Day 4 – 1940s Experiment 2013


Well golly… yesterday I ate way too much. I stuck to my rations of course BUT lets just say the leftover potato and lentil curry (which I was going to have today) found it’s way into my mouth, during a trip to the kitchen at 3 am.. I will have to try and control this to ensure my continued weight-loss.

How is everyone else coping?

Todays menu

Marmite on toast (I’m in a rush!!)

Salad with a baked potato

Wartime vegetable turnover with gravy

Bread and prune pudding (recipe will be posted later)

21 thoughts on “Day 4 – 1940s Experiment 2013

  1. Hello! My Mother curtly reminded me that I would not be using my car & that her Mother never ate lunch so as to save the rations…
    Apparently the Vicar once called round just as the evening meal was on the table and he sat down too so my poor Grandmother gave him hers and cut a piece of bread to look like the meat they were having, a bit of gravy & veg so she pretended it was no trouble. My Mother was very much put off Vicars after that! Lol
    Today I had toast & tea for breakfast
    Lunch is Oslo time
    Dinner is going to be leftovers!

  2. is marmite your stand by breakfast? A bit like me with fruit? Things are going well – just not not if I will lose weight!

    breakfast – tinned peaches
    lunch – mixed green salad, cherry tomatoes and mushrooms
    dinner – veggie curry and brown rice

    drinks – water, herbal tea, black tea with milk

    Not sure about snacks yet!

  3. I broke this morning and stepped on the scales (despite thinking I wouldn’t til Monday) and was pleasantly surprised to see the numbers heading in the right direction. The cat woke me up at 6.30am by landing on my head, so I gave up trying to get back to sleep and got up to make a cooked breakfast for everyone (except the cat!).

    Breakfast: Dippy egg (bread spread with marmite dipped in egg and fried in a little dripping).
    Lunch: Vegetable and bacon pasty with veg
    Dinner: Vegetable and lentil curry.
    Supper: ginger parkin and a cuppa

  4. I thought Marmite was a Aussie thing. Is there some nutritional significance to eating it because the smell and ‘sour’ taste is tough to get used to. My 28 year old son was in Army and brought some home. The jar is just sitting in the cabinet. Thank you for a wonderful blog.
    Breakfast: Tea and toast
    Lunch: Oslo
    Dinner: Left overs

    Have a wonderful day!

    • Don’t let an Aussie hear you say that! lol It’s vegemite in Australia and it doesn’t taste the same as Marmite. I prefer vegemite, but the rest of my family are Marmite all the way.

    • I prefer Marmite to Vegemite. It took me ages to be able to stand straight Marmite, but cooking with it is a glorious thing. A bit in soup, stew, sauce – fantastic. It also makes the most AMAZING roast potatoes. If you’re not sure about it but want to give it a whirl, I’d totally suggest adding a bit to stuff you’re cooking, and go from there.

  5. Hi Carolyn Can you tell me what you use to moisten your salads and kidney beans with. Also when you have a baked potato do you use marge and if so how much. I am aware that any type of fat is loaded with calories but on the other hand I hate dry bland food. Thank you Rosemary

  6. Day four for me was toast with VEGEMITE!!!!! yummo….for brekkie
    then lunch was left over portion of beef and prune hot pot from day 1.
    Dinner was a version of lord wolton pie, with potato pastry. When I made the pastry I made a little extra and then made a pasty to take to work today for lunch. For the filling I used the small left over portion of the potato lentil curry from day 3.
    Not game to step on scales until Monday. Up at 0345h and day 5 is starting!
    Porridge I think, going to be interesting at work for first time since starting and thus exposed to many and varied aroma’s throughout the airport, including coffee…but I’ll be strong and resist the coffee and danish at all the counters.

    I need a good tomato chutney recipe 40’s style if anyone has one. I wan’t to make the most of the tomatoes I have left on the plant before the sudden descent of winter here ruins them.

    • Hi KC! I found this recipe online, which is not 1940s, but is low in sugar – so that might help!

      Here is the recipe for Tomato Chutney from my copy of the Victory Cookbook, Wartime Edition. (there are also some other canned tomato recipes, if you are interested)

      Tomato Chutney
      4 pounds ripe tomatoes
      1 pound apples, chopped
      3 onions, chopped fine
      1 pint vinegar
      2 tablespoons salt
      2 cups brown sugar
      1 cup seeded raisins
      1 teaspoon cinnamon
      1 teaspoon dry mustard
      1/2 teaspoon cayenne

      Chop the tomatoes and add the apples and onions. Add the remaining ingredients and cook until the chutney is thick and clear, stirring occasionally. Seal it in hot sterilized jars. Makes 5 pints.

      No. 2 – If a hotter, more highly flavored chutney is desired, add to the above recipe:

      1/2 teaspoon cayenne
      1/2 teaspoon allspice
      1 teaspoon cloves
      2 teaspoons mustard
      2 cloves garlic, crushed

  7. Hi Carolyn,
    I know how you feel. When I first started this diet I was going to bed hungry. All the stories about WWII rationing mention how hungry everyone felt so I thought I was doing it right. However, it’s difficult to ignore the grumbling tummy.

    I had tea and toast for breakfast.
    Potato sandwich for lunch
    Mock fish cake with green beans for supper
    Peaches for dessert

    I’ve been making cheese straws (eggless) for snacking on.

    • Hello Sue Would you mind if I comment on your note where you say you are going to bed hungry.. Without a doubt, the reason you are hungry is because there is no protein in each of the meals apart from the fish in the fish cake, and even so I am not sure what would have been used as a substitute? Maybe if some nuts, protein grains and certainly tofu were included it would stop the rumbly tummy. Or maybe I am missing the point as tofu and similar products were not available in the 40’s. If there was a portion of protein included in every meal and late at night it would stop the hunger pangs for sure. Hope this helps. Rosemary

      • Lots of protein in non-modified products too such as lentils, split peas, beans and decent amounts of protein in porridge oats, kale, broccoli etc… everything has protein in but just in varying amounts. Have tried to include a few protein rich items in my diet daily being vegan but I also find that keeping some vegetable stew with potato in, set aside, is great if I get really hungry and need to fill my belly xxxxx

  8. I can recommend a book called Eating for Victory which is a reproduction of official WW2 guidelines for healthy use of the rations and includes sample menus…if you think in terms of a small amount of meat balanced with several veggies or raw salad plus a stodgy pud (use pulses and veg when you run out of meat or are vegan) you shouldn’t feel hungry….and is the basis of a healthy well balanced diet even today.
    sample menus given include
    1.Braised meat, potatoes, mixed root vegetables
    Summer Pudding and Custard
    2 Fish stew, Coleslaw
    Semolina Mould
    3. Cheese Potatoes, Steamed Celery, Raw Vegetable Salad, Suet Crust Pudding
    4 Bacon Hot-Pot Shredded cabbage
    Dumplings with Syrup
    This is listed for main meal ideas so on top of breakfast and supper dishes
    Hope that gives an idea of daily wartime diet

  9. Nuts and seeds did play a large part in the war diet – excellent source of protein. The main nuts were walnuts, hazelnuts and cobnuts. Acorns were ground and used as a substitute coffee. Not very good apparently. And they were also used as pig food. Sunflower seeds became a snack and also were used for cooking oil. Nuts were not rationed but they were expensive and often just not available.

    Vegans and vegetarians can get all the complete protein they need by mixing the vegetable proteins they eat – nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Although the only complete proteins (holding all the amino acids necessary to build muscle etc) come in animal sources vegans and vegetarians can get what they need from vegetable sources. And research has shown that the body will used sloughed off cells as a source of amino acids when necessary – clever old body.

    Of course all this depends on what type of vegetarian you are – vegan (no animal products at all), lacto-vegetarian (eats dairy), ovo-vegetarian (eats eggs) or pesco-vegetarian (eats fish). I am lacto-ovo but my family are all omnivores.

  10. If you are following a vegan diet be sure to include VitaminB12 supplements. Although B12 is found in some fermented plant foods it is not a plentiful source. Animal products remain the only reliable source. We would need a rumen like cows have to get it out of plants.

  11. The comment about not being able to use the car and that many women skrimped on their rations to make them go farther for their family reminded me of something my friend told me.

    They never had a car but everyone they knew who did put the car up on blocks for the duration. And the buses were not run as often either. She said they walked everywhere and bicycles were in huge demand and hard to get. Well that would explain a lot of the weight loss that people experienced. If we all walk a lot more that would make this experiment very authentic.

    Sacrifice and sharing really was the order of the day and there was also a sense of duty and even urgency in how people treated food. My friend and her sister and mother gave up the luxury of having sugar and milk in their tea for the entire time it was rationed so that her father could enjoy it in his tea. He just could not get used to it without sugar and since he had to give up a lot of his beer they made this effort for him. They also gave up a lot of their meat ration to their father and brother who had very physical jobs at the shipyard. Fortunately both men did not like cheese at all so the women got extra cheese for their diet.

    The rationing of foods was to give a fair chance for every one to have enough to survive on but my friend told me that very often rationed and not rationed foods were just not availble in the shops. They would arrive eventually but sometimes they just did not have any milk or dried fruit or other items in their weekly rations for a couple of weeks. And when the milk did arrive children and pregnant women were given it first.

  12. From Richard Maybey’s book ‘Food for Free’ I seem to remember that you have to bake the acorns (twice) then grind them up to make substitute coffee. You can do the same with dandelion roots. It is only from memory as I lent the book to someone and, as is often the way, never got it back.

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