The Rations Challenge: Forty Days of Feasting in a Wartime Kitchen by Claud Fullwood

I’m not exactly sure what drew me to Claud Fullwood’s forthcoming book The Rations Challenge.  Perhaps it was my general and ongoing interest in how to make even a small contribution to addressing climate change.  Little did I know that this would turn out to be the perfect read for completely different reasons.

As the blurb for this book explains:

“Food is always a hot topic – Food waste, food banks, food miles, local versus imported. As we all need food, we can’t ignore it.  But as some families struggle without enough food to live on, others are challenged to consider how much they throw away, or how to make the food they have go further. Which is why Claud Fullwood set herself the challenge of living on World War Two rations for Lent. It opened her eyes not only to issues of hunger and waste, but also to the many ways in which we have the power to fix our groaning food system, make our families stronger and our communities whole again.  The Rations Challenge takes the wisdom of World War Two and looks at how it can help us revolutionise how we live now. By learning the lessons our parents and grandparents lived by in the ’30s and ’40s, we can build a future that works for everyone.”

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“There is not a thing that is more positive than bread.” – Fyodor Dostoevsky. Part two of my bread making odyssey

Last week I wrote about baking by hand my first ever loaf of bread. It was instantly addictive and so I was back in the kitchen this weekend to have another go.

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Kitchen Capers: making my first ever loaf of bread

I have been having great fun in the kitchen today. And the best bit about it? Eating the fruits of one’s labours of course!

For a while now I have been wanting to have a go at making bread. We have a perfectly good bread maker which we use occasionally. But having watched tons of cookery programmes on TV over the years, as well as reading about how amazing it is to make one’s own bread, I decided to give it a try and see for myself.

Using the ‘Basic White Load’ recipe from James Morton’s fantastic and easy to follow book Brilliant Bread, I managed to produce this little beauty:

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Autumn Baking: Nothing Better!

Today I have been doing some impromptu baking. It is ages since I last indulged my love of making cakes and yummy things.

I enjoy cooking proper meals most nights (unless it is Hub’s turn – he is an excellent cook). But there is nothing quite like throwing together a few ingredients which, only a few minutes later, fill the home with warm, comforting, mouth-watering baking smells!

In the picture, you can see on the left Mary Berry’s ‘Bonfire Chocolate Tray Bake’ (yes I know it is a bit early, but hey!), from her book Foolproof Cooking. Like all Mary’s books, this includes some cracking recipes which I can highly recommend.

And on the right is a ‘Whisky Tea Loaf’. So very easy to make, with delicious results. And I can vouch for a slight amendment to the recipe: only one tablespoon of whisky did not seem quite enough to me, so I put in two – YUM!!! 😉