Potato Peel Pie – Recipe No. 194

Traditional Guernsey Potato Peel Pie

Last month I watched a wonderful film called “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” and absolutely loved it. I loved it even more when 20 minutes into the movie a strange wartime dish called ‘Potato Peel Pie’ made an appearance, a insipid looking creation facilitating the gag reflex of all uninitiated humans who tasted it. That was enough for me to want to re-create it. Surely it couldn’t have been THAT bad?

Traditional Guernsey Potato Peel Pie was made of 3 ingredients, potatoes, beetroot and milk. With little flour or butter available to the islanders during German occupation, the potato peelings were used to create an open pie crust of sorts instead, into which mashed potato and chopped beetroot was added and then baked in the oven. I absolutely love potatoes but even I could see that without a few extras here and there and even with copious amounts of salt and pepper, this dish was going to be bland without some artistic licence!

I simply added some chopped spring onion (although leeks would have been good to use too) and some margarine to facilitate a pleasing taste. The ‘Potato Peel Pie’ was very tasty, I didn’t skimp on the salt and pepper because without these it would have indeed been very bland.

Here is the recipe for the authentic WW2 “Guernsey Potato Peel Pie” with my additions noted.

WW2 Guernsey Potato Peel Pie


  • 2 large potatoes
  • Dash of milk
  • Beetroot
  • Salt & pepper
  • (I also added spring onion and margarine)


  1. Wash your two large potatoes and peel the potatoes
  2. Par-boil the potato skins for 3-5 minutes
  3. Drain and set aside
  4. Grease a two person size pie dish
  5. Place the potato peels on the bottom and around the sides
  6. Dot in some margarine
  7. Press the peels down a little to the bottom and sides and sprinkle with salt
  8. Dice up some slices of beetroot (I used some pickled beetroot) and dot around the base
  9. Place pie dish in a pre-heated oven at 220C until the potato peels are properly cooked and the edges are browning
  10. Cut your remaining peeled potatoes into chunks and boil until cooked.
  11. Drain and set aside.
  12. Cut up onions or leeks and fry until cooked in a pan
  13. Add in the cooked potato chunks and mash adding in milk where needed and lots of salt and pepper
  14. Place the mash into the potato peel pie crust
  15. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and continue baking in the oven until the top is lightly crisped.
  16. Remove and let sit for 5 minutes before serving

Serves 2.

PS: Check out my Art Channel here: https://www.youtube.com/CarolynHylandAnimalNatureArt


Duke Pudding – No 75

How can stale bread and grated old carrots possibly be decadent?

Trust me they are when you make them into a wartime “Duke Pudding”…

Seeing the rapidly drying bread on my counter top and the carrots beginning to get spotty in the fridge, it was time once again to turn nothing into something in true 1940s home-front style and create a truly delicious alternative comfort food, much needed today of all days. It’s that certain time of the month, you see, when every female on the planet synchronizes,   every chocolate shelf in every store is empty, and only a long night of undisturbed Brad Pitt movies will suffice (I got that from a friend) and every man, child and beast should consider moving out for 48 hours…

Duke Pudding is the 1940s equivalent of chocolate… it is, really it is. Today I was very nice to everyone…


Duke Pudding

  1. Soak 2 breakfast cups of stale bread (about 5-6 slices) in a little cold water then squeeze the water out until it is as dry as possible.
  2. Beat out lumps with a fork
  3. Add two tablespoons of fat or margarine (I used 2 dessertspoons or 4 teaspoons), 2 tablespoons of sugar (3 tablespoons in North America), 3 tablespoons of dried fruit (4 tablespoons in the US), small teacup full of grated carrot (1 large carrot), 1 teaspoon of mixed spice or cinnamon.
  4. Stir 1 flat teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda into a few teaspoons of milk and mix and then blend well into the mixture
  5. Spread evenly into a well greased tart tin or pie dish and cook in a moderate oven for 30-40 minutes.

Serves 4

Jogging day 4- 1/2 mile

Just a quick update…

I couldn’t help it… the sun was shining, and the dog needed a run so I decided to go take another jog down my lane. I ran down to the bottom 1/4 mile and walked back up and pushed myself to do it all over again.

I haven’t sweated so much in years and years…

But you know what, I felt quite comfortable (well I was jogging very slowly and jogging down the lane is easier as it’s slightly downhill)… it was hard work yes but didn’t feel like it was going to kill me.

Weigh in Tuesday. I think I’ve lost. I’ve eaten plenty but kept my daily intake to around 1800 cals but have started exercising everyday again..

Wartime root vegetable soup

I HAD to try this recipe submitted by Marina Unger.. it is an authentic wartime root vegetable soup recipe and let me tell you, I had this for breakfast this morning and she is right…. it’s YUMMY!

Marina Unger-
Yummy and super easy, very filling soup recipe for you. Cooked it today to take the chill out of our rainy weather!
1 swede (turnip in North America), 2-3 carrots, 2-3 parsnips, half an onion, two potatoes, 1 litre stock, sprinkling of fresh parsley. Dice all veggies (peel the swede) and add to stock. Bring to a boil and cook until veggies are tender. Puree if desired (I did) and sprinkle with parsley before serving 🙂


Weigh in – January 31

Heaviest weight 345 lbs
Starting weight 299 lbs (Oct 01, 2011)
Current weight 257 lbs (Jan 31, 2012)
Weight loss 42 lbs in 4 months

Woo hoo! I’m still losing. This morning on my home scales I was 257 lbs (2 lb off this week)

I’ve looked back and there was only one blip (5lb on) and that was Christmas and instead of that leading to a reversal of all the good work I’d done to date (as it’s always done before), I got right back to it…

I’m almost daring to hope that finally, after 15 years of morbid obesity, I have found my way….

Marmite Mushrooms (a modern recipe)

I love Marmite, I love mushrooms..

But it’s been well over a year since I’ve bought myself mushrooms. They are about $3 for a small container and nobody else likes mushrooms in the Hobbit house so I’ve drooled over them and walked away, knowing that my $3 needs to be spent on something for everyone. That’s the reality of living on one income..

Today I thought SOD IT! The mushrooms in my local store beckoned me and I grasped them before I could change my mind..

Driving home I began to pathetically salivate like some rabid zombie with buggered up taste buds… the imaginary smells of browning mushrooms totally driving me to distraction (I find this to be the case with food and thoughts of nookie)

Throwing aside my cat and several shoes to get to the frying pan it was time to lovingly clean the mushrooms with a bit of kitchen roll and drop a generous blob of my favourite organic butter into the pan.. followed by the sliced mushrooms, some chopped broccoli and a teaspoon of Marmite…

Here is the recipe (inspired by a recent recipe on Marmite’s Facebook Page) that is guaranteed to make you emit sounds several times like…mmmmmm and ahhhhh and ohhhhh 😦 (when it’s all gone).

Marmite Mushrooms

  • Small punnet of mushrooms
  • Marmite
  • A few florets of broccoli
  • A blob of butter
  • Toast


Wipe clean the mushrooms and slice
Heat up frying pan and add a generous blob of butter
Chop up some florets of broccoli
Throw ingredients in the pan
When the mushrooms start to brown add in the rounded teaspoon of Marmite
Continue frying until mushrooms are browned sufficiently
Serve on top of toast
Top with a little grated cheddar cheese and pepper for extra taste!

Faux bangs with an old sock

So waiting here for Tropical Storm Irene to share its winds and rain with us here in Nova Scotia, I decided it was about time to TRY a 1940s’s hairstyle, just for the fun of it, and take a photo… I haven’t really tried anything like this yet. For one thing I am self conscious of my fat face and I do lose my self confidence at times. There are always so many things I really want to do but talk my way out of them..

Taking the bull by the horns I went for it…. found a video on YouTube about “faux bangs” and substituted a rat (the foamy thingy you wrap your hair around)  for a slightly stinky sock and did my best…

It was rather fun in the end ….

Marmite- My blog recipe won a prize in a national contest!

This has been a good week…. not only do I now weigh 299 lb (OK I am sensing some quizzical looks but trust me this is a very positive thing getting below 300 lbs- yay!) BUT yesterday I had an e-mail from MARMITE CENTRAL…. Oh yes, I really did… when I saw the word “congratulations” I needed picking off the floor.

For those of you who have never heard of Marmite let me tell you something…. it is ABSOLUTELY the food of the gods for British people … it has achieved cult status.

It is basically a “yeast extract” vegetarian spread (a by product of brewing beer) that is crammed with nutrients and was used during WWII in the 1940’s for seasoning stews and gravies (it originally was marketed in earthenware pots in the 1920’s).  It tastes salty, tangy, a little meaty and most people either love it or hate it. You may taste it and think it tastes like poo (it kind of looks like it too) , you may taste it and immediately become obsessed with slathering it on toast, chucking it in every single recipe you create and even use it as a lip gloss (yes they do actually make marmite flavoured vaseline)

The reason I needed picking off the floor on seeing the word congratulations, was that one of my 1940s recipes was a runner up in a “National Marmite Facebook Contest”….

Here was the first sentence that greeted me…

“You have won a Marmite Oven Glove Double and six month’s supply of Marmite to be enjoyed with friends and family….”

And here is the recipe that won our family so much Marmite I will promise to do plenty more 1940s recipes with it!

“Marmite- You either love it or hate it”

.. I LOVE it!!



Mock cream recipe 2

There is no way to get away from the slightly gritty texture of mock cream recipes if you use granulated sugar it BUT as confectioners (icing) sugar was not really being produced alternatives had to be thought of for those special treats and occasions that warranted a little decadence from limited rations…

Today I treated my Hobbits to split scones topped with mock cream and sliced strawberries….Em Hobbit even licked the bowl !

Here is the recipe I used- it tasted pretty good!

Mock cream recipe 2.

  • 125 grams margarine or butter
  • 4 tablespoons of castor or fine granulated sugar (6 tablespoons in Canada or USA)
  • a little water if using butter
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract


Mix margarine and sugar together well and whip for 5 minutes until white and fluffy.
Add a teaspoon of vanilla essence and a little water if needed (if using butter)
Dollop on scones or spread inside a cake.

1940’s Fitness

I posted this to my regular blog I keep on my employers web site first but thought it was important as part of the 1940’s Experiment to share this on here…. people were on a day to day basis more active during the 1940’s and I think exercise will be key to losing weight and improving my general health….. PS Just got back from another brisk walk during my lunch break- am on a roll….. woo hoo!

Frugal Fitness

In my ongoing quest (have been procrastinating about this for 10 years) to lose weight and get fitter, one of the stumbling blocks (OK excuses) for me, for my lack of exercise, has been the cost of gym membership, swimming pool membership etc etc ad nauseum.. Finally, and I do mean finally, I seem to have got my well padded arse into gear and for the past 10 days I have taken a leaf out of “Forrest Gump’s” achievement bible and simply “started walking”..

Walking is free, walking is frugal, walking is a safe exercise to do if you are as large as I am. But the walking I really like to do is hiking….being outdoors, feeling the cold wind on my face, walking and laughing with my kids, being silly, while all the time moving forward, burning the fat.

I’ve taken advantage of the various trails around Bridgewater. I use the Centennial trail for a short walk during my coffee break at work (it’s literally just outside the door), the kids and I walked the woodland trail around the duck pond last weekend and on saturday we drove to Miller Point Peace Park….. There is so much to see and appreciate while hiking, it is never boring!

In addition to gauge my fitness level improvement, I have been going to HB Studios Sports Centre in Dayspring once a week. The rubber elevated track is wonderful to walk on and the air is climate controlled so walking conditions are perfect. It’s just $2 a session (you can walk for as long as you like). Walking once around the track is 200 metres, 5 times is 1 km and 7 times is 1 mile. 10 days ago, I walked as far as I could and was horrified that all I could manage was 2 laps…. part of the reason is that when I walk a quite severe crushing pain kicks in around my lower spine. This is simply weight related as it always massively improves the more weight I lose….(another incentive to keep on going!). On Sunday Em Hobbit and I popped over to the sports centre to walk the track again. I ended up walking 6 laps in total (4 on one go followed by a short rest and then another 2). This was a huge improvement in just one week and it has supplied me with a much needed dose of motivation.

Above all, what I have liked about the hiking we have done is it gets us out together as a family and we have FUN…and exercise is good for producing endorphins and yes I really do feel quite wonderful for a few hours afterwards!

FUN is free and I like that…

Coming next: A fabulous school initiative that all schools should participate in to not only teach our kids how food grows but to inspire a healthier diet http://www.classroomvictorygarden.org. At the Hobbit House we will be planting our very own!