Thursday, December 27, 2012

One Year of Rationing

Today was our one year anniversary of living on wartime rations.
We have all enjoyed the challenge and are going to continue with this way of eating.
It's been interesting finding all the old recipes and creating new ones out of rationed foods.

We started after watching "The Supersizes Go.....Wartime" on tv.
Both Salem and I were watching it and then decided  later that it would be fun to try living on wartime rations ourselves and I thought it would be a good project for Salem as I home school him.
So we decided that Boxing Day was a good day to start.
It has become a way of life for us and we will continue for as long as we are enjoying it.

You can watch one part of The Supersizers Go...Wartime on the video above then get the rest on You Tube.
Or watch the whole episode on the link below..

Just before Christmas we appeared in That's Life magazine.
We were approached to do an interview to appear in the magazine in the lead up to xmas.
It was in the shops on the 17th December.
We were a bit disappointed with them getting facts wrong and the way they had portrayed a few things...putting their take on things we have said or didn't say...artistic licence I suppose.
But it looked good :^)

We had a lovely xmas, Salem put up our artifical xmas tree, we have had it quite a few years now and we had bought it from an op-shop too.
Good value, I don't like cutting down a tree just to be decorated for a few weeks.
Some years we just cut a large branch from a pine tree to have as our xmas tree for a change, not causing any damage.
Just love the smell of pine needles.
Salem decorated it beautifully with some of our old decorations.
We have got quite a collection as we make a few every year along with ones we have picked up over the years.
Great memories with all the ones that the kids have made.

I made our xmas cake the other night, it was such a hot night and the kitchen was sweltering,
that's Christmas in summer for you.
I included the recipe for the xmas cake in the magazine article.

Xmas Cake

3 oz sugar
4 oz margarine
1 tablespoon golden syrup
8 oz flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 eggs
1 lb mixed dried fruit
1/2 teaspoon lemon essence
milk to mix
Pre-heat oven to 160 degrees C.  (or a slow moderate oven)
Cream the sugar and margarine then add the syrup.
Mix in the dry (not fruit) ingredients alternately with the eggs.
Beat well.
Then add the rest of the ingredients with enough milk to make a
soft dough.
Put mixture into a 7 inch tin lined with greased paper and bake for
two hours.
Do check afterit has been in the oven for an hour as I found it was already cooked after this time.
This cake should keep for about 2 months in an airtight container.

We were going to top the cake with a chocolate topping but because it is so hot here at the moment we decided on a nice light lemon icing just made with lemon juice, icing sugar and water.
It was just perfect.
It is a lovely xmas cake recipe and not heavy which we all prefer.

If you would like to try the chocolate topping the recipe is next.

Chocolate Topping

Mix 3 tablespoons of sugar with 2 tablespoons each of cocoa powder and milk.
Stir in a saucepan over a low heat until the mixture is thick and bubbly.
Pour over the cake while the mixture is hot.

Salem went to Grandma's and helped her make xmas mince pies and bought some home for us.
He made one with a grumpy face on for his brother, the Grumpy Teenager, and that was eaten straight away.
They were very yummy.

On Christmas Eve we made biscuits and some cupcakes (made with the Fairy Loaf recipe) even though it was another very hot day and the kitchen was still very hot that night.
We had cupcakes for xmas breakfast.

We made each other xmas presents, Salem made me a lovely flower brooch and made some coupons for his brother for Salem to be quiet.  Salem talks a lot!!!!!!
I crocheted the boys a pair of fluffy slippers each (for winter of course).
Grumpy Teenager drew me a picture, I will have to frame it.  It is very funny.
I can't remember what GT got Salem.
I also got Salem a pack of WWII aeroplane identification cards.
He loves them.

Grandma and Jimbo also gave us a "care package" to keep to the WWII theme, it had pictures of WWII posters and ration books.....

And stamps from that time......
All wrapped in brown paper and tied up with string.....

Salem had so much fun opening it.
There were so many goodies in it.... chocolates, fruit, nuts, jams etc....
even treats for the cats!!!
A very big thank you to Grandma and Jimbo!!!!!!

The cats enjoyed their treats and of course the paper wrapping.....
It's just like having young children who love playing with the wrappers and boxes.....
rather than the actual toys.
This kept the cats entertained for quite a while!!!!!
Because of the heat, Wellington's hottest summer since 1934, we had salad and potato salad with a good old fashioned New Zealand salad dressing.... for our Christmas Dinner.

  • Highlander Salad Dressing

  • 1 can  Sweetened Condensed Milk  (aprox 400 ml)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup malt vinegar
  • 1 tsp mustard powder or wholegrain mustard
  • Mix all together with a fork or whisk.
  • Then refridgerate.

Use as a salad dressing, with coleslaw or potato salad.
I made the dressing using half the amount of everything as it makes quite a lot and there are only three of us.

This is the salad dressing I grew up with and I think most New Zealander's of my era remembers this one.
I don't remember there being any alternative.
I love it and the kids do too!!!!

We are having a little break from the Ration Hint of the Day and WWII Aircraft of the Day but will be resuming them in a week or two.

We hope you had a lovely Christmas with your family and best wishes for 2013.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas Everyone

I hope everyone has had a lovely and safe Christmas Day!!!!
Sorry we have been a bit quiet as of late, we have been busy with xmassy stuff and it has been very hot and extremely humid over here in Kiwi Land.
Which has made cooking and even eating very uncomfortable.
Summer is not a good time for having a traditional Christmas.
The boys, the cats and even the chickens have been hiding from the sun and just generally lazing about unable to move much.
Tomorrow is our one year anniversary of rationing so I will give you an update of what we have been doing, hopefully it will be a bit cooler.

Merry Christmas and all the best for the New Year from the Wartime Rationers!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Getting Our Sweet Ration

There are so many to choose from.  I think
I will start with these.....

It is a real treat for Salem to get his sweet ration for the week.
We like to go to "Over the Tea Cups" tea shop at Paraparaumu Beach shops.
They have a great selection of old fashioned sweets.

I'll have some Black Balls.....

Salem loves being able to choose his sweet ration for himself.
We have a ration of 4 oz (113 g) each a week which was one of the maximum allowances during WWII.
It did go down to 2 oz (57 g).
We are not huge sweet eaters so this is ample for us, and often I don't have my ration at all.
I'm sure that Grumpy Teenager has a black market supply!!!!

.......and some Humbugs!!!!

During WWII, cough lollies and pastiles were not rationed so they were often eaten as sweets.
I really love my cough lollies, especially Throaties which I think were around at that time.
I think next week we will have to go and get our ration for over Christmas.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

WWII Aircraft of the Day - The Short Sunderland

The Short Sunderland

The Short Sunderland - Britain
By Salem

The Short Sunderland was one of the Royal Air Force's biggest seaplane.
It was often called the "Flying Porcupine".
The Short Sunderland was used for long distance transport, search and rescue and patrolling for U-boats.
It was even used for reconnaissance work.
Even tough the Short Sunderland was big, it wasn't the most manouverable and was no match for the deadly Messerschmitts.

Ration Hint of the Day - Number Forty-one

Ration Hint No. 41

No breadcrumbs ready!
Then dip into that packet of breakfast cereal flakes for topping fish, 
creamed savoury or sweet dishes etc., etc., 
and save time!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Ration Hint of the Day - Number Forty

Ration Hint No. 40

Oatmeal cookies are nice anytime, 
but for extra appeal, stir in some mixed candied peel and fruits into the mixture.

WWII Aircraft of the Day - The Tupolev TB-3

The Tupolev TB-3

The Tupolev TB-3  -Russia
By Salem

The Tupolev TB-3 was a massive areoplane, with a wingspan of 40 metres, this inter-war bomber could carry more bombs than any other bomber in the inter-war period.
The Tupolev TB-3 also served in WWII but was no match for the German fighters and were relegated to a transport role.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


A can of Spam

The boys have been very curious about Spam.
It is mentioned so many times in wartime books, websites and recipe books.
Grumpy Teenager was very interested in trying it so I went and bought some today.
We were very lucky, it came in a 75th Anniversary can.


Salem was really curious and even though he is a vegetarian, was wanting to have a try to really have the wartime experience.
So after it plopping out of the can, I sliced it up and then pan fried it in a little dripping so it had a nice crispy golden crust.
I served it up with a baked potato each and mushrooms and onions in gravy.
I just had the veges.
The boys really liked it but said it was very salty.
Grumpy Teenager said it tasted like bacon.
There is plenty left over for dinner tomorrow night, served diced up in a salad.

WWII Aircraft of the Day - The Polikarpov R-Z

The Polikarpov R-Z

The Polikarpov R-Z  - Russia
By Salem

The Polikarpov R-Z first served in the Spanish Civil War and also used against Finland.
The Polikarpov R-Z was armed with eight under-wing bombs.
It's engines made a rather curious noise which led them to be called "sewing machines" by the Germans.
This reconnaissance bomber which was in service since the 1930's was relegated to night operations in 1941.

Ration Hint of the Day - Number Thirty-nine

Ration Hint No. 39

A very small amount of meat.......
bits of cold beef or mutton or veal etc,
will make a delicious forcemeat with brown breadcrumbs and seasoning.....
onions, tomato, parsley, thyme, sage, pepper, salt, etc...
according to fancy....which can be used to fill large tomatoes, young marrows, potatoes or onions, for a delectable baked meal.

Cheese can be used in place of the meat......
or flaked fish, left over from baked or steamed fish, or you can use both cheese and fish together to build up the protein value.

Monday, December 10, 2012

In need of Party Food? Try Fairy Loaf!!!

Fairy Loaf cupcakes

On Friday night we had Salem's dance school's Christmas Party so we needed to make something to take with us.
Hmmmm ...... what would be good to take and is a wartime recipe?
First thing that came into mind was the Fairy Loaf that I make for the boys which is very similar to a sponge cake.
The boys love it!!!
I really don't know why it is called fairy loaf????????

Spreading on the icing

It is very easy to make and I use a whisk to mix it.
The recipe doesn't state any oven temperature to cook it but I cook it at 180 degrees C.
I also doubled the recipe and used two small bantam eggs from our lovely girls.
Our two eggs would equal one large-ish egg which I find really works well for the doubled recipe.
Also I use half milk/ half water too.

Mmmmm icing!!!

Fairy Loaf

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C.
Break one egg into basin.
Beat in 3 tablespoons sugar, whisk well.
Add 1/2 cup milk, pinch salt, 1 cup sifted flour and 1 teaspoon of Baking Powder.
Put in a greased tin and bake for half hour.
Do check before the half hour is up.

Our yummy cupcakes plus an extra

Instead of using a loaf tin, I put the mixture in small cupcake paper pans in a mini muffin tray.
The double mixture made 24 mini cupcakes and a small star-shaped cake with the leftovers.
We had eaten a few before we took the above photo.

Tasting time

We iced them with a simple icing of 1 cup of icing sugar, some raspberry essence, a tiny bit of butter (about 1/8 tsp) and a drop of boiling water.
And to make them look extra festive, we decorated the icing with some jelly crystals we had in the pantry.
It was a good excuse to then make up the jellies afterwards.
The cupcakes were extremely was the jelly.

WWII Aircraft of the Day - The Mitsubishi Ki-46

The Mitsubishi Ki-46

The Mitsubishi Ki-46
By Salem

The Japanese possessed one of the best photo-reconaissance aircraft of WWII, the Mitsubishi Ki-46.
It was code-named "Dinah" by the Allies.
The Mitsubishi Ki-46 was powered by two 1050 hp engines and it was so fast that in 1942, the Japanese could take photos of almost anything they wanted.

Ration Hint of the Day - Number Thirty-eight

Ration Hint No. 38
You can use the same cup or bowl when measuring if you measure dry ingredients first then fats or liquids.....
saves that washing up!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Ration Hint of the Day - Number Thirty-seven

Ration Hint No. 37

Bedtime Story

Once upon a time there were five housewives.
Their names were Lady Peel-potatoes, the Hon. Mrs Waste-fuel, Miss Pour-the-water-down-the-sink, Mrs Don't-like-uncooked-vegetables, Mrs Won't-eat-carrots.
Don't let one of them put a nose in your kitchen.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Ration Hint of the Day - Number Thirty-six

Ration Hint No. 36

Why do some homes never have a sharp knife!
It can be done......
and sharp tools save time, effort and temper!

WWII Aircraft of the Day - The AT-6 Texan

The AT-6 Texan

The AT-6 Texan
The United States of America
By Salem

The AT-6 Texan had virtually provided nearly every Allied pilot with their advanced training in WWII.
It was known in the Commonwealth as the Harvard.
The AT-6 Texan training aircraft was built entirely out of metal.
Since the end of WWII, the AT-6 Texan has been very popular at air shows.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Wings Over Wairarapa 2013

The de Havilland Mosquito was built in 1945 and is the only
one of its kind still flying.

Rare Mosquito confirmed for airshow

Mosquito confirmed for Wings Over Wairarapa

A one-of-a-kind Mosquito fighter bomber will take to the skies next year to headline the Wings Over Wairarapa airshow.
The de Havilland Mosquito has been confirmed for the January show, where it will take pride of place as the feature display aircraft.
Originally built in Canada in 1945, the aircraft is the only one of its kind currently flying.
Airshow director Tom Williams said securing the Mosquito was a major coup for the event.
"The Mosquito was one of the fastest operational aircraft in World War II and the only one to be constructed almost entirely of wood.
''Its significance to World War II history is not to be underestimated.''
The Mosquito - nicknamed ''The Wooden Wonder'' - first flew in November 1940, and was faster than the Spitfire with a top speed faster than 600kmh.
Its versatility meant it was used in daytime tactical bombing, high-altitude night bombing, and photo reconnaissance.
''The legendary Mosquito has a fond place in the hearts of Australian and New Zealand airmen, with about 250 aircraft being built in Australia during the war,'' Mr Williams said.
The Mosquito is owned by American Jerry Yagen, and took seven years to rebuild at Ardmore Aerodrome.
It will line up alongside 12 other de Havilland aircraft at the event, including an early World War II biplane, a DH5, and a Vampire Jet.
More than 70 aircraft in total will be shown.
The biennial airshow will be held at Masterton's Hood Aerodrome at Wellington Anniversary Weekend, January 18 to 20, 2013.
Tickets are available through Ticketek : .
- © Fairfax NZ News

Salem and I are very excited about going to Wings Over Wairarapa.
We have been getting the prices of the tickets and will be getting the train there from Wellington.
Check out their website :

WWII Aircraft of the Day - The Vickers Type 264 Valentia

The Vickers Type 264 Valentia

The Vickers Type 264 Valentia
By Salem

The Vickers Type 264 Valentia biplane first flew in 1935 as a replacement for the Vickers Victoria.
The Valentia was the mainstay of the Middle Eastern transport force.
It was characterized by it's tail-wheel rather than a tail-skid which made it ideal for landing on rough airstrips.

On the hunt for old loaf tins

I've been having a look in every op-shop nearby to try to find some old/vintage loaf tins.
The reason for this is that out of the three loaf tins that I own, two are modern non-stick ones which when I last cooked with them, the non-stick coating came off onto my loaves.

I was not impressed especially as I always grease the tins anyway.
So I am not going to buy any new modern ones as I really don't trust them and I don't really like the silicon ones either.
So I think that next time we are in Wellington, we will have to check out some op-shops and hopefully I will have some luck as I don't like to use the oven just for one loaf.
There is room for three loaves then I do a batch of biscuits.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Chemically Speaking Part IV

The following is from an article which appeared in The Red+Cross War-time Rationing Cookery Book  which was printed around 1944.

This is part four and also the last part of this article..  
It gives a good outline of chemicals which the body needs for health and how to get them.  
As meat was heavily rationed, it gives mainly vegetable sources as a way to get these nutrients especially for iron.

16 Elements for Health and Beauty Part III


This is the gland regulator; wrinkles and drawn faces suggest a deficiency of iodine.
And the enlarged thyroid gland in the neck is sometimes treated with drops of iodine in water ordered by a doctor.
Iodine foods are onions, shrimps, salmon, egg yolks, spinach and pears.


This is the youth preserver, the protector against infectious diseases.
It helps to protect the enamel in teeth, and is a strong antiseptic.
It is found in egg, cod liver oil, watercress, veal bone broth and oatmeal.

For those who are curious about why fluorine(fluoride) may have been included, check out some more information at:


Lack of silicon is said to produce baldness and bad nails.
It should be included in your diet by having spinach, carrots, wheat and barley and almonds.


Manganese is said to be deficient in the stutterer.
Tomato juice is a good way of taking this, for it also has potassium and iron.
Canned tomato juice is as good as fresh, provided, of course, it is taken out of the can as soon as it is opened.

By a good, mixed diet of fresh and dried fruits, with some milk for breakfast, a large raw salad for lunch; and then steamed vegetables, with some form of protein in the way of meat, fish, eggs or cheese, you will be providing yourself with all these elements without much difficulty.
Water should be taken freely between meals, but not with food.

Ration Hint of the Day - Thirty-five

Ration Hint No. 35

Scrambled eggs can vary!

With that spoonful of cooked green peas.....
or sweet corn off the cob......
or tomato, or chopped cooked carrots.....
or grated cheese or ham......
all make a meal when served on crisp sauted or toasted bread and perhaps topped with a rasher or thin, very thin and curly bacon!

Chemically Speaking Part III

The following is from an article which appeared in The Red+Cross War-time Rationing Cookery Book  which was printed around 1944.

This is part three and I will be posting the last part tomorrow.  
It gives a good outline of chemicals which the body needs for health and how to get them.
As meat was heavily rationed, it gives mainly vegetable sources as a way to get these nutrients especially for iron.

16 Elements for Health and Beauty Part III


Chlorine helps the system to get rid of poisons.
It is found again in spinach, lettuce, egg yolk, cucumber, and a piece of the latter should be taken at the beginning of breakfast, for it's valuable cleansing, eliminative properties.


This is the element which helps the teeth and bones, and promotes good circulation.
It is found in milk, lemons, oranges, tomatoes, raw egg yolk, turnips and turnip tops.


Prevents constipation and is found in vegetables, such as spinach, carrots, lettuce, parsley and also blackberries.


Sodium is alkaline; it works with potassium, and helps the digestion.
It is found in celery, cabbage, spinach and lentils.


This element brings refreshing sleep.
Anyone who is tired cannot look and feel the picture of health.
People who are tense and "live on their nerves" need magnesium, and they can take it in whole wheat (there are many tonics and medicines containing the wheat germ; ask your doctor).
Lemons, grapefruit, spinach, potatoes and other vegetables also contain natural magnesium.


Iron is important.
It guards one against anaemia, and acts as a tonic.
The iron foods are all green leaves, especially spinach, watercress, lettuce, also carrots, raisins and egg yolk, herring roe and liver, and grapes.

Part IV, the last one, will be posted tomorrow.