Sunday, November 08, 2009


Well, I'm not sure what I did, but I finally got my Followers back.  I did have to delete the original widget and go with the Google Connect, but I guess you periodically have to upgrade widgets the same as Microsoft forces you to upgrade your version of Windows -- regardless of your wishes. 

It was a slow day.  In fact, after lunch I actually took a long nap; must have needed it.  I'm glad I missed the Chicago Bears losing another game. 

I've been reading Sharon Astyk's new book, A Nation of Farmers.  I really like it; it's thought provoking and not preachy.  When peak oil books get preachy, they lose me.  I've read a couple of books about building communities post oil collapse where the models were based in the UK and I couldn't even finish reading them because I got sick of the "degenerate Americans" slant. 

There is a part in Sharon's book that discusses how little Americans cook their food that I found particularly interesting.  I was shocked at the statistics, probably because I have always cooked and can't imagine people not cooking.  Maybe cooking is something you have to learn from parental example; I don't know.  My parents were children of the first Great Depression.  My father was raised on a farm, and while they were poor, they fared better than my mother did.  She was born in rural Louisiana and she often went hungry.   I believe that early experience of my  mother colored her perception of food.  She was always very concerned that there be "enough" food in the house.  Food and cooking were very important to her.  When she passed away from complications of diabetes the picture we put of her on remembrance cards was of her smiling as she basted a turkey.  When I was 17 and started dating, she took me into the kitchen and taught me how to fry chicken; she said it was the only thing I needed to know how to cook.  (She was right!)  From my mother I learned that cooking was a skill integral to keeping a home and raising children. 

Over the years I have refined my ability to cook from scratch.  When my husband and I bought our first house, we built garden boxes for veggies and herbs in the back yard and planted elderberries, raspberries, gooseberries, and rhubarb as landscape plants around the fence line.  It took me 20 years, but by the time we sold the house, the garden was just beautiful, and my gardening skills and food preservation skills were almost second nature.  The freezer was always filled with venison my husband hunted or beef and chicken I bought from the butcher (it's hard to find a good butcher in the city, but not impossible), and I had shelf upon shelf of home canned fruit and beans.  I canned and prepared food for the week on weekends.  I never had a hard time cooking from scratch.  My husband and I worked full time -- he worked nights while I worked days -- and we raised three children, two of which were severely handicapped, and we always had the time to cook from scratch.  I think Tom likes cooking better than I do; I'm more of a baker than a cook.  It isn't difficult.  I think people who don't cook are just lazy; they don't want to make the effort to plan their meals. 

Sharon's points about the pros of cooking from scratch are well taken.  Many times I had teachers ask me what I did because my children, despite their handicaps, were hardly ever sick compared with their peers.  I believe it was because we cooked our food from scratch using wholesome ingredients.  We did not fill our kids with preservative laden garbage.  Anyway, the book is a good one, and I recommend you read it.

Take care, and have a good week!

1 comment:

  1. I used to live in Los Angeles and I had many Mom friends who said they never cook. I never understood that. Now that we're back in the Midwest I'm able to grow a lot of what we eat. While I always cooked for my family now we have access to fresh wholesome foods every day. Thanks for the great recipes and the inspiration.