Today is the first day of my project to live on the rations available to the British in 1943 for the duration of lent, and donate to Prostate Cancer UK. Naturally I am not starting from the same point as someone in February 1943, in that I have a well stocked larder, fridge and freezer. Since rationing was partly about not wasting food I will need to make some compromises with what I have.
For example, in my refrigerator I have, nominally my food as opposed to my wife’s purchases for herself: 250g lard bought for the project, 6 eggs [to share] (6 weeks ration for one person), half a jar of home-made jam (must check if still usable), about a pint of milk, 4 fruit yogurts (not seen until the late 1960s), 115g (about 4 oz.) of sliced ham (2 weeks’ ration), 150g sliced chicken (about 5 oz., but unheard of at the time), about 12 oz. Red Leicester cheese (6 weeks’ ration but less than my normal weekly intake) I also have 4 large, out of season but locally grown, tomatoes.
For my breakfast this morning I had the remains of a packet of Muesli and a yogurt – both out of period. I am counting this as an acceptable alternative to a bowl of porage oats with milk. Our next shop will include porage oats at (as far as I can determine) 2 points per pound, from my 32 points allowance per month.
I also had two mugs of tea, using the same tea bag for both. I am allowed about 3.5 teabags per day, but there is no point in wasting them. In 1943 I would have made a pot of tea and had two or three cups while it was warm.
For lunch I intend to use one or two of the tomatoes with some herbs, pepper and vinegar. Dinner will probably be the last portion of “Woolton Pie” that I made last November and is now in the freezer. This is a vegetable concoction. As mentioned in yesterday’s blog, I have five meals of pork faggots and vegetable stew in the freezer too. The freezer is a luxury for our 1943 family, but I am not eating as a family.
As for the ham, chicken and cheese in the fridge, I will probably need to find a recipe to cook and freeze before they go off. I have three books to consult for recipes, and the excellent blog 1940s experiment
More news tomorrow. By the way blokes, if you have not already done so, get your prostate checked. Don’t die of embarrassment. http://www.prostatecanceruk.org