January is an odd one for everybody. The hype and excitement of Christmas and New Year have worn away, and the joy that comes from excessive overeating of rich and glorious foods has disappeared rapidly. Everybody seems to be kick starting 2014 with bursts of health foods, green juices, and gym memberships.
When Catherine first suggested doing a week living out of the 'Victory Cookbook' by Marguerite Patten, I was skeptical. But it made sense. We'd be cutting out snacking, lowering our calorie intake, and having a week off our favourite pastime and our worst enemy- baking. In order to do it properly, we'd have to follow the Wartime ration scheme, that Patten provides at the start of the cookbook.The guidelines for one adult is roughly as follows: 1 egg, 2 oz of tea, 4oz of cheese, 2oz of butter, 2 oz of preserves. Fruit and veg isn't as restricted, but only if it can be grown in Britain- as vegetarians, that's going to be the trickiest bit. Bread is fine but we've got to make our own in order to keep in with the National Loaf that the ministry of food provided; no Kingsmill for us.
The whole thing seemed like a great excuse to take food selfies, and, of course, to explore how everyday people who weren't buying from the black market were living day to day. The women who were doing their own jobs as well as the men's, old folk, young folk, air wardens, land girls. Whilst regional diets varied, it all amounted to the same sentiment- food wasn't fun. It was strict, it was difficult, and it was depressing. Just like the January diets, eh?
So the Victory week has finally arrived. Today it's porridge for breakfast, using only a tiny amount of our 3 pint weekly ration each. We'll be updating daily with recipes, thoughts, and odes to cake, as well as some photos of dishes and dresses.
Now to weigh out our morning brew and commence with the day!