Canadian Thanksgiving.

I brought some maple leaves in from the tree outside to brighten up the table..

Some of us in Canada celebrate thanksgiving on Sunday and some on Monday… we get a holiday, all stores and businesses are closed except for gas stations and restaurants and hospitality pretty much. I decided to have our meal today. I LOVE putting in hours of prep work and enjoying a lovely, celebratory meal at the end of it…

Meatless loaf, tasted so good, full of protein and very tasty indeed..

Our Canadian thanksgiving meal was very similar to the christmas dinners we had when we lived in the UK (being british) except we had lashings of mashed potatoes instead of roast potatoes. Everything on my plate was pretty much what someone would have

A sunny thanksgiving

enjoyed for a really special meal, back in the 1940s. I cooked a very small ham for the children (there were urban pig clubs) but for myself, I wanted something very special, so tried a meatless meatloaf (being vegan) using mostly ingredients available during wartime (Ok except for tofu and soy sauce). It was just one of those occasions (and there has only been a handful of them in the past year), where I had to make an exception.

Jess and Cody

This vegan meatloaf was pretty amazing, my eldest daughter and her boyfriend had a slice and really liked it too. If you would like to try the recipe CLICK HERE. Note that it actually makes two medium sized meat loafs and is enough to feed about 12 people! Also note that you need to add an extra 20 minutes to the cooking times than specified in the recipe..

I served mine with wild thyme from the garden..

What we had

Main: Country style mashed potatoes, braised sprouts, roasted parsnips, baked ham in apple sauce, meatless meatloaf, garden peas, stuffing balls, bisto and vegetable gravy

Dessert: Apple pie and I made an avocado chocolate mousse using yes, avocados, cocoa powder, agave syrup and vanilla essence

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Quiet for a few days

Brave smiles from my Hobbits xxxxx

We’ve had quite the week as a family. It’s been worrying for us but we now have a way forward and it’s this we’ll be working towards, quite ardently, over the next week or two…

Not quite such a brave smile from me! LOL!!

As there is LOTS of paperwork involved that is extremely timely, the blog maybe a little quiet for the next week or so, however, I’ve several new wartime recipes to go up so watch out for those popping up.

And although I haven’t had time to respond to all the lovely comments and notes of support, I will, as these have meant such a lot to keep my chin up in all aspects of my life..

A very special shout out to Marie Kettle, who has stood by us and helped us, for free, in a humanitarian capacity. We have been very grateful for her guidance and for her being there literally to hold our hands.

AND my dear friend Matthew Guy who took a day off work from Acadia University to drive us to our meetings and interviews and be a support for us all day…

Thank you 🙂

C xxxxxxxxxxx

Welsh Claypot Loaves

Although I have never found this recipe in a wartime cook book the tradition of cooking bread in clay pots dates back at least 150 years.

I came across this really lovely photo I took (I wish I still had a camera) when I first made “Welsh Claypot Loaves” about 10 years ago. At that time I lived on a farm in Wales that dated back to the 1600’s so it seems likely that the tradition of cooking loaves in clay pots would have continued into the war years for some families

I used ordinary clay pots but I made sure to oil the inside of the pots and bake them a couple of times first before using them the first time to cook bread in.

Welsh Clay Pot Loaves

  • 2 x 5 1/2″ clay pots
  • 1 cup or 4oz / 115g wholemeal bread flour
  • 3 cups or 12oz / 350g white bread flour
  • 1-1/2 tsp / 7.5mls salt
  • 1 sachet or 3 teaspoons of dried yeast (quick rise)
  • 1/4pt / 150mls lukewarm milk
  • 4floz / 120mls lukewarm water
  • 1/4 cup or 2oz / 50g of softened butter or margarine
  • 1tbsp / 15mls chopped fresh chives
  • 1tbps / 15mls chopped fresh parsley
  • 1tsp / 5mls chopped fresh sage
  • 1 crushed garlic clove
  • 1 beaten egg
  • Rolled oats to top

If using dried herbs use only 1/2 the stated amounts

Utensils

  • 5 1/2 inch standard clay pots
  • Parchement paper
  • Bowl
  • Saran wrap-clingfilm

Method

  1. Measure and prepare ingredients. Make dry wells in the flour and add herbs, soft butter, salt, crushed garlic and sachet of dried yeast.
  2. Add all lukewarm milk and water to bowl and mix together and knead until smooth. Place in bowl and cover bowl with cling film and leave to rise somewhere warm for an hour.
  3. Line the clay pots with parchment paper to stop the bread sticking. Although hand thrown high clay content pots are preferable for that rustic look, I use your standard 5 1/2″ terracotta pots from the local garden centre. None have exploded yet , but be careful, they get very hot!
  4. When dough has risen, remove dough and knock back by roughly kneeding for a few seconds
  5. Split the dough into two and place one ball in each of the lined pots. Cover the tops with oiled cling film and place in a warm position to rise again.
  6. After about 30 mins the dough should be risen to at least the height of the rim. Brush the tops with the beaten egg and sprinkle with the rolled oats.
  7. Place in the oven at 200 centigrade or 390 F for 35-40 mins and remove when golden brown

The loaves look and smell lovely and ready to slice after about 1/2 hr of standing. The herby flavour is completely fabulous!

Lentil soup No 95

This soup, in one portion, packs a whopping 50% of your daily fibre and 30% of your daily protein and all for less than 50 cents ( 30p ) a serving.. I told you plant protein was cost effective! And the lentils I used were organic!

In the following months I’d like to focus more on how cooking from scratch, WW2 recipes can not only be delicious but can also substantially save you lots of money. This past year or so has been a very challenging economic battle for my family and I and nothing will give me greater satisfaction than updating my blog to share with you how cooking from scratch, mending and making do, have enabled us to scramble through the austere times we have faced..

Enjoy this recipe, just delicious served hot with fresh bread.

Lentil soup

  • 8 oz (225g) of split lentils (I used the bigger green ones- organic)
  • 2 medium onions chopped finely
  • 2 medium carrots finely diced
  • 1-2 bacon rashers, chopped (optional)
  • 1.5 pints (900ml) water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme or 1 teaspoon fresh thyme (maybe more if you love your herbs)
  • salt and pepper to desired taste

Method

  1. Wash the lentils and strain, discarding the water, set aside
  2. Put the chopped bacon (or a little fat if not using bacon) into a pan and add the onions and carrots and fry for a few minutes
  3. Add the 1.5 pints of clean water, the washed lentils and herbs
  4. Cover the pan and simmer for 1 hour
  5. Add the salt and pepper and extra herbs if needs be
  6. Stir and cook uncovered for a few more minutes

Makes 4 large bowls

COST: $2.00 ( £1.25) without bacon

Victory Day Weigh In – One year on wartime rations!

Today it’s been exactly one year since I started living 100% on wartime rations (British WW2) to see what effect it would have on my health, my morbid obesity…

My heaviest weight ever, prior to weigh-in, one year ago was 345-350 lbs (25 stone) but by the time I weighed in for THIS attempt to live one year on wartime rationing, I had reduced to 299 lbs (21 st 4 lbs).

TODAY, this morning, after one year, of living on wartime rations, I weighed in at 219 lbs (15 st 7 lbs)…

I’ve lost 80 lbs in one year! (and 130 lbs in total) I’m so very, very happy with that.

I’m so happy because a year ago I was scared, I had headaches, dizzy spells that made me fall down, lower crushing back pain on standing and walking (so I just couldn’t go for walks), my pulse raced on any exertion, at rest it raced too, my blood pressure was high, I sweated profusely, I really thought it was going to be a matter of time before something awful happened and despite the public facade of being bubbly and happy, I was depressed.

Today, even with about 60 + lbs still to lose, my quality of life is just amazing. I rarely get a headache, the dizzy spells have gone, no back pain, low pulse at rest, normal blood pressure, I can walk forever and I’m training for my first 5k run!

This is my THIRD attempt at the 1940s Experiment. Both previous attempts before were very successful, I just couldn’t stick with it for more than 4 or 5 months. For the first two attempts I was still a meat eater but also a HUGE vegetable consumer too. Both previous attempts followed the same pattern as this attempt (even though I am now vegan)… initial rapid weight loss as the body detoxified from it’s “modern diet” state, eventually plateauing out and then followed by a very gentle weight loss.

For over SEVEN years now I have been passionate in my belief, that a return to a SIMPLE, UNPROCESSED way of eating, mainly plant based and plant strong diet, with only very small amounts of meat, fish and dairy, is the way to optimum health. I am happy I’ve proved to myself that my theory is correct and that returning to this way of eating, as they did during the war, has ABSOLUTELY improved my health and my quality of life.

At 219 lbs posing with my freebie copy of Wartime Farm which I am about to review for Octopus Publishing on my blog.


An important part of this process was also becoming more active and early into the experiment I decided to start walking. It was tough to begin with as I was still in a lot of pain with my back and experiencing dizzy spells but a lap here and there soon became several laps (yes it was tough, yes I sweated and wanted to give up) and before I knew it, my back pain had gone and I could just walk like everyone else! Walking is the best form of exercise and I am so grateful I can now do this. These days I take myself off for 10 km hikes over all sorts of terrain. The freedom is LIBERATING!

I have made a LIFESTYLE CHANGE for good, for ever..

THANK YOU for everyone who has supported me during my year. EVERY SINGLE MESSAGE and COMMENT has kept me going. Please, you really do not appreciate how this has helped me and I thank you from the bottom of my heart xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

SO WHAT NOW? I still have 60 lbs to go (and still classified as obese). I still want to lose 100 lbs living on wartime rations so I’ve decided to continue, business as usual until I reach 199 lbs and then the third and final phase will be to get to my ultimate goal of 160 lbs. The VICTORY PARTY is on hold until then too. It’s something to aim for, to look forward to, a GOAL!

At 299 lbs
Chest: 59.5 inches
Waist: 56.5 inches
Hips: 62 inches (the tape measure only goes up to 60 inches)
Thigh: 27.5 inches
Upper arm: 16.5 inches
B/P: 176/88 at rest
Pulse: 89 at rest

BMI= 48 (Morbidly Obese)

At 219 lbs
Chest: 46 inches
Waist: 42 inches
Hips: 46 inches
Thigh: 24 inches
Upper arm: 12 inches
B/P: 128/73 at rest
Pulse: 55 at rest

BMI= 35.3 (Obese)

Weight about 335 lbs