Rolled oat macaroons 92/100

Eight days and 8 recipes to go until the war is over! Final weigh-in day is October 1st and although I know I haven’t lost the hoped for 100 lb weight loss in one year without dieting, I know it’s still coming off slowly and I’m looking forward to seeing what the scales finally say..

The rolled oat macaroons were really tasty and I ate way to many of them yesterday. Sweet and crunchy…

They are very simple to make

Rolled oat macaroons

  • 3 oz margarine
  • 2 oz sugar
  • 4 oz self raising flour (or plain with 1 teaspoon of baking powder added)
  • 4 oz rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon almond essence
  • 2 dessertspoons of golden syrup (corn syrup or maple syrup would work too)…A dessertspoon (UK) is a tablespoon in N America


  1. Cream together the margarine, sugar, syrup and almond essence together.
  2. Sift the flour (and baking powder) and add to the mixture with the rolled oats
  3. Mix thoroughly, if the mixture is too dry add a little milk just to bind the mixture together
  4. Roll into 12-16 balls and put on a greased baking tray or lay on parchment paper leaving some space for spreading
  5. Bake for 15-20 minute at 180C until golden brown
  6. Cool on baking tray before removing

Middleton Medley 91/100

I’m on countdown to my 100th re-created wartime recipe.

Through the course of the year I’ve taken authentic WW2 home-front recipes and cooked them and ate them as part of living on rations for 1 year to see what effect this would have on my health. Would I lose weight? Would my high blood pressure resolve itself? How difficult would it be? Was the food goddam awful or surprisingly good? Was it cheaper eating a diet of wholesome food cooked from scratch? I’ll share everything with you on October 1st.

My 91st recipe is “Middleton Medley” and not surprisingly there is potato involved..

The potato nests came out really well. Pity there wasn’t something more exciting than sprouts to fill them with!

Middleton Medley

  • Put some seasoned mashed potato into a piping bag or mould, with a fork, into nests
  • Bake these in a hot oven for 20 minutes until browned
  • Leave to stiffen and cool down for a while
  • Fill with one of the following that has been seasoned..
  1. Diced cooked carrots and turnips with a sprinkling of finely shopped parsley
  2. Small cooked sprouts sprinkled with finely grated cheese or ground mixed nuts. Substitute spinach when in season..

Memory Lane

As I’m cooking up my last 1940s recipes before D-Day (October 1st), I’m reminding myself I’ve come a long way even though at times I feel everything is standing still and I’m making no headway. Initially weight loss was quick changing my terrible eating habits over to WW2 rationing but the last few months, despite increasing my aerobic exercise, its coming off very slowly..

So when I got hold of some old digital photos yesterday and started looking through them I found many photos that had me staring in disbelief. I’ve still about 60-70 lbs left to lose to get to the weight I should be for my height but looking at those old photos I could see how very unhealthy I looked weighing in at around 350 lbs at that time.

I remember thinking then there was no hope, I’d never get to grips with losing the weight, it makes me so sad to look at those photos because the children were young and I couldn’t run around with them..

But it’s never to late to change things..

Never give up xxxx


I simply cannot describe the swing of emotions that are taking place at the Hobbit house right now. I wouldn’t know where to start and if I do I’ll just get emotional all over again and that is no good for anyone here. It’s such a big story to tell and there will be a time and a place for it one day, well into the future.  Instead I’m staying focused on my 1940s Experiment and keeping my head above water.. taking one day at a time. That is ALL I can do..

There are 9 days left until this year of rationing and re-creating 100 wartime recipes is over. It’s been an incredible journey. I’ve learned so much about WW2 rationing and how it is possible to make do and waste less. I’ve a new appreciation for things…

This past year has also thrown me into really tough times economically. I found myself doing EXACTLY what the 1940s Housewife would have done…”mend and make do or just do without”. I have to say my children have been wonderful… I am so very proud of them. They have NEVER given me a hard time about what I cannot provide. They will take these times forward with them and learn from them too..

But while times have been challenging MANY wonderful things have happened. The main thing being my quality of life and how healthy I feel too (even with 70 lbs still left to lose to get to the weight recommended for my height)…I feel in control of at least that aspect of my life and physically stronger now which will help me navigate the rocky road ahead.

Suddenly now it is everything else I find overwhelming, not my weight..

C xxxxx


Brown Betty 90/100

This is now my 90th re-created wartime recipe. Just 10 more to cook by October 1st. I am kind of getting a little sad about that…

Of all the 1940s desserts, I’ve absolutely fallen in love with all the variations of stale bread puddings, during this year. It’s not only the sweet comforting taste, but knowing that I’ve not wasted food and turned something I normally would have thrown out into a delicious pudding, enough to feed everyone.

It was unusual to make a bread pudding without raisins in, Brown Betty has none, no eggs or milk either which makes me think all bread puddings could indeed be made eggless. Instead it has water, the juice and zest of a lemon and a generous quantity of golden syrup, spices, two grated apples, a little sugar and of course LOTS of stale bread!

Last night I ate Brown Betty for my dinner and my pudding. I still have an issue with being in control enough to resist the foods I am allowed, if they are lying around. So when I make a dish like this, I accept that if it doesn’t all get eaten up by everyone at dinner, then it will be me that will polish it off. I make allowances for that and consequently probably only make a dessert once or twice a week!

I loved the lemon in this Brown Betty recipe, lifted the pudding and tasted delicious accompanied by my jam sauce which made the whole thing taste rather like marmalade.

Duke pudding, bread pudding and bread and apple pudding are some of my favourite 1940s puddings I have cooked this year!

Brown Betty

  • 8-10 slices of stale bread
  • 2 large apples
  • 3 tablespoons of golden syrup (6 tablespoons in North America)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground or grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 oz margarine
  • small teacup of water
  • 1 lemon


  1. Brush a pie dish or tin with melted margarine (I used a 9 inch square tin)
  2. Put a layer of stale breadcrumbs in the bottom
  3. Cover with a layer of grated apples (leave skins on)
  4. Drizzle 1/2 the golden syrup over the apples (if you don’t have golden syrup an alternative like maple syrup will work well)
  5. Dot with margarine and sprinkle with the spices mixed together and the grated rind of half the lemon
  6. Repeat the layers and everything above  and then add a final layer of stale breadcrumbs on top dotted with margarine.
  7. Mix the juice of the lemon with the small teacup of water and pour over the pudding
  8. Finally sprinkle with a few teaspoons of sugar
  9. Cook in a medium oven 180 C for 45 – 60 minutes
  10. Serves 6

“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”

Jam sauce

This is so simple, this is so tart yet sweet (depending on the flavour jam) and cooking it long enough to evaporate some of the water off, ensures a concentrated flavour. I used apricot jam with my recipe and it was a perfect sauce to serve with Brown Betty..

You can use any flavour jam depending on what pudding or pie you have!

Jam sauce

  • 4 tablespoons of jam
  • 6 – 8 tablespoons of water (or fruit juice)
  • 1 dessertspoon of cornstarch


  1. Place the jam in a pan and slowly mix in the water
  2. Turn on the heat to about 3/4’s and gently heat up the water and jam, stirring, until as much of the jam as you can has dissolved. Add more water if the mixture is too thick…
  3. Once melted and heated, pour through a sieve and then return the strained liquid to the pan, back on the heat
  4. Turn it down to 1/2
  5. Mix the cornstarch with a little water to make a thin paste
  6. Slowly mix in to jam/water and stir all the time until the mixture has thickened
  7. Turn it down to 1/4, continue stirring and reduce the liquid a little until the desired consistency
  8. Use to drizzle over a dessert or serve on the plate alongside

Watch the Wartime Kitchen and Garden- Parts 1 & 2

I just found the “Wartime Kitchen and Garden” on YouTube! I remember watching this a long, long time ago and it is a FANTASTIC TV Series…

There are many things still going on in my life at the moment that I’m still not ready to speak about but NOW more than ever, mending and making do is a huge part of my life. These kind of TV programs really seem to help me and keep my chin up..

Hope you enjoy!

C xxxxxxxxx

Carolyn’s Mushroom Gravy

I’ve not found many British mushroom recipes during WWII however I know they were used…

I love mushrooms, I don’t often buy them because they are expensive but on special occasions I’ll buy them or if they are reduced to 50% I’ll grab a couple of tubs and make lots of my favourite 1940s inspired mushroom gravy using bisto powder, marmite and wild thyme from my garden.

It makes a delicious gravy and when it cools down it thickens up beautifully and is marvellous used inside a Lord Woolton Pie or in vegetable turnovers or in pasties..

Although my diet is meat free (being vegan), during the war, many meals were meat free and a nice thick meaty tasting mushroom gravy must have been an easy way to make a plateful of vegetables and a shortcrust pastry come alive.


Mushroom gravy

  • Tub of mushrooms
  • 1 onion or a small leek finely chopped
  • Some mixed vegetables finely chopped (optional)
  • Clove of garlic peeled and pierced (optional)
  • Thyme (dried or fresh)
  • I dessertspoon of Bisto gravy powder
  • 1 teaspoon or marmite
  • 2 teacups of left over vegetable water (plain water will be fine if not)
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Saute your finely chopped mushrooms and onion (or leek) in a couple teaspoons or margarine until softened
  2. Mix up the bisto powder into a thin paste using some of the vegetable water or plain water
  3. Pour the rest of the water into the pan over the top of the mushrooms and onion
  4. When its warm add the bisto, teaspoon of marmite, the clove or garlic and thyme and mix together and keep stirring gently until the gravy begins to thicken, add more water if too thick..
  5. Taste and add salt and pepper or more herbs and cook on medium for about 15-20 minutes until the gravy becomes nice and dark and the taste more concentrated. Remove the garlic clove
  6. Serve with vegetables and potatoes or use cold in a Lord Woolton Pie or pasties before baking in the oven

Serves 4

Why were we thin when we were young?

OK so I wasn’t thin, my Mum used to feed us LOTS of food, but my brother and I were a ‘normal’ weight and healthy, energetic kids. Mum made sure we never missed a meal, I could learn things from my Mum. But it made me think how did we eat such big meals and stay lean? I tried to remember a typical day as an 11 year old…

A large bowl of oatmeal with sugar
Lots of buttered toast

Packed Lunch
Large slices of freshly cut bakers bread with cucumber and cheese
An apple

Full Sunday dinner with roasted chicken, potatoes and lots of vegetables
Apple pie and custard

A slice of cheese on toast or some home cooking like a rock cake with a glass of milk

Our portions were really large but the food was delicious. There was NEVER any fast food when we went out (Mum always made sandwiches) except for the occasional ice cream if we went to the zoo and we had one glass bottle of coke and one small packet of crisps maybe once a month when Mum and Dad took us out to a beer garden..

I didn’t understand how school friends would say they didn’t have breakfast. I got a little jealous of school friends who had crisps and chocolate bars in their lunch boxes and always had a bag of sweets in class. I got annoyed that Mum would NEVER let us take anything out of the cupboard to eat… 4 meals a day and “no” eating between meals!

But now when I think about it Mum knew best! Not only did she ensure we had good regular food but she averted childhood obesity AND kept her food budget down!

When I look at the 1940s way of eating I see a similarity in an actual respect for food and for 3 or 4 square meals a day to provide adequate nutrition. No snacking or grazing, it was OK to feel hungry before your next meal.

C xxxx

PS: And OH as someone just pointed out to me, WE WALKED EVERYWHERE TOO! 🙂

The 1940s House- Watch TV Series

IMHO the best home-front social experiment. I LOVED the 1940s House so much. They picked a great family that weren’t afraid to express themselves and the young boys were a tribute to their mother.

A Facebook friend posted the link this morning and I of course had to share this opportunity with you to watch this TV series in full…

C xxxxx