MISSOURI, October 29, 2017 – As I sat down to lunch today I was thinking about what we eat as compared back “to the good old days”. Lunch today was a bowl of homemade vegetable soup- yes, I said a bowl of homemade vegetable soup and a piece of homemade pie – yes, I said a piece of homemade pie.
Now I must clarify that my wife and I will soon be married 70 years and we are kind of old fashion in that my wife cooks our meals at home we eat our meals together. She is the creator of the dishes.
Guess I am some kind of lucky guy but I am sure that there are many from our era, as well as some young families, that enjoy the same types of meals. There is a group of citizens who still enjoy the cooking from “scratch” and sitting down and enjoying the meals together. We are the carryovers from the good old days. We recognize good, healthy food comes from the farm and is prepared from scratch.
And that food was served, with a lot of love, at the family kitchen table. Not unwrapped in the front seat of the car.
Living on the farm we had three main meals with two what we called “snacks”. We were up at five to take care of early morning chores followed by a big breakfast that health professional would, most likely, condemn today.
But a big morning meal of country bacon or sausage, two or three eggs, white gravy, homemade butter and jam topped off with some fried potatoes kept us fueled for a morning of work, and on many days, school.
As a rule, no breakfast was complete without dessert – biscuits topped with cream gravy. And we always cleaned our plate because my grandmother always remembered the starving children of the world.
Despite the fat and calorie-laden morning meal, I remember there were not that many heavy people. Not like you see today where it seems most people are suffering from obesity and nearly 30 million Americans are battling Type II diabetes.
I guess if you work in the fields from sunrise to sunset you do burn off some of that cream gravy and biscuits.
Mid-morning someone would bring some black coffee and biscuits out to the field or the barn, with jam jarred from last years picking, for a short snack and then it was back to work.
Lunch, or dinner as we called it, was a work of art. Huge bowls of lettuce out of the garden with sugar and vinegar as the dressing. All kinds of meat and home ground vegetables. Coffee, water and fresh milk were the drinks.
Supper, the evening meal, was another work of art. The menu was as vast and hearty as the other two main meals. After supper there were always a few more chores, before, as the sun was falling, we would gather on the porch for homemade ice cream. To this day I have never tasted any ice cream as delicious as that homemade ice cream eaten while watching the lightning bugs as they came out to dance.
After that we took our oil lamps, no electricity in rural areas back then, went to our respective rooms and jumped into a bed made of goose feathers and really slept well especially if it rained because we slept under a roof of tin.
Today I don’t have those big meals like I did when I was a growing up. But then I don’t do the massive amount of physical labor necessary to burn off all those calories.
It is an observation on my part that today families eat on the run resulting in the disappearance of meals being eaten together as a family unit. Which means that as a family, we lose that time to talk about our day, concerns, and those things that made us laugh. We no longer circle back to the kitchen table to reconnect.
Today we are as likely to communicate via text or email. That today’s family doesn’t take the time to eat together, in addition to biscuits and gravy and homemade ice cream, is one of the biggest losses of modern progress.
However, that’s a time and place I am from-