Yes, I think I’m going to have to give it up. Not because I need to lose weight (which I do), but because I simply can’t afford to buy it these days.
Have you looked at what’s going on in the grocery stores? I did a tour through a grocery store last night, which left me gasping. I spent $100 for what a few months ago cost me $50 or $60. It’s enough to make you want to dig up your backyard and start gardening like our grandparents did. And on the same scale.
When I was a little kid, my grandmothers and old aunts spent almost every waking moment putting in the garden, taking care of the garden, harvesting the garden, then canning and/or preserving what came out of it. One of the most boring tasks that used to be assigned to me and my girl cousins was snapping and shelling peas and peeling peaches. As a kid, grumbling and grousing, I did not realize that this was an eat-or-not eat situation.
Since there was no grocery store of any consequence within a hundred miles, much less a supermarket, the garden produced by the women of the family were all we had to eat besides what they baked. We had meat because we grew our own animals, but even that called for a certain amount of preserving. Those women did an admirable job, I have to say. We never lacked for food. After my great grandmother passed, among the things she left behind were jars and jars of canned food that had come out of her garden. Amazing.
What’s ridiculous is that even though I grew up in that environment, I can’t even make a tomato plant survive. Back in the summer, my husband and I bought a green pepper plant and two tomato plants in pots. We did see some green peppers, but they were no larger than golf balls and they were just as hard. The tomatoes were nearly the same. And my husband religiously watered and cared for them. Of course the relentless triple-digit heat in Texas this past summer didn’t help.
What’s even more ridiculous is that my husband grew up in basically the same environment I did, but he can’t remember how to grow things either. So living off the land seems like a poor option for us right now.
Even if I wanted to buy fresh produce from somewhere now, because it’s supposed to be cheaper in season, and try to can it, I couldn’t without making a huge investment. I have no jars and lids, I have no kitchen utensils suitable for canning, no canner. And even if I did have a canner, I have an electric stove, which wouldn’t work with a canner. <sigh> …. So I think I’m stuck with the grocery store and what’s for sale in it for whatever price.
So now I’m wondering if we’re approaching the day where in order to afford eating, we all will have to group together in co-ops of some kind. Are we going to have to become The Waltons? Maybe we should have pot luck clubs where we combine vittles. It’s cheaper to cook for a crowd than for just one or two.
We’re already to the place where many young people can’t afford to leave the nest and go out on their own. I can’t count the number of people I know personally who have grown children still living at home or who are raising their grandchildren for this or that reason.
When I think back on my life as a child, I realize that this togetherness is the way many of us used to live. So it isn’t brand-new. I can recall three and four generations of people all living in my great-grandfather’s house at one time (Fortunately, he had a big house.) and my grandmothers providing food for the whole lot of us.
I’m sad to say, I am not my great-grandmother or my grandmother. Left on my own to provide my own food from scratch, these days, I don’t think I could make it. I would be forced to give up food. I’m shaking my head in sadness at all that I’ve known and lost.
But here’s something that’s even more amazing. Do you know what my grandmothers and my old aunts did for leisure and entertainment? … THEY QUILTED!
- Blogging Tomorrow… (annajeffreyauthor.wordpress.com)
- Canner ‘doesn’t turn anything down’ (knoxnews.com)
- New Generations of Home Canners Prepare for the Harvest: Interest in Thrift and Local Foods Sparks Hot Trend (prweb.com)
- My History with Food Preservation (healthyfoodnaturally.wordpress.com)