A week ago we came back from two weeks of bliss in California. The last proper, going abroad holiday I’d been on was 25 years ago so you can imagine how excited I was at not only going away but spending two weeks with Mr Tiddles (Richard) who I’m not afraid to tell anyone, I have fallen in love with.

IMG_0523We had a hoot from beginning to end as we travelled in a campervan from San Francisco, down the central Californian coast to Monterey Bay and Santa Cruz and then across to Sequoia National Park, Death Valley and then Las Vegas, returning via Pamona (Los Angeles), Mount Baldy, Cambria and finally returning to San Francisco for our last couple of days.

We often free camped over looking beaches and oceans and took in a motel every few days to enjoy showers and huge beds!

The beaches we visited were amazing and mostly very quiet with it being off season, the scenery and changing landscape absolutely stunning. Arable lands, orchards, solar farms, desserts, mountains with snow (and yes we threw snowballs 7000ft up) and vineyards.

We ate sensibly and lots of vegetables but nevertheless enjoyed wine and lots of Irish Coffee at Buena Vista’s. We also did lots of walking and I was convinced that maybe I may actually have lost weight during the two weeks! It didn’t happen but did stay exactly the same and have lost 5lbs in my first week back home! IMG_0471


Richard (Mr Tiddles) is behind me 100% in trying to get below 200 lbs and I feel because my mind is in a happy place and the love I am able to feel,  receive and give, that this is providing a good, stable foundation to keep on going. I am thinking when I reach 250 lbs I am going to teach myself to ride a bike again. In the interim it will be lots of walking…




Here is today’s lunch and how much it cost me. It’s a slightly modified recipe based on ‘Haricot Stew’ that was an economical and tasty recipe put out by the ‘Ministry of Food’ during World War II.


  • 1 or 2 oz of dripping or margarine
  • 1 leek or onion
  • 2 oz plain flour
  • 1 pint vegetable stock
  • 8 oz haricot or kidney beans
  • 4 oz corned beef (optional)
  • 1 lb mixed vegetables (I used lots of kale, some carrots and a couple of potatoes cubed)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Mixed dry herbs


  1. Heat the dripping/margarine in a frying pan
  2. Add chopped leek or onion and cook until lightly browned
  3. Add rest of veggies and stir and continue to saute for a few minutes
  4. Add vegetable stock and beans (and corned beef if you are using that- I’m veggie so mine is without)
  5. Mix flour with a little water to make a smooth paste and slowly mix in to the warmed stew until the desired consistency has been reached.
  6. Add plenty of dried mixed herbs, salt and pepper to taste
  7. Simmer over medium/low heat until carrots & potatoes are tender enough to eat (about 15 minutes or so)

Serves 4

Cost per serving:  35p (without corned beef)

Calories per serving:  200


Thank you so much

I just got back from holiday…the first proper one in 25 years. It truly has been the happiest time. I feel lucky and happy to have spent this time with someone I care for deeply. Hopefully I’ll share some photos with you soon.

Have started the day with porridge and toast and for lunch I’ll be making a wartime vegetable stew. I’m committed to losing another 100 lbs by continuing ‘the ration book diet’ (for want of a better word)…

The article did appear in the Daily Mail (click here – have just now seen it in the newspaper) and THANK YOU for the kind comments and support here on my blog and on my Facebook page. I couldn’t bring myself to read the comments in the on-line article as some people can be so cruel. My daughter tells me that she spent hours standing up to the bullies who left upsetting comments. LOL! I laugh but my sensitive nature just wouldn’t cope with reading them so I won’t xxx


THANK YOU to Sara who said a different article and a VIDEO appeared in the Daily Express (click here)

And another article and photos in the Daily Star (click here)

At the end of the day it was an exciting and fun opportunity to cook up some of my wartime recipes and get dressed up and I hope some people head this way and maybe take note of this simple way to feed oneself in a healthy and inexpensive manner. As you know historical cooking is my obsession…

And it’s really simple.

Eat lots of vegetables, walk a few miles every day, eat very small amounts of meat/cheese and bulk up on beans and pulses instead, and eat very little convenience food.

I’ve looked at the pictures and the videos in the articles, they did a great job but of course I see a fat lady still with over 100 lbs to lose…. I am a long way off goal but really, really want to get there.

It’s tough putting yourself out there open to criticism but I’m just ignoring the non constructive type. I believe anything is achievable if one works hard and is willing to keep getting up after falling down.

Thank you sincerely for the supportive comments and messages.

Lots of love

C xxxx



unnamedI ‘THINK’ tomorrow the Daily Mail is running an article about a strange, fat, middle aged lady who has been trying hard to cure her obesity by living on wartime rations..

Oh… it’s me!

NOTE: Article wasn’t in today’s newspaper but should be soon- will let you know when a publishing date is confirmed xx

It’s taken a LOT of courage to have one’s photo taken and put in a newspaper when you weigh over 20 stone, especially when I did so well losing 80lbs in 2012 living on wartime rations and much of it has returned and I’m having to do it all over again BUT the way I see it is at least I keep trying, keep getting back up again and persevering. (thank you to Bertie at Wrappler for saying I should do it AND Mr Tiddles!)

*** PLEASE NOTE: Sorry will be out of contact of all modern media from March 26- April 8 2014,  but will respond to any enquiries or messages on my return. Thank you xxxxx

But I’m so very passionate about the wartime recipes I’ve been replicating for the past 10 years that it was a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness of perhaps an alternative way to eat and spend less and even get healthier that I just had to go for it. I just won’t check the online edition incase a TROLL says something cruel… I don’t think my heart could take it. It gets easily hurt… I get easily hurt, but as you know I have a new man in my life who now fights my corner and I love him for it.

The Daily Mail were lovely, as was Hannah at Barcroft Media. It involved two photo shoots of food, recipes and myself. They treated me to a new dress but hunting for one and finding one that fitted drove it home to me just how large I am. There were only three shops in the city/town that had size 24 dresses, ASDA, BonMarche and BHS (Evans) and even those were a bit tight. But despite feeling down about this the stylist Lucie was an angel and she made me feel pretty and put some heated rollers in my hair and did such lovely make up and even painted my finger nails! The Daily Mail’s photographer Bruce was just lovely too- both very professional, kind and encouraging.

If anyone has come to my blog from the article in the Daily Mail (I think it’s Monday) you are probably a little interested in the recipes and maybe the weight loss or economical aspect of the 1940s Experiment so I’ll post a few links below that may be of interest


1. I’ve re-created about 130 Authentic Wartime Recipes so far and will continue to do so, one for every pound I lose so please keep popping back http://1940sexperiment.wordpress.com/100-wartime-recipes/

2. Here’s some weight-loss photos you maybe interested in seeing. I’ll never be a skinny minny. I like curves but I just want to be around on this earth for a long time so trying to take responsibility and fight the obesity.. http://1940sexperiment.wordpress.com/weight-loss-photos/

3. Will a diet based on Wartime Rations save you money? It does for me. I live on a very low income and do the best I can. Forgive the dollar signs, I was living for a while in Canada at the time. All my future recipes will contain a price break down in £’s and pennies http://1940sexperiment.wordpress.com/2012/01/27/will-eating-a-diet-based-on-wartime-rations-save-you-money/

4. I keep myself motivated by making wish-lists on WRAPPLER - I keep several Vintage Lists on there including vintage style clothing I hope to wear when I get below 200lbs! http://wrappler.com/gift-lists/list/340

Finally THANK YOU for all the support you’ve given over the years and the comments you’ve left whether its constructive criticism, recipes, experiences or kind encouragement.

Lots of love as always  C xxxxxx

We can do it!

1901213_10152000053777361_1724578788_nI love the rather over used “We Can Do It” American wartime propaganda poster.  To me it epitomises the willingness of women during the war to roll up their sleeves, get stuck in, work hard, be strong and never give up.

Sometimes in life it’s the only thing to do in the face of adversity.  If you don’t you’ve lost, you wither, you are consumed and you vanish..

Adversity comes in all shapes and forms. It can involve emotions, physicality and economics.

Struggling with one’s weight is an adversity, especially if it is manifesting itself in physical or emotional pain. It’s hard to lose weight, especially hundreds of pounds. It feels like the end is never in sight, the struggle seemingly never ends and often you fall down, and have to climb back up again sheepishly, half heartedly, even reluctantly. It’s easier to lie down in a comfy bed then walk barefoot on sharp pebbles..

Weight loss isn’t without pain..

But pain is temporary and there is undoubtedly less of it as we scale our hills and mountains and realize we are nearly at the top.

Despite the struggles and setbacks and 20 years of obesity I do believe in Sir Ernest Shackleton Family Motto: “By endurance we conquer….”

And trust me when I say there are years more endurance left in my 48 year old bones to fight this demon, this need, this greed, this something which I still haven’t quite worked out.

100lbs left to lose..



Wikipedia: “We Can Do It!” is an American wartime propaganda poster produced by J. Howard Miller in 1943 for Westinghouse Electric as an inspirational image to boost worker morale. The poster is generally thought to be based on a black-and-white wire servicephotograph taken of a Michigan factory worker named Geraldine Hoff.

The poster was seen very little during World War II. It was rediscovered in the early 1980s and widely reproduced in many forms, often called “We Can Do It!” but also called “Rosie the Riveter” after the iconic figure of a strong female war production worker. The “We Can Do It!” image was used to promote feminism and other political issues beginning in the 1980s


Here is a great Mother’s Day contest you just have to enter!   Win a bouquet of Interflora Flowers, a VE Day Newspaper & Woman’s War Memory Pack

Goto WRAPPLERS Facebook page

LIKE the page

POST a photo of you and your MUM on Wrappler’s Facebook page and leave a short description with the name 1940s Experiment at the end (so I know you’ve come from my website and you’ll get the replica vintage goodies if you win!)

SHARE your entry on Facebook to pass the word on.




A beautiful Mother’s Day bouquet from Interflora (if your Mum is no longer with us Wrappler will make a donation to the charity/cause of your choice in remembrance of your Mother)

A replica VE Day Newspaper

A Woman’s War replica pack

Get Wrapplering and enter now!





I just thought it would be nice to do a shout out every Sunday to some of the blogs I enjoy reading from time to time and have visited during the week. Please take a moment to click through and support vintage and food bloggers!



There is always lots of vintage fashion articles, movie and book reviews at this blog. Loads of articles and posts in the archive too CLICK HERE

The Girl in the JitterBug Dress

This is a great vintage feel blog as well as a voice for Tam Francis’s new novel ‘The Girl in the JitterBug Dress’… Check out the 1940s slang page too! CLICK HERE

Cookaholic Kate

Kate is a darling. A lovely human being I can tell you that! She muses on her blog about food, recipes, veg boxes, wartime rationing and if you love food like me you’ll love Kate’s blog. CLICK HERE


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,493 other followers

%d bloggers like this: