“Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat. In our mad rush for progress and modern improvements let's be sure we take along with us all the old-fashioned things worth while.” Laura Ingalls Wilder

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Food Memories

equals = fond memories

Growing up we would trek across the country each summer landing smack dab in farming areas in Illinois and Nebraska.  We'd visit aunts and uncles (mostly great aunts and uncles) that still lived on big old farms.  One family raised hogs; the clinking of their feeders all night as I slept in a much too small youth bed in a guest room was quite interesting.  Pigs smell .. I remember that!  Another family had barn cats .. I would follow around with delight.  And, another family taught me how to milk a cow .. and eat farm fresh chicken for dinner .. ones that I'd been playing with in the yard earlier that day.  It seemed these families knew how to eat .. and eat well.  To remember the taste of just picked corn, pork roast, watermelon rind pickles, and everything made from food grown on the farms .. had quite an impact on my developing taste buds.  Then back to reality I'd go .. home and we'd have a typical 1970's style dinner of canned veggies and often noodles from a box with a sauce mix.  Maybe steak a few times a year (not very often) .. It was these early trips each summer that gave me the passion to develop my homemaking skills and learn how to try and replicate GREAT food.

With a little practice, a person can make healthy tasting meals with fresh ingredients grown in the backyard .. or picked up at the local farm.  Buying in season, in bulk, and learning how to store food for winter .. can all be achieved with practice .. one step at a time.  I recently read that it takes about ten years to learn the necessary skills to become more self sufficient.  Skills our not so distant ancestors knew how to perform as second nature can be nurtured with a little practice.  I wouldn't want to have to become totally reliant on my 'skills' to provide every need for my family.  But .. learning some gardening or cooking skills just makes good sense.  I've got my grandson with me three days a week.  You can bet I am nurturing his love for the garden by having him by my side as much as possible.  Last week he insisted eating a just pulled carrot like a bunny .. and even gnawed on it with his front teeth.  He will know where some of his food comes from .. and that is a step in the right direction.  Here's a quick little story about 'Growing Your Own Food: it's not elitist or impossible" .. enjoy  


Dani said...

Mrs Mac - My grandson MKid was only 3 when I introduced him to my kitchen. He merrily (and under total supervision) stirred onions until they were brown, and helped butter bread for a sandwich, or sprinkled spices on a chicken just before it was popped in the oven, popped peas from their pods... etc.

The best lessons that can be learnt are through example :) And young'uns are such a joy to teach!

The Professor's Wife said...

Loved this post! I grew up like you, except that my grandma lived with us and would make mouth-watering food like applesauce from scratch from time-to-time. Just starting on the journey towards self-sufficiency, and finding it quite delicious!