Rationing Challenge Day 1

BY ANN MITCHELL

My husband, Ian, and I have decided to try the rationing challenge for the complete month, because I think it is easier to get into the swing of things and establish routines over the longer period. I’m looking forward to trying out some new recipes, but also realise that we do not face the hardships that were faced by people in the 1940s – we have a wider variety of fresh food available and there are no shortages or queues to contend with.

Our first challenge on day 1 was to shop for, weigh or measure the rations for the week. The picture on the left shows what that looked like for 1 person: 57g cheese, 57g butter, 113g margarine, 28g lard and 28g oil, 227g sugar, 3 pints milk, 1 egg; 113g bacon (streaky because it will provide some fat for frying), 175g mince and 175g kidney, plus one bar of dark chocolate (only 7 squares allowed each week!)

I personally think the main challenge is going to be sticking to the ration of cheese and chocolate!

Supper on day 1 was cottage pie, made using a WW2 recipe. It involved using 85g of the mince, and adding lots of onions and carrots. It was served with broad beans (purchased) and peas (from the garden), and followed by stewed fruit (a mixture of red currants, black currants and gooseberries from the garden). So far, no problems, and a delicious supper!

I hope to keep a diary of what we eat, and take note of any challenges or creative solutions to a lack of normally plentiful ingredients.

You can find a wartime cottage pie recipe here