Cover Image: The Rations Challenge

The Rations Challenge

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Member Reviews

This review is being written during the time of COVID19. That's important to know, because a lot of us - myself included - are at least starting to think about food and access and availability and even sacrifice in different, more real ways. The other day, a cooking school I've attended frequently in the past was offering a free online class on making soft pretzels. As the chef was setting out ingredients, people were commenting - and more than half of the comments were about substitutions. Market shelves were bare in their neighborhoods, and everyday ingredients like flour and yeast were unavailable.

Which gets me to Claud Fullwoods delightful book, The Rations Challenge.

In 2018, British-based writer and blogger, Calud Fullwoods decided to follow a diet - and in many ways simply way of thinking - put forth by the British government during WWII, and based on common wartime rationing. That experience is the basis of The Rations Challenge.

Divided into six weeks, each chapter includes a bit of Fullwood's extended diary kept during her experience, a bit of history to put everything into a proper WWII context, suggestions for self reflection, some suggestions and some thoughtful and practical calls to action. 

Her insights are, at times, both stunning and beautifully simple:

"I don't want to stop buying avocados, and oranges, and bananas...But I want to see those extra luxuries for what they are; gifts and privileges..."

But, Fullwoods goes further, bringing home the reality of WWI rationing by sharing the stories and experiences of people who lived through it - not as a lifestyle choice, but out of necessity. This section, too, provides amazing insight and humanity. And it can absolutely inform our response to and activities during the current global pandemic. These are lessons of resilience and community, of resourcefulness and commitment.

We can all benefit from those lessons:

"[The Ministry of Food} understood that for everyone to stay healthy, everyone had to have a  fair share. As such, the very wealthy had to get used to eating old their share, so that the very poor could keep going. Put another way, the rich had to live more simply, so the poor could simply live."

Think about that when you're hoarding toilet paper and hand sanitizer.

The next section of the book is dedicated to British wartime recipes and kitchen tips. I admit I haven't tried any of the recipes prior to writing this review - something I would do if this were a cookbook. But I'm curious enough about several to try them, if not exactly move them into my menu rotation.

And finally, Fullwood finishes out the book with a comprehensive list of seasonal foods. Sadly, they are seasonal in the UK not here in the US, but a quick google search brought up a number of similar lists for here in America. 

I have to say, I devoured this book. Like I read the entire thing in an hour. 

And, within the next hour, I'd committed to put into practice many of Fullwoods' ideas and suggestions. No, I won't be hand-drawing ration cards to keep my husband and I in austerity, but we've already talked about starting a small garden and limiting the food we eat to what is grown locally, to becoming more aware of food waste in our home, to recognizing the privileged of choosing to make do and mend, rather than having it forced on us by our circumstances

The Rations Challenge is an incredibly timely, thought-provoking and charming book, and one I will be turning to often in the coming weeks, months and years as we all create our own post-pandemic world. Pick up a copy.
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This is a quick read that focuses on the author challenging herself to use food more mindfully and gratefully during Lent through the limitations of wartime rations. It was thoughtful and well-written, though I would have preferred more recipes and tips to accompany the text. It definitely hits close to home in these uncertain times.
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An interesting and timely book! The author could not have known how the world would be so soon after publication. While our current Covid 19 situation is not a war, there are many similarities with food shortages being one. Many of us are finding it hard to buy enough food, or having to make do with storecupboard staples, and this book is a great inspiration, in addition to the history aspect.
Many thanks to the publisher for a review copy.
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Really enjoyed this book.A diet of Rationed food from Ww2 the author decides to live on this diet for lent.The author who has always eaten lived the way she wanted decides to go back in time and live off this restrictive diet,She shares what she eats recipes included there are lovely stories anecdotes.Thisvis a charming entertaining book fun following the authors diet.#netgalley#legend press
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The Rations Challenge by Claud Fullwood is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in late March.

Yee, this is striking a little too close to home these days; not just with food, but with household basics. Fullwood's challenge lasted forty days (aka 6 weeks aka the length of Lent) with UK wartime rations, which means limited dairy, sugar, and protein, allocating 16 points per month, alongside growing your own food. The diary entries each week emphasize thinking mindfully and globally, wasting little, freezing a lot, using leftovers, the 1940s from a woman’s perspective, real-life stories from those who’d lived through it, pooling together the resources of your neighborhood, and simple, ration-mindful recipes. I think would’ve liked it more and considered it less slapdash if there were equal amounts diary entries to recipes.
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I really enjoyed this book, although I really wish that it was in actual book format, rather than on my kindle. This book is designed like a workbook with interactive activities and recipes to follow along with. I really enjoyed this look back into what rationing was like during wars and how it all worked. The recipes will be fun to recreate and, I just really enjoyed this book. The author approached writing it with a true sense of humility and it was a joy to read!
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Very informative and clever, I am a fan of world war two books and the rations that they had to survive on is often mentioned. Imagine a life where a digestive biscuit is a rare treat. I often wondered how they managed and what they were able to cook with what they had. 

So if you're interested in learning about rations and how it felt to survive on them then this is the book for you.
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I DNFd at 29% because I just thought thus was a waste of my time.

I am not really sure who the target audience was supposed to be here.

The Rations Challenge is using the idea of rations from the 1940s in the U.K. and trying to learn about how good can be stretched...so it harkens to a bygone era. Which made me think this was targeting an older generation perhaps.

Then the suggestions and cringe-inducing over-explanations seemed like it was supposed to be for a much younger audience and a bit condescending in some spots. 

Regardless, this seemed to be taking the approach of our society being quite privileged and how we should get better about it...but this came across as irritating and frankly quite stupid to me. Perhaps some will really benefit from this, but I'm not.
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With thanks to netgalley for an early copy in return for an honest review 
What a super book  full.of wonderful  stories and recipes  and so apt for the present day. I will definitely  be trying out a good few of these gorgeous  recipes  thank you
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I downloaded this book with interest as of course, Boris Johnson has just introduced a GB lockdown and people have been stockpiling and panic buying due to COVID19.
This book is well presented, giving historic background to rationing during WW2 , and compares food standards and tastes from then to now. There are spaces to make your own notes. It should be viewed as a working document. Reference is also make to UN global goals which is a great touch. 
There are war time recipes using meagre ingredients. Incidentally I made fat-free barm brack (fruit bread) yesterday  which was lovely, and that recipe was in the book.
All in all, this is an interesting read with some decent recipes. 

Thanks to netGalley for the opportunity to read this ahead of publication in exchange for an honest review
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