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food, frosting and fruit

March 26, 2013

I was raised on frosting, homemade frosting… 7 minute boiled frosting, powdered sugar and butter frosting, cream cheese frosting, chocolate frosting…. we frosted everything. If something wasn’t frosted we quickly stirred up some powdered sugar and butter and slathered it on graham crackers. that was rarely necessary as my mom baked daily, cakes, cookies, bars, and breads, our home was overlaid with the odors of fresh bread, melting butter, cinnamon and sugar.

I think we had food… certainly cereal in the morning along with buttered toast dripping with jam. for lunch I remember coming home to tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches, the soup prepared with whole milk and the sandwiches filled with velveeta cheese and then pan fried in butter on both sides. dinner was a sad affair of overcooked meat and dreary vegetables, but not to worry it was preceded by the after school frosting-a-thon and followed by the after dinner whole milk and cookie-a-thon.

the ingredients for the week were acquired every saturday mornning, mom made the list and ‘called it in’ to the grocer. The items were packed at the store, edgrens, run of course by old man edgren who was a dear friend of old man nissen(when I learn to link I will add a link to the drug store post featuring old man nissen), and delivered a few hours later in an ancient van. the sacks were placed on the kitchen table and chairs, while mom wrote the check I dug right in to investigate the loot. if there was any extra money, there would be a package of sweet rolls included with the order, like we didn’t have enough frosting already, these soggy, sticky over frosted delicacies came in a package of six for 25 cents and were devoured by dinner time on Saturday.

We did have fruit, oranges, apples and in season peaches and grapefruit. Not alot of fruit, there was no reason to waste money on perishable fruit when cookies kept so well in the coffee tins saved for that purpose. We also had orange juice and soda, the soda only when someone was really sick, like measles, mumps or whooping cough, in bed for days sick.

In those early days, the refrigerator had the tiniest little freezer box, so ice cream was a rarity… at some point, years later when edgrens was closed and the super value appeared, potato chips, cheetos and fritos joined our food plan, the landscape of our diet influenced by the burgeoning industry of mass produced grain based products…

Looking back, my dad was wiry, my mom and I were chubby. You would think based on my description of our food volume that we all would have been obese. As I struggle with my weight now, I look back and wonder. We ate too much sugar and too much fat, but it was real sugar and real fat. We ate very few chemically enhanced food like substances. And we moved. not from house to house, we lived in the same house always, we moved our bodies daily. Mom and Dad moved for work, for chores, for the daily activities of living. they moved because we were a one car family, so we walked to town, walked to church, walked to visit friends. as a kid my life was moving, the front door opened and I was out… roller skating, walking, biking, sledding, swimming, whatever the season had to offer I was doing it. and I got to where the action was, self propelled, no motors, no rides.

hmmm, I set out to blog today about the changes in my food intake… all of that sugar and fat has been replaced by copious volumes of fruit and vegetables. We try to have ‘real’ food, however chemically enhanced food is pervasive and cheap, my frosting intake is a mere fraction of my childhood intake, but it is usually a tub of pre processed ‘shelf stable’ (there’s a post on that too!) not real but fake frosting. We may have made the swing back to more natural food products, but we buy too much of it. It is time to go back to making a list of what is needed for a week, planning and buying only what is needed. Our pantries are filled with food, shelf stable excess food. when there is too much food, we overeat…. sheeeesh, how simplistic.


From → Exercise, Family, Food, Iowa

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