Friday, November 30, 2012

Ration Hint of the Day - Number Thirty-Two

Ration Hint No. 32

Instead of Icing or cream.

Mix coarse brown sugar with either a little cinnamon, spice, grated lemon or orange peel, and spread over top of cake.
Sprinkle chopped walnuts or coconut over, and put into a low heat oven until sugar sets a little.
Be careful not to have heat too great as this mixture burns easily.
Chopped peanuts can also be used over the sugar mixture or a thin layer of icing made by creaming a knob of butter and blending in as much icing sugar as it will absorb. 
Can be spread over the cake and covered with chopped nuts; or a finely chopped mixture of any left over bits of dried fruits and nuts of all kinds over the icing to make a tutti-frutti cake.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Nut and Raisin Loaf

This following recipe is so quick and easy and the kids love it.
They call it the Trail Mix Loaf.
It is even yummy when it gets a bit stale but it never lasts that long.
I use blanched peanuts as they are cheap.
I also don't chop up the peanuts, that's too much work ;^)

Nut and Raisin Loaf

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons of golden syrup dissolved in 1 cup of boiling water
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of nuts
1 cup of raisins (or sultanas)

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C.
Mix the dry ingredients together including the nuts and raisins.
Add the liquid and mix well.
Bake for 30 minutes or until skewer comes out clean when poked into the middle of loaf.

Serve sliced spread with a little margarine or just plain.
Do give it a try, it is so tasty.

If you do try any of my recipes, do let me know how it turned out and what you thought of it.

Ration Hint of the Day - Number Thirty-one

Ration Hint No. 31

What!  No Cakes!!!!!

Don't worry.
When those unexpected friends drop in for a cup of tea and a chat, cut thin slices of bread with a cookie cutter and spread with a creamed honey and butter mixture, about two parts honey to one part butter.
Sprinkle with a little cinnamon if you have it, or nutmeg, or even a little grated lemon rind.
Scatter chopped nuts on top and toast in the oven.

These are really delicious.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Ration Hint of the Day - Number Thirty

Ration Hint No. 30

If you want something - and are not quite sure of what -
often it is just a glass of water!
Try, and see.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Meet the Girls

Our lovely ladies of the backyard

We have had a few days rest from doing any posting which has been quite nice as we are very busy at the moment.  Salem is doing a lot of extra dance practice as he has his ballet exams this coming weekend, so we have been making extra trips up to the gym so he can use the dance studio there.
We have also been interviewed for a Christmasy article that is to appear in "That's Life" magazine.

With Ted the bantam and two little eggs

We are about to start making some xmas goodies - xmas cake, presents for our family and xmas decorations - as soon as the exams are done and dusted.
Otherwise life is as usual, making and eating yummy wartime meals, tending to household chores and enjoying our pets, especially our very silly and very cute bantam hens.

Zebby about to hide in the comfrey

So I thought I would introduce your to our beautiful girls
Zebby, Tiger, Ted and Blackie.
Our four lovely ladies have done us proud with eggs this year, laying right through winter with at least one egg a day, now it's up to two or three a day.

Tiger and Blackie play follow the leader

Over the last few weeks, they have been taking turns in going broody, our three little black ones have all had their turns, and now it is Zebby's turn.  She's the black and grey one.

Let's find Zebby

We all love their tasty little eggs.  Small and packed with flavour.
I find that they are perfectly fine in all my cooking and I don't add more eggs to my recipes to make up for the small size of the eggs.

WWII Aircraft of the Day - The Bristol Beaufighter

The Bristol Beaufighter

The Bristol Beaufighter
By Salem

One of the aircraft that helped the Allies war effort was the Bristol Beaufighter.
This twin seated fighter was also used as a torpedo bomber, an attack aircraft and a night fighter.
The Bristol Beaufighter was well armed and when attacking the Japanese in Burma, it got the nickname "Whispering Death".

Ration Hint of the Day - Number Twenty-nine

Ration Hint No. 29

Grate peel into little plain cakes or scones - to sweeten and flavour.
Also add a few raisins or sultanas and use less sugar.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Ration Hint of the Day - Number Twenty-eight

Ration Hint No. 28

Use every Raisin you can find!
Yes!  Sugar is acid making in our bodies..... but Raisins are among the richest fruits in alkaline forming elements.
The average is 35.7 units.
Raisins have 97!
So pounce on that packet of raisins!

The Trifles - A Poem

I came across this poem which I would like to share with you.

The Trifles

We drove - we never liked to walk,
The shortest distance was too far.
A wheel felt pleasant in our hands,
We simply loved to drive a car.
And so we found it hard at first,
To wait at corners for a bus,
But after doing it for months,
We know it has been good for us.

We drank our coffee good and strong;
We always liked two cups, or three,
And often, in the afternoon,
We had an extra cup of tea.
And so we found it hard, at first,
But now we'd almost blush with shame
To think that anyone we knew
Would hesitate to play the game.

We liked our bacon brown and crisp,
With lots of butter on our toast.
Without a thought we order up
A juicy steak, a five-pound roast.
We'll find it rather hard, at first,
When rationing begins in May,
But there are lots of substitutes
To cook upon a meatless day.

The things we do are trifling things,
We still have plenty, safety, ease.
We still can say the things we think;
We still can worship as we please.
Ours is the smooth and easy path,
While, for our safety, others fight -
The little burdens that we bear,
Beside a knapsack, are so light!

Dorothy Dumbrille, in the 'Montreal Star'

WWII Aircraft of the Day - The Messerschmitt Me 323 Gigant

The Messerschmitt Me 323 Gigant

The Messerschmitt Me 323 Gigant - Germany
By Salem

The Messerschmitt Me 323 Gigant (Giant) was one of the biggest aircraft in WWII.
It was also the first to have clamshell doors.
This German military transport aircraft could carry 150 fully armed troops or a light tank.
The only downside of the Messerschmitt Me 323 Gigant was that it couldn't unload it's cargo in the air.
But having four machine guns, the ability to land on rough airstrips and a massive cargo hold more than made up for this.

Ration Hint of the Day - Number Twenty-seven

Ration Hint No. 27

Always boil a fresh green pea pod or two and a few sprigs of mint with your green peas.

Children and Fatigue

"Fatigue is an important factor in preventing the proper flow of digestive juices and the muscular action of the alimentary tract.
Children who are fatigued by remaining out of bed too late in the evening, whether it be for purposes of doing homework, or for following the serials on the radio, or the excitement of the cinema are likely to suffer from the effects of malnutrition as if they were getting improper food."

'Good Nutrition' 1944

Just as true now.
Rest is just as important as good regular meals.
I really notice the difference between my two boys.
They both eat good nutritious meals at home and one has a quick read in bed then goes off to sleep, the other plays x-box or is on his laptop until late.
We all know who has the most energy and staying power throughout the next day!!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Ration Hint of the Day - Number Twenty-six

Ration Hint No. 26

Try parsnip cakes instead of potato cakes.
They are marvellous served hot with crisp bacon and/or fried tomatoes for breakfast,

WWII Aircraft of the Day - The Tachikawa KI-54

The Tachikawa KI-54

The Tachikawa KI-54
By Salem

The Tachikawa KI-54 was the standard Japanese training aircraft for the future crews on multi-engined aircraft.
Piolets, navigators, bomb-aimers, radio operators and even air-gunners all trained on the Tachikawa KI-54.
It was named "Hickory" by the Allies.

A Balanced Diet

Back in 1944 the New Zealand Department of Health new a thing or two about a healthy diet.
They issued these notes about what a healthy diet should be for the average New Zealander.
Very similar to the various incarnations of the healthy food pyramid we have had over the years but I think this is a very simple and to the point guide.
When did we forget such sound advice????

This is a Balanced Diet

MILK:  2 glasses for adults daily.  3 or 4 for children.
Drink it cold - used it in hot drinks - in soups, puddings and sauces.
Used dried skim milk for cooking.

EGGS:  (When you can get them)  3 to 5 a week for each member of the family.
Eggs used in cooking to be counted.
When eggs are short, eat more liver, kidney, peas, beans, lentils and cheese.

MEAT or CHEESE or FISH:  (Don't forget liver and kidneys) One or more average helpings (3 oz) daily.

GREEN VEGETABLES:  One big helping daily for everyone.
Boil them quickly in a little salted water and without soda.

FRUIT:  Some fruit each day or tomatoes in season; at least one fruit or one tomato should be raw.

POTATO AND ROOT VEGETABLES:  One good helping of potato once daily.  
Cook in jackets and let the family peel them.
Yellow vegetables as often as you can get them.

CEREALS AND BREAD:  Oatmeal for breakfast - wholemeal bread - "wheat germ" sprinkled on porridge or stewed fruit.

BUTTER:  Supplement the ration with other fats, such as salted beef dripping.

Use any other foods to satisfy hungry appetites, but try to get these into the day's food.

BALANCED MEALS:  Build and repair your body.
                                         Keep you fit and in good health.
                                         Give you energy for work and play. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Make Do and Mend - Rag Rugs

Made with old sheets
I made this for the dining room.

In the spirit of Make do and Mend, I needed some rugs for the floor, so I made my own.
The first one I made for the kids bathroom out of their old t-shirts and it turned out really well.

Bathroom mat made with old t-shirts.
Nice for the kids to stand on, no cold floor at night.
Very easy to clean, just pop in the washing machine.

So as I had a pile of old t-shirts which were full of holes or they had out grown them, I keep them to mend other clothes and for dusters etc, and thought that this is a brilliant idea and a great way to recycle them.
I will end up making rugs for every room I expect.

Work in progress, made with old t-shirts with no set colour
Something bright for the lounge.

I also had some old worn through sheets that were really beyond repair and made a lovely rug from those.
I really like the fraying effect.
Needless to say, I have spent many nights with my scissors cutting up material and making many balls of rug yarn.

Find your's and the kids old t-shirts, as many as possible.

Cut them up into a continuous ribbon, you decide how thick.
I find 1cm good for t-shirts, wider for sheets because they fray.

Join pieces together with a good knot.  You can sew them together
but I like the affect of the knots.

Use a large crochet hook to make a chain as long as you want
then treble crochet (I think in the USA it is called double).
I like to use a 8 mm or 9mm hook.
You can crochet in rows or go around.

Food Rationing in New Zealand in 1944

Even though we are following the rationing from wartime England, we have been finding it interesting to see what was rationed over here in New Zealand and the differing amounts compared to Britain.

The foods that were rationed here were :

These foods were rationed under the coupon system and as from the 1st August 1944, were available in the following quantities per person.

BUTTER -   8oz a week.  No ration was available for children under 6 months of age.
The British ration amount we are following is 2 oz a week.

TEA -    2 oz a week.  None for children under 10 years of age on 1st January in the ration year.
 This is the same amount as the British ration.  Luckily my boys are over 10 years of age as they couldn't do without their morning cuppa.

SUGAR -    12 oz a week.  With additional quantities in season for jam making, as announced from time to time.  No ration for children under 6 months of age.
The British ration amount for sugar that we are following is 8 oz, with no extra for jam making.

EGGS -    In districts with priority rationing is in force, a priority ration of 3 eggs a week for children 6 months and under 5 years, and 6 eggs a week for expectant and nursing mothers.
The allocation to general consumers varies according to the supply and is informally rationed through the grocers.
The British ration was 1 egg per person.  I'm not sure on quantities for expectant or nursing mothers.
An extra egg weekly was allowed for vegetarians.  Powdered egg was also part of the ration, enough for 4 "eggs" a week, I think.
We aren't really following this as we have our own chickens, 4 lovely bantams who give us lovely little eggs every day, which is more than enough for us.  They even laid all through winter with at least one egg every day.
When they do have a break in laying, we will follow the two egg each allowance but powdered egg is not available here and I don't think it sounds too appealing anyway.

MEAT -    The basic meat ration is 1/9 worth a week, with a half ration for children from 6 months to 5 years.  
Prices differed slightly between the islands.  In the North Island 1s 2d could buy you 1 lb of 1st grade rump steak.
We don't do the meat thing and the Grumpy Teenager eats meat at his dads.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Ration Hint of the Day - Number Twenty-five

Ration Hint No. 25

When making pastry -

Flour must be dry and free from any lumps.
Shortening can be butter, lard or dripping, or a mixture of these.
Water must be very cold.
Baking powder should be added to short pastry mixture only.

Sugar.... Add 1 teaspoon of fine white sugar to each 1/2 lb flour for sweet dishes.

Mixing.... Except for wholemeal pastry, which absorbs more liquid, always mix pastry with a minimum of liquid to retain it's crispness of texture.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

In the Newspaper and on the Radio.

Old-fashioned eating

Enjoying breakfast at Arthur's in upper Cuba St, Wellington.  Photo: Phil Reid.

On Friday we were contacted by Elle, a reporter for the Capital Day page in the Dominion Post newspaper.
She had come across our blog and thought it would be interesting to do a story about us and our wartime rationing.
We did an interview over the phone and then met up with the photographer, Phil Reid, on Saturday morning at Arthur's Cafe.  We were having brunch after Salem had a ballet master class with the Royal New Zealand Ballet.

So the story came out in this mornings paper and boy, what a day we have had.
We have had a lot of good feed back and thank you to everyone who has checked out our blog.

We also had someone from Radio New Zealand email us to do an interview with Jim Mora today.
So I did the interview over the telephone early this afternoon.
My phone kept having problems, it was like I had an old fashioned party line.

Below is a link to listen to the radio show, please excuse me as I kept saying "um" all the time, something I really hate.  I think it was the shock of having to speak on the radio and everything happening so fast.
So a big sorry for that.  I really hate listening to recordings myself as I don't sound like I usually do.  Salem even said that it doesn't sound like me.

Wartime rations
Wartime austerity has become a 21st century reality for one Wellington family this year. At the end of last year, Michelle Foxx and her two sons set themselves the challenge of making all their meals according to rationing guidelines from World War II. (10′32″)

Family favours wartime rations

Paraparaumu family lives on WWII rations


What began as a school project has become living history for one Paraparaumu family.
Michelle Foxx and her sons, Salem, 12, and Daemon, 15, have been following World War II food rationing guidelines for almost a year.
Ms Foxx was inspired by an episode of British television series The Supersizers that explored what people ate during wartime.
Because she homeschools Salem, she thought it would bring his study of wartime Britain to life.
"We'd been studying that time period - what music people listened to, what people did for occupations - and I thought it would be quite a cool learning experience," she says.
"My grandparents lived through that era, and a lot of the meals I'm making now, I actually ate with them."
The diet worked so well for them that they kept it up.
"You save money, and it's a lot healthier. There's tonnes of variety. Salem doesn't want to stop, and my oldest son's quite happy with it, so we'll keep going."
A typical day begins with a few slices of a loaf made according to wartime recipes, or Weet-Bix.
The so-called "Oslo meal" - bread, cheese and salad - is a popular choice for lunch, as it was for schoolchildren in the 1940s.

A selection of World War II food ration books.

Dinner can be soup and dumplings, baked potatoes, roasted vegetables and Yorkshire pudding, fish chowder, or Ms Foxx's special "mince".
"It looks like mince, and the texture is pretty similar, but it's actually made from oats. My oldest - meat-eating - son absolutely adores it."
She documents her experiences on her blog Nellie B's Wartime Rationing, where Salem shares a "WWII Aircraft of the Day".
Salem loves the old-fashioned way of life, Ms Foxx says.
"He enjoys the music, he's read a lot of books. He's quite an old-fashioned boy."
Though food was first rationed because of shortages, Ms Foxx didn't feel like she was going without.
"I don't really miss anything. Back in that time, you still could get little treats every now and then. But if we do eat out, we eat things that are appropriate to the time."
Martha's Pantry and Arthur's in upper Cuba St are particular favourites.
But some parts of modern life she can not go without.
‘You've got to have the TV, and you can't really survive in this world without the internet.
"And also, they're great for researching wartime."

Armistice Day and the Unknown Warrior

Armistice Day marks the anniversary of the 1918 signing of the Armistice, the pact that brought WWI  to an end on the Western Front.
New Zealand had sent around 100,000 men and women abroad from a population of 1.1 million at the time.  About 18,000 died and over 40,000 New Zealanders were wounded.
New Zealand had a higher per capita casualty rate than any of the other countries that were involved in WWI.
Armistice Day marked the symbolic end of WWI, as while the conflict ceased on the Western Front, hostilities still continued in other areas.

Here in New Zealand on Armistice Day in 2004,  the "Unknown Warrior" was buried at the foot of Wellington's war memorial.
The Tomb of the Unknown Warrior contains the remains of a New Zealand soldier who died on the Western Front during WWI, but the body could'nt be identified so his identity still remains a mystery.
He was brought back from a graveyard in Somme, France, and was honoured with medals and a full military procession through the streets of Wellington.
Over 10,000 people turned out to pay their respects during his "lying in state" vigil, held at Parliament.

The Unknown Warrior is now a symbol of remembrance for all the New Zealanders who were killed in the war.

WWII Aircraft of the Day - The Fieseler Fi 156 Storch

The Fieseler Fi 156 Storch

The Fieseler Fi 156 Storch
By Salem

The tiny Fieseler Fi 156 Storch spotter plane was designed for operation in extremely restricted spaces.
The Fieseler Fi 156 Storch was often used for staff transport but also worked closely with ground troops.
Despite it's frail appearance, it was a great scout aircraft and saw service in the Desert Campaign in North Africa.
Nearly 3,000 Fieseler Fi 156 Storchs were produced between 1937 and 1945 at the Fieseler Factory.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Ration Hint of the Day - Number Twenty-four

The next lot of hints are from The Red+Cross War-time Rationing Cookery Book.
This was published here in New Zealand in around 1944.
I was lucky to come across this book, it has a recipe for every day of the year, nutritional information, hints and heaps more.....

So here is the next installment....

Ration Hint No. 24

Boil small beetroots and serve hot as a vegetable with white sauce.
It is delicious with mince.

Butter Rationing in New Zealand

Butter rationing was introduced by the New Zealand Government in October 1943. 
It was rationed down to 225 grams (8 ounces) per person which is around 16 tablespoons.  
This almost halved the average weekly consumption of butter which was around 415 grams per person, that is a whole lot of butter!!!!!

New Zealanders loved their butter and it was used daily and very liberally in practically every New Zealand kitchen at that time. 
So butter rationing meant that many everyday foods and baked goods were affected so other foods were used in butter's place.
Suet and dripping were the alternatives that were available, not olive oil or margarine as they were not in common use here in New Zealand.
Margarine, until in recent New Zealand history, needed a prescription from the doctor to be purchased.

Butter was rationed so that plenty could be shipped off overseas, to Britain and even to the USA, for the war effort.
Milk and cheese, however, was not rationed.

Rationing of butter ended in New Zealand in June 1950.

The following information was issued by the Department of Health, Wellington, New Zealand, in 1943.

Butter Rationing

Compensating Foods Suggested.

With the introduction of butter rationing, it is important that people should know the foods that can help to compensate for the loss of food value normally supplied by the quantities of butter to which they have become accustomed.

In the first place, butter is butterfat, and the two other foods which contain butterfat are milk and cheese.
The amount of milk normally required daily is :

Two glasses for Adults
Three to Four glasses for Children.

With less butter available it is necessary that all of this milk - and more, if possible - should be used.
The top creamy milk should be saved for the children's porridge and puddings.

More cheese should be used.
Grate it in salads, eat it in chunks with bread and a little of your butter, or cook it for the evening meal.

An important constituent of butter is Vitamin A, which enables the body to resist infection, and also helps to avoid the condition known as night-blindness.
Vitamin A is present, for example, in eggs and liver.
Cheese, eggs, and liver are all foods which can form part of the tea meal - the meal at which so much butter was eaten.

The green and yellow vegetables - leafy vegetables, carrots, kumeras (NZ sweet potato) - can all help in providing Vitamin A.  So can tomatoes.

To replace the Vitamin A, then, use milk, cheese, eggs, liver, green and yellow vegetables and tomatoes.

For baking purposes dripping clarified at home may be used, and if the butter for spreading runs out, salted beef dripping in which an onion has been cooked, is suggested as a substitute.

To sum up, the following foods will help to make up the deficiency caused by butter restrictions :

1.  milk and cheese
2.  eggs and liver
3.  green and yellow vegetables and tomatoes
4.  salted beef dripping for spreading on bread
5.  clarified dripping for baking.

Rationing in Britian

Have a look at this video.
It shows how rationing affects an average British family.

Friday, November 9, 2012

WWII Aircraft of the Day - The Petlyakov PE 2

The Petlyakov PE 2

The Petlyakov PE 2 - Russia
By Salem

The Petlyakov PE 2, a twin engine bomber and was a very successful air craft.
It was intended as a high-altitude fighter but it was discovered to be an effective bomber with a maximum bomb-load of 1,600kg.
The Petlyakov PE 2 was also faster than the standard German fighters in Russia in 1941.

Ration Hint of the Day - Number Twenty-three

Ration Hint No. 23

Potato water improves scones, etc, and lightens the milk bill.

This is my last Ration Hint from the Self Help "Wartime Cooking Suggestions" booklet, but I still have plenty more hints to share so keep an eye on future posts.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

WWII Aircraft of the Day - The Cant Z 506 Arione

The Cant Z 506 Arione

The Cant Z 506 Arione -Italy
By Salem

The Cant Z 506 Arione was a winner in bad weather.
This seaplane could take-off and land in the strongest winds and had served alongside the German's.
The Cant Z 506 Arione was originally intended to be used as a civilian airliner, but by the end of WWII, they were being used as air-sea rescue planes.

Ration Hint of the Day - Number Twenty-Two

Ration Hint No. 22

Use cake baking powder in making short-pastry.
It is a great improvement.
Also, use half flour, half wholemeal and all dripping, with lemon juice and water to mix it.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Ration Hint of the Day - Number Twenty One

Ration Hint No. 21

When creaming lard and sugar together, in making war-time cake, beat it well over basin of hot water, as lard is less easily blended than butter.
Add a little salt always.
Lard makes good cakes.

Friday, November 2, 2012

WWII Aircraft of the Day - The de Havilland Mosquito

The de Havilland Mosquito

The de Havilland Mosquito
By Salem

The de Havilland Mosquito was one of the true greats of air warfare.
The Mk. VI fighter bomber version was the most widely used of the de Havilland Mosquitos and was capable of carrying a pair of highly explosive bombs under-wing.
The de Havilland Mosquito was even converted for reconnaissance duties.
It also helped to defend London during the V1 Doodlebug attacks.

Ration Hint of the Day - Number Twenty

Ration Hint No. 20

Try mashing potatoes with bacon dripping and milk instead of butter.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Ration Hint of the Day - Number Nineteen

This is very short and sweet.

Ration Hint N0. 19

Fat from mutton broth makes good cakes.

WWII Aircraft of the Day - The Fiat CR 42 Falco

The Fiat CR 42 Falco

The Fiat CR 42 Falco - Italy
By Salem

The Fiat CR 42 Falco served as an escort aircraft and as a night fighter.
It was sleek looking bi-plane and had a strong steel and alloy frame.
It had a low wing loading which made it very agile and easy to maneuver.
Over 1,800 Fiat CR 42 Falco's were built and it was the most widely produced Italian aircraft in World War II.
It was also used by the air forces of Belgium, Sweden and Hungary.
Even though bi-planes were becoming obsolete,  the Fiat CR 42 Falco served alongside mono-plane aircraft.
Along with the Fiat CR 32's, the Fiat CR 42 Falco's made up about two-thirds of the Italian Air Force's single-seat fighter strength.