So if you have followed our one week rationing journey you will have seen that we did pretty well eating on rations. We didn’t starve, we ate healthy, and I actually lost about 1/2kg. It has inspired me to continue eating the wartime way.
But it was only for one week. I had a store of food in the fridge, freezer, and pantry, chickens in the backyard and some fruit and veg growing In the garden. What I didn’t have, as wartime women would have experienced, was the following –
- Blackouts and restrictions that went with that;
- War work, different work to my normal routine that could have involved travelling a long way;
- Shortages, such as paper, toilet paper, food, fuel and queuing;
- An outside toilet;
- Carrying a gas mask;
- Extra child evacuees, to look after and feed;
- Fear – of bombings, air raids, gas attack, invasion or death of a loved one.
What I did have that makes modern life so much easier –
- A washing machine
- Hot running water
- An inside bathroom and toilet
- A fridge and freezer
- An electric stove and oven
- A car and fuel to run it
- A husband at home
- Children at home, who are (reasonably) safe
- Easy communication with phone and email
- Instant access to recipes and books online
- A coffee machine
Now I don’t want to give up all of my mod cons, but I am happy to go back to wartime food. It was cheap, filling and basic, and it was healthy. Sometimes I felt I used too much fat, but there were no hidden fats in war time cooking – any fat we ate was honest , as was the sugar. I knew what was in every morsel. There were no suspect food additives that I couldn’t pronounce – my bread, unlike supermarket bread, or McDonalds bread, contained flour, yeast, oil, orange juice, salt and water, my roast potatoes just potatoes and dripping and my eggs were from my own wheat and bug fed chickens! And although we did eat some nitrates ( the suddenly newest baddest carcinogen) in our bacon, the amount of bacon we ate was small compared to the modern standard diet.
I now want to make even more from scratch. Like making butter from cream, yoghurt and cheese from milk and growing more of our own (pesticide free) vegetables. I spent the morning putting up a new fence for the poultry and extending my vegetable growing area, and in the cool of the afternoon I planted seedlings that I had grown.
Back in my 20s, prekids but wanting to make the planet better before having any, I was an Eco- greenie- vegetarian warrior. Somewhere over the last twenty years I’ve become a middle aged-too busy-have money can buy guzzler. That’s about to change! I hope you’ll follow the journey, as well as stay around for more history and wartime bits and pieces.