The typical American Family is stuck on convienence, but that takes up alot of the family grocery budget. So during those years when the men came through the kitchen for a quick grab for something to eat as they went out the door again I had to come up with a plan. I just thought back to when I was a kid. We had 4 kids in the house, and mom didn't have much after dad died. In fact I remember there were several times the meighbor lady brought over bags of groceries to help out. My dad died when I was ten and mom had 4 young ones to take care of. The neighbors kindness was more of a blessing to us kids than she realized. You see mom was of German descent and we ate differently than most kids our age. We went to school with paper bag lunches filled with liverwurst on "Bauren Brot" or as someone has called it "Prison Bread" (as she thought it might be something they served with water in Prison.) Mom also sent us with "fresh headcheese", which in her esitmation was a delicay and we should be grateful we had food to eat. So we were.

We were ever so grateful when the neighbor lady brought over bags of groceries filled with all kinds of American delights. She would often apologize for it not being a better assortment as she could only afford what was on sale. However us kids thought we had died and gone to heaven.
She brought over delights that we had only seen others at school eat...

White bread (and we ate the crust casue it was softer than any part of that prison bread
Peanut butter with grape jelly mixed in. It was actually swlirled together.
Hot dogs! All we ever ate were Knackwurst (the skin went "knack"! when you took a bite.)
Macaroni and cheese in a box mix! Mom had trouble figuring out what that was supposed to be, so she added sliced hot dog and we poured the ketchup over it.
Most kids our age probably ate like this quite often in the 60's but it was a treat only when our neighbor brought it over. Now a days I would avoid these foods at all costs!

For convienence mom would cook several meats at once in the oven while it was hot.
She would cook a pork roast, a beef roast, and spare ribs and then put into portions in the freezer so she didn't have to cook in the heat all the time.
Unfortunately she would mass produce portions of beelf liver this way for our dining pleasure. :(

When it came to baking there were no box mixes, my sister and I would help by taking turns baking. I remember finding an old Betty Crocker Recipe Book and found a cookie recipe that would make a tremendous sized batch. Since by this time we had a new dad, and 5 kids in the family cookies would dissapear as soon as they came out of the oven and I would have to bake again. (Especially my chocolate chip cookies, my brother Freddy loved those!) Well this recipe did make a tremendous batch that filled several cookie jars. These butter cookies tasted magnificient BUT the only problem was that you could break a tooth on just one bite! I was heart broken, it was supposed to be a surprise and here I wasted all those ingredients, and we didn't have ingredients to waste!
Well that is where our new dad came in...when he got home from work we had dinner and then came the moment of truth. Our dinners were always around a big table with all the kids and we would laugh and tell stories, but as he went to take a bite the place went silent....he just went right on talking while he dunked it in his coffee and ate them like they were going out of style! So each night for many a night we would set out the cookie jar and dunk our cookies in our milk as he dunked them in his coffee and had a great time telling stories that always began with...

Remember when .....?


Anonymous said...

What a beautiful post :)

Thank you for sharing a bit of yourself with us...



lady jane said...

What a lovely post. :o)

I remember beef liver. How 'bout beef tongue? Gizzards and hearts in noodles in brown sauce? Oh dear.
My mother's side is Swiss so German food was common.

My father's side is Serbian and I remember lamb in the pit bbq, potica, eggplant dishes, more lamb, and lamb.

Your mother was a wise woman, of her time and planning. I don't make several meats at once but I do grill about 10 pounds of chicken breasts at a time then portion them out to freeze for later enjoyment.

Sitting around the supper table telling stories. I didn't experience that in my childhood much but have made it our focus in our own little family.

Thank you again for such a nice post. It really gave me a smile.

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