Wednesday, 9 December 2020

A Little Bit of Wartime Reading

I was asked for a close up of the top shelf of the bookcase that I showed on yesterdays post ... so here you are 😀 

It's my collection of wartime reading and ration cooking books, which I find really useful for budget or frugal recipes and which were mostly collected a couple of years ago when I did a Wartime rations Challenge and we both ate the same rations as a couple would have during World War Two here in the UK.  It was fascinating and taught us both a lot.

I am currently teetering on the edge of making it a year long Challenge for next year.  It was a healthy diet and a cheap one at that.  I really enjoyed doing it for the simplicity of the food, I guess I could give it a modern twist in some way if I did it for a full year.  We'll see.


Anyway ... here's a close up of the books.

If you click on any of the photos they will open up to a larger size for you to have a closer look.



The ones in the vintage drawer.
 


Inside the little basket are these wartime replica packs of leaflets, cards and postcards.


A tiny cookery booklet ...


... and of course my Ration Book  😊


Oh and I had this one on my bedside table so it missed being in the photos.

Hope that helps those of you who asked to see them in close up.  Do many of you have any of these books and an interest in this era?


Sue xx



31 comments:

  1. I expect you know that I've got most of those! Just reading something you would like - don't think you have it there. It's Caroline Taggart - Christmas at war.

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    1. No I don't have that, the one pictured is my only Christmas one. We have very similar tastes don't we ... except for your murder obsession 🤣🤣

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    1. I would have been shocked if you hadn't !! I am still waiting for you to publish your War Diaries. I would be first in the queue to buy a signed copy 😃

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  3. I thank god for my mum and her bargain 10p books she finds from her local charity shop or superstore as she likes to call it and then sends them in care packages to me. Then I have read them I sell them back to a second hand book shop called book off they are over japan. I buy most of my second hand books there.
    I am hafu. My dad is Japanese, my mum is Italian. But born in Kyoto, brought up in the UK. Meet hubby, who works for a Japanese motor manufacturer in the north east. Got the opportunity to move out here and well we couldn’t say no.
    I working in harajuku I totally love it , but the changes have saddened me over the years. It’s like the South Koreans have taken over big style and it’s a tourist trap.
    But back to the books. I am a big reader, read a book every 3 days, I encourage the kids to as well English, Japanese whatever is to hand. I want them to be well read .
    You mentioned a vlog, vix has too. I just don’t have the time. And Japanese internet sucks and is very expensive. Even our mobiles. But hey that’s life. Take care and speak soon

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    1. Wow, what a wonderful back story you have. I mentioned blogging not vlogging. Just like I do, a photo or two and text. Easier to do on a phone if necessary, and uses tons less download capacity than a vlog would. I just think you have such a different lifestyle, it sounds fascinating.

      Yes my boys were brought up on books, night-time stories before and long after they could read for themselves. It creates a bond and a love of books that usually stays with you. Now in their 30s one son is really into books and the other isn't ... but hey 50% success ain't bad 😀

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  4. My Mum used to got wartime books from the library and I loved reading them. I have a few myself but nothing like your brilliant collection.
    xx

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    1. It's built up over time, some new but most from charity shops. My interest was spiked with some from the library though when my sons were little and I needed filling but cheap meals. I must have taken them out over and over as I couldn't afford to buy books back then. I had one book virtually permanently, renewing it every two weeks when I went back to the library for my next stash of reading material.

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  5. I had a couple of these but they were jettisoned recently because of our move, so someone else will have the pleasure. I enjoy any history, but prefer Victorian social history, truth be told, and anything related to country living.

    I have to say, it would be quite a challenge to have a Ration Book Diet for a year though you would save a pile of money eating that way and probably lose weight too. Just think, no chocolate or booze - all those empty (though delightful!) calories gone in one fell swoop!!

    LOVE that photo on the Mike Brown book cover!!

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    1. I was thinking about how much money I would save doing it for as long as I possibly could, and it would be interesting to see if it would promote a bit of weight loss, not a bad thing in my case I seem to be stuck a stone heavier than I want to be. Yes the book cover is brilliant isn't it ... so romantic ;-)

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  6. I lived through it and remember wartime recipes well - my mother was a good plain cook and made all her own bread and currant bread

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    1. I think learning the wartime recipes gives a good backbone to a cooking repertoire for everyone ... and I guess homemade bread was SO much more preferable than the National Loaf that was available at the time.

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  7. I love reading about wartime stuff in particular the recipes and the make do and mend ethos. They were forced to experiment due to shortages and some of those experiments were quite ingenious don't you think.

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    1. I really do, and I think that's why it appeals to me. Anything that makes me think about things that bit harder is fascinating, put that together with food and you have me hooked.

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  8. I tend to be more drawn to pre war stuff - I have a bit of a thing about Arthur Ransome's books. It has crossed my mind though to wonder what Roger, Titty, Susan and John did in the war, when they grew up.

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    1. I have to admit to never reading any of Arthur Ransome's books (not that I can remember anyway) I haven't even seen the film of Swallows and Amazons, something I should rectify over Christmas for sure. I was an Enid Blyton girl through and through, give me the Famous Five, the Secret Seven and all the Adventure books and I would sit happily reading for hours.

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  9. The only book like yours i have read is The 1940s House which, unfortunately, had to bite the dust when we moved. I really enjoyed the TV series when it was shown too. At school I read The Borrowers and White Fang, as well as loads of Shakespeare and Charles Dickens, but when I got home it was always Enid Blyton when I was tucked up in bed. When I ran out out of those I turned to Malcolm Saville books from the library. Simple pleasures 😊

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    1. Yes, I re-watched The 1940s House a couple of weeks ago I have it on DVD. I used the love The Borrowers when I was a child, and still do. The film is charming and I watch it every time it's on television. Maybe that's why I like living in small spaces and make-do and mend ... I'm a closet Borrower 😃

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  10. I think that is a smashing idea for your next challenge. It would make for very interesting reading.

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    1. I've been doing a bit of working things out today and I've decided on a way to do it that should work out quite well for me to be able to do it long term.

      I had to find a way of staying as true to wartime rationing as I could while incorporating a vegan diet and a slightly more modern way of eating. I think I've cracked it 😀

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  11. I don't have any recipe books that go back quite that far, but I have a small collection of Kindergarten fundraising Recipe books from the 1940-50s. They are an interesting mixture of frugal and what is not very expensive. One recipe, from an area in coastal New Zealand glass says "Take about 2 dozen prepared scallops and place in a pie dish, pour over 1 glass draught beer, 1/2 glass vinegar, place three or four knobs of butter and a cup of grated cheese on top of the scallops, salt and pepper to taste. Put un oven at 350° and cook for 1/4 hour. Delicious." !! That would be about 30 pounds for the scallops in today's money. And another says "take a quart of whitebait" That's probably 75 pounds worth!!

    I doubt they'd be on your meal planner Sue!

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  12. I have a few of your books and some American books published during the war. I like the Wartime diaries too, my favourites are the ones written by Nella Last. It is a time frame I find interesting though my field of expertise are Far East POWs held by the Japanese in the Second World War, particularly the Canadians. Another aspect I study is life in the Japanese Internment Camps, particularly Stanley in Hong Kong where my grandfather was held.

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    1. Yes, my Nella Last books are on the shelf. They are a lovely read aren't they 🙂

      The thought of the POWs and the camps horrify me, what men does to his fellow man during wartime is incomprehensible.
      I'll stick to the Home Front for now.

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  13. I have a few cookbooks and of course Nella Last books♥ I think you would perhaps know Carolyn's blog "The 1940's Experiment" which I love link below

    https://the1940sexperiment.com/

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    1. Yes, I have her blog on my sidebar and we've been blogging buddies for years. I'll be popping by regularly to use her recipes 🙂

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  14. I have the Ministry of Food book and a couple of the Nella Last books - I think I have Ruth Motts books stashed away somewhere as well.
    Watched the 1940's House, Victorian Kitchen Garden and WWII Farm series on TV or Youtube - loved them all.
    My parents were teenagers during the war so heard lots of stories from them and my grandparents. Had a bit of a laugh a few years back when I was taking a University History course - the prof asked if anyone knew what he was holding up - it was a ration book - I was the only one who knew - of course I was also older than the prof!
    Another reader here - and a particular favourite series was the Adventure series from Enid Blyton.

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    1. I have all the series you mention on DVD, they are really good aren't they. I guess I should be doing a bit of watching to get me into the swing of things 🙂

      My Mum was born in 1940 so was a baby during the war years, but she had good memories of how they lived.

      Enid Blyton is pretty timeless isn't she, my older son used to read all the books in the 80s too, brilliant fun ... with lashings of ginger beer 🤣🤣

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  15. I have just finished Hunter Davies's 'The Co-Ops got Bananas' which is a fantastic account of growing up in a northern council estate in the 40s and 50s. His life as a grammar school boy and the transformational times of the 50s and 60s are really well written. I was born in 1957 and a lot of it was familiar!

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  16. I haven't got any of those books but I know I'd find them a fascinating read. There's a group of women I know who formed an alternative branch of the WI, they dress in 40s fashion and have make do and mend talks (or used to!) xxx

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  17. I am currently reading Laurie Lee's lovely book "Conversations with Rosie", the first book of his I have read. It will not be the last. If you don't know him, he was born just before the Great War, and lived through the Continuation War (Finlands little joke) and so much more. The Man Who Walked Backwards by Ben Montgomery is next.

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