Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I'm turning into my mother

The miracle of growing up in my childhood home was that my mother could put a good meal on the table every night - as well as pack our school lunches and serve us a good breakfast - with the food she had on hand. I remember comparing our, er, her food cupboard to Kroger's. She never bought one of anything, and therefore never had to run to the grocery at the last minute for a missing ingredient.

Finally, after many years of living in the Middle of Nowhere, I have turned into my mother. I do make trips to both Sam's Club (once every four to six weeks) and Tiny Kroger (every 10 days or so) for essentials, but I can put a good, healthy meal on our table every night by "shopping" the pantry, freezer and/or fridge.

I couldn't do this when I lived in Ohio. Meijer and Target were within walking distance; if I needed something, I didn't think twice about running out to fill in any culinary gaps.

But out here in the country? With gas well over $3 a gallon, and heading for $4? I've learned to shop for the future, but more than that, I've learned to grow and preserve a lot of the food we eat.

It's very satisfying to put a meal together, whether simple or complicated, without first making a list and driving to the grocery.

I'm thinking about this now because it's time to plan the garden, of course. What do I use the most? (Onions, celery, tomatoes, beans.) What from last year's harvest have I run out of already? (Garlic, edamame, peas, corn.) I'm so excited that spring is on the way, and so grateful I live in a place where I can have a big garden.

And I'm so grateful to my mother for her good example. Too bad it took me so long to figure it out!

Sent from my U.S. Cellular BlackBerry® smartphone

1 comment:

gingersnapper said...

I'm the same way, and a lot of it is due to the long drive to the grocery. We're not "out" as far as you, but it does have an effect. We always have food in the pantry and the freezer, so I can always put together a reasonable meal, although it may not be gourmet or first-choice.

My mother shopped once a week, the day after the coupons came out, and planned every meal for the week. So I have that example too - there was very little "running out" for something. The fastest/worst weight gain I've ever had in my life was when I worked full time and lived half a block from a variety of restaurants and fast food. Not enough time, too many temptations.