Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Making a start

In October of this year, my boyfriend and I realised that the combination of my being a good cook, him being a good eater, Christmas, me working from home and our generally relaxed lifestyle meant that we're, for want of a better way of putting it, getting fat.

Christmas, with its chocolate and booze and fried stuff, wouldn't help this. By January, we'd be blobs (and comfort eating caused by the forthcoming death of the Tenth Doctor will only make things worse). So what could we do?

A few years ago we were given a book by the sainted chef Marguerite Patten with her famous Ministry of Food recipes from wartime (there have since been other books on what is clearly a popular subject). This set the idea in our heads that we could create a way of losing weight, protecting the environment and furthering our consuming interest in the 1933-1951 period, all without the actual bother of dieting or going hungry.

Not going hungry? Why yes. Because the rationing system of World War II was designed to not cause hunger. The food might be boring and might require quite some skill to make something of it, but the person of 1940 would get exactly the calories they needed, exactly the protein, exactly the carbs but almost no fat. They would lose weight, but not muscle. They would, at the end, be healthier than before the War. But much thinner (except in the many slums of the inner cities, where they would be just as thin, but wholly better fed).

CJBS (the boyfriend, otherwise known as @kiffr, Kif or Chris, and not strictly speaking my boyfriend either since, reader, I married him recently) was keen to live with what his parents lived with in the years immediately before his birth and to experience the circumstances that his paternal grandmother never stopped banging on about. So together this is our January 2010 project, the planning for which starts now.


peezedtee said...

Will you be having snoek? Well, no, you won't, but will CJBS? It would be nice to find out whether it is as disgusting as often claimed.

RJ Graham said...

Yes, I intend to inflict it on CJBS as soon as I can lay my hands on some. It doesn't come up on Google Shopping (although they do offer this fetching I [heart] Snoek keyring for reasons that escape me).

If worst comes to worst, I'll make Kate bring some from her nearby fish shop which proudly announces it has it on sale.

Michelle said...

Hello from across the pond! My family and I just began our year-long project following U.S. civilian rations from WWII (which, I admit, were not as severe as in the U.K.). Looking forward to your journey and swapping stories! rationalliving.blogspot.com