Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.
You ever use those saute express things? Do you know what they are made from? It’s butter, oil, and spices. All of it put into neat little expensive packages for us. Aww, gee whiz, are we so weak that we can’t measure a pat of butter, a table spoon of oil, and a bit of spices and combine them together for ourselves? Really? We are that helpless? Gosh, that’s almost as bad as buying butter flavored frozen vegetables because we are too helpless to put a pat of butter on our cooked vegetables all by ourselves.
Back after 1945, after the war, when prosperity had returned to America, our backyard gardens, clothes lines, canning, sewing, and other forms of DIY skills became signs of poverty. During the war women became superwoman. Women would put in a full shift at factories because the men were away fighting. The women come home to put in a full second shift of work at home gardening, cleaning, cooking, canning, sewing, washing, and everything else frugal. It was wartime and everyone was expected to do their part.
It was only after the soldiers returned home and took back factory jobs that women were told by the food industries “relax, you deserve a break, we’ll do the work for you”. Women became the “helpless gender” again because men wanted it that way. So did the manufacturing industry and advertisers. Of course, back then, those industries were run by men returning from the war. It was easy to convince women to stop being super woman and return to being less.
TV dinners were an instant hit! No slaving over a stove all day. Did we really slave all day? Anyway, we could simply pop a frozen meal into the oven and relax on the couch. Heck, making biscuits, one of the most important skills a girl learned before the end of the war, suddenly became obsolete. Biscuits started being pre-made and packaged for the convenience of the housewife. Just pop open a container, turn on the oven, and sit until done.
Do you know how “expensive” it is to let the manufacturing industry be your personal chef? Do any of of the young generation learn to cook anymore? It’s pretty scary for me to think how very helpless and dependent on the food industry our young generations are becoming. Not only are people becoming too helpless to put a pat of butter, some herbs or spices, and a spoon of oil together in a skillet; but, if that supply of convenience food were to end suddenly would anyone survive without it?