Friday, January 9, 2009

This is Important!

I've been on a bloggin' spree lately. I hope you can keep up.

I found this article at Path to Freedom, Little Homestead in the City.

This is important because food is important.    Many folks are filing for foodstamps for the first time in their lives.  Many food pantries are having a hard time staying stocked with food. Now that the season of giving has past, I worry that less attention will be paid to the great need as those with some try to keep their own pantries filled. Unemployment is growing at a rate as fast as unemployment after WWII.

So it only makes sense that we learn to cook.  

A few years back, I was part of a focus group that was gathered together for the Healthy Maine Initiatives.  We were to judge whether some of  Public Service Announcements  were effective. Before we watched the commercials, we had a discussion about feeding our families.  Many of the women around the table admitted to feeding their kids vast amounts of soda pop everyday.  There was general misconception that healthy cooking, cooking from scratch was expensive.  One woman said, " I only get 150 a month in foodstamps, if I find boxes of mac and cheese for 5 for a dollar that is what my family is going to eat."  And then I said, " I can make a big pot of vegetable soup of under five dollars and it can last a good part of a week. It takes maybe an hour, at the most, once a week. Oatmeal is cheaper than boxed cereal. " I received many looks of disbelief.

My mom was a single mom who worked full time.  For the most part she was a functional cook  who used garlic, salt and pepper and could turn a good porkchop into shoe leather with very little effort.  But she made soup, chili and your classic Campbell's  Soup Cassaroles. She knew how to cook enough to stretch the food budget and keep us healthy and growing.

It was at my grandmother's house  where I understood cooking from scratch.  I would stand at the end of the counter as my grandmother pulled together creme -of- tartar biscuits and cut them with a tin can. I knew the anticipation of a good meal as I savored the smell of a big pot of spaghetti sauce that simmered on the stove top all day long.  I helped my grandfather pull carrots out of the small veggie patch they had in their back yard.  I remember cucumber slicing parties when it was time to can Bread and Butter pickles. I knew where food came from.

I have been a jane- of- all -trades.  But one of the best jobs I ever had was as a prep cook.  I learned  how to use a chef knife, I learned how to make a sauces,  I made soup from scratch.  I learned to love the process not just the product. When my family sits down to a wholesome meal I know I am giving the best I have.  That is how food equals love.

As a nation we need to learn how to cook like our lives depended on it.   If we can grow our food, all the better. But if all they have at the food pantry is a pound of dry beans and a can of tomato puree we should know that it is manna.


Anonymous said...

Great post...
I've visited that Urban Homestead site before.. it's very interesting and informative.
I grew up on a farm and we wouldn't have ate if we didn't grow our own food and things like paper towels, napkins, processed foods, plastic cups etc. wasn't even heard of.. not to mention.. running water and in door toilets.
Cooking from scratch was a way of life for us.. and that was 3 full meals a day. not just dinner/supper
I learned you could feed a family for several days on one chicken.
I love reading your blogs.. you keep me inspired.

Anonymous said...

As I was reading my fav blogs I realized you might enjoy this one..

English Animist said...

Yes - Food equals love.

So true. Food is an expression of love and if we love ourselves and our families and friends we should be feeding our/their bodies on healthy natural foods. Loved this post.