Belted leeks

I bought myself a small bunch of organic leeks from the Bridgewater Farmers Market yesterday, after I had attended a quick volunteer meeting at the market for the Growing Green Sustainability Festival , taking place next week, where I’m looking forward to being a greeter (and hopefully not scaring folk away!)…

I found a Ministry of Food recipe for belted leeks and couldn’t wait for lunch time today and I’m pleased to say this quick and simple dish was delicious.

As always, I used a meat substitute for bacon (Tempeh) and a dairy substitute for regular milk (hemp milk) what with being a vegan and all…

Here is the original recipe…

Belted Leeks

  • 1 lb small thin leeks
  • 2 oz bacon rashers
  • 1/2 pint of white sauce
  • salt and pepper
  • dried herbs if wished


  1. Trim and cook the whole leeks in boiling water until soft enough to eat (about 10-15 minutes)
  2. Drain well and save some of the leek water for the sauce
  3. Put the leeks in a heated dish and cover with the white sauce (see recipe for white sauce below)
  4. Grill the bacon and cut into narrow strips and arrange as belts over the leeks

(makes 4 helpings)

Recipe for white sauce

Use margarine or butter. Heat 1 oz of this in a pan and mix in 1 oz of flour, cooking over a low heat and then add in slowly while stirring, 1/2 pint of liquid (milk, milk and stock etc). Keep stirring and as the sauce comes to the boil it will thicken. Season to taste..

Some sights from Saturdays Farmers Market in Bridgewater..

Day 3: Daily diet sheet- hungry!

So here is every morsel of food consumed today as I struggle to return to a 100% ( 24/7) authentic 1940’s wartime diet based on rationing and trends of the time….. over Christmas and birthday, after having lost 35 lbs, I splurged and at times slipped back into some old eating habits as well as eating too much bread and potatoes and consequently my weight rose to 295lbs (on my home scales).

Weight loss to date is therefore 20 lbs (was 35 lbs) but I am back to strict rationing.. I will return to weighing in every Tuesday morning and record my progress as I strive to lose 100 lbs on a wartime ration diet.

I do so want to lose my weight- it makes me quite sad some days


Two slices of wholemeal toast with butter and spread with Marmite


Two big bowls of vegetable stew with a little grated cheese over both

Mid afternoon

Two slices of wholemeal bread, spread with margarine and Blackberry jam


2 cheese pancakes served with a generous portion of broccoli


3 welshcakes


Tea, water and nightime milky hot chocolate

NOTE: Full recipes for vegetable stew, cheese pancakes and welsh cakes coming soon… check back

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Cynthia’s Eggless Sponge (gone right)

egglesssponge21940sBecause I ate my egg ration the other night, it means that anything that I now decide to cook, has to be egg free until I can use my ration book again on Friday to replenish the larder..

because I ate my egg ration, anything I cook this week has to be egg free..

BUT never despair, there are still lots of delicious things to make and I felt it was time to attempt an eggless sponge again.

Cynthia had shared her eggless sponge recipe with me on FACEBOOK and I liked the fact that the recipe called for leftover tea.

I cooked that very successfully this afternoon and have enjoyed a couple of big cups of tea and a couple of slices of Cynthia’s Sponge..

Here is the recipe..

Cynthia’s Eggless Sponge (gone right)


  • 1/2 pint of tea (without milk and tea leaves)
  • 3 oz butter/marg
  • 3 oz sugar
  • 3 oz sultanas
  • 10 oz wholewheat flour (add 3-4 teaspoons of baking powder)
  • 1 teaspoon all spice (mixed spice)
  • extra cinnamon if required



Place the tea, butter, sugar and sultanas in a saucepan and heat gently until butter is melted, leave to cool.

Mix all the dry ingredients together.

Mix all the dry ingredients into the cooled liquid and mix well, give it a beat.

Put mixture into a greased and floured 7 inch cake tin

Cook on 180 degrees for around 45 minutes or more

Why the weekend makes me happy..

calmThis weekend is a long weekend as Monday is labour day here in Canada.

I now have 3 glorious days planned doing all sorts of things (except mowing the lawn which hasn’t been cut once this summer- I just can’t face spending two days doing this when I have other things to catch up on!) and my list goes like this

Clean kitchen, clean upstairs generally, do grocery list, clean window in sitting room (as can no longer see the view), once house is hygienic (in parts) again proceed to visit local store to buy groceries and finally avoid any thoughts of doing the lawn.. 

And once that is all over and done with WE COOK!

The most exciting thing I came across this week was ‘banana essence’… apparently during the war kids went bananas over mock banana sandwiches. This is one thing I will be trying out this weekend and I intend to test it out on my children (the one thing I will forget to tell them is that the banana sandwich will infact be made from mushy parsnips).. will they be able to tell the difference? My video camera is poised and ready for action…

one thing I will forget to tell them is that the banana sandwich will infact be made from mushy parsnips…

Talking about video cameras, my eldest daughter decided it would be fun to catch me on camera cooking my curried carrots last week and insisted on filming the moment when I took my first proper mouthful. I will upload the video later to share the daily strangeness in our household.

Other culinary delights (grin) will be a different recipe for eggless sponge (shared with me by Cynthia on facebook) and making a batch of carrot jam…I have my jars poised and I believe my kids thought it would be absolutely hilarious to film Mom again and fall about laughing watching it afterwards… I am glad they find me so amusing.

I don’t think they will be laughing so much when they taste my mock banana sandwiches..

Mom 1 kids 0

C xx

Week 2 Weigh In

Start weight 315 lbs ( 22st 7lb )

Week 2 weight 302 lbs (21st 8lbs )

Total weight loss 13 lb

I am quite beside myself…

Despite having a sleepless night or two over eating two 1/2 plate sized vegetable turnovers over two days and enjoying eggless sponge quite frequently I STILL lost 3lbs.

Some of my work colleagues found out about my crazy diet today.

Work Colleague: How much did you lose so far?

1940’s crazy person: Ermmm 13lbs in just two weeks..!

Work Colleague: BITCH!

Trust me- that was very, very funny!

So today I am happy (once again!)

Eggless sponge gone wrong


A birthday party is never a proper birthday party without a cake! Unfortunately, I had just one egg to last me a whole week so I had to find a recipe that used NO eggs…Marguerite Patten came to the rescue (as always) and I found a suitable recipe to try so at least I could enjoy a 1940’s cake on Em’s birthday.

All went well and the cake smelled actually quite nice as it baked and I removed the tins and left them to cool when cooked. But then it came to removing the cakes from the tins and everything fell apart into a crumbly mound looking more like cous cous than a sweet delicious treat. It may have looked like a total disaster but the cake tasted really good and now being a modern day 1940’s cook with limited resources there was no way in hell I was going to throw it away… with no further delay here is the recipe

Eggless sponge gone wrong

  • 6 oz wholewheat flour
  • 3 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 2.5 oz margarine
  • 2 oz sugar
  • 1 level tablespoon of table syrup (or Lyons Golden Syrup)
  • 1/4 pint milk
  • sultanas optional
  • jam for filling optional


Sift the flour and the baking powder together

Cream the margarine, sugar and syrup together until soft and light

Add a little flour and then a little liquid

Continue to do this until until you have a smooth mixture.

Grease and flour two 7 inch sandwich tins and divide mixture between them

Cook in centre of over at 200 celcius for 20-30 minutes.

Cool for 10 minutes before removing from tins