My keep the wolf from the door vegetable stew – Recipe No. 156


I think vegetable stew has to be one of my staple dishes when I am eating ration book style.

Just for the hell of it I wrote everything down today that I put in mine (which lasts me for two days and is 4 servings) and converted it to calories and how much the ingredients cost.

There are two things I struggle with most of the time. Making my pennies stretch and being able to fill my tummy without consuming too many calories. My stews are often a solution to these problems as I use up vegetables that are on the turn (I hate waste) and I can make a huge saucepan full to feed 4 which is nutritious and all for around 800 calories and just 50 p a portion! It tastes good too so what’s NOT to like about that!


  • 1 medium leek
  • 1 medium potato
  • 2 medium parsnips
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 2 medium ripe tomatoes
  • 1 onion (I used some I was given at work from a colleagues garden)
  • 1/2 medium marrow
  • 1 apple
  • 1 tablespoon of sweet chutney
  • 1 can lentils
  • 1 tablespoon of old fashioned Bisto powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried mixed herbs
  • pepper and salt to taste
  • water


  1. Saute chopped onion and leek in a little bit of margarine or butter in a large saucepan for a few minutes
  2. Add all the vegetables (and apple) chopped (those that take longer to cook add in smaller pieces and those that are quick to cook in large chunks)
  3. Add a pint of water and bring to a simmer.(add more if needed during the cooking process)
  4. Add dried herbs and chutney.
  5. Put Bisto powder in a separate bowl and add a little cold water and make into a thin paste.
  6. Add to simmering vegetables and stir, add pepper and salt to taste (I didn’t need any salt as the Bisto powder is quite salty)
  7. Add lentils and stir again.
  8. Cover and simmer on a medium heat until the carrots are tender enough to eat.
  9. Remove from heat and stir again.
  10. Serve with a hunk of buttered bread, or rice or mashed potato.

*On my plate in the photo is 1 serving of stew plus brown rice totaling about 350-400 cals.

Life update.

I’ve had a couple of slip ups this week which culminated in me enjoying several glasses of wine and packets of chipsticks last night which I immediately regretted.  Not only deviating from my eating plan but all that junk food made me feel like poo. I’ve had several things on my mind recently and been really struggling with trying to lose more weight and because of a small tear in my heel it’s been a slack week for walking/exercising.

Today my daughter and I went for a gentle walk and I felt somewhat better after that and some serious Marathon training will be taking place tomorrow at our favourite walking place, Wollaton Hall and Deer Park.

Keep walking and laughing and never give up!

C xxxxxxx



Kentish Pasties – Recipe No. 155


In the WW2 recipe book ‘Good Eating’ published in the 1940s by the ‘Daily Telegraph’ and which included wartime recipes tried and tested by readers, I came across a recipe for ‘Kentish Pasties’.

This particular recipe, according to the reader, was for a popular pasty distributed by mobile canteens and pie stations at Sevenoaks Rural District during the war.

Using the ingredients in the recipe, I was able to make three huge pasties which could easily be cut in two, one half  for your dinner (served with veggies and gravy) and one half for your lunch the next day (although I am sure if you were working on the land a whole pasty for lunch would be appreciated)  I also added two teaspoons of Marmite and one chopped leek which added to the flavour as it was a little bland without.

Overall I found this very filling and tasty!

Kentish Pasties


  • 1/4 lb of boiled rice
  • 4 oz grated cheese
  • 2 oz raw grated carrot
  • Salt and pepper

Carolyn’s extra ingredients

  • 1 leek chopped finely
  • 2 teaspoons of Marmite



  • 12 oz flour
  • 3 oz cooking fat/margarine or butter
  • Pinch salt
  • Water to mix.



The original recipe calls for the filling ingredients to be mixed together well and then placed on the pastry and formed into pasties.

To improve the flavour, once the rice was cooked I placed a knob of butter in a pan and when it was hot added the chopped leek and sauted and then added the rice and mixed well. I then removed from the heat and mixed in the raw grated carrot, grated cheese and two teaspoons of Marmite and a little extra salt and pepper.

I rolled out the pastry into three rounds about the size of a large side plate and damped all the edges with water and placed a third of the mixture in the middle of each tapering out at each end and then brought the pastry up and over and created the frill with my two fingers.

The pasties took about 30 minutes to cook in a pre-heated oven at 200 C.

Makes 3 extra large pasties or 6 small ones!





I’ve fire in my belly…

Because of my insecurities largely to do with how horrid I felt inside at my largest weight, I’ve always felt safer working quietly away in the background when I do things. I rarely push myself forward to do things outside my comfort zone (except my new found love of hiking!) and always feel I’m probably just not good enough…

I recently was asked to do a small guest piece on a TV show (and I can’t mention what it is but will let you know when I can and when it will be aired). It sounded like fun and right up my 1940s’s street! Initially my thoughts were NO, I just can’t do it and tried to find someone else that would be suitable but when they couldn’t do it either I thought WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING! If I never try I’m never going to have fun things to remember and even if things go horribly wrong it’s not the end of the world, at least I tried and it’s another step forward.

So I said I would and on Thursday, with Jess my daughter for company,  drove a several hour round journey to a destination I had never been too before and despite being very nervous had a lovely day doing something I am passionate about.


Here’s a photo taken on Thursday and I feel my eyes are bright and alive, I’m excited and happy. Although I have lost 95lbs from my heaviest and am only 1/2 way through my weight loss journey, the loss so far has had a profound and positive psychological effect on my life. I wish I could share how wonderful I now feel on some days, a far cry from the torment inside from my heaviest weight.

And now I’ve fire in my belly… fire to see this fight against obesity through to the end, fire to keep pushing forward and achieve the things that make me happy, fire to keep on fighting, fire to keep on cooking, fire to keep calm and carry on…

C xxxxxxxxxxx



Down to 249 lbs


A very quick update as I drink my tea before heading to work.

Yesterday I FINALLY broke the 250 lbs mark. My weight has been meandering for the last 6 weeks flitting up and down between 250-254 lbs so it was a relief to see it finally drop to 249 lbs.

Statistics are:

Am 96lbs down from my heaviest weight ever (345 lbs)

Am 61 lbs from my heaviest weight during my current job (310 lbs)

Am 47 lbs down from January 1st this year (2016)


No more crushing lower back pain and can now walk several miles instead of 100 yards!

Am feeling stronger about myself as a person.

Am feeling much healthier, my BP has dropped, my pulse rate has dropped.

Am fitting into clothes in my wardrobe that were too tight before!


Sorry if I’ve not answered many messages…. life is a blur of commitment at the moment and finding it difficult to fit everything in xxxx

Leek and Potato Soup – Recipe No. 154


This easy and delicious recipe was taken from the WW2 ‘High Teas and Suppers’ Ministry of Food Leaflet No.7. I’ve just eaten two bowls of this with a slice of bread and butter and thoroughly enjoyed every single mouthful.

Leek and Potato Soup

4 medium sized leeks
1/2 oz of fat or dripping
3 medium sized potatoes sliced
1-2 pints of vegetable stock
4 tablespoons of dried household milk
Chopped parsley
Salt and Pepper.


Cut the leeks in half long ways and after washing chop finely.
Melt the fat in a saucepan and gently fry the leeks without browning, keeping the lid on.
Add the potatoes and 3/4’s of the stock and cook until the potatoes are tender.
Mix the powdered milk to a smooth paste with the remaining stock and add to the soup.
Bring to the boil and sprinkle with chopped parsley just before serving.

Serves 4
Calories per bowl 200 cals.

My modifications: I’ve made this soup several times and usually make it with the following modifications which I feel not only fits in better with my daily diet but also I found by making these modifications the soup turned out even more delicious. Using alternatives to dairy below make the recipe suitable for vegans.

Parsley: I just don’t like parsley. Instead I use a teaspoon of dried mixed herbs when cooking.
Milk: I use wholebean soy milk on a daily basis so used 1/2 vegetable stock and 1/2 soy milk for the liquids used in the recipe.
Fat: Dairy free margarine
Potatoes: I always mash the cooked potatoes up and add them in to the soup. Sometimes the mash is a mixture of potato and carrot. I find this thickens the soup.


Readers Digest – 10 Thrifty Wartime Dishes


Thank you to Karen Burns Booth and the Readers Digest for featuring my Lord Woolton Pie.

There are also 9 other great wartime recipes on the link below that you might like to check out!

Summer Breakfast Dish – Recipe No. 153


My breakfast this morning came from WW2 Ministry of Food Leaflet No. 33.

As always, the recipe is simple, quick and frugal and pretty good for you!

Summer Breakfast Dish
4 oz of rolled oats, barley flakes or kernels
4 tablespoons of milk
1/2 to 3/4 grated apple
Sugar or golden syrup or honey to taste

Soak the rolled oats, barley flakes or kernels overnight with barely enough water to cover.
In the morning beat up well with the other ingredients.

Editors Note: This dish makes enough for two people. I used my normal rolled oats, mixed all the ingredients together and warmed through and then sprinkled a little extra grated apple on the top.

75 Marathons in 75 Days at 75 Years Old.

Ray Matthews on Saturday July 2, 2016 starts his 75 Marathons in 75 Days Challenge. Did I mention he is 75 years old? This phenomenal Ultra Runner only started running at 60 years old and he strives for a challenge that will take him to the edge. This World Record Challenge is to raise £75,000 for a soft playground for Newman School in Rotherham where some of the students have physical limitations. Find out more at

I’m supporting Ray on this challenge because I think what he’s doing is not only a stand against ageism but incredibly inspiring plus the fact I’ve met him and he’s a really decent bloke!

Please consider sponsoring one of his Marathons for £100 if you are a business or donating a few quid if you are inspired by his efforts. Thank you xxxx


PS: Once again I’ve been maxxed out with work, commuting and training at the gym during the week and park runs and long distance walking at weekend (plus any volunteer work I do) so do apologize for lack of recipes BUT I’m taking it down a notch today to find sometime to re-create some new wartime recipes and update my blog so please check back over the weekend.

PPS: I would really appreciate it if you could share this post on your Facebook wall or by e-mail, Twitter or any of the social media buttons I have listed below. Getting the word out about Rays challenge and fundraising efforts would be amazing.