UK Lockdown Day 9: What day is it though?

Taken in Avebury just before lockdown

I don’t know about you but I am seriously forgetting what date, what day and what time it is on occasion. It’s not a bad thing really, it’s just a little strange that’s all. If anything perhaps these things are less important right now, I’m sure most of us find ourselves preoccupied with other all-consuming thoughts.

During this time of isolation/quarantine/lockdown in the United Kingdom, whatever you want to call it, I’m finding that it’s important to keep busy, do stuff and plan forward. Despite not yet having a job yet (got shortlisted for 2 then the plug was pulled on the job positions due to the uncertainty of COVID-19), I’m still finding my days not long enough to get everything done! But that’s a good thing as these recent productive days fill me with excitement, joy and accomplishment with the simple focus on living a full and happy, purposeful life.

Happiness is to be found in the simplest of things such as planning a small abundant food garden, sowing seeds, baking, reading, writing, food preserving, photography, hearing my parents/families voices on the phone and having time to sit, watch and listen in the garden observing the busy insect and animal kingdom. Oblivious to the current global pandemic, the birds, insects and animals continue to interact intimately with their neighbours with no concept of social distancing. We are now the creatures scurrying back into our burrows, fearful, apprehensive and ever vigilant.

Today (and undoubtedly tomorrow and for the coming weeks and months) I feel very grateful. Our brave NHS workers, carers, shop workers, delivery drivers, warehouse operatives, factory workers, pharmacists, post office workers and more, continue to keep the country ticking over while coming in close contact with multiple members of the public every single day. It must be extra worrying for them but they just keep on doing it…

When this is all over, economically, most countries around the world will take years to recover. We may lose many small and large businesses, many will need to rebuild, people will struggle financially having lost jobs and it may take time for people to return to employment and to catch up with bills. It’s not going to be easy.

But there is one thing we as a human species are, and that is resilient.

There is hope…

Stay calm, stay safe, stay home

C xxxx

 PandemicPantry

This FREE Online Global Community Cookbook Coming Soon!

Blackcurrant Jam – Recipe No. 184

This is such a simple wartime recipe for a small quantity of delicious, velvety, deep-purple, mouthwatering blackcurrant jam. You HAVE to try it and so crazy-easy to attempt for your first go at making jam!

Fresh blackcurrants are preferable but to make it even easier I made this small-batch from frozen fruit perfectly! (In fact DON’T WAIT for fresh berries to come into the shops. It might be wise to buy some bags of frozen berries. Our British fruit pickers (over 90%) come from Eastern Europe each year performing vital services to our fruit harvesting industry. With our current ‘Coronavirus Pandemic’ situation, our normal guaranteed and reliable agricultural workers from overseas may be restricted from their normal annual travel to the UK which could be devastating for UK farmers if they cannot recruit enough British workers.)

Next time I go shopping (trying to restrict it to a maximum of once or twice a week for fresh produce), I’ll certainly be buying myself a bag or two of more frozen berries while they are available.

I enjoyed two slices of bread I made yesterday slathered in this ‘juicy assed jam’ with a nice cuppa tea and I recommend you do exactly the same.

It will make you smile.

Take care, stay safe, stay home

C xxxx

Blackcurrant Jam (makes 3 x 1 lb pots)

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of frozen berries
  • 3 cups of sugar
  • 1/2 lemon squeezed (not vital)
  • 1 teaspoon of pectin (not vital but I always add to all jams I make)
  • Clean jam jars (rinse, heat in oven at 140C for 15 minutes)
  • Clean lids (rinse, place in a small bowl, cover with hot pre-boiled water until ready to seal jars)

Method

  1. Put the 4 cups of frozen berries in a large thick-bottomed saucepan and put onto a medium heat.
  2. Stir until berries are defrosted and simmering gently (about 5 mins). Remove from heat.
  3. Mash with a potato masher a little so some of the berries burst to the consistency you like.
  4. Mix the sugar and pectin and add to the berry mix and stir until all mixed together.
  5. Add in the 1/2 squeezed lemon.
  6. Return to medium heat and keep stirring slowly adjusting the heat so as not to burn.
  7. You need to bring the mixture to a rolling boil, stirring all the time and maintain this for about 10 minutes until the setting point has been reached (105 C or 220 F). If you don’t have a thermometer drop 1/2 teaspoon onto a cold plate and if after a minute it thickens and becomes fairly firm instead of liquid then it has reached the setting point.
  8. Once the correct temperature has been reached, keep stirring and give the mixture another minute.
  9. Remove from heat and stir again.
  10. Remove hot jars from oven (see above)
  11. Using a ladle and funnel, add the hot jam mixture to the hot jars and twist on the clean hot lids.
  12. Set aside, the jar will be hot and will take at least a few hours to cool.
  13. Jam is ready to use once it has totally cooled down and unopened will keep for a year or two.


People have asked me where I have been getting my cute jars and labels. The links are below:

JARS: 24 jam/chutney jars with gingham printed lids

>>CLICK HERE<<

LABELS: Re-usable and removable labels for jars and containers with chalk pen.

>>CLICK HERE<<

CANNING FUNNELS: 2 sizes, stainless steel for all jam/chutney/relish making.

>>CLICK HERE<<






7 Ration Book Recipes to Beat the Coronavirus Pandemic Panic Buying!

As easy, quick, convenience foods are rapidly flying off our supermarket shelves at an extraordinary speed in recent days during the ‘Coronavirus Global Pandemic’, NOW is a good time to perhaps turn to simple foods from yesteryear to create nourishing meals for ourselves and loved ones with ingredients that still appear to be more readily available.

I’ve selected several of my re-created authentic wartime recipes below that fill tummies, are surprisingly delicious, and simple to make. Many of them use porridge oats, dried lentils, root vegetables, butter/margarine, basic fruit and flour. Add herbs, salt and spices to your own personal taste!

And if we at some stage, can’t get bananas, for a bit of fun I’ve included a video recipe to make yourself some ‘mock banana’ sandwiches out of parsnips.

Keep calm, keep your spirits up and let’s keep carrying on!

Much love,

C xxxx

PS: Check out my links to some prepping and self-sufficiency websites and YouTube channels at the bottom of the page!

Apple and Rhubarb Crumble
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… Click here!

Marrow and Lentil Stew
Just to clarify a question that has been popping up on Facebook and Instagram… a marrow in the UK is pretty much an overgrown courgette (zucchini) and not bone marrow (but I can understand the confusion there for sure!). You can use courgettes for this recipe too!

So far out of 1 marrow I have created 3 large portions of ‘Marrow Masala’ (not a 1940’s recipe), a ‘Courgette Cake’ (not a 1940’s recipe), 3 large jars of ‘Marrow Chutney’ and today a ‘Marrow and Lentil Stew’. The stew today was delicious!

Here is the stovetop recipe. Click here!

Potato Salad with Dutch Sauce
Curious as to what (during rationing in WW2) people slathered their spuds in, I delved into ‘Feeding the Nation’ by Marguerite Patten OBE. Heinz Salad Cream became a wartime favourite like any convenience food was often in limited supply so many of the ration book recipes called for making homemade dressings which tried to replicate salad cream or mayonnaise. Click here for the recipe..

Oaty Biscuits
I’m in love with this wartime cookie recipe. These oaty, sweet, buttery, wartime biscuits really make you appreciate a 15-minute break with a hot cuppa tea in some old vintage china.

This recipe is super simple and quick. Click here!

Hunt Pie
So I have yet to find out why this pie is called ‘Hunt Pie’. The closest I have come is finding a business called ‘John Hunts’ which established itself in 1860 manufacturing pie-making equipment. Could this possibly be linked? Click here!

The Original Lord Woolton Pie
I’ve made a couple of versions of ‘Woolton Pie’ which you will find in my list of re-created recipes here BUT after much research I think now I’ve found the original recipe.

I love Lord Woolton Pie. Thing is I go bonkers for pastry and a generous serving of this comforting vegetable pie with a thick brown Bisto gravy made with the vegetable water, was exactly what I needed today. Click here!

Homity ‘Land Girl’ Pie
Here it is… the promised Homity Pie recipe! Let me tell you, it’s totally delicious, TOTALLY!

Homity Pie is an open-topped pie said to have first been made by Land-Girls during WW2 and supposed to have originated in the West Country.

It’s REALLY difficult finding the original recipe as there are so many bastardised versions hanging around on the internet, so after having researched for hours (yes I am a food nerd) and comparing recipes with rationing, the below recipe is likely the closest version to it’s origins taking into account the scarcity of eggs and onions. Click here!

Mock Banana
Here it is… why not try it for fun. You have to laugh, hopefully we will still have our bananas and there will be no need to resort to parsnips!

Click here for recipe and video!

SOME GREAT YOUTUBE CHANNELS & BLOGS BELOW!

Prepper Princess – Love this gal! She lives in the USA, an independent strong woman with lots of self-sufficiency skills working towards financial independence. Click here!

Homestead Tessie – She loves being as frugal and self-sufficient as possible with what she’s got and she loves creating daily videos! Click here!

Compost and Custard – I’ve known Naomi online for over 20 years. She has a passion for self-sufficiency and home schooling, nature, permaculture and wildlife. Click here!

Riverford Organic Farmers – loads of online recipes as well as supplying organic fresh veg via box. Click here!

Alaska Granny – The AlaskaGranny channel teaches how to become more resilient and resourceful. I like to use what I have to make what I need, and enjoy sharing tips and tricks to help others do the same. Click here!

Free resources and articles in the time of the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Thank you to the following writers who have recently linked to my 182 recreated wartime recipes page. I really appreciate you making people aware that there are simple and frugal foods out there that store well and can keep everyone fed and healthy during these uncertain times. I’ll shortly be putting together a blog post to hopefully help people make the most of what they have stored in their food cupboards and how the unwanted simple store cupboard foods of yesteryear are once again coming into their own as a necessary staple.

If you come across any useful resources or indeed if you have a useful article that you have written you would like me to share (non-political), then please let me know and I will list it.

Now is not only a time for practicality but also tolerance, kindness and sharing.

Thank you.

C xxxx

Free Resources for Home-Based Living, in the Time of CoronaVirus: Thank you to Milkwood for their article on free resources for home-based living. This article contains a wealth of information on healthy DIY food and medicine making, gardening and growing, wild food and foraging, at home education, mutual aid and community care. Click here!

11 ways to survive a pandemic in the 21st century: Thank you to Domesblissity for linking to my ‘Mock Apricot Flan’ recipe. This was a recipe I also recreated for Waitrose for an article in their magazine (I’ll dig the clipping out one day!). I think you’ll enjoy this article as it’s along the wartime ethos of mending and making do. Note there are suggestions for things that can be used instead of toilet roll! Click here!

28 Surprisingly Tasty Great Depression Recipes you Should Try: Thank you to Morning Chores for including one of my recreated wartime recipes in their list. Please take a moment to look at this list of recipes for some frugal food ideas. Click here!

10 Thrifty Wartime Dishes: Thank you to the Readers Digest for linking to my recreated Lord Woolton Pie! Click here!

In this scary time in modern life, how can we survive food-wise?: Thank you to Ratnamurti and her blog in New Zealand. I’ve linked to her latest post which talks about recession, emergency food measures for the impoverished and her family. Click here!

Food for the self-isolating: Togs Guide to the Pandemic Pantry: In these strange times, food seems more important than ever. Panic buying has reminded us how we need food to live. Also how dependent we are on our shops. It might seem obvious, but it doesn’t normally cross our minds. Click here!

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SOME GREAT YOUTUBE CHANNELS & BLOGS BELOW TOO! (adding to list daily)

Prepper Princess – Love this gal! She lives in the USA, an independent strong woman with lots of self-sufficiency skills working towards financial independence. Click here!

Homestead Tessie – She loves being as frugal and self-sufficient as possible with what she’s got and she loves creating daily videos! Click here!

Compost and Custard – I’ve known Naomi online for over 20 years. She has a passion for self-sufficiency and home schooling, nature, permaculture and wildlife. Click here!

Riverford Organic Farmers – loads of online recipes as well as supplying organic fresh veg via box. Click here!