‘Air Raid’ Apple Chutney – Recipe No 119


The Hobbits (it makes them sound so young and small but they are not) hated me today. I stunk the house out with onions and malt vinegar simmering away for an hour.  A gas mask would have been useful (having been in a gas chamber with  Chlorobenzylidene Malonitrile and a sadistic NCO I think the simmering malt vinegar, in a confined space, comes pretty close)

BUT the discomfort was worth it as now I have 6 small jars of delicious ‘Air Raid’ Apple Chutney in my cupboard and after it has matured for a week or so, it will be used frequently on my plate to liven up the sometimes samey meals.

Why ‘Air Raid’ chutney? I’ve listened to folk who lived through the war and it seems that quite often, if food hadn’t been prepared and set aside to take into the Andersen Shelter, food like bread, jam and chutney were often grabbed from the larder on the way out of the door for something to nibble on.

Here is an authentic wartime recipe for apple chutney..



Air Raid Apple Chutney

  • 8 oz onions finely chopped
  • 1/2 pint malt vinegar
  • 2 lbs of peeled and chopped apples
  • 1 teaspoon of pickling spices
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds (optional)
  • 12 oz sugar
  • 2-4 oz of dried fruit


  1. Put chopped onions in a pan with a little of the vinegar and simmer gently until soft
  2. Add chopped apples, ginger, salt, mustard seeds and pickling spices in a muslin bag and some more vinegar to keep the mixture moist and stop burning
  3. Stirring time to time, cook gently until soft
  4. Add the sugar and the dried fruit, the rest of the vinegar and stir. Continue to cook gently until the mixture is quite soft and thickened
  5. Remove the bag of pickling spices and add hot mixture into clean hot jars (I wash, rinse then heat in oven on medium for 30 minutes) and immediately screw on clean hot lids.
  6. Leave to cool the store in larder for at least 1 week before trying. Matures after 14 days..

Makes 3 lb jars or 6 small jars


PS I made some good old fashioned ‘stout’ and bottled it last week. This is a piccy of the first bottle I opened. It tasted lovely and I sat by candle and computer light savouring the moment!

1940s inspired goals


I bought vintage mis-matched crockery on eBay for the 1940s Supper Club

I admit to floundering. I’m here in the UK and so much has changed in 9 years and I’m not sure which way to be turning or quite what I’m doing and no job yet.

Without setting goals in my life I swim around in circles wasting so much energy only to end up right at the beginning again. While I’m job hunting I’ve been thinking of ways to get back on track with my weight loss (BTW I jumped on the scales this morning to see that I am now up another 9 lbs since August 6 which now puts me at 279 lbs) and making theoretical plans for the future so if I can’t get regular employment I can maybe get through by doing part-time work and also become self-employed to some extent. I’m no stranger to cutting expenditure right back to the bone and already I’m tightening the purse strings.

I have made a few frugal purchases though, to motivate me and keep my goals and ambitions to the forefront..

Thanks to ‘Cookaholic Kate’s’ early morning e-mail I am now the proud owner of a set of mis-matched vintage trios off eBay.. 12 sets for £12! Ideal to squirrel away in the cupboard for my current dream of a 1940’s pop-up supper club.


And having lived in old t-shirts and yoga pants for 20 years, without a glimpse of a calf muscle or shapely ankle (OK in my case CANKLE) I spotted the most wonderful classy vintage style dress that I immediately fell in love with. Of course at the moment there would be no way I could squeeze my bottom into such a thing of beauty, even with the most brutal corset in the world, so this is my goal, my motivation and something that I could wear within 3 months if I work hard at it.

I’m happy in yoga pants and old t-shirts, padding around in bare feet but I’ve lost the feminine me over the years of child rearing and just coping with life. I want to occasionally look in the mirror and see pretty things, and ankles and a hint of a cleavage and feel good about myself.

Our brave home front ladies did that. Amidst all their hardship (how can we ever really appreciate what they truly went through) they did their best to get dressed up on occasion and wore their red lipstick as a badge of courage, despite what life threw at them.

It’s time to take a lesson from these amazing women.

C xxx

The 1940s Supper Club

An interesting clip on a pop-up restaurant run by Ms Marmite- Kerstin Rodgers

At this moment in my life, although I’m pretty happy and coping well, I’m struggling with my weight, stressed, and concerned about securing a job,  To cover all bases I’m having to think outside the box and doing some research and making some theoretical plans ‘incase’ I do not secure employment.. and I need to secure employment real soon.

This morning, thanks to readers MollyByTheSea and Cookaholic Kate I’ve been made aware about a rapidly expanding underground movement in the UK called ‘Pop-Up” restaurants and supper clubs. Essentially a host opens their dining room to guests for the evening and cooks a set menu (all promoted through social media). Dinner party guests make a donation and bring their own bottle and it truly is a way to experience different foods and have fun.

The whole essence of this appeals to me and, in typical ‘Carolyn-getting-distracted-fashion’ that’s all I have thought about all day.

Would it be possible to have a 1940s Supper Club in my home once a month and share authentic ‘ration book’ cookery? People could dress up if they wished, there would be music and air raid sirens, interesting topics of conversation and some nostalgic foods.

I’ve worked out, with the help of my eldest daughter, I could cater for 10..

I’ll be doing a food hygiene course and will get my kitchen inspected and look into public liability insurance of course if it seems like there would be a regular monthly attendance.

I’d REALLY like your feedback…

  • Have you ever been to a pop-up restaurant or supper club?
  • What did you think?
  • What happened during the evening?
  • What were your expectations and were they fulfilled?

If you could take a moment of your time to voice your opinion I’d be very grateful indeed..

And finally, would you be interested in attending a 1940s wartime supper club and if so what would you love to taste or experience?

Thank you so much

C xxxxx

Hire me


Hi! I have been studying the domestic home-front and re-creating wartime food for 8 years and I’m available in an advisory capacity, for any documentary, movie, or any form of media regarding rationing and WW2 food and recipes. Whether you need authentic recipes to be recreated or to provide guidance, menus, and/or information on food eaten during the war, please contact me at 1940sexperiment@gmail.com

If you are interested in having a guest writer on your blog, or need a historical food writer for your magazine please contact me at 1940sexperiment@gmail.com

In 2014 I will be available to attend events and schools to provide an educational and hopefully interesting demonstration on wartime recipes and answer questions about food, rationing and the domestic home-front during WWII. There will be hand outs available and recipes to taste. Please contact me at 1940sexperiment@gmail.com

I’m available to review your book, here, on the 1940s Experiment blog, if you feel your book is a good fit. Please send me a copy of your book and any promotional material to 1940sexperiment@gmail.com

Are you interested in creating a successful blog? Do you need help setting up a blog and some guidance to get started and some advice on how to make your blog successful? Please contact me at 1940sexperiment@gmail.com

Books and beer


I look on my bookshelves and all I see are reference books or biographies or stories of people’s experiences. I truly wish I could lose myself in fiction, I try, but I struggle with it. Nothing grips me like real-life.

A trip to my local library here in Arnold, Nottingham, found me a couple of fab books to start reading

A Green and Pleasant Land: How England’s gardeners fought the second world war

Working for Victory: A diary of life in a second world war factory

and I bought a bargain book for just a pound..

Wartime Women: A mass-observation anthology 1937-45

I’m hoping these will help with my blog, victory garden and the interesting psychology behind the war effort.


Yesterday I was busy in the kitchen making LOTS of mess but at the end of it I had bottled 38 pints of STOUT. I simply made it in a big bucket and with trying to spend as little money as possible, I figure this is saving me 1.25 a bottle and these should see me through until the New Year (theoretically).

Once I’d syphoned off all the beer into bottles, I added 1/2 teaspoon of sugar in each and capped all the bottles. Now I have 14 days to wait..

So OK a kit beer is not exactly 1940’s (although you could readily buy beer) but I have to save money somehow (and still allow myself some enjoyment occasionally) but next time I’m going to brew beer from scratch. I’ve just seen some photos of friends of mine cooking hops on their stove and it looks like way too much fun. I’d better start saving up more sugar!

C xxx


Vegetable pie – Recipe No 118


This was DELISH- seriously!  If you love simple plain, nourishing, affordable comfort food you’ll love this. I served mine with vegan sausages.. (part of my meat ration!)


Vegetable Pie

Put some mixed cooked vegetables into a pie type dish and season well with lots of salt and pepper. Make a thick gravy with 1 oz of fat and 1 oz of cornflour/cornstarch and 1/2 pint of vegetable stock and seasoning. Pour this over the vegetables then place a thick crust of mashed potatoes over the top, sprinkle with cheese (I didn’t) and bake on medium heat for about 30 minutes until the potato is browned.


Mock cream 3 – Recipe No 117


This is the BEST wartime mock cream recipe I have made to date and it’s very simple to make too! Even better used nice and cool from the fridge

I dolloped it on scones yesterday and just now (topped with summer berry jam) for a late morning nibble with a nice cup of tea!

Mock cream 3

  • 1 tablespoon (English tablespoon) of cornflour
  • 1 oz margarine
  • 1 oz sugar (fine)
  • 1/4 pint milk

Slowly blend the cornflour and milk together and add to saucepan and stir over a low heat until thickened. Remove and allow to cool completely.

Cream margarine and sugar together until light and soft and then gradually add in the cold cornflour/milk mixture a teaspoon at a time until all of it is mixed together to make a smooth, thick cream which stiffens further when stored in the fridge.

Click here for all 117 of my re-created wartime recipes


Scones – Recipe No 116


I was so glad I made some summer berry jam the other day because I had such a treat this afternoon enjoying fresh scones dolloped generously with some (and a fab mock cream).

Here is the simple recipe..


16 oz flour
2 oz butter
2 oz sultanas
a pinch of salt
2 piled up teaspoonfuls of baking powder
1/4 pint milk
2 oz sugar


Mix together the flour, salt, and baking powder; rub into the butter. Add the sugar and sultanas, and make up into a stiff dough with milk, using the tips of the fingers only. Roll out about one inch thick, and cut into rounds or mark into triangles with a knife to show where to divide when baked. Brush the tops with milk and bake in a hot oven (475 F) for about 20 minutes.


Coming soon- 1940s shop


You gotta start somewhere right?

I’m a huge fan of wartime replica packs. I use the packs (which contain authentic replicas of all sorts of cards, booklets, pamphlets, postcards, ration books etc) to not only educate myself more about wartime Britain (especially the home front and the role of women) but to decorate my home.

I’ve taken a step forward and purchased some of my favourite packs to sell on-line from my blog and I’m also looking into a small selection of other items too for other’s who are interested in the domestic home front.

My dream is to do some cooking demo’s, share ration book food and sell my favourite educational bits and pieces (and hopefully some recipe books) at 1940’s or nostalgia type fairs in 2014.

I’m making a start..

C xxxx


Summer Berry Jam – Recipe No 115


This is my favourite jam, head to head with raspberry. It’s flavour is intense and full of the smells of ripe summer berries and if you love pippy jam this won’t disappoint. I love pippy jam, that’s probably why I love raspberry. In my humble opinion these are the only two jams, complete with pips, that should be served with scones and cream (OK fake cream because of rationing).

Mixed type berry jams were popular during the 1940s because many of the berries could be picked from hedgerows or off garden bushes and put all together to have enough to make a batch.

I used the long slow boil method so no added pectin (which you can buy in a packet from your local store if you prefer to use it). No mashing of berries needed (and if you have frozen berries that’s fine too) as gently simmering them for a long time breaks them down shortly before your reach your gelling point (when the jam starts to stiffen and set when you drop a little onto a cold plate).

I find that I only use about half my weekly ration of sugar so I have plenty in the cupboard and at harvest time, during WW2, the government increased it’s weekly sugar ration to help families preserve what they had grown and the weekly allowance per person would sometimes increase from 8 oz to 16 oz per week.

Please have a go at this jam, I actually used 2 lbs of frozen mixed summer berries bought from my supermarket as I am not yet growing these in my garden.

Summer Berry Jam

  • 2 lbs of mixed summer berries (I used equal amounts of strawberries, blackberries, red and black currants)
  • 1 lb of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice if available (if not two tablespoons of water)
  • Blob of butter or vegetable oil (reduces foaming)



  • Rinse fruit and drain
  • Add to large pan and add sugar and lemon juice
  • Slowly bring to a gentle simmer and slowly stir
  • Cook for 20-30 minutes until a small blob of jam gels on a cold plate (I put a plate in the fridge and drop a smidgen on to it, wait a few minutes then test it for consistency)
  • When it appears to be gelling it is time to pour into a clean jug and pour into hot sterilized jars (I rinsed clean jam jars and placed them in a medium over throughout the jam making process to sterilize)
  • Add hot clean lids and tighten up and set aside
  • Lids should depress as a vacuum forms in the first hour or so


Makes 4 or 5 medium jars