Sunday, September 2, 2012

How primitive we were

When I was a child, my father told me stories of walking miles to school with frozen molasses sandwiches through deep snow. He would tell me this to contrast his hardship with the ease of my life as I would board the military blue bus to take me to school through the snow. I remember thinking how primitive were the times in which my father grew up. For example I never had frozen sandwiches, my lunchbox contained devilled eggs and mushroom soup but never frozen sandwiches. I had a sophisticated meal not primitive frozen sandwiches!!

 My lunches were the same..devilled eggs (it took me years to realize this was an appetizer), campbells mushroom soup and an apple. My breakfast consisted of puffed wheat or cream of wheat. (I dislike wheat to this day!) and suppers were beans, or corned beef hash or well cooked steak and potatoes with Dijon mustard. Sometimes our grocery store had coconuts, which were in my mind the most exotic of all!

My parents would shop and there would be a choice of two mustards, two types of cheese, yellow and orange, campbells soup, eggs, milk, bacon and probably a dozen types of breakfast cereal and two or three types of jam. It was easy, there were few choices.

Today's parent has to choose from an array of hundreds of mustards, jams from all over the world, a bewildering array of soups and cheeses from around the world and exotic fruit (not just coconut). There is a pantheon of juices, drinks, even yogurt has become a designer element.

Today if I told a child what I had for lunch they would no doubt give me the same bewildered stare that I gave my father when he would tell me his stories of his walks to school, which were longer with each telling of the story. What? No artichoke dressing? No raspberry coulis on organic fudge brownies? No horseradish with cranberries atop their ham sandwich, on organic bread? And how could we have survived without a fruit cup of a variety of fruits..not just a few bruised apples and the occasional squashed grapes.

How could we have endured long days of academic ardour without organic snacks or fortified juices..we drank totally primitive

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