Part of doing the preparation for Living on Rations is so that we can make use of what we already have in store for the foodstuffs we would normally be buying in.
Of course during the war years housewives, and the occasional househusband, would shop either once or twice a week or even daily to pick up their rations, visiting all the appropriate shops on their travels. The grocers, butchers, fishmongers etc and they would tag onto any queue that they saw forming sometimes not even knowing what would be available at the end of it.
Well with our limited budget for this year I don't want to go out buying what we already have in, and anyway we really need to make sure that we make the best possible use out of everything. Yesterday I spotted the date on this block of cheese sat in the fridge and realising the best before date on it was after the start of our rationing period I knew that I would have to snap into action to process it immediately.
Although it had a weight on it in grams (625g), I popped it on the scale and started working in ozs and lbs.
This is half the block and it weighs in at over 11oz, and I guess that is what most of us would think is a decent amount of cheese for a week, it's what I would have gone through easily in my cooking and for sandwiches for the two of us when I ate cheese as well as Alan.
Cutting that in half it gives me about the amount Alan would comfortably nibble on over the course of an evening with crackers, celery, grapes and nuts ... yes he's a cheese-aholic ;-)
And cutting it in half again gives me the amount that is the ration for one person for one week.
It's a small amount in anyone's book let alone Alan's!!
So I decided to set to and make it appear to be a much larger amount.
This is what I do with virtually all the hard cheese that comes into our house. Once grated it looks more, it freezes better (packed loosely in bags or boxes so it remains free flowing), and it can be used straight from the freezer as it defrosts in minutes.
Now doesn't that look a bit more acceptable ... even if it is only about the amount I would put on a sandwich with some chutney or pickled onions for Alan.
I set up a little production line.
Carefully wrapping each portion in EasyLeave .
I ended up with ten weekly portions and an additional little portion that will go on Alan's sandwich today. It's now safely stashed in the freezer and is one less thing that we will have to buy during our Living on Rations period.
I bought this way before Christmas and can't remember what I paid for it, but looking today on mysupermarket.com I see it's £3 for this sized block. So my ten stashed away portions have cost me just 30p each ... I can see us saving a lot of money if we can stick to our rations :-)