Stork Cookery Service Notes No. 28a – 1943

A rather wonderful thing happened a week or two ago and I’ll save that story once I’ve made sure it is OK to tell it. But fast-forward a couple of weeks and I am now the lucky custodian of many original wartime booklets and pamphlets and newspaper clippings which I’m going to share with you over the coming year.

Many of the books I have are very fragile and I will have to scan these in carefully and properly in high-definition to preserve them as it won’t be long before they crumble away but for now I will start with the easier leaflets and clippings which I will just take photos of with my camera. These will be available as individual images below but also a DOWNLOADABLE PDF DOCUMENT HERE. Additionally I will create an archive page to house the complete collection where you will be able to download the PDF’s and enjoy them or share them on your own websites or in your groups or print them out.

Hope you enjoy them and I am looking forward to working my way through the complete collection and sharing something every week. And I’m also looking forward to telling you the full story!

Much love, C xxxx

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DOWNLOAD COOKERY SERVICE NOTES No 28a AS A PDF: HERE

Emergency Pantry Tour

Well, it’s not exactly a tour as it’s a tiny cupboard under the stairs but nevertheless, it’s now stocked fully. Add to that an unused fridge and boxes under the bed, full of supplies, and we now are prepared for an emergency such as loss of income, ill health, shortages, cost of living, or anything that gets thrown at us. This will help ease us through 3-6 months of turbulence which seems to be a sensible thing to do given the unpredictable world we currently live in.

Thought you might like to have a peek! It’s not terribly well organised but none of us are perfect!!!

C xxxxx

The N Word: Living in one room for one week

This is going to sound extreme but please bear with me as it’s only a hypothetical scenario but WHAT IF the unthinkable happened and a nuclear weapon was used in your country of residence and you were within range (depending on wind direction) to experience nuclear fall-out.

Being EVER PRACTICAL I looked at the most likely scenario here in the UK if the absolute unthinkable happened and if a Intercontinental Ballistic Missile was successfully delivered to London. While it is an awful thing to consider and while I personally cannot even comprehend and do not believe such an awful thing would happen, I still want to be informed and prepared, at least in someway. I’ve put a couple of maps and a link to an interesting site at the bottom of the page for those interested but don’t want for that to be the focus of this post.

Having spent some hours reading about practical steps to avoid radiation sickness it seems that the best thing one can do if you cannot get to a proper bunker and are likely to have to sit it out at home is to try and stay in the one room for several days if possible (and that room should be a basement or a room in the middle of the house on the ground floor and if possible a room without windows.)

In that room (according to what I’ve read) you should have the following at a minimum:

  • bottled water to drink and wash in for several days
  • food for several days, food from freezer and fridge and stuff in packets and cans is fine
  • something to cook with and heat water with
  • portable toilet with kitty litter and plastic bags and toilet tissue
  • first aid supplies and your medications and ointments for burns and injuries
  • clothing, towels, disposable wipes all stored in plastic bags until used
  • warm clothing and something to sleep on
  • wind up or battery operated light and power banks and radio
  • toiletries and eating and drinking utensils, stored in plastic, one use, throw away
  • any important documents and communication devices and money/cash/cards/car keys etc
  • Plastic sheeting and tape to seal window
  • Plastic bags to dispose of items

I’ve been giving this a little thought, I have my designated room. It does have a small window but the room contains my emergency pantry, fridge freezer, a sturdy table for a portable gas stove and for sitting at and is one of the largest rooms in the house.

As I read back through the above I actually can’t believe I am writing about this, do I sound like some nutter? I don’t know about you but actually I feel pretty safe and probably less than 5% of me thinks that this scenario could happen here in blighty. I just can’t begin to understand how the peoples of Ukraine and surrounding countries must feel right now and lets not forget the people of Russia. I always believe that there are more peace loving people in the world than ones that actively want to hurt others. We also know that coercion is real worldwide, from subtle propaganda campaigns to peer pressure and through dictatorship.

Personally for me I now have my emergency pantry completed, my medical supplies, portable camping toilet, portable cooking stove, wind up lights, radio and power banks. All good stuff for any emergency situation really. I also do have some thick sheeting and tape to seal the window (and I hope these only ever gather dust of the normal daily kind).

I’d love to hear your positive thoughts and real fears. Lets remember that we all cope with these times and situations in different ways. Some of us over prepare and that alleviates any anxiety, others don’t prepare and that is fine too. We are only human.

Much love, stay safe, be happy, C xxxxx

Resources:

Download “Nuclear War Survival Skills” book from US Archive here

Download FEMA information sheet here

Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (800 Mt) | Click for link to website

Blackout Britain. Prepare for winter and the cost of living.

“Ofgem, the energy regulator, has said there was a “significant risk” of gas shortages this winter because of the war in Ukraine,” according to The Guardian

“The UK is planning for several days over the winter when cold weather may combine with gas shortages, leading to organized blackouts for industry and even households,” says Bloomberg.

Judy Young remembers, “during the electricity blackouts in the 1970s, the family had to quickly adjust to the fact that they might be left without power for hours, and so make the most of the time in which the electricity was on, including cooking when they were able to.”

Let’s have a conversation. Whether we experience organised blackouts throughout the winter, or more likely self-imposed blackouts because lets face it, most of us will struggle with the doubling of energy prices and the rising cost of living, how will we reduce our costs? What changes will you make? Is it time we got back to basics?

I’ve just had a smart meter installed. I’m probably one of the last 20% of the people in the UK to get one. I’m already anxious that yesterday, the first full day on my smart meter, registered a daily spend of £3.52 (last year my average daily spend was less than £1.50 according to my bills). Needless to say that today I have refrained from running the tumble drier and nearly everything has been switched off at the wall and all my office computers and screens were turned off completely overnight too. Todays spend so far (its 8pm) is £1.94 so likely to be at least £1 less than yesterday.

Let me just say that I’m always mindful about power usage. I do try and line dry my laundry and am now hanging clothing over the bath to dry too but there will be occasions I have to use the tumble dryer. Usually its 10 minutes to finish off drying the clothes from the bathroom that are still slightly damp after two days drying!

This year we are determined not to turn any form of heating on, not even for a minute, until November the 1st. It was a rule we lived by 20 years ago when we lived in a leaky old farmhouse in Wales that seemed to have the ability to burn through half the earths natural resources during the winter, cost us hundreds of £’s in oil yet still always guaranteed that we were always feeling cold.

During WW2 fuel was of course rationed. The coal ration was set at two and a half tons per household per year and when you consider that nearly everything was run by coal, from heating to hot water, you had coal fires, coal boilers & coppers, and coal fired cooking ranges. Cutting back on coal was real hardship for most.

I’m spending October in contemplation. Mindfully creating small actions that lead to small savings, but small changes in abundance soon add up. I already have my trusted hot water bottles poised and ready to heat the bedding and warm my feet like our grandparents often relied on. Thick socks and knitted hats and jumpers and even gloves if needs be will joyfully be worn indoors uncomplainingly (we’ll see how long that lasts!)

Finally, on a more serious note, I worry for families on the poverty line that are elderly or have small children, what a miserable winter they will have. How are people who truly struggle going to make it?

Much love, C xxxxx

It finally feels like Autumn…

Ate my first squash of the year and it officially feels like autumn! I bought an acorn squash hybrid called “Mashed Potato” squash, drizzled it with a little olive oil and baked it with flesh side down in the oven for 30 minutes or so until soft. Sprinkled it with salt and pepper and ate it just like that, scooping it away from the skin. It tasted so buttery and decadent, so comforting….love it!!

I grew nothing in my garden this year apart from herbs and a little garlic but I still have a few pots of jam, piccalilli, bread and butter pickles and beetroot left which should be still OK. My main under-stairs “prepper pantry” now has basic supplies of canned tomatoes, beans, baked beans etc and staples such as pasta, rice, flour and various other things such as a years supply of soya mince set aside for the winter. I’ve got stuff stashed away in an unplugged fridge and in other boxes and tubs too. For some strange reason it gives me some comfort knowing that stuff like that is there. Maybe it was the years living so rurally in Wales and Canada and trying to be self-sufficient to a degree that still impacts me. We all have our strange ways though don’t we!

C xxxx

Turning my under stairs junk cupboard into a small prepper pantry.

We all have one of those junk cupboards right? Mine is a small one under the stairs and it was time to clear it all out and move my cans and some of my prepping supplies in there too.

I have over 150 cans that should be in there, properly sorted so I can use them in order! It took 3 hours to clear it out, recycle, rehome, dispose of and go through all my cans and put them in tubs. I made some stickers too. I will work my way through the expired tub over the coming weeks before moving on to the 2022 tub. The majority of the canned goods are red kidney beans, tomatoes, chickpeas, and baked beans which I use pretty regularly.

I do have other supplies outside the cupboard too in an empty unplugged fridge, under the bed and in tubs in the kitchen but having most of my cans sorted into tubs makes things a lot easier now. I’d love a walk in larder again one day but for now the under stairs cupboard will do!

I love seeing peoples amazing pantries, something I aspire to one day but for now tubs in an under stairs cupboard will suffice and feel grateful that I am able to stash away food and household supplies to get me through hard or difficult times should they arise.

Much love, C xxxx

LIVE chat and 1940s Giveaway

Hi all, I’ve done a short live stream rounding up week 4 of the “Living on WW2 Rations Experiment” and I also have some great WW2 replicas to giveaway including a replica of the “Daily Express” newspaper that was printed the day after the Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain announced “we are at war”.

To go into the draw, either comment below or leave a comment over the PINNED POST on our Facebook group. A winner will be chosen at random on Friday 15th July (cut off is noon on the 15th).

Have a wonderful afternoon!

C xxxxx

Living on WW2 Rations, Week 3 video

That’s it! Week 3 of living on WW2 rations is complete and you can hear my thoughts, the state of my food cupboard and the meals I ate by playing the video above! I’d love it if you subscribed to my channel too as I will be continuing to add more video recipes over the coming weeks and months!

I’ve also placed all the videos created as part of the “Living on WW2 Rations Experiment” on a playlist HERE so you can play them in the right order from the very beginning.

I haven’t yet decided what my menu will be next week but I can share with you what I’ll be spending. I’m saving roughly £30 per week at the moment by following a WW2 UK Ration (minimum ration). It’s been tough at times, mostly because of the time it’s taking to prepare food but it’s getting easier.

I’ll be weighing in next week too, I’m curious to see if my weight has changed! I’m eating 3 good meals a day but not eating inbetween meals anymore!

C xxxx

Ginger Chocolate Creams – Recipe No. 206

No doubt about it, today I NEEDED something sweet and delicious after a week of carrots and potatoes. With the little rations and points food I had left, there was just enough fat to make a half portion of the recipe below. Luckily it was enough to satisfy my lust for something less healthy for a change!

This recipe was simple. I used the “Ginger Biscuits” and the “Chocolate Butter” recipes from “Good Eating – Suggestions for Wartime Dishes” and just placed them together. It was that simple! Despite over cooking the biscuits (lets face it I would have still eaten them even if the edges had caught fire) and them being a bit of a challenge to munch on, I thoroughly enjoyed them. It is so weird how in less than 3 weeks I am turning my nose up at far less and appreciating even burnt offerings…

C xxxxx

Ginger Biscuits

  • 6 oz flour
  • 3 oz margarine
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup (if no syrup then sugar will do)
  • 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • a little milk if needed

Warm margarine and syrup over low heat. add dry ingredients and mix well. Dough should be stiff. Knead until flour is fully absorbed. Roll thin and cut into rounds. Bake for 10 minutes at 180c.

Makes about 20 biscuits.

Chocolate Butter

  • 1 teaspoon of margarine
  • 2 teaspoons of caster sugar (grind granulated to a finer consistency)
  • 1 dessertspoon of cocoa
  • A few drops of milk, vanilla or camp coffee if needed

Cream margarine and sugar and add cocoa. Mix with a few drops of coffee or milk if needed to make it more pliable for spreading.

(makes enough to sandwich 4 biscuits)

Lentil Roast – Recipe No. 205

Today I had a go at the “Lentil Roast” from the Good Fare Wartime Cookbook”. Mostly because I had lentils and split peas to use as I start my 3rd week of living for a month on WW2 food rations. Although the recipe calls for lentils only, I used 2 oz of lentils and 2 oz of split peas (as I didn’t have enough lentils). I chucked lots of seasoning in and simmered the lentils and split peas in a vegetable stock until they were tender.

I used half the ingredients in the recipe and it made enough for 2-3 people. I have some slices left for a protein filled sandwich tomorrow! I would have loved to have thrown a bunch more spices in but tried staying true to the original recipe.

Here is the recipe for you. Add plenty of seasoning and if you don’t want to be 100% authentic think about adding some extra herbs and spices in!

Here are some extra photos below showing a few stages. It was easy enough to make.