Food · History · Uncategorized

Our 1940s Ration Week!

I have such a fascination and love with the 1940s. I love the homes, the fashion, the ethics. We were a proud nation then and didn’t bat an eyelid about saying so too. I’m not actually sure when my love for this era began, but I love it none the less. If I could, I would step back in time in a heartbeat. We may have been at war then (and just emerging from) but life was simpler then.

I used to be with a group that did re-enacting. I wasn’t with them for long as I moved away and I lost touch with them. But I did love the few events that I went with them on. They played an American group and us girls were to be the nurses. But I actually cannot stand guns. They shit the life out of me! Even holding one, not firing one, just holding one sent me off in a big girly bawling fit behind our mess tent. I felt such a prat, but I couldn’t help it. So really, it was no use me being with them, no matter how they said that they could work with me and round my ‘issues’. What I would dearly love to do though, is the Home Front.

I love making a home, and having that 1940s feel to it. We were going to slowly change our home over to a more 1940s decor, but with two younger children at home, I’d be so worried about damage. It’s not like we can just pop to Argos and get a new CC41 sideboard now, is it! I do actually have a most lovely piece. I found it on ebay. The chap was selling it for a tenner. I bought it and paid for him to deliver it. It was SO heavy and I died when I saw it. I loved it! But the surprise came, when we had it in the living room, and were giving it a good polish and looking for a makers mark and saw the stamp CC41! I literally squealed!

1940s Sideboard

It is so heavy, very well made of course, but when you open the cupboard doors, it smells of TCP! It did stink quite a bit when we first bought it, over a year ago now. Now, it just smells…

I love to listen to the music too. I have a few radio stations that I like to listen to. My favourite has to be The 1940s Radio Station. They have such a collection on there. Then there is Harry and Edna on the Wireless. These two are great! Harry is a hoot. And Edna, she is so lovely to listen to. The banter and the music. Such a joy to just have on in the background. There are many others, and I am sure, loads that I have yet to discover.

I love the fashion. I’ve had a go at making some outfits too. My favourite has to be my navy high waisted trousers, and then my pale blue peplum blouse. I have a whole bundle of my snoods that I have made. I used to wear my hair in a simple version of the classic victory rolls. They weren’t the huge in your face variety, but much smaller and gentler, but still unmistakable. I always have my red lippy to hand too!

But also, the food. I love, how the housewife of that time, could take so little, and create so much. The food might not be so flavourful and vast as we enjoy now, but she knew how to prepare it to make it last for her family. She fed her family as well as she could. In fact, if you look, they might have had less that we do now, but they were far healthier than we are now! You look on our supermarket shelves now at all the vitamins and supplements. All the diet products…and all the crap we now have!

Our family have been doing ‘Ration Weeks’ for a good few years now. Even the kids get excited when I let them know we are doing another. I love that! Even my fussy husband joins in. The first time we did one of these weeks, we went all out! I only bought food that was within our rations and the whole week was done properly. We even had a go at Lord Woolton Pie. I didn’t for a minute think my husband would even touch it as if it isn’t a potato, pea or baby carrot, you don’t have a hope in heck…but he went back for seconds!! I was gobsmacked.

We decided that this week, we would have another week. Not so strict really, but our meals will be 1940s recipes. I have quite a few books now, so all come from those, or one of my favourite sites, The 1940s Experiment . Carolyn runs this site, and is a wealth of info. She is doing a fabulous experiment to see if she can loose weight whilst being on a 1940s diet. She has done amazingly well too. Go check her out!

Anyway…I sat and wrote out my lists for shopping tomorrow, so over this week, I’ll grab piccies and pop in and out to share what we have for dinner. I’m hungry already just thinking about it!

This is our rations for the week for the family – if we were doing a full proper week and not just the dinners. This was worked out not on the worst or the best ration amounts, but on an average really.

Medium Level Rations during WW2 per week

(2 adults, 2 Children)

Bacon & Ham:                18oz                   /           510g

Sugar:                              36oz                  /           1012g

Tea:                                    9oz                  /              255g

Meat:                           3lb 9oz                  /           1615g 

Cheese:                           13oz                  /              368g

Preserves:                        9oz                  /              340g

Butter:                             15oz                  /             425g

Margarine:                     24oz                  /             680g

Lard:                                  9oz                  /             255g

Sweets:                            12oz                  /             340g

Eggs:                                      7                 or            1 packet of 12 dried eggs

Milk:                                  14.5pts 

+Points:                             20

Powdered Milk:             1/2 tin (4pts)

I’ll put up some pics, and share with you the recipes too. We love to do this, and I tell you, it doesn’t half save on your food bill! Just today for example, changing my shopping list from what it was going to be, to 1940s dinners alone, saved me just over £28! It saves so much more when you do a full ration week too ;o)

Toodle pip!


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