The wartime spirit..

Obviously I have no real clue what the wartime spirit was really like.. From what I have heard, the majority of people, communicated more, looked out for each other, rallied around and did the best they could given the circumstances of their lives.

During these times of need, often, care packages came from far and distance lands to help friends and relatives out wherever possible and many families delighted in receiving occasional special goodies and practical gifts from friends in countries less impacted by the war and rationing. These were gratefully received and much appreciated…

It seems the “wartime spirit” has reached our household and many kindnesses have been shown to my family and I during these difficult times. I don’t accept help easily, I’m rather independent and proud BUT I really do need to recognize the capacity for kindness of the human heart, it has simply blown me away.

Funny how the global media portrays many of the negatives of the world we live in, making us afraid, when infact there are many positive things to be grateful for too..

Yesterday, a HUGE care package arrived at my house. it contained 24 balls of yarn, crochet hooks, a circular knitting loom, tea, raisins, a huge bag of nuts, other dried fruit, some oranges (yay!!!), fairtrade chocolate and cocoa and other fabulous treats for the children and I to enjoy at Christmas.. this from a friend whom I’ve never met. As my eldest daughter, Jess and I laid everything out on the table, she humbly exclaimed “Mum, you have some amazing friends…”

I’d also like to take the opportunity to show appreciation for the help and support from friends and family, my brother who helped me out when my car died by supporting me with a rental while I got money together to buy a replacement car, my Mum and Dad, a colleague from my old job, and blog/Facebook friends who sent me a wartime recipe book, grocery gift card and some beautiful ribbons.

Other kindnesses have been bestowed in other ways too with some forthcoming simple web design projects coming in from the UK and the US through my blog and I thank you for providing me with a more positive horizon.

So today’s blog post is about how grateful I am to feel truly cared for and these kindnesses I will pay forward as soon as I am able..

Thank you


C xxxxxxxxxxxxxx


To get you in the wartime Christmas mood..

I’m getting in the mood for our “Wartime Christmas”…

We’ve plans to make snow flakes, paper chains, lanterns, homemade candies and shortbread and this year I’ll be serving a vegan “MURKEY” (mock turkey) on Christmas Day (although I may cook a very small chicken for the girls).

It’s nearly December, here is a little video that will make you feel all warm and cosy.

C xxxx

Weigh in – November 26, 2012

Bleh- stood on the scales this morning. Since having to leave my job, I stopped exercising (most of it was done on the treadmill during my lunch break)…and later on since reducing to 219 lb (80 lb in one year) and sitting on my laurels a little and I’ve eaten a little more comfort food than I normally would have, I’ve PUT ON 10 lbs…. NOT happy. But hey, it wasn’t gonna be easy was it with the stressful circumstances of my life over the past few months or so. I’m determined to reverse this ASAP and today, whatever the weather, I’m gonna be out there walking my ass off  !!!!!!!!!!

So today I’m back up to 229 lbs.

My goal… to make sure that is back off by Christmas!

C xxxx

PS. I’m going to keep an online 1940s Wartime Food Diary from now until Christmas. Please feel free to like the 1940s Experiment Facebook page and join in or just say hello xxx

Oatmeal soup No 99

Here is a soup recipe that literally costs pennies to make and quite frankly is surprisingly delicious. It was easy to veganize too. I simply substituted the margarine for a non-dairy margarine (Earth Balance or Becel Vegan) and the milk for a non-dairy milk (Almond, Flax, Hemp)

This recipe makes 4 small bowls or two very large bowls, but guess what, I ate it all but instead of serving it with a hunk of bread I garnished it with some homemade croutons made from stale wholemeal/wholewheat bread..

The actual cost is less than a $1 or about 65p for 4 bowls..

Oatmeal Soup

  • 1 pint  (570 ml) water or vegetable stock
  • 3 tablespoons porridge oats/oatmeal
  • 2 medium finely chopped onions
  • 3 medium grated carrots
  • 1/2 pint (285 ml) of milk
  • 1 tablespoon of margarine
  • salt and pepper
  • herbs


  1. Place margarine in large saucepan and heat up
  2. Add finely chopped onions and fry for 5 minutes on medium/high until translucent
  3. Pour in vegetable stock or plain water
  4. Sprinkle in the porridge oats and mix
  5. Add in salt and pepper and herbs
  6. Bring to boil and simmer for 20-30 minutes stirring frequently
  7. Add in grated carrots and milk and carry on simmering for another 15 minutes uncovered and stir frequently and add more seasoning as required

Lest we forget again…

A reader left a very moving comment on my recent “Lest we forget” post a week or so ago. It was a posting he had added to Facebook. He said I could share it with you all when I asked him if that would be OK…

Here is what Paul Savage wrote…


“Today is a day to reflect on those who sacrificed themselves for our freedom.
The First World War has passed into the history books as the final Tommy passes away. We see the Chelsea Pensioners of the Second World War march across The Albert Hall accumulated years in excess of 1400.
These men all remembering those left, still young, on the fields. We watch the poppy petals fall, each a soul lost.
I remember those killed in the Falklands 30 years ago, and those left with the scars of battle, on their bodies and in their minds.
I remember those killed in recent conflicts. The Gulf, and in Afghanistan.
I remember Jonathon Ball and Tim Parry and the innocent victims of war fought on different fronts.
I remember Ste and Tom. Two of my daughter, Natalies’ best friends, killed within a month of one another in Afghanistan.
I grieve for the loss of my daughter’s innocence the night she heard they had been injured, and then died as the transient nature of life was realised.
Please remember Ste and Tom, think of their sacrifice, but, then remember their laughter, fun and life well lived.

Jonathon & Tim were young children killed by the IRA in Warrington. Tims parents were instrumental in getting the conflict in Ireland stopped.

Ste and Tom were 20 years old. One was in the Army the other a Marine. They went through school with my Daughter. I still remember vividly Natalie coming home in tears telling us the Ste had been injured. We could do nothing but hold her (Have tears in my eyes remembering this time)…..”



We must never forget soldiers and innocents are real people with real families and real children

None of them are just numbers…


C xxxxxx

A 1940s Christmas – Preparations begin

This years eggless christmas cake soon to be fed vast quantities of sherry…

I made my Christmas cake yesterday. Using the eggless Christmas cake recipe from last year, I doubled the quantity and put the mixture in a square pan to cook in my table top oven (my proper round cake tin wouldn’t fit) as my full size oven is still out of action..

With dried fruit being hard  to get hold of in large quantities on the home front during WW2 in Britain, the fruitcake has much less fruit than I’d normally use in a Christmas cake but this year I’m going to moisten it up with lots of sherry (readily available during the first rationed Christmas of 1940) and this year it will be decorated with a mock marzipan AND real icing sugar (it wasn’t until a couple of years later that icing sugar was banned).

I’ve started off the blackberry vodka.. almost identical to the way sloe gin is made.

I’ve also started on making “Blackberry Vodka” for Christmas presents (although I am unsure whether this would have been a recipe used in the 1940s, I am sure as people made “Sloe Gin” that it is quite possible…) Spirits were expensive and harder to get hold of later during the war but as my Christmas is going to be based on the first wartime Christmas on rations for the British, I’d say that the drinks cabinet may well have had some spirits/liquor still hanging around.

In addition I will be making gifts of  Apple “Air-Raid” Chutney and “Mock Marmalade” and I’ll share those recipes and photos with you as I do so..

I’ve plenty of sugar for the preserves, I’ve been squirreling that away 🙂

C xxxx

Christmas Garland Giveaway!

My lovely, oh so talented friend, AJ (Adrian) handcrafts paper in Paradise (really- he does!).

Paradise Papercrafts is his wee little business online and he attends a local farmer’s market in Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, to sell. I think his cards and papercrafts are just amazing and over the past year I have ordered several cards which I am collecting, to actually frame and use on my wall as artwork.

Anyway, AJ is giving away a beautiful handcrafted Christmas garland and I thought I’d let you know about his giveaway (as if you are like me you’ll be looking for hopefully free or inexpensive Christmas gifts!)

Please take a moment to enter and support my friend and local craftsperson- click here

C xxxxx

1940s Christmas- Cinnamon Tree Decorations

Continuing in the homemade and 1940s christmas theme, where our Christmas will once again, be on a budget, be creative, within our means and no credit, here is a great recipe for non-edible fragrant Christmas tree decorations. The below recipe is enough to make 20+ decorations and will make your room smell wonderful! A couple of years ago I made these for gifts for work colleagues too…

Applesauce and Cinnamon Christmas Tree Decorations

* 1 part applesauce to 2 parts cinnamon powder (purchase from a dollar store)
* cookie cutters (or hand cut)
* rolling pin
* wax paper
* drinking straw
* glitter, paint, ribbon etc (optional)


  1. As a rough guide (depending on the consistency of the applesauce) you will need to mix 1 cup of applesauce to 2 cups of cinnamon powder.
  2. Place the applesauce in a bowl and pour in the cinnamon powder (always have extra incase you need to add it) and mix with a spoon until mixed to the right consistency for rolling
  3. Place the dough in a bag (or use gloves) and knead it a little
  4. Put the dough in between waxed paper and roll to about 1/4 inch with rolling pin
  5. Use cookie cutters for shaping
  6. Use drinking straw for making hole near the top for ribbon etc
  7. With flat knife remove the christmas decoration onto clean waxed paper on a flat tray
  8. Once all done place the decorations somewhere dry. They will take a few days to air dry
  9. Once dry you can add the ribbon or add decorations or glitter etc (or add the glitter at the kneading stage)
  10. These smell wonderful (BUT DON’T EAT THEM)
  11. If they lose their smell just put a little cinnamon or apple oil onto the back
  12. Hang on your tree or give to friends as gifts!


Wartime tips for an austerity Christmas

Well I think we can officially start to prepare for Christmas! Infact on the home-front, preparations would have started many months ago with precious foods like nuts and dried fruits being squirrelled away. I’ve kept a bag of nuts from last Christmas, I’m hoping they will still be OK..

Having decided a month or so ago to have a 1940s Christmas Day, I was really pleased to receive an e-mail from my ex-husband who suggested that our families this year should have a “homemade” Christmas. This was sweet music to my ears as I’m all for more time and thought being put into presents…rather than money. My youngest daughter Em, and myself, already have our gifts for everyone planned and we are looking at spending just a few dollars per person…

I’m going to be busy in the kitchen….

Yesterday I found myself a suitable Christmas tree in our woodland, it’s only about 5 ft tall but a perfect size to dig up, put in a pot and keep watered inside before replanting outside after Christmas. I kind of like that.

So to kick off the Wartime & Homemade Christmas theme this year, here is a great “How-To” video from the Imperial War Museum that a friend shared on Facebook the other day..

C xxxx

Lest we forget….

Lest we forget- Over 65 million people were killed, which was over 2.5% of the world population, during World War II.

Lest we forget- Civilians killed: from 40 to 52 million, including 13 to 20 million from war-related disease and famine.

Lest we forget- Total military dead: from 22 to 25 million, including deaths in captivity of about 5 million prisoners of war.


Lest we forget- the young boys conscripted into armies all over the world.

Lest we forget- the men and women who gave their lives to their governments, countries and families.

Lest we forget…….

C xxxxxx