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Monday, March 31, 2008

Oh, Dear!

I had a comment come through and I published it and then totally lost track of which heading it was under. It was in reference to Nourishing Traditions and whether we ate that way often. The funny thing was that before I ever heard of the book, we were eating that way. Part of it was just being poor and eating what we had. We had a farm and grew whatever we could. When we bought something, it was cheap. We did not have the money for frozen pizzas and chicken wings. If we wanted chicken wings, we butchered a chicken (though who would chose the measly wings when there's so much more meat on other pieces? ;) I was my dad's chicken-gutter, because I had small hands and could reach in there and get it all out. The only memories I have of my dad's parents at our house were either butchering or making jelly. I remember my grandpa there when we butchered pigs, chickens, cows. I don't remember him there otherwise.

Another reason we ate this way was that I learned to cook from my grandmas and my dad, and they were depression eaters. I don't mean emotional eating, I mean people who learned to survive during the Depression. They were poor even by Depression standards. What's the cheapest thing to eat? The free thing. So my maternal grandma would go out in the yard and pick greens and cook them. She did this right up till her death. She was doing that at my house one day when our foster daughter got off the school bus and the poor girl asked me, horrified, "Are we going to eat grass?!?" My other grandma learned to bake without the 'good' ingredients and still have it turn out nice. And if you had seeds to plant a garden, you were blessed!

my grandma Bonnie, the wisest woman I ever met

I have learned a few things I did not know or understand the reason for, though, from the Nourishing Traditions book. I now know why oatmeal was soaked, why expensive yeast isn't worth the money, and why fermenting foods didn't just make them taste better, it made them better for you. I remember my grandma's sauerkraut jar sitting in the corner of the kitchen. People were horrified by it! And once when I was young and foolish and she had been staying at our house, I said I was tired of homemade applesauce. We had an orchard and it was free. I'd give anything for some of her applesauce now. It made store-bought taste like mulch.

So anyway, we do eat very much like Nourishing Traditions. I have not read the whole book yet to know for sure, but have found that the traditions I was raised with pertaining to food are very much what the author promotes. And they're also great memories!

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