I was looking for clean trousers in a rush, about to go and drive my son back to the city, when I came across a pair of jeans I bought a long time ago to “one day fit into”… The last time I had tried them on was back in January and I took photos. As hard as I tried I could not get them done up but decided this summer I’d try them on again to see if they would fit…
Last time I wore jeans was 20 years ago- Jess and I
Looking back in my trunk full of photos I could see the last time I wore jeans was when my eldest daughter Jess was just a little girl. Jess is now 23…
Seeing the jeans, earlier to day, I grabbed them, wanting to see out of curiosity how tight they would be now.
I pulled them up over my thighs and hips and pulled the waistband together and did the button up, simple as that. There was NO resistance. MY JEANS FIT! And with that I hopped in the car, drove Josh to the city and felt like a queen (albeit it a rather saggy tummied chubby one) walking around Sobey’s at Tantallon, picking up more healthy food for my cupboards.
And so I took some photos with my webcam and put them together with the ones I took back in January.
I may have a long way to go, BUT this afternoon I have simply shed a few tears, as for the first time in 20 years, I have worn jeans. I don’t know why that would have made me cry but it has.
Sitting here in my dishevelled kitchen I’m briefly thinking that maybe I should be scrubbing my cupboards like a good little 1940s housewife (I’ve noticed some suspicious solidified ikky drips) . Alas my brain is not wired in that way… I can always find other things to do, usually involving food or Facebook.
Today, while I write this, I am making several 1940s recipes including lentil sausages, cheese potatoes, farls, cheese and lentil pie and preparing a bag or organic kidney beans so I can cook those up tomorrow. In the 1940s with meat being in short supply, it was vital to get protein from beans and lentils as well as dark leafy green vegetables.. Beans and lentils are protein rich and there is as much protein in 4 oz of dried kidney beans as there is in a 4 oz steak!! (I just checked the nutritional information on my organic pack of kidney beans!)
I also scrubbed out my fridge yesterday (well maybe I am a closet housewife on occasions) and filled one of my shelves with fresh organic produce such as kale, spinach, celery, apples and some non-organic veg too (I should start growing a victory garden to offset the organic vegetable bill) … people ask me about the expense of eating so much fresh veg (a fair percentage of it organic). I have to say that I may spend a little more but there are many other areas I am saving in by eating based on a 1940s ration. It evens out and the way I look at it is so far, touch wood, I take no medications of any kind, and that saves money too!
But apart from today I’ve had a great couple of weeks! I completed the “Relay for Life” walk for cancer on June 1st with my work colleagues and we walked from 7:30 pm until 3:30 am on and off. It was a great event, the first time I had been able to participate (thanks to losing weight I can now walk pain free and not get out of breath!), my son Josh came home again for a visit and …… (drum roll)
…..”a literary agent in New York, is going to sign ma blog!! Woo Hoo@!!!..”
That means I have to get my arse into gear, get the rest of that 100 lb lost by October 1st and the rest of the 100 recipes (35 lbs and 35 more recipes). Oh and of course over the summer we’ll be working on putting together a proposal to send to publishers (inc St Martin’s Press who e-mailed me initially) and then just keep our fingers crossed…
If I’m honest I’m overwhelmed with the thought of pulling this all together BUT this means so much to me, I am passionate about what I started and will finish. Am under no illusions that I’m a good writer but I know the premise of the 1940s Experiment is a good one and looking at it clinically, a marketable project. If my book gets published then I will have achieved what I wanted to do and that is to share the information and lifestyle changes I truly believe in….
Finally, Pixar has restored my faith in humanity (sorry this is not 1940s related but in a way it is)… remember those women during the war who went to work during WW2…yes those ones that picked up tools, built aircraft, worked in factories, worked on farms, worked agricultural machinery, rolled their sleeves up and did, what was perceived as a “mans job”…
They did those jobs and they did them well too…
Well PIXAR have finally brought to the front a princess character that doesn’t wear pink, or comb her hair all day under the sea, or pander to every whim of a handsome young man. She fights against societies expectations of her role, she breaks out of her confines by symbolically ripping the seams of her dress as she picks up the weapon of her choice, a long-bow, and proves her worth. She fights against what she perceives to be unfair expectations of her role as a traditional woman and a traditional princess…..
Yes, this is just a movie, but I am pleased to see a strong princess (Merida) not afraid to be herself, who realizes this importance…
I have a Merida… she is strong willed, she has strong beliefs, she is focused and determined on the things that are important to her and I do believe she can do anything she wants to do in life… she is BRAVE
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