog.

It’s kind of neat seeing all the images in one place and makes for easier reference in some ways.

Click here for wartime recipes

Video Diary 2

This week- favourite books, the loose shirt, weight loss and scary cat lady. Shout out to Liz for the Marguerite Patten video link..

http://www.1940sexperiment.com is my blog following my personal journey to lose 100 lbs in one year eating only a 1940s world war 2 ration diet. For every lb lost I will re-create an authentic wartime recipe.

My video diary will be there to record weekly thoughts and feelings on this journey..

Heaviest weight 345 lb
Starting weight 299 lb (Oct 1, 2011)
Current weight 253 lb (Feb 15- 2012)

Just letting you know I lost another 2 lb this week…. yay!

Split pea soup

Dried peas were available through the points system during the rationing years… you could get quite a lot of split peas for your points every month (8 lbs) if you didn’t use your 16 points up for 2 lbs of dry fruit or just one can of meat/fish. Split peas have lots of fibre, protein and iron so were a very healthy and frugal food to have as part of your ration..

I had split pea soup as my main meal of the day and had two servings. I currently buy a whole bag of organic split peas for $2.49 and that is enough to feed 8 people with a large bowl each! The recipe below uses just half a bag.

I prefer my soups to be thick with texture but if you prefer to have yours thinner and smooth then just add a little extra water and when cooked, liquidize it.

Split pea soup

  • 8 oz (225g) of split green peas
  • 2 onions
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 parsnip or british turnip
  • 1 medium white potato
  • 1 pint (600 ml) of water
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste (I used 1 teaspoon sea salt)
  • sprig of mint or a little dried mint


  1. Wash the split peas in cold water
  2. Cover with cold water and soak overnight or you can use straight away (they’ll just take longer to cook)
  3. Chop up the onions, parsnip, carrots finely and potato into 1/2 inch chunks and add to a pint of boiling water in a saucepan with the drained split peas
  4. Cook until the split peas are cooked (about 40 minutes over medium) in a covered saucepan, stirring now and again
  5. Serve as is with a sprig of mint or liquidize for a smooth soup

Serves 4

Ration book giveaway!

As I build my collection of “Home Front Memorabillia” I’m finding that I have a few spare copies of some items.. I’d love to be able to share some of these things with you.
This month I have ordered some replica ration books and will have a few extra, surplus to my requirements.

This a fabulous resource to use in or out of the classroom. Ideal for Teachers, students or anyone with an interest in life on the home front in World War 2.

This replica is faithfully reproduced by a professional printer, and is an actual copy of an Original British Ration Book dated July 1940.

  • The name and address details are left blank front of the ration book therefore students could fill in their own details.
  • Details of retailers are listed where the holder of the ration book can get their essentials from.
  • General Information on use of the ration book.

I have THREE to giveaway and will post them to anywhere in the world.

Simply leave a brief comment below and names will go in a hat and drawn at random on March 1st, 2012

Good luck!

C xxxxxx

Weight-loss tracker updated

Click graph to enlarge..

Apologies for taking my time to get this page updated..

It’s now got a new graph and is up to date with current weight etc. Please click here

C xxxx

Latest before and after photos..

Taking regular photos really helps keep me on the straight and narrow..

Although looking in the mirror I see little change, and if naked in front of the mirror I almost want to cry, taking clothed progress shots every time I lose about 15 lb, definitely shows changes so I’ll keep on doing that..

Today, in the photo above, I am wearing a shirt that I bought about 4 years ago to fit into… today was that day! Do you know how good that feels?

Imagine chocolate, and an intimate encounter with Mr Darcy. THAT’S how good it feels!!!

C xxxxxxx

OK I did it! I rolled up my pants and I do have legs!!

PS And underneath those pants I have a little secret. I’d bought black hold-up stockings that I one day want to wear with a skirt. But for now I wore them under my pants and I felt a little sexy! It’s all about feeling good about yourself and for a few moments I really did 🙂


We may be birthing babies or enduring the menopause, cooking meals, cleaning toilets and up to our arms in muck most of the time girls, but whatever size and age we are, it doesn’t hurt to feel a little sexy- even if ya weigh 255 lbs!

Writing a book..

I am a great believer in whatever life throws at you, something good will eventually come from it.  Every hardship, trauma, happiness or indeed, the simple act of daily living, teaches us something valuable..

Although I tend to gravitate towards science & practicality in making everyday informed decisions, sometimes, something so unexpectedly awesome happens in your life, that despite your own personal insecurities or the enormity of the task to achieve it, you HAVE TO sit up and take notice. This has happened to me…. a veritable beacon is flashing on my horizon.

Last month, completely and totally out of the blue (or rather the virtual grey matter in cyberspace) I received an e-mail. The friendly, chatty, e-mail was from a rather large publishing house in the US, based in New York (I know that because I thought it was someone pulling my leg so I checked everything out before responding).

Part of the e-mail went like this..

QUOTE: I came across your blog via the article in THE AWL and I was wondering if you had ever considered publishing a book. I can think of a lot of women who would be interested in a book like this!

Initially I was very confused, did publishers really plant seeds in this way and actually help germinate them?  Of course I responded (I mean we all have a little dream of writing a book one day right?)…

Several e-mails later it seems so..

The publishing house (who shall remain nameless) have been very encouraging indeed. Not only that but they have taken time to answer many questions coming from myself (she who has little clue about book publishing and certainly NO CLUE about book writing!) and now I finally have a plan of action.

They have asked me to take my time and produce a well thought out proposal and have asked me to seek out representation as most major publishing houses only deal with literary agents (This protects the author and works in their best interests). Infact they say they can put me in contact with a couple of literary agents that could well be interested in my project…

As you can imagine my head is spinning somewhat akin to a certain young lady, tied to a bed in the “Exorcist”.  And then there is that nagging self-doubt…

“Do I have the dedication and commitment for such a project…”

“What if after all my efforts nothing comes of it…?”

“Would anyone actually buy a book based on the 1940s Experiment?”

But once I had spent many days trying to rationalize things I knew there was absolutely only one option and that was to give it a go!  This is my passion! I’ve been writing, living and breathing the 1940s Experiment, on and off, since 2006 and it is my way of life and I know I’ll lose that 100 lbs.

Sometimes life offers us opportunities from the most unexpected places and we should grasp these firmly..

There is always, always HOPE…

C xxxxxxxxxxxx

Weekly weigh in- Feb 7, 2012

Heaviest weight: 345 lbs
Starting weight: 299 lbs (Oct 01, 2011)
Current weight: 255 lbs (Feb 07, 2012)
Weight loss: -44 lbs
This week: -2lbs

Just touching base with my weekly weigh in. A weight loss again…. (big cheesy grin)

I’m pretty much sticking with the same breakfast and lunch most days as these work for me and I look forward to them

Breakfast: 1 dry cup (250 ml) of organic oatmeal (porridge) made with water

Lunch: Large raw salad that normally contains lettuce, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, cucumber, spring onion, kidney beans, topped with a large baked potato

In the evening I have more time and opportunity to bake and try and incorporate an authentic recipe and sometimes a dessert too!

My evening meal occasionally includes pastry or if not a pastry, then I’ll have a slice or two of bread with my dinner. If flour rations are getting low then I’ll eat more potatoes. Generally my evening meal will contain about half a plate full of vegetables, a quarter plate of a complex carb (such as potato or wholegrain brown rice) and a small portion of lentils, beans (or meat or cheese before I became vegan)

If I get hungry inbetween and really have to eat something, an apple or a pear or some raw sugar snap peas usually satisfy a craving but sometimes (like today) I had 1/2 cup of oatmeal mid afternoon as my stomach was making some very embarrassing noises in the office. I had taken a brisk 15 minute walk outside during my lunch break, before eating so I guess this may have been the reason..

If nuts and berries are available, I’ll have a small handful of these too.

Being vegan, I now drink almond milk instead of dairy milk and like to add a little cocoa powder and make a warm drink before bedtime some nights. During the day I’ll have a few cups of tea and lots of water.

Eating this way, with almost no processed foods in my life, I feel alive and happy and healthier.

I just cannot imagine how I will feel when I get down to 199lb!

Good luck in your journeys!

C xxxxx

Herby bread

By all accounts the flour available during wartime Britain wasn’t the most palatable.. White flour wasn’t available but rather a wholemeal/wholewheat blend (about 80%) that contained as much husk as possible (nothing was wasted)..

I made this delicious herb loaf this morning using organic wholemeal/wholewheat mixed with organic white flour in an 80/20 split to try and replicate something similar. But today I wanted something extra delicious so I looked in my cupboard and found dried thyme and olive oil. Before using them I checked to make sure both were available during the 1940s and I do see the mention of olive oil and thyme in the occasional recipe.

One thing I haven’t found yet is a mention of a herb loaf in a wartime recipe book but my thoughts were, any foody during the war would have absolutely done something to zing up the grey, insipid looking flour that had to be used in a bread recipe..

If anyone comes across a herb bread recipe in a wartime cookery book or on the internet, can you let me know? I’d love to be proved right 🙂

Herby Bread

  • 1 lb of wholemeal/wholewheat flour mixed with white (80/20)
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • 2 large pinches of salt
  • dried herbs to taste (I used 3 teaspoons of thyme)
  • 2.5 teaspoons of quick rise yeast (during the war they would have used traditional yeast)
  • warm water
  • 2 x 1/2lb loaf tins


  1. Sieve flours together in a large bowl, add in yeast and mix, drizzle in olive oil (2 tablespoons)
  2. Add in nice and warm water to make a soft dough
  3. Knead for a few minutes adding herbs as you go
  4. Carry on kneading until dough is soft and silky
  5. Lightly oil the loaf tins. I also fold a bit of parchment paper so I can easily remove the loaf when cooked
  6. Divide the dough and place in tins
  7. Lightly brush with olive oil, sprinkle a little salt and herbs on top too.
  8. Place somewhere warm and rise for an hour, dough should be above the top of the tin
  9. Place straight into a pre-heated oven at 180C once risen and cook for 40 minutes (place foil over the top if it begins to get too dark)
  10. Remove from oven and let stand for 15 minutes before removing from tin
  11. Cool until only slightly warm before cutting
  12. Lovely!!!!

Makes two loaves!

Carrot Cookies

This week I am devoting myself to carrots..

Carrots were the home fronts secret weapon. The Ministry of Food propaganda machine convinced children that carrots on sticks were just as tasty as ice-creams, that eating lots of carrots helped you ‘see in the dark’ during blackouts, and that Dr Carrot would make everything better.

Carrots were also used to sweeten cakes and biscuits (cookies) replacing some of the sugar used in many recipes..

Carrot Cookies (makes 12)

  • 1 tablespoon margarine (Earth Balance for vegans)
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 6 tablespoons of self-raising flour (plain flour add 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder)
  • 4 tablespoon of grated raw carrot
  • 1 tablespoon of water


  1. Cream the fat and the sugar together with the vanilla essence
  2. Mix in the grated carrot
  3. Fold in the flour adding water as it gets dry
  4. Drop spoonfuls onto greased tray and press down a little
  5. Pre-heat oven to 200C
  6. Sprinkle tops of cookies with extra sugar
  7. Place in oven for 10- 15 minutes

PS Cinnamon added would be rather nice