I’ve been thinking a lot about food lately. I like to spend time in the kitchen, making good food from scratch (or close to it). Unfortunately, that often means something else in the never-ending list of house and school chores is being neglected. As much as I know I would miss all my kitchen comforts, some days I envy women whose work for the day is almost exclusively involved in preparing food for their families.
We’ve spent Mardi Gras at my parents’ house, away from all the festivities (and traffic) in New Orleans. My dad grew up on a farm in Mustang, Oklahoma, which is now practically a suburb of Oklahoma City. We were talking with him the other day about how his mother would provide a hearty, hot breakfast, a full lunch (fried chicken, potatoes, vegetable, etc.), and then a large dinner as well. The men would come in from the fields to eat lunch during the harvest. She got up before everyone else and started the stove on winter mornings. She butchered the chickens. I don’t envy some of the hard work she had to do, but I do envy having work with such a clear purpose.
We’re working our way, very slowly, closer to the land. Our little garden has produced well considering the neglect it has suffered. We’re looking at joining a CSA (community supported agriculture) group out of Baton Rouge, so we will pay a fee for the year and get fresh, organic produce every week in April through August. (This takes out the middleman and supports a small farm which doesn’t destroy the land, not to mention cutting down on the effects of transportation.)
In many places just getting food on the table (if there is a table!) is an all-consuming daily project. Where our food comes so easily to our tables, it is less appreciated. One of our plans for Lent is to eat more simply, and hopefully more healthily, and stick to a tighter food budget. Hopefully along the way, we can learn to be a little more careful in our eating, and a little more thankful for our bounty.