Let’s Talk About the Numbers
Rationing fluctuated through out the war; what was rationed, how much you received, etc. For the purposes of this exercise, I consulted We’ll Eat Again by Marguerite Patten. Marguerite Patten was instrumental in keeping up morale in times of austerity, by helping produce new and innovative ways to live off of less. In We’ll Eat Again (to which I always have to add “don’t know where don’t know when), Mrs. Patten outlined what rations were average time, roughly what rations were in April of 1945 according to the Imperial War Museum’s book Home Front Handbook (the chart handily uploaded onto Wikipedia.)
When rationing was implemented in January of 1940, affected foods were butter, bacon, and sugar. Meat, tea, jam, biscuits, cereals, cheese, eggs, lard, milk, and tinned and dried fruit soon followed. Eventually by 1942, all foods except bread and vegetables were rationed. Vegetables were subject to availability.
Armed with this knowledge, the Fella and I laid out the ground rules. He is allowed to have coffee at work, we will drink tea at home. Coffee was not rationed, but it was very hard to get. However, I don’t want the Fella to mutiny on day one, so coffee at work.
Our vegetables will be based on seasonal availability. For the items like milk, meat, and cheese, which had changes in the amounts available, we will use a percentage based chart that we are working on to reflect the tenuousness of the food supply at the time.
In the spirit of the exercise, we will start putting out our victory garden in January although I daresay we won’t be reaping the bounty in time for this experiment.