Down to 279 lbs or 19 stone and 13 lbs

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I really hate my belly fat….read more below

So those that have read my blog from when it began back in 2009 will see that my weight has yo-yo’d back and forth. It follows a typical pattern. I lose some, begin to feel a bit healthier, feel a bit happier, get complacent, start nibbling and before I know it I’m back to where I started.

I did really well back in 2012 and managed to lose over 80 lbs living and breathing a wartime rationing plan (with only just a few blips) and I’d got down to just around 230 lbs ….just getting close enough to within a few months of making it below 200 lbs.

When I think how close I was and how my weight was nearly at 300 lbs again at Christmas I could kick myself (but I’ve beaten myself up about it enough so I’m just leaving it in the past where it belongs).

For the past month or so I’ve begun to knuckle down again. I’m not living and breathing a wartime rationing diet 100% at the moment BUT I am using rationing as a guide to keeping everything in check (although I am using far less sugar than rationing allows). Breakfast is nearly always porridge with ground flax seed and soy milk. Lunch is a large raw salad with romaine lettuce, beetroot, raw peas, tomatoes, cucumber, kidney beans and supper is either a large vegetable based stew or stir fry and sometimes I deviate away if my daughter has prepared a nice healthy meal for when I get in from work.

I enjoy weekends as I have time to cook more new authentic wartime recipes and even bake something a little naughty using all that rationed sugar I am accumulating!

I’m yapping on aren’t I….

WELL I weighed in this morning and I am now below 20 stone!!!! Today I was 279 lbs or if you like 19 stone 13 lbs which is 17 lbs off since January and 66 lbs off from my heaviest weight ever of 345 lbs several years ago. This is giving me a HUGE push forward psychologically as recently I have been a little stressed over various things.

Not only am I pleased with the weight loss but I have broken the habit of raiding the cupboards/fridge overnight for 7 days now and am determined to continue.

BUT I DON’T WANT TO BECOME COMPLACENT… so I took this photo above in the mirror just now to remind myself just why I want to get below 200 lbs.

My belly …..the fat seems to sit all around my stomach and abdomen area and I am so embarrassed about it. So why am I showing it off on my blog? Because I know my own mind and this works for me, this reminds me to keep going…this reminds me to never give up

C xxx

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Bread and Butter Pudding – Recipe No. 144

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In Marguerite Patten’s “Victory Cookbook” there is always one pudding recipe that is an absolute ‘go-to’ when one needs comforting and one has spare eggs.

All becomes good in the world when you take that first spoonful of sugary topped, eggy, bready, sultana sprinkled, nutmeggy deliciousness, especially if served with a little hot custard.

It’s so moreish that one simply finds it’s addictive charm and charisma extremely hard to fathom, due to it’s rather plain and dumpy exterior and the fact the main ingredient is stale bread. But as we all know, in real life, sometimes the less bling the more zing!

The cost to make this, about £1.50 (not including custard) which isn’t bad seeing it will feed 4-6!

Bread and Butter Pudding (from the Victory CookBook)

During VE Day country celebrations in 1945, the farmers wife may have decided to make a REAL Bread and Butter pudding using shell eggs which would have been a bit of an extravagance.

  • 4 large slices of bread
  • 2 oz butter
  • 3 oz sultanas
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 oz sugar
  • 1 pint milk

For the topping:
sprinkling of sugar
a little grated or ground nutmeg

(to veganize use a 1/4 cup of soft tofu, blended, per egg, use a nut or soy milk and dairy free margarine)

  1. Method
    Spread the top of the bread with the softened butter and then cut each slice of bread into 4 neat squares and place buttered side up into a 2 pint (1.2 litre) pie dish.
  2. Sprinkle the sultanas on top. Beat the eggs with the sugar. Warm the milk, pour over the beaten eggs and sugar and pour over the bread and butter. Leave to stand for 20-30 minutes until the bread is swollen.
  3. Preheat the oven to 150C (300F) Gas Mark 2. Sprinkle a dessertspoon of sugar over the top with the nutmeg and then bake for an hour until just firm. If you’d like a crisp top turn the heat up to 180C (350F) Gas Mark 4 for the last 10 minutes.

Serves 4-6

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Victory Cookbook: Nostalgic Food and Facts from 1940 – 1954

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Chocolate Oat Cakes No 97

These are excellent biscuits/cookies for children. As cookies go they are low in fat, relatively low in sugar and have lots of rolled oats in them. My grown up kids all enjoyed them, and the dog… and as I share this recipe with you, I’m enjoying my second one and thinking I should wrap them up and stick them in the freezer before I eat the 25 that are left.

I like recipes that are easy peasy, quick and tasty and utilize ingredients most of us would find in our kitchen cupboards at anytime. This one fulfills that criteria..

Chocolate Oat Cakes

  • 2 oz (56g) margarine
  • 2 oz (56g) sugar
  • 8 oz (225g) self-raising flour (if using plain add 2 teaspoons of baking powder)
  • 1 breakfast cup (95g) of rolled oats
  • pinch salt
  • 1.5 oz (42g) of cocoa powder
  • milk and water

Method

  1. Rub the margarine into the flour
  2. Add the rolled oats, sugar, pinch of salt and cocoa powder
  3. Mix well and add a little milk and water to moisten and stick the mixture together
  4. Roll into balls and press down until very thin with the back of a fork or alternatively roll out until thin, cut into rounds and prick all over with a fork
  5. Bake in an oven at 190C (380F) for about 15 minutes until golden brown.
  6. Sprinkle with sugar and cool on a wire rack

Makes 30

Week 2 (again)- another 3 lb off!

Last weeks weight = 309 lb

This weeks weight = 306 lb

Total weight loss (this time around) = 8 lb

Well despite a social function in the loft above the pub, a couple of hours on the deck at Lunenburg Yacht Club and a fun couple of hours in a floating holiday cottage moored in the harbour at Mahone Bay I’ve pretty much successfully stuck to food that was available in the 1940s with only one slip up. I guess my only vice this week has been drinking too much ale and too much rhubarb wine… have decided to not drink alcohol except socially or on special occasions in the future. Will save money and get the weight shifted quicker that way…

No interesting meals this week- have more or less stuck to quite basic foods based on my rations and ones that were quick to prepare liked fried spam (see above)

Trust me, when you no longer have salty junk food in your life SPAM becomes a real treat!

SPAM became widely available in the UK around 1942 and was not rationed… most families if they could afford to buy it, would have done so to supplement their meagre meat rations. Grocers may well have limited their distribution of it so it was available to more people (but that is just my guess)… it seems there are many favourable memories of spam during WWII from the families who enjoyed it.

C xx

PS If anyone has any further information on spam used culinary in WWII please share!

Potato and Cheese Bake

While I struggle to get to grips with my sweet tooth and portion size following the Christmas, New Year, marriage separation anniversary and 4 birthdays cakes BLIP (so I actually have some weight-loss results to post on the blog) here is a tasty and simple recipe.

This no-fail recipe is bound to have the family kissing your feet (even if they are stinky) and pledging a life of devotion to your 1940’s cooking if you’ll “just-cook-some-more-of-that-again”..  It’s like some sort of cat nip for kids (they need it, they want it, they have to possess it…) except it calms and satisfies them and stops them demanding potato chips for at least 3 hours. This HAS to be a good thing.

It’s like some sort of cat-nip for kids…

This particular recipe is something I have just put together and is not out of any particular cook book however it does use my rations fairly wisely as well as lots of potato- the Ministry of Food would be so proud of me..

Potato and Cheese Bake

  • 3 large peeled potatoes per person (peelings can be used in a stew)
  • generous portion of butter or margarine (if rations allow)
  • 4 oz of strong cheese (use less if you are running low)
  • generous amounts of dried or fresh herbs (common herbs at the time would have been rosemary and thyme)
  • a little milk
  • salt and pepper.
  • Note: I used 12 large potatoes to serve 4 generously using a 10 x 8 inch pan for baking.

Method.

  1. Peel potatoes and wash.
  2. Cut into 1/2 inch chunks.
  3. Place into salted cold water and bring to boil on stove, simmering until chunks are tender.
  4. Drain well and return to saucepan.
  5. Add in a large blob of butter (the bigger the better if rations allow).
  6. Move around until melted.
  7. Thoroughly mash until smooth.
  8. Taste potatoes adding plenty of salt and pepper until you get the required taste.
  9. Add a little milk and mix with wooden spoon until you get the required consistency.
  10. Add into baking pan and spread out evenly.
  11. Rough top with a fork.
  12. Grate 4 oz of strong/sharp cheese.
  13. Sprinkle evenly over the top.
  14. Finally sprinkle generous quantities of herbs, lots of thyme and a little rosemary work well together. Don’t skimp!
  15. Place in pre-heated oven at 200 C for 25 minutes and finish off under a hot grill/broiler for 5 so the top browns.
  16. Remove, let stand for 5 minutes or so and then serve. Goes well with meat, veg and gravy.

Serves 4 generously!

And now you have your family subdued and totally under your spell it’s time to put your feet up, open a good book and savour the quietness of your home….

Glory Buns

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This is a recipe for simple currant spiced buns that turned out so absolutely tasty and yummy and easy to make that I simply called them GLORIOUS..

They are not only economical but taste sooo good!

The more I think about it the more I think it’s a terrible, terrible thing. I think about war a lot and I think about how all over our world it has effected every day families regardless of colour or creed.

I made these WWII ‘Glory Buns’ today after I had observed the Remembrance Day silence and while I listened to the full Remembrance Day service from Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, on my local radio station, CKBW. After the service I watched some of the veteran videos that appear on the http://www.southshorenow.ca website which I have on DVD… ( you can purchase these by clicking here and all proceeds go to the Legion Poppy Fund)

First of all I listened to Pierre Allaine

Pierre Allaine: Was a 14 year old when war broke out. He used to ferry people, lying flat on a barge during the night, across the river, by pushing the barge silently with a long pole to the free side of France. Pierre recited Flanders Field at the service in Bridgewater today.

Next I watched Frank Hammond who shared his thoughts… Quote: Conflicts today are not being resolved through power and the only real way is through negotiation…

And then Bert Eagle… Quote: Bert Eagle: There should NEVER be another war again, EVER, yet if I were a young man again and we went to war I would serve my country gladly…..

Above all I’ve been thinking of the BRAVE men and women who have taken part in a war and lived through it or given their lives and the BRAVE families at home battling to keep their children safe and fed and holding things together…

And the Glory Buns? It was such a glorious day that it needed to be celebrated with simple glorious food on my best glorious tray….. it reminded me just how lucky we really are.

Recipe for Glory Buns

  • 12 oz of wholewheat flour (or white)
  • 2 oz margarine
  • 2 oz sultanas/currants/raisins (optional)
  • 2 oz sugar
  • 8 fl oz warm water
  • 3 teaspoons of quick rise dried yeast
  • 1 teaspoon dried cinnamon powder
  • pinch salt

To glaze:

  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

Method
Place all the dried ingredients in a bowl (apart from dried fruit) and stir
Rub in the margarine
Mix in the dried fruit
Add in the warm water
Knead well (use extra flour if mixture is too sticky)
Divide dough into 12 balls
Place on greased deep sided tray (I like to use the 8 x 8 inch foil trays and place 4 balls in each)
Cover with plastic film or plastic bag
Leave to rise somewhere warm for an hour or so
When risen place in oven at 180 C for 15 minutes or so until golden brown
When cooked remove from oven onto a wire rack to cool
When cool prepare glaze by heating the water and sugar together until dissolved
Using a pastry brush apply the glaze generously

1940s Veggies-Grown close to home

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A delicious meal of ‘grown close to home’ produce- the 1940’s diet was more environmentally friendly

Choosing to live one year on 1940s wartime rationing to lose 100 lb isn’t JUST all about losing the flab and finally being able to once in a while wear a dress and heels (last time I wore a dress was about 16 years ago). For me it is also about training myself to eat in a more environmentally friendly way..

I am convinced we have SO MUCH TO LEARN from this period of time in the way people HAD to eat. People were eating to stay healthy, it became a mission to keep yourself and your family strong and healthy. The internal propaganda has to be the BEST MARKETING CAMPAIGN I have ever seen. It succeeded in encouraging people to waste little, eat healthily and supplement their rationing with fresh homegrown vegetables. People turned their lawns into vegetable gardens, areas in parks had designated area too- it became a huge joint effort.

We have SO MANY CHOICES these days that for some folk (like me) it is very difficult to make healthier food choices when I can pick anything I like off the heavily laden shelves…maybe this is one of the contributing factors of our increased obesity in many of our nations.

1940s wartime rationing ( culinary and generally) was therefore more environmentally friendly because

  1. Most foods were grown locally or within the country (less gas/petrol & air-miles)
  2. Imported goods dropped significantly and Britain began to grow more of it’s own
  3. There was less waste- people threw less away and just made do
  4. Clothes were recycled and shared
  5. People rationed water, used less power, rationed fuel

We are so lucky and have so much these days that many of the ‘mend and make do’ thoughts that people lived with day by day back in the 1940’s have all but disappeared. We feel deprived over so many things and we think this is normal…

I think we need to occasionally step back in time and remind ourselves just how little we actually need.

C xx