This weeks 1940’s inspired menu


In theory… fruit/ veg in season in August are: Cos lettuce, raspberries and plums.  Strawberries, blueberries and cherries although still in season are now taking a back seat, as are cauliflower, sweetcorn, Savoy cabbage, bramley apples, broad beans and runner beans. To be honest not a lot of these were available locally. The only fruit available over this last month (produced in the UK) were strawberries and the odd raspberry bunch… the only plums, cherries and apples coming from farther a field than my Ikea furniture. And where the sweetcorn and Savoy cabbages are… gawd only knows. Its been spring greens, overpriced leeks, small Swedes, carrots, the odd tomato and of course potatoes… now blissfully home grown <<< because you cant get more local and seasonal than that!

I’d love to do some great seasonal recipes for August’s items (lettuce, raspberries and plums) but I’m just not guaranteed to get my hand on them. Sadly this was perhaps about par for housewives in wartime.

The kids are starting to suffer from cabin fever. We’ve pretty much ‘done’ the town (with the exception of the icy cold sea) and there’s only so much crafting you can do. We’ve walked to the local museum, played in the park, visited nana frequently and I’ve dragged the kids through the town…. Included in that last one was a tour of the local fruit and veg shops/ stalls… kids weren’t nearly as impressed as I was.

The kids have been good sports about the whole experiment, they loved trying new foods and puddings… but… austerity is only fun for a while with small children, and the prospect of tightening our belts and doing without for a while is beginning to get boring.

Tuesday – Shopping day (and ordering/ paying for the ridiculously overpriced school jumpers I can only get at one store)

Breakfast: Toast with jam made from homemade bread and homemade jam

Lunch: Sausage rolls on the go… sadly not home made… will be bought in town while shopping for veggies/ fruit and my usual weekly raid on weigh and save.

Dinner: Home made pizza… nothing fancy, some tomatoes, cheese and ham <<< kids favourite

Afters: Lady fingers – Due to a surplus of eggs this last week I thought I’d be extravagant and treat our rationed taste buds… Hopefully there’ll be some left for the tin.

Other baking: (1) some more gypsy creams for the biscuit tin (2) not really other baking but I think I’ll treat the kiddies to some popcorn (weigh and save corn in a paper bag in the microwave) and a movie on the box. (3) I MUST BAKE BREAD! (4) home made jam >>>>This is why Tuesdays are busy!

 I don’t like spending over £30, so far its been unnecessary, but as there is only so much minced/ diced/ sliced and baked beef a person can eat, I may have to either bite the offal bullet or buy pricier meat like pork… or heaven forbid… lamb.

Wednesday – Painting the lounge part 1

Breakfast: Porridge oats, milk and a little golden syrup to sweeten

Lunch: sandwiches, home made bread and the last of the cheese… or some homemade jam

Dinner: Homemade beef burgers with fried onions and seasonal veg >>> most likely lettuce, carrot sticks and potatoes

Afters: something fruit… yep Im definately feeling fruity

Other baking: (1) Home made jam (if I didn’t get to make it yesterday), (2) eggless gypsy biscuits… experimenting with whole flour and honey instead of bleached flour and syrup…. Plan to add some dried fruit or nuts… to up the healthy on these little beauties.

Its getting harder to find recipes in general… or let me re-put that, I’m finding lots of recipes, some ration friendly and some seasonal/ local…. But, never both at the same time. If I find a recipe with few or no eggs and little milk, its involving almonds, buttermilk and fruit that I just cant get…I keep seeing beautiful rhubarb and cherry recipes… but can I buy them in the shops… can I heck!

Thursday – Painting the lounge part 2

Breakfast: Oat bran… similar principle to porridge oats with a small dollop of golden syrup or a sprinkling of sugar

Lunch: Sandwiches again but only because I’m busy painting

Dinner: Duck tortilla wraps with seasonal veggies

Afters: Prune flan

Other baking: Not quite baking but I’d love to get my hands on some plums (no jokes please) and make some plum jam…. Nice with the duck and just on its own with either left over tortillas or just as jam on toast etc. …. And BAKE BREAD!

I’m finding out the hard way why there are few 40’s inspired food blogs/ experiments, seasonal eating blogs and few sites encouraging us to only eat local produce. You’re lucky if you can grow what you need but we are unfortunately not really in that position. We’ve started by growing potatoes in Mams garden… at least that’s one less thing to shop for… then again potatoes are the one thing everyone is guaranteed to get their hands on round here.

Friday – Painting the lounge part 3

Breakfast: Porridge oats…

Lunch: Poor knights fritters >> a nice treat for the kids… maybe not the healthiest… but heck, it’s the holidays

Dinner: Fish fingers, goujons by any other name… served with potatoes (our own), carrots and something seasonal and green (exactly what depends on availability)

Afters: Caramel and semolina mould

Other baking: (1) If I can get some plums and make some plum jam… I’ll try out a wartime ‘mock apricot flan’ recipe… if that sounds logical… buying plums to make mock apricot. (2) Dark and sticky gingerbread

Its going to take a while to paint the lounge as I have to unload and move the HUGE TV unit (and other bits and pieces), clean the walls, edge and paint with the kids running around. Sadly it means I won’t be able to take them many places this week (not that there’s a plethora of exciting destinations in our town). Will have to try and be creative with the crafting and pray for nice weather.

Saturday

Breakfast: Toast and hopefully home-made jam…. If not then syrup

Lunch: I may make some tortillas and store them on Thursday for lunch today… the kids love them and it makes a change from the conventional sandwich. My kids wont eat soup… not sure why.

Dinner: Greek lamb Koftas

Afters: Syrup loaf (it’s a cake)

Other baking: (1) Koftas mean I’m going to be attempting a pita pocket recipe I found recently…. If these work it’ll be great… they store for up to 1 week and freeze well! It’s also a great way to introduce whole wheat to the diet, if desired.

Oh the joys, of sprucing up the house on a budget… My mother is visiting us from South Africa and I’m determined to get as much DIY done as possible before she arrives in the first week of September. That’s 3 weeks of entertaining kids, buying uniform, haircuts, buying school shoes, and other household decoration… like cushions and curtains etc. The budget is going to be tight.

Sunday

Breakfast: Porridge or oat bran

Lunch: something small

Dinner: Dinner at Mams… Sunday dinner Yummy thus the small lunch

Laters: a quickie 1-egg sponge

Time to start clearing out the cupboards… you never know what treasures you may find and what really should have been thrown away a loooong time ago. I’m hoping to find a new sofa, 2 sets of lounge curtains, some throw pillows, a winning lottery ticket and some interesting décor in the lounge cupboard…. Wish in one hand…

Monday – Use it up or throw it our day!

Breakfast: If there’s sufficient rations left, ‘healthy’ pancakes. If not, either toast, porridge or oat bran.

Lunch: Whole wheat English muffins and butter nom nom nom

Dinner: Vegetable turnovers >>> aka the vegetable pastie

Afters:

Other baking: Ginger parkin

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