Thursday, 29 September 2022

Scrumping Bags


What's the one thing that dogs walkers always have on them everywhere they go whether the dogs are with them or not?  Poo bags, or as they are also known at this time of year ... Scrumping Bags.

I was walking the dogs around the park yesterday morning and I spotted quite a few apples of various types on the trees, so I helped myself to just a few.

I added them to the apples in the bowl that Alan had scrumped for me on Sunday morning when we walked the dogs around the garden centres paddock, but he was more clandestine than me and simply filled his pockets.  Well, we were going into the cafe, and you can't really pop a poo bag on or under your table without raising more than a few eyebrows.

Scrumping is very apt for My Modern Wartime Rationing, which is has now been live for a couple of days over on my other blog ... and luckily every time I go out I have a pocket full of 'scrumping bags' just in case.  😁

(You can also click onto my other blog by clicking on the photograph of me washing the pots right at the top of the sidebar.  😉)

Sue xx


Tuesday, 27 September 2022

Victory Garden, Sorting Out the Cupboards and Thank You


My little 'Victory Garden' is still producing things to eat.  

I keep thinking I should start to cut everything back but then I spot one more courgette or one more little cucumber and the sun comes out again and I think ' I'll just give them a chance to grow'.  And they are rewarding me wonderfully.  I feel a bit guilty that the leeks are not getting the space that they should, but they are strong and sturdy and holding their own again the rampant cucumber plant.

The Christmas potatoes are lovely healthy plants, whether there are any potatoes in there is a whole other matter, but the foliage is beautiful.  The spiders love joining the two beds together with webs during the night and getting to the shed means destroying some wonderful creations ... so I try not to venture in there too often.

The tomatoes in the new narrow bed are coming in at a few red ones each day.  Once they stop ripening outside, I am hoping for enough left to be able to make a jar of green tomato chutney for my rationing store-cupboard.

We are still picking lettuce leaves virtually every day and they are doing really well.  The only job I do need to do this week is to pick the apples off the tree and band the tree against the coddling moths that I have spotted this year, I'm not too hopeful for edible apples really, but Alan scrumped a few the other day so we do have some local ones ready for storing to supplement my rations.

Talking of rations, last week I had a good sort out of the store-cupboard.  It was mostly to see what I had in stock and to make space to completely clear one shelf for my rations to live on.

I have a good selection of things in, and I will be able to 'shop my cupboard' for most of the 'on points' rations for quite a long time.

Thank you for all the good wishes for my Mum in yesterday's comments.  She's safer now in hospital than I have felt she's been for a long time.  Hopefully they will be able to sort out her many medical issues, get her medication under control and send her home once she is able to manage in her little bungalow again.

Sue xx

Monday, 26 September 2022

Retro Pots, Winter Woollies and a Sad Accident

I've been washing all my more retro crockery and getting ready for My Modern Wartime Rationing Challenge.  I love the small size of the dishes; I always forget how much smaller they are when compared to even my normal pots.  I eat my meals off a tea plate rather than the more usual dinner plates, but the bowls of my beloved Wood's Ware especially are teeny compared to my cereal bowls and they make my pasta bowls look humungous!

No wonder everyone had puddings after their evening meals back in the day, a mouthful or two of crumble would have been neither here nor there when served in such small portions.  I'm really looking forward to using all this again.

I also finally got around to getting out my Winter woollies out from beneath my bed over the weekend, I panicked a little bit when I saw that all my Winter clothes fitted into this smallest of my shrink-wrapped bags.

But once I let the air back in, they expanded quite nicely.

It seems that I have four cardigans and four jumpers, which along with a fleece and a hoodie that's already in my wardrobe will be plenty for Winter wear alongside my jeans and t-shirts.

I also have four scarves, two pairs of gloves and one hat ... that's more than enough for me.

Everything has now had a quick wash to refresh it and is packed neatly away in my drawer, alongside the t-shirts and a couple of long-sleeved cotton tops that I can wear under them.

I've been missing from blogland for a couple of days as my Mum had a fall in her bungalow last Thursday and is in hospital in Manchester.  She has had a number of health issues that her doctor has not been very good at resolving, and it took the ambulance crew to finally put into place the care package that she should have been given by the doctor over two years ago.  Fingers crossed that once she is well enough to come home, she will be able to continue coping in the magnificent way she has up to now, it should just be a lot easier for her.

Sue xx

Friday, 23 September 2022

Join the Queue Please ....


Okay ... I was tempted again, but who wouldn't be when the box for this little set of books was so lovely. 
It reminded me instantly of the wallpaper that I found in the ancient tiny garden shed of our little homestead in Berkshire, before the landlord decided to knock it down without even a word of warning.  I mean sacrilege!! I tried to peel some off to keep for posterity, but it was stuck firmly to the wood even after fifty odd years.

The blurb from the back.

And the two little books that are inside.

They have actually sparked Alan's interest in all things wartime rationing, and he's asked to have a read of them when I've 

But he'll have to wait a little bit as I am currently engrossed in this one.  

It's one of the best books for background information on the nutritional analysis of the foods recommended on the wartime rationing that I have ever read, and once you read it it's so easy to understand why most people were healthier at the end of the war than they were at the beginning.

I'm definintely going to be using the recipes and menu planning from this one.

The other best buddies, taken yesterday.

* Other dog beds are available!! 😄

Sue xx

Wednesday, 21 September 2022

So, What Makes a Good Blog Post?


I've been a blogger for over fourteen years now and recently a family member asked how I found things to write about and what inspires me to do each post ... it really stumped me at first.  

I guess I am what you call a 'lifestyle blogger' ... someone who writes about the bits and pieces and the everyday aspects of their life and the people and places around them.  I've tried to pin myself down to specific things to write about with various new blogs over the years, but I always seem to bounce back to 'a little bit of this and a little bit of that'.

I guess my readers know to expect the unexpected from time to time ... like this post for instance!!

If I'm having a day when I really want to write a post, but I've done nothing that I think is interesting I will let a photo from that month's computer photo file inspire me.  The one at the top of this post for example, it's just Ginger and Mavis listening to the sounds coming through the open doors of Dad making their evening meal in his kitchen.  As the food hit the bowl Ginger's tail slowly made its way over to Mavis' as if he was letting her know that tea was nearly ready ... I quietly picked up my phone and just managed to get the shot before they both headed off for food.

I'm a blogger through and through and I always have either my phone or my camera to hand.  In fact, the camera now lives in the kitchen on the lower shelf ready to snap food and its preparation.  I got this shot because the minute I had slapped rather too much butter on this toast I suddenly had the realisation that this won't be happening in a week or so when rationing kicks in and excess butter might have the Ministry of Food or just my guilty conscience on my back.  😄

So random photos or a nice day out, a recipe that I have enjoyed making, a holiday, a washing line full of clothes blowing in the sunshine, all these sorts of things inspire me to write a post and occasionally take an extra photo to add to a post.  

But what inspires me to read a post written by others? 

 Usually, it is a catchy title, or a nice top photo, a mention of books, or maybe I am going by to see how something panned out for them.  I do know I prefer blog posts with photos, even just one that shows what the post is about.  When you click on to a post and there is just one huge paragraph of long writing it can be hard to concentrate, especially if like me you are reading on occasion at silly o'clock in the morning.

What inspires you to either read a blog post or write one?

Oh, and I do love a question that inspires me to write a blog post!!

Sue xx

Tuesday, 20 September 2022

So, What Did My Gousto Box Teach Me


So, what did my Gousto box teach me?

It taught me that I much prefer simply cooked and simple tasting meals, and it taught me that I prefer a little dash of mustard in my cheese sauce, and that I love sticky onions.

Was my £15 spend worth it, oh yes.  

It made me think and it made me want to let go of so many of the bad food habits that I've been slipping into just recently.  Now is the time to head back to simplicity and my new Wartime Rationing Challenge ... and what a perfect and at times tasty way to find out.  So, for £15 it was worth it, would it have been worth the full price of £42 ... NO!!

Our evening meal on Sunday eaten in front of the television watching an episode of McDonald and Dodds was the Classic Plant Based Cheezeburger with Sticky Onions.  It was supposed to be served with a side of chips, but we both decided that would be too much.

Instead, I added the small bag of mixed leaves from the pack to a handful of homegrown leaves and one of my homegrown cucumbers, and a couple of extra cherry tomatoes from the plant outside the back door were added to the tomato trimmings that I had after taking off the 4 slices that I needed for the burger.

It was delicious, and the extra salad and no chips was the perfect amount for us both.  Alan is a real salad fiend and will choose salad over chips every time we are out for a meal.  His is the larger salad on the left ... I get jaw-ache with all that chomping if I eat as much as him. 😄

I had saved one of the recipes that was the quickest to make for us to eat during the Queens funeral yesterday, this was the Plant Based Broccoli Cheeze Pasta.  It was absolutely delicious and in my opinion the star of the four meals.  I managed to make it in just over the quoted 10 minutes, while the Queen's coffin was on the way to Windsor.

We had it with a glass of wine and a toast to Her Majesty.

Wasn't it a brilliant day, and in my opinion the only thing that is spoiling it for me now is the constant nit-picking of mostly American 'journalists' who are just determined to fan the fires of old news and create rifts that are mostly not even there.  Here in the UK, we do this sort of occasion so well and I am honoured that this is the second State Funeral to be held in my lifetime, although of course I have no memory of the first one ... did we even have a television in our small family home then?

The meal I had on Saturday was the Tofu Fish, Chips and Mushy Peas.  

The least said about this one the better.  Alan had said a firm no to this particular meal, so it was just for me.

The chips were fine and luckily, I could have both portions, although cooking them in the required amount of oil and in the oven made my little lodge smell like a Chippy for a full 48 hours afterwards.  The peas were lovely not mushed up, oh how I hate mushy peas of any description, slightly squished maybe but mushed ... never!!

But Tofu Fish I did not enjoy at all, I was brave and used the Marmite in the batter and rather amazingly that was the nicest part of it, but I have never been a tofu fan, and this has cured me of any desire to try to get it into my diet.

The final meal should have been this one, but to be honest I just cannot face all the faffing about with the Aubergine Pickle so I will be simplifying it right back to Coconut Dahl and Rice ... and enjoying it my way.

So, getting the Gousto box for that brilliant price was really worth it for the lessons that I have learned this week, and to really bring it home to me that eating simply IS the way forward for me, whether it be wartime rationing as is the plan or simply eating foods that do not require a multitude of steps to bring forward a flavour.

I guess I am just a simple girl ... and perhaps I had forgotten that.  

Sometimes you need a little reminder.

Sue xx

Monday, 19 September 2022

Queen Elizabeth II


Queen Elizabeth II

21st April 1926 - 8th September 2022

Rest in Peace 🌹