Monday, April 11, 2011

Nurture vs. Nature: Mom, The grocery store, and grandma

A few days ago I ended up at the grocery store with mom.  Mom was more along for the company than any need of her own, so of course I was talking about the things I was picking up and reasoning behind it. Somewhere, while walking through the grocery store, I start hearing stories of mom when she was a kid.  Telling me of things she's been looking for that her mom used to make.  It was great, these were stories I'd never heard before! (this is a feat) 

Mom tells about this dish called Chicken-ala-king that Grandma used to make.  No, not from scratch, it was a packet that Grandma would put in a pot of boiling water and warm up that way.  On the surface this doesn't seem so odd, until you remember that this would have been happening in the 50's or 60's.  When you hear of a dish that your grandma used to make, that gets your mom all nostalgic, you are expecting there to be an awesome recipe right?  Nope, this was something pre-processed and packaged.

As we continue through the store I make a passing comment about a package of broccoli tops, that it’s lazy, how long does it really take to cut up some broccoli?  Mom turns to me, looks at me, and laughs. "You are Not your Grandmother's granddaughter" -- Wait? What? 

Grandma's apparent motto in the kitchen was, "why make it harder on your self?"

Several reasons in no particular order:
·        right now, cing is still a bit of a novelty to me
·        I've been trying to purchase organic, local foods
·        From scratch  isn't that expensive, and encourages me to use what I have
o       For example, it’s less epensive to buy the ingredients for the brownies than buying the box, and doesn't take that much longer to put it together.
·        I'm trying new things (and trying to get the husband too as well)
·        There's less processing and packaging
·        and technically less chemicals used/ingested

Although I want to say fresh vegetables are a novelty to me, I remember grandpa's garden, and our home garden. (Yay! tomatoes!) The only 'fresh' things I knew how to work with, however, were carrots, celery, potatoes, broccoli, and onions.  The onions were new; I'd learned the wonders of fresh onions at a friend’s house, while at home we used minced dehydrated onions.  Did mom follow her mom? Or was it a two fold issue of cost and convenience?

How does one balance wanting to do things better with cost and convenience?

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