I think about what it was like to grow up not being able to afford the kind of food “normal” people ate. I think about cans from charity. I think about having to shop at cut-rate food stores, buy day-old (“used” in my family’s lexicon) bread, have only non-fat dry milk on the shelf, cheap off-brand margarines on sandwiches, big cans of peanut butter we had to stir to keep the oil from separating, and lunch boxes that had books in them because sometimes there wasn’t lunch. I think about a mother too far gone in depression to care what she served her family. I think proudly about eating Hamburger Helper because I could make it myself and have it ready when Dad got home. I think about the way our meals improved as Dad finally got seniority at his job and his pay inched up. I look at the pantry shelf and wonder if I’m hoarding again.
And now we're giving a whole new generation of kids the same training! Because the results are always so excellent.
NOTE For those who came in late, Anglachel is an incredibly incisive blogger and a comrade-in-arms from the primary warz of 2008. Go read her blog.