Sunday 19 June 2022

The Preparations for the Ration Challenge 2022


My only shopping for this week, and possibly the emptiest trolley that I have ever pushed around Aldi.

When I got home I weighed out my allowed 170g vegetable of choice, that this year as you can see is Spring Onions ... and gave Alan the rest.  This is the way that I usually store my Spring Onions in the fridge.  I knew a pint pot would come in handy for something ... even though I don't drink pints.  😃

Then I opened up all the bulbs of garlic and looked for a clove that weighed as close to the 6g weight that I am allowed for the Challenge as possible.  I was lucky that this one and two others weighed in at exactly the magic figure so I had a choice.  The rest of the cloves are now in a zip-lock bag in the freezer, as this is the way that I always store my garlic and I had only run out last week ... perfect timing.

Next it was time to ready my kitchen worktop for the Ration Challenge.  

I pulled out of the drawer the spices that I and my team-mates had chosen to use for the week, minus the cinnamon that someone chose, as the only thing I have cinnamon with is apples  ... and I definintely do not have any apples this week.

These are now out and ready for action along with my unlimited salt.
The cat is also a salt cellar ... it's a long story that one!!

Possibly two of the most boring photos that I will ever share with you!!

My fridge is virtually empty, the odds and sods that are left are relegated to the salad drawers and the top shelf ... I manfully (womanfully) drank the wine that was left in the door so there would be no temptation during Challenge week.  I might have also eaten more chocolate than usual this week in an effort to clear the decks.  

The easiest 'Spot the Difference' game ever!!

The final thing for me to do was to clear the worktop of all but the most essential items ready for the Challenge.  I wont be using the toaster or the food processor during the coming week and I will be rolling lots of flatbreads etc out on the worktop, which means that flour gets everywhere, so it made sense to clear everything away.

I have to admit to loving the clear streamlined look of my one and only kitchen worktop.

And THIS is it.  

My entire weeks food, along with flavourings etc for Ration Challenge 2022.

Thank you to everyone who has already donated to this worthwhile cause.  As you can see if you follow the link below, or use the one on the top of my righthand sidebar, we have now just passed the final total that I set myself (and beating the total amount we raised in 2020)  and this means that we have raised enough money to be able to feed TEN refugees for a whole year.

Ten people eating for a whole year just because I eat this way for one week, and you and I open our hearts, purses and wallets and donate our hard earned cash, it is remarkable and saying thank you just does not seem enough but ...


I'll be back tomorrow morning with the first days meals, recipes and thoughts.

But let's leave the final words of today to Fatima.  This lovely message was sent to be shared to all the Ration Challengers the day before the Challenge kicks off ... and I thought it only fair to share it with you.  Fatima has been in one of the camps in Jordan since before I had ever even heard of Concern Worldwide and the Ration Challenge, she's a remarkable lady.

Sue xx


  1. I have to say, having that little to exist on would be daunting. Having an empty fridge terrifying. The choice of garlic and spring onions is a good one as they give lots of flavour. Well done with your impressive fundraising.

    1. It's strange but I don't see it as daunting at all, quite invigorating and challenging. Maybe if I had someone else to feed as well as myself there would be more pressure. Thank you.

    2. Perhaps it's because I grew up in a household where my mum shopped daily and there was NO store cupboard - snacks were a handful of cornflakes, a piece of toast or as a special treat, dried mixed fruit. I still remember our early days in Wales when we lived very hand to mouth and again, treats were made with what I could rustle up from the hedgerow. No food in a fridge or cupboard makes me panic!

    3. Don't forget I am only doing this for a week.

      I had dark times too in the past, with a childhood where food was there but not excessive at all, and what you were given HAD to be eaten, with no snacks. And when my boys were small I raised them on a pittance, with the cupboards being empty more than they were stocked. But obviously I can cope with doing this sort of Challenge because at the back of my mind I know that I have a larder full of tins and packets of food. At a guess I would say that I have enough food to last me two months if used sensibly.

      And that is why I do these Challenges to remind myself, and because for so many there is not that back up and highlighting that, and doing something in a small way to help out both for the refugees AND for the local Foodbank which will once again be benefiting from my unused housekeeping money.

  2. I find that not only very daunting but also utterly shocking. Also challenging as I dither between which fruits to add to today's fruit salad. Oh, my goodness . . .

  3. "Respect".
    Sue, even if you do nothing else, even if you were to consume additional food items that are not currently on your worksurface, you would still have achieved something amazing. Not just the amount of money you've raised (which is incredible), but the increased awareness many of us have thanks to your efforts. Well done, x

    1. Thank you so much Jayne. There is so much going on in this world that we just don't seem to hear about isn't there. Or things are in the news briefly and then not ... and we assume the problem has gone away. This challenge is always a real eye-opener for me.

  4. All the best, Sue! You're an inspiration! xxx

  5. Amazing effort. Really looking forward to seeing your posts this week.
    Alison in Wales x

  6. Fatima expresses herself well and brings it home to us why we should be helping as many people in her situation as possible. I hope you're having a lovely restful day Sue. Your streamlined kitchen top looks great and ready for action!
    Very well done on reaching such an amazing total for the challenge x

    1. She seems a lovely lady doesn't she, and to think that she has been in the same camp both as a refugee herself and helping all the new arrivals since 2015 is astonishing and very humbling. It's actually quite nice to have the worktop so clear. I will have to find a way of storing my food processor and toaster away all the time.

  7. Your challenges are always interesting and inspiring for me to follow. Thank you for the time and effort you put into them and the documenting of them.

    1. Thank you for realising the work involved in blogging everything, especially when you are trying to do it as things are happening. But I do love to share things with all my readers and something this important is well worth sharing.

  8. I just saw a video on TV the other day where the cook added cinnamon to a pasta soup and she said it added a bit of zip to the taste. Best of luck - you know what you are doing.

    1. It's just a flavour I have never really gotten on with, maybe after the challenge I will experiment with it a bit more. Some challengers have said it's good in curries, but none of my curry powders have it in as an ingredient so I doubt I have tasted it that way yet.


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