Sunday, 20 July 2008

Day Seven

Bacon and egg breakfast, what a treat!

Being Sunday morning, I saved our bacon and two fresh eggs for today. I fried up left over vegetables from yesterday to serve with it. With a breakfast that large, we probably won’t need to eat until evening.

Reviewing the cupboard to see what we have left I noticed we had a reasonable amount of margarine left, and had done well with out sugar. Bearing in mind I still had some frozen fruits in the freezer from autumn, I thought a treat was in order, and made a crumble for later.

Chicken and bean casserole

I used rabbit and veg stock (from yesterday), and the beans I soaked last night. This morning I put it in the slow cooker, where it has sat since 10.30am. At 4pm I chopped two potatoes and added them to the pot. It all smells very good.

Followed by crumble.

What’s left.

Well, obviously the store cupboard still contains cereal, flour, dried egg, dried milk, most of a pot of jam etc. but for the main food items, we still have some food left over. I didn’t use all the beef dripping, we have ¾ litre of milk left, a little sugar, 2 beetroot, a pak choi cabbage, and we have some salad, a large tub of homemade coleslaw, a plate of cooked rabbit meat, some homemade salad cream, and the tail end of our bread ration.

I think it will be rabbit salad sandwiches for lunch tomorrow.

So. Conclusions.

It’s perfectly possible to provide filling healthy meals on rations. If you can cook.

By “if you can cook” I don’t mean if you can pick up a Marco Pierre White book, buy all the ingredients, and follow the instructions. I mean, do you know enough about cooking to look at what you’ve got and put it together. Can you pick up a recipe, look at it, and go “well, I haven’t got any of that, but this should work”?

The reason we spend so much on food nowadays is because there is so much to tempt up out there. We are spoilt. If we have something in, and don’t fancy it, we feel we can let it go off, bin it, buy something else. Although there is a “food crisis” of sorts, and prices are increasing, we don’t feel the impact as we look at the shelf in the shop.

Was rationing as bad as it seems? Well, I would say it depends where you lived. The diary of Nella Last describes how some items were just not available, yet she describes a visit to Blackpool where she was amazed at the plenty in the shops. I think Barrow in Furness is very isolated geographically and suffered more. This area seems to have been lucky, as it is a farming community.

Will I be doing the same next week? NO! I’m ready for a nice curry! I think I will continue keeping an eye on the portions of food I cook, but I really missed my more exotic menu. We are very used to eating Mediterranean, Caribbean, Indian foods, and I think I could easily incorporate these into a similar regular menu plan.

Was it worth doing? Oh yes, certainly. The only problem is it isn’t people like ME who need a greater appreciation of food waste, and how to adopt some of the more frugal behaviours of our mothers and fathers. It's the people who find out about our little experiment, look at us like we are daft, and go "why?" that maybe need to think a bit more. The ones who think the worst will never happen, and there will always be an affordable plenty.

How many people will ever see this blog, learn and grow from it is debateable. But from a personal perspective, it was a very interesting week. I even lost three pounds… not bad!

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