Apple and Rhubarb Crumble – Recipe No. 177

Just the other day I was offered some rhubarb out of the boot of a work colleagues car.

For anyone that knows me, if it’s free I’ll make use of it and enjoy it even more knowing that it’s cost me nothing. It’s the mend and make-do philosophy innately ingrained in my psyche. In this case the immediate thought of mouth watering apple and rhubarb crumble with custard that entered my head as soon as my work colleague opened the boot of his car to display his mountain of rhubarb, absolutely solidified this transaction and if he had, at that moment changed his mind, there is no doubt that I would have grabbed an armful and made a run for it.

Today I made the crumble. I made a portion for everyone, I even made a small dish for my work colleague.

It’s been forever since I’ve baked a proper British pudding and every spoonful that entered my mouth was accompanied by sounds of wanton desire that were slightly obscene. There is something wrong with a pudding if it’s consumer doesn’t groan a little…

Here is the authentic WW2 recipe. Enjoy and groan a little yourself…

Apple and Rhubarb Crumble

Filling:
1 lb rhubarb
1 lb tasty apples
2 tablespoons of golden syrup or 2 oz sugar

Topping:
7 oz plain flour
3 oz oats
3 oz margarine or butter
3 oz sugar for topping
1 oz of light brown sugar to sprinkle on top
pinch of salt

Method:
Wipe the rhubarb and cut into small pieces. Simmer in a saucepan with 1 tablespoon of water for about 10 minutes until cooked.
Slice the apples into small pieces. Simmer in a saucepan with 1 tablespoon of water for about 5 minutes until cooked.
Mix rhubarb and apple together when cooked and mix in the golden syrup or sugar.
Grease a pie tin and spoon in the mixture.
Place plain flour, pinch of salt, 3 oz sugar and 3 oz of butter or margarine (in small pieces) into a bowl together.
Rub between fingers to create a breadcrumb like mixture and spoon over the top of the stewed fruit thickly.
Sprinkle with the brown sugar.
Place in an oven at around 170 C for 20 minutes until golden brown.

Serves 6.
Serve with custard.

And as well as eating apple and rhubarb crumble for my dinner I also took some photographs from my garden this afternoon. I picked some of the herbs I grew last year and took photos of the most beautiful dragonfly (I’ve been told its a Migrant Hawker)…it was too beautiful not to share.

PS: It’s good to be back…

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How cheaply could a person live on WW2 food rationing?

Just thought it would be good to re-post this again as it’s that time of year when many of us are pinching pennies…

C xxxx

The 1940's Experiment

A couple of my goals for 2018 are to save a substantial emergency money fund AND to lose a very achievable 60 lbs in weight. The two things that concern me right now are financial safety and health safety.

One area to save on expenses would of course be eating food that doesn’t cost so much but still is healthy. Following a ration book diet, although it sounds austere and boring, could be a perfectly doable way to save money and lose weight in the short term, its certainly worth giving it a go for a month or two…

So out of curiosity I’ve broken down first the guaranteed weekly/monthly ration for an adult into how much each item would cost per person and in addition I’ve also added in the cost of extra staples that a person may typically purchase during the week/month such as bread, oats, pulses etc.

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Pantry contains 3 months worth of staples..

My family think the zombie apocalypse is coming real soon due to my recent obsession with stockpiling. Before I go any further I’d like to assure them that I don’t have the inside knowledge on any forthcoming catastrophe or society breakdown and I do these strange things just because you have a weird Mum and I feel comfort in being prepared…. thank you 🙂

Cleaned up my pantry a bit today and added in some additional staples, did a count, checked my storage tubs and was pleased to see that infact I now have about 3 months worth of basic staples to hand. I’ve now written a list of the small stockpile and whatever I use from the pantry I will replenish once a week making sure to rotate foods because of the best before dates.

The majority of my day to day food is fresh (with the addition of canned or dried beans or lentils) but it does feel nice to have this supply that I can reply on. I’m sure I will tweak and adjust it but I wanted to store foods that I really do use in addition to fresh veg.

What do you keep in your pantry as staples?

C xxxx

Prepping, saving money and losing weight.

Dear all,

It’s been a while. Too long…

I needed a break, needed head space, needed to concentrate and focus on getting on the straight and narrow. Forgive me if I’ve not responded to some of the messages people kindly sent me, I tried to reply to most xxxxx

Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and moved smoothly into the New Year and that you had time to make plans and set goals for 2019. What are they? I’d love to hear…

LOSING WEIGHT & FOOD
I’ve started off 2019 in a really positive way. On September 10th 2018 something finally yes FINALLY clicked and everything has been falling into place regarding nutrition and how I am feeling about myself. I decided to commit to only fuelling my body with mostly plant based highly nutritional food…my aim was to eat 90% non-processed, cut out added sugar and sweeteners completely (I only have these on special occasions if I’m attending a social event or meal out with work). Cutting out the sugar and cutting right down on the salt was incredibly difficult for the first few weeks but then it all fell into place. I’ve been steadily losing 2lb or more every week and since September 10th (nearly 4 months) have lost 45 lbs… which is essentially over 3 stone. I’m thrilled.

Because of eating this way I’ve had to give baking and recreating 1940s recipes a miss for a while. Too much temptation right now but I will start up again in the not too distant future.

SAVING MONEY + MAKE DO AND MEND
I tried really hard to “make do and mend” during 2018. My main goal was to feel more financially secure by building an ’emergency fund’ which essentially is money available that I could use should the Sh*t Hit the Fan (ie health problems, losing my job). Being a singleton there is no financial back-up with a partner having a job should anything major happen. My thoughts were to aim for a 6 month emergency fund. How I calculated this was to look at all the expenses I would need to cover in the worst case scenario (no pay check coming in or unable to work) so things like, rent, bills, food, expenses, debts, insurances, petrol, extras etc. I worked this out to be £1300 per month to cover everything.

So that works out at £1300 x 6 = £7,800. I ACTUALLY FLIPPIN WELL MADE THAT GOAL AT THE END OF 2018! (started with literally nothing in the bank!) I saved nearly £4500 and cashed in some old shares at work to help me reach my goal quicker!

As a woman who is a saver rather than a spender but has been unable to save throughout her life because of circumstances, this is such a HUGE relief to have achieved this. I am now able to sleep better at night!

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve still a way to go as I do have some debt (next on my list to blast a hole in!) and I’m now trying to build up funds to cover other expenses such as car repair, clothing. I don’t want to use my emergency fund for these kind of items.

It’s not been easy. I see colleagues with nice cars, going on holidays, dining out most weekends, going to bars, buying wine/beer/drinks for home, buying new pets/livestock, buying houses, getting takeaways, going to concerts, having their hair and nails done. I really don’t do any of these (except of course if I get invited out on a free works do or meal!). BUT I’m totally happy with that right now as I’m finally beginning to feel SAFER and more SECURE.

PREPPING
While I’m not talking survivalist mode here, I AM talking about re-kindling my interest in building up a small stockpile to help make the emergency fund stretch further. I am currently slowly building up a three month supply of food to help see me through should anything happen that would be deemed a personal emergency (again financial or health). It’s amazing what one can stash away in a plastic box under the bed! When I’m done I’ll show you what I’ve got…it’s only in it’s infancy right now but Savers and Aldi’s range of tinned kidney beans, chick peas, porridge oats, pasta, rice, lentils are really inexpensive! Again, living with insecurity for so long especially in my latter years in Canada and before I got my job here, security is a HUGE necessity for me so I’m quite relieved things are now heading in the right direction.

CUTTING DOWN ON BILLS
And this is the next part I really want to focus on. I’m looking at energy saving right now. I’ve purchased a small supply of solar bulbs and I’d also like to build and regularly used a solar oven. The idea in the summer of setting a stew in the black enamel pan in a solar oven before I head off to work and it all being cooked by the time I return is rather obsessing me right now. In the interim I have just bought a 1.5 litre 120 watt slow cooker to do exactly that. I’d love eventually to be off-grid one day but this process has to be learned so I’ll be slowly doing that over the coming years.

I’d be interested to hear how everyone else saves money and can be more earth friendly while working full time. I’m all ears!

At the end of the day I do believe that eating and living more like our Grandmothers is a good thing for us financially, psychologically and environmentally. Let’s get this straight, I love my modern gadgets but I also see that we have to have balance so I find I am drawn to non-electric items, simplicity, making do and appreciating everything I have.

And although I love my gym membership NOTHING beats a long brisk walk in our beautiful countryside.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

C xxxxxx


Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday 2018

Armistice Day Sunday 11 November, 100 years today marking the armistice signed between the Allies of WW1 and Germany. Millions of people, military and civilian lost their lives, 700,000 soldiers in the UK alone.

Did my 5k Poppy Run while giving this all much thought and feeling thankful for everything we have and our freedom.

Afterwards attended the Remembrance Sunday service at Maltby Cenotaph where several hundred people had gathered and after the service we all marched behind the band through the streets of Maltby …a lovely memorial. C xxxxxxxx










Blackberry Mincemeat for WW2 Christmas Mince Pies – Recipe No. 157

Just to get you in the mood, I’ve made blackberry mincemeat for my Christmas mince pies in the past. Will do the same again as they are quite delicious!

The 1940's Experiment

blackberrymincemeat1

You had to really think ahead on the home-front during WW2. Bottling hedgerow fruits during the late summer months would have enabled you to use many of those berries to make Christmas mince pies. The fruits bulked out the dried fruit which was much harder to get hold of in the quantities most housewives were used to.

7c3678aff3aa79930546591cda391b12This recipe comes from ‘Woman Magazine’ and makes about 3-4 jam jars or at least a large litre kilner jar and will be enough to fill 24 mince pies!

I made this today and as I had no blackberries and obviously wasn’t forward thinking like many bakers during WW2, I was able to just pop along to my local Sainsbury’s a buy a frozen basics bag of forest berries which includes blackberries. They’ve worked very well!

I tasted a spoonful before bottling and it tastes very much like a mix between traditional mincemeat…

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It’s happening…

A quick update…

I’m shrinking again…

It’s happening, 2-3 lbs every week. I’m eating lots of fruit and veg, pulses and beans like my Mum taught me too.

No significant cravings. I’ll take that. No changes needed…