Thursday, 25 January 2018

Processing the Cheese


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  :-)

Sue xx

17 comments:

  1. Oh, I like that! So helpful to pre-package and label it too. I just keep it free-flowing in a tub.
    J x

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    1. Well I do usually, but I wasn't sure if it would weigh differently once frozen. Anyway this going to be so easy each week for taking one pack of Alan's ration out of the freezer 😉

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    2. A great way to keep on track!
      J x

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  2. Sorry, what's EasyLeave, looks so much better than the messy clingfilm I usually use!

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    1. I get a big roll from Lakeland once a year. It feels like stuff the bags you get from the supermarkets to put your loose fruit and veg in are made of. I've been known to bring a few of them home or re-use ones I have in place of EasyLeave. I just cut off the tie handles and open out the bag.

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    2. It's good stuff. I use it lots - probably more than I should but it's so useful.
      J x

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  3. Grating cheese is such Hard Work that some people buy it ready grated!! :-)

    I've cut down drastically on cheese consumption - need to get cholesterol levels down.

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    1. I have bought pre-grated a couple of times when it was on special ys offer ... but it has added cornflour to keep it free flowing, it's not that nice ☹

      I let Ken take the strain when I do a big block 😉

      Rationing is going to be good from the health and cholesterol point of view.

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    2. Is that a Freudian slip Sue? I thought your hubby's name was Allan.

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    3. Haha ... Ken is my Kenwood food mixer. Alan is my lovely hubby ... I love them both to bits 😉 ❤

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  4. I use a lot of cheese as, apart from a very little chicken, I don't eat meat. I like fish though. If husband and I did a week of ration-food I'd trade my meat, butter (don't eat that either) and lard for his egg and cheese! Grating always makes it look like more. perhaps if I could grate all my cheese I might fool myself into eating smaller portions and lose weight!

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  5. Wow, grating should does make that small portion of cheese seem much larger.

    God bless.

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  6. Bees wax wraps are amazing , they keep things very fresh for ages, can be home made quite easily and you can make them any size you need from small snack size to a whole loaf of bread .Just wash carefully and reuse for months.

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  7. One of the hardships during the War was that rationed goods were not always available. If hens were'nt laying, then we could go perhaps three weeks without eggs. Shops had notices saying e.g. No Cheese this Week and we just coped. Queuing was built-in to our lives.... rabbit was off-ration andwas snapped up. Seasonal fruits such as red currants were eked out by fruiterers by allowing each customer four ounces so my sister and I spent a long time in queues. Life feels very hedonistic now.

    EH

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    1. Thank you for your comment.

      I've been chatting to my Mum a lot about her wartime memories, she was born in March 1940 so she was very young, but she does have lots of fascinating memories of this time. It has also brought it back to both of us how brave my Gran was to be pregnant as war was declared and then to have her second daughter so soon after this. With one child of two years and a tiny baby it must have been a terrifying time for her and for so many other people with young families.

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  8. I await with interest this challenge...I found it nigh on impossible to find out about flour rationing...if it was or not...I know bread wasn't...but we have so much choice today that they didn't then x

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