I am a carnivore, not a salad lady. I enjoy salad along with my meat. I guess God and inflation want me to eat less of it. I have been thinking about food much of the time lately, especially about stretching meat. Then I realized I already knew how. My mother and grandmother did it all the time. I wasn’t grocery shopping or cooking at the time so I never noticed.
Before I knew about the food pyramid or the different food groups, I knew that there were really only two food groups. Rich people eat different food than poor people do. I knew this because in soap operas rich people were often eating lobster and shrimp. My family was more into tuna noodle casserole and meatloaf! Let me explain before you think that I am a whiner or just don’t like casseroles and meatloaf. I love both, especially leftovers. Casseroles get better with age and nothing beats a meatloaf sandwich.
However, if you are rich you have more food choices. The poor sometimes eat salt pork while the rich eat bacon. The poor eat green beans while the rich eat asparagus, even out of season. Watermelon stretches farther than muskmelon so we ate watermelon in season. Apple, pumpkin and rhubarb pies made up our dessert table rather than fresh peaches and fresh strawberries. Velveeta was the only cheese in my vocabulary. I have never eaten caviar, but fish eggs never appealed to me. On the other hand, smoked carp and mustard sardines were very tasty when served with crackers (often saltines). Canned pink salmon (red was too rich for our budget) mixed with crackers and an egg and breaded fish sticks with minced fish were often on our dinner table. My grandpa was a squirrel hunter and we often ate it. We considered it a delicacy when my gramma cooked it slowly in cream. Kids often laughed at me when I told them how much I loved squirrel. I decided they were jealous because they didn’t have a grandpa who hunted.
The only steak I ever encountered growing up was round steak that my mother tenderized and baked in the oven. I thought I was suffering because we only had home baked cookies instead of Oreos, homemade cupcakes instead of Hostess cupcakes and cheap mixed grain bread instead of that lovely soft white Wonder Bread that built strong bodies 12 ways! As an adult I laugh about that while eating whole grain bread with nuts and seeds for breakfast. My body is very strong by the way. If that wasn’t enough suffering, my mean mother limited potato chips and pop. She would buy a twin box of chips with two bags in it. Then she hid them and doled them out. Eventually, we discovered her hiding places but didn’t mention it until she realized that a complete bag had disappeared. The jig was up. She let us buy one big glass bottle of pop a week. Since it came with a bottle cap on it, she gave each one of us a stopper in a different color. Funny how often we forgot our color. There were fits about someone drinking somebody else’s pop, and equally loud denials. My suspicious sister Julie spit in her bottle and told us all about it. She thought that would stop the pop pilfering, but sometimes towards the end of the week when her bottle was the only one left; spit didn’t seem like that much of deterrant. I am not admitting anything, but I slept in the same bed with her so I was already sharing her germs.
It is amazing that now the food she cooked or limited is considered good nutrition! My mother’s only flaws were being poor and wanting us to grow up healthy. THANK YOU, MOM! I hope heaven is all you expected it to be.
Emotional well being is also very important. Stress literally hurts our physical body.
Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D. gives this recipe to take a breath and de-stress in under 30 seconds. Please try it. You must have 30 seconds to spare for your health.