Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Food Glorious Food!

I couldn't blog about an Enid Blyton styled cottage without mentioning food. Her books are full of mouthwatering descriptions of food, which is always fresh from the farm and plentiful, even ordinary tinned foods are made to sound exotic and adventurous. Sardines at a midnight feast! Dick's eyes gleam when they raid Aunt Fanny's store cupboard in Five Run Away Together "Soup -tins of meat - tins of fruit - tinned milk - sardines - tinned butter - biscuits - tinned vegetables! There's everything we want here!" 
In between meals there are icecreams, lemonade, ginger beer and macaroons to be eaten on the beach or in teashops as well as bars of chocolate in back pockets with bags of sweets. Truly a child's heaven.

poke me for more detail

So with all these things in mind I knew that food would be plentiful in Hollyhock Cottage... until I began to research and learned about strict war time rationing. Before the war 70% of Britain's food was imported, mostly by shipping which immediately made it vulnerable to attack. Labour was down as men went to fight for their country and soldiers had to be fed so rationing was introduced to ensure that all would have food. This continued for years becoming stricter after the war with foods such as bread and potatoes being added to the rationed list. Publishing was down too, due to paper restrictions, yet, like the food in her stories, Enid Blyton seemed unaffected, publishing nearly 100 books during the war years. 


My main goal was to get some more building done this week, but alas, to go further I have to finish the larder which will be impossible to reach once the walls go up, so with food in mind I pulled out the Sculpey and set to. Fortunately I had made a number of items such as carrots, potatoes and honey pot a while ago plus tinned goods from some of the free printable sites found online and jars using the resin and pencil eraser method. Sorry, I didn't know to save links then. 

Even more fortunately given my limited Sculpey skills, a lot of my food won't be very visible, but I like to know it is there. 

There are always sausages in the stories, the dog usually under suspicion when they disappear, so they were a must. A meat pie and a tart were necessary too as well as the jug of creamy cold milk. As I haven't been able to source liquid Sculpey I had to improvise, so waterbased varnish mixed with paint made nice gravy and cherries were once sago, coloured with food colouring and soaked in cochineal tinted varnish. I loved the chalk artists pastels for colouring and they made the 6 Sculpey colours I have - green, translucent, white, yellow, black and red  more flexible, although my swedes have a definite peach look about them. My first 2 loaves of bread would have fed the 5000 with no problem so these were the second attempt - I have to keep scale in mind! Actually bread is a problem with me - my very first loaves using the flour/salt recipe were casualties of my 'flood' and my breadbin, made using the same method as my bucket, ran when I applied the nail varnish - obviously permanent marker isn't nail polish proof!

I have cannisters and odds and ends waiting to go onto the shelves when they are installed and think a ham hanging from a ceiling hook might be nice too...and maybe a pudding in a bowl... 

We'll see!

 In time for the feasting are my 2 new followers!

Carey at Chicory Nits who is preparing for Christmas (in pink!) both in her real house and in mini - scroll back to admire her gorgeous little Christmas house.
and Dee who I can't find a blog for yet, so please contact me Dee with a link.

Every now and then the numbers go up but no new pictures are added, so I sometimes wonder if people are following privately and would prefer not to be introduced to the rest of the gathering?  I love seeing you here and love visiting in return. It is amazing how much talent and imagination is out there!

Once again, thank you all for calling by.


  1. Christine, your food looks great to me! I am just trying my hand at my first sculpey food....making a Thanksgiving feast! The results are ...well.... novice shall we say! I need to learn some of these techniques you mention... maybe in time for NEXT Thanksgiving!
    Food descriptions in books always fascinate me because they say more about the historical time period than was intended if you know what I mean! Things change! And the descriptions become old fashioned!
    Keep up the great work!

  2. Me ha encantado visitarte y seguirte en toda la historia.
    Has hecho un trabajo genial, me encanta como te ha quedado francamente real y precioso.
    besitos ascension

  3. Hi i have just started folowing your blog, i have a wartime house, if you feel like stopping buy, i need to get more pics on too, only started blogging the other day. Your food looks lovely, and your house did you make it from scratch, no plans?? Good luck with it all it looks gret,, i loved the Famous Five as a child.

  4. Hi Daydreamer, I have no doubt that whatever you make will be amazing! Using chalky artists pastels is the tip I recommend most because it is so easy for the effect.

    Gracios Ascension, Sus comentarios siempre son edificantes.

    I've just called by, Chrissy - Wow! I look forward to seeing more photos. This house started with plans from Hobbys but I can't see them on the page any more although the pic is still there. I have however changed just about everything in it - went from back opening to front opening, added extensions, altered room and window sizes, etc so they can't be blamed if it ends up a mess, but having something to get me started was good - I have never been to England and sadly Enid Blyton didn't include enough structural specifications in her books!

  5. What a lovely blog post, all those reminders of Enid Blytons word smithing. She conjours up atmospheres and flavours in the mind so well you are almost there. I adore your pantry goods, I can smell the high top loaf! Try Clay Princess for polyclay needs
    Where on earth did you get the Sainsburys label? My greatgran was a Sainsbury.

  6. P.S. Those extra followers can be found on the last page of your followers list, they have no profile photo and generally don't share their blogs.

  7. What wonderful food! Much better than my efforts with clay!

    For liquid sculpey and other supplies, try Over the Rainbow at:

    They have a wide range of really interesting things including coloured liguid polymer clay and are very reliable.

  8. When I was little, I read every one of Enid's Books. She wrote a whole series of books, set in a Girls boarding school and they were always having adventures.
    Have to tried to get Liquid Fimo. Its nearly the same as Sculpey but bakes clearer.

  9. Thanks for the links for the online Sculpey Susan and Alennka and that Fimo bakes clearer too, Deb. It is great not always having to find out things for oneself. :~D

    You'll need to get some Sculpey to play with, Alennka. It is such fun!

    Fancy that about your grandmother, Susan!
    I am pretty sure I found the Sainsbury label in an old Dolls House World - I've just come back from 5 days camping in hot and humid Brisbane (ugh) so I'll look it up for you because I think there was an entire article that you might find interesting.
    I love so many of Enid Blyton's descriptions. The food in that quote is probably in most fridges here, but it sounds so much more appetising the way she paints the picture of it!

  10. Hi Christine, Mick said you were asking after me. I'm fine thanks, love your Blog.

  11. Thanks a mint for your help with the sainsbury things Christine. Not sure my email made it to you.

  12. Hi Chelle, I'm so pleased to see you here! I've popped over and pressed Follow a few times but am having a million computer problems at the moment so am not sure still whether it has worked or not!

  13. A wonderful picture, Christine, thanks for letting me know about it. I'm definitely going to try some of you jar lid ideas.