It is a good job there currently is no man in my life …If there was, he who shares my couch and my bed would certainly be in for a night full of surprises tonight and not in a good way ( I need say no more than beans and veggie stew- a delightful combination with spectacular wind power qualities…)
Despite not having a big appetite again today and worrying about my car repair bill, I made sure to eat plenty of wholesome food for the first part of the day. Firstly a large bowl of the obligatory porridge oats (oatmeal), a huge veggie stew of which I gobbled down three bowlfuls with two slices of bread and finally a small dinner of 1/2 my bacon ration and 1/2 can baked beans followed by a delightful ‘Danish Apple Pudding’ (I’ll post that recipe tomorrow)
So here is today’s 1940s authentic wartime diet sheet
Porridge oats (oatmeal) made with just water and sprinkled with a little sugar 25 cents/ 12 pence
3 bowls of vegetable stew (included veggies like cabbage, onions, cauliflower, potatoes, carrots and tomatoes)
2 thick slices of wholemeal (wholewheat) bread spread with margarine $1.25/ 65 pence
1/2 can of baked beans
2 oz bacon $1.00/ 50 pence
Large portion of Danish Apple Pudding ( 4 portions made with 4 old bruised apples, wholemeal bread, a little sugar, syrup and almond essence) 1 portion = 75 cents/ 35 pence
4 very large cups of tea and lots of water.
TOTAL COST = $3.25 / 1 UK Pound & 60 pence
Today was hellish…. and not because I ate yet more porridge oats (oatmeal).
Car blew up on my way home from work, 3 hours later I made it home from work, minus my car and $150 out of pocket and now DREADING what tomorrow may bring while I work from home (thanks boss!) waiting to find out what’s wrong..
My plans for some fabby 1940’s, lovingly prepared nostalgia dishes fell by the wayside for the following quick fixes..
PS: I have included the cost of my days food in dollars and English pounds because I know there are others out there like me that like pinching pennies either out of necessity to just get by or because you just do…
Large bowl of organic porridge oats (oatmeal) made with water and sweetened with a little sugar. 25 cents/ 12 pence
Mad rush this morning and ran out of time to make lunch. When this happens I pop into Tim Hortons and order a large wholewheat country bun, toasted with butter on it. The staff tease me mercilessly… “Not having your BIG BUN today then??” if I for instance just have a cup of tea. Sandwiches at Tim’s cost around $6/3 UK pounds…. 1 large country bun toasted with butter costs just $1.35 cents/ 65 pence
In addition I had a large apple from home 60 cents/ 30 pence
And because I didn’t get in until 8:30 pm I just couldn’t face an hours food preparation …. an ‘OSLO MEAL‘ came to the rescue. This was a big plate of green salad (had seconds too), 1/2 oz cheese, and two bread slices with plenty of margarine spread on them. In addition I had a large glass of milk… $1.25 / 60 pence
It was a good job I had no appetite as today’s menu has NOT been very satisfying nor do I feel it was adequate.
Tomorrow it will be meat and potatoes for sure!
Total cost of food today: $3.35/ 1 UK pound & 67 pence
As I struggle to keep within my rations (the will is weak at the moment) and due to the wonderful encouragement I am receiving from people on a daily basis, I’d really like to share with you a daily record of EVERY morsel of food that passes these nostalgic lips from now until next Monday.
I’ll take a quick photo of my dinner plate each evening so you can see that it is not piled high with ‘Nachos and Cheese’ instead of 1940’s cuisine…. 🙂
Will post every evening. (starting Tuesday evening)
One day **MY KNICKERS** will be significantly smaller- I know it!
Earlier today I talked about convenience food and how the busy 1940s housewife would really have appreciated some convenience in her life…
Convenience food was of course available prior to and during the war although some of it, like canned fish, was only available on a points system. In the UK you were allocated, in addition to your standard ration, 16 points a month which could be used to purchase goods like canned meat and fish and other cooking ingredients like dried fruit for cakes and split peas for casseroles and stews. 16 points didn’t get you much though. One can of fish used up all your 16 points…
Although some convenience food was available during the war years, availability was often very scarce due to the sinking of supply ships. However there were quick snack meals and lunches one could make occasionally when there wasn’t much time to make a substantial meal.
I read through one of my WWII cook books, Feeding the Nation by Marguerite Patten, for inspiration, and came across a snack meal often served to the ARP (Air Raid Precaution Service) volunteers during their busy nights on duty as night time fire watchers..
There is no reason to doubt that a snack like this would have been used at home for convenience too.
- Make a sandwich with two pieces of wholemeal (wholewheat) bread with margarine and a sprinkling of strong grated cheese
- Add chutney if desired
- Mix one egg with 2 tablespoons of milk (this is enough to coat 3 sandwiches made from 6 slices of bread)
- Pour onto plate and place sandwich on plate and turn once and remove
- Place into frying pan that has hot cooking fat in
- Cook for a few minutes over a medium-high heat until golden brown and cheese inside has melted
- Serve with some salad and a cuppa tea
PS: I am a Brit currently living in Nova Scotia, Canada. My 1940s experiment is mostly based on the rationing system used during WWII in the UK however during my research many things were similar in the UK to the US and Canada. I intend to incorporate some North American recipes as time moves on as well as provide more details on the differences in rationing back in blighty compared to here.
PPS: If you are interested in frugality, making ends meet, living on less and saving some pennies in your everyday life please pop on by to my other blog. Latest post is on what we spent, as a family of 4, for our frugal Christmas CLICK HERE
By the time I got in from work last night and picked up groceries it was 7 pm. It made me think how challenging it must have been for many women on the home-front during WWII who literally became single parents overnight while their husbands went to war. Many went out to work to keep essential industry rolling, as because of the war, much of the work force had departed. Many still had children at home that needed attending and feeding too in addition.
Among the many things that living on a 1940’s ration diet has taught me is that the 1940’s working housewife really could have done with convenience food… Preparing most main meals, everyday from scratch is incredibly time consuming.
As I arrived home last night immediately my youngest hobbit requested something “QUICK” for dinner. “Mum- can I just have some noodles, they’ll only take a few minutes”… But I remained firm for once and she sat there watching me cook a ‘Wartime Cheese Pudding and Carrot & Potato Mash’… “How long will that take” she demanded…
She watched with interest as I made the cheese pudding and as the smells seeped from the stove she decided she would have-a-bit-of-everything even though she initially wasn’t keen.
Proudly (I am always proud of any new dish I try as long as it doesn’t end up looking like poo!) I served up our frugal 1940s dinner and as she started to gobble down her meal she splurted, “Mum- this is really good, you should make this again sometime!”..
This was one little victory, one little step towards my child realizing that the preparation of food with basic ingredients maybe time consuming and challenging but it is indeed possible to make something tasty and nourishing out of practically nothing….
Wartime Cheese Pudding
- 1/2 pint of milk (300 ml)
- 1 oz margarine (25 g)
- 3 slices of soft wholemeal bread
- 1 fresh egg (or reconstituted dry egg )
- 3 oz strong cheese grated (75 g)
- salt and pepper (herbs optional)
- Pour milk into saucepan and add margarine until the margarine melts over medium heat. Switch off
- Add breadcrumbs, stir and allow to stand for 15 minutes
- Whisk your egg and add to mixture. Add the cheese and seasoning and stir well
- Pre-heat oven to 190 C (375 F)
- Place mixture into a greased pan or 1 pint pie dish with non- shallow sides about 6 to 7 inch diameter.
- Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown and risen (it doesn’t rise much)
- Serve immediately with veggies!
Feeds 2 as main meal or 4 if served with meat and veg
PS: Are you interested in living frugally? Maybe you have a limited income and need to make ends meet? Fed up of rampant consumerism? Check out my other blog and save some pennies with me! CLICK HERE C xx