Wednesday, November 15, 2006

homemade vs. store bought

I love anything homemade.
Well... NOW I do. But that was not always the case growing up on a farm where everything was homemade. I remember it being such a big deal when something was "boughten". That is what us kids called anything that was store bought.

We would get sooo excited when Mom had to buy 'boughten' bread! Which was rare seeings my Mom made homemade bread every week! How is it that we'd prefer presliced store bought bread over homemade bread! Go figure...

So I thought I'd list some more...
milk... after the milk was brought in from the barn and in the frig for a day or so, my Mom would skim off the top for cream. So the milk always tasted... well, like 'skimmed' milk. So I loved going over to my friend Nanette's house (she lived in town) and having whole milk from bottles... so rich and creamy... so decadent... it couldn't have come from a cow!
Back in the 60's the NFO went on a 10 day strike and alot of the farmers dumped milk in protest. We didn't, but found ways to use all the milk that didn't get hauled away each day. I remember pouring thick cream in my cereal every morning. I am told my Grandma Larson spent days helping my Mom make butter and cottage cheese in our ringer washing machine!!

fruits & veggies... I am sure the reason I prefered the store bought cans had something to do with the HOURS I spent snipping, cutting, snapping, peeling, chopping and husking in preparation for "canning" our bountiful garden produce. I remember wishing the rows and rows (that we spent hours weeding) of carrots, beans, peas, corn, tomatoes and cucs would just shrivel up and die! But they never did.
I would get 5 cents a QUART (not a pint) picking strawberries, often times picking 30+ quarts a day! I would never think to eat even one while picking... because I wanted to pick as many quarts as possible... times 5 cents... that was big bucks back then!

cooking... when I think back on the meals my Mom made us... oh my gosh! We're talking a BIG noon dinner and a BIG 5 o'clock supper EVERY single day! We'd have the usual meat & potatoes & vegetable meal followed by a dessert. Believe me when I say that we never, EVER had a meal without a homemade dessert! It was either a pie, a crisp or a cobbler... or some homemade pudding, like my Mom's yummy bread pudding with warm butter sauce poured over it! But what did we love... going out to eat, which was a couple times a year after each crop of hay... and occasionally to McDonalds or the local A&W Rootbeer stand. Sure never held a candle to Mom's cooking!

clothes... my sisters and I sewed a lot of our own clothes and looking back... I guess you could say they were one-of-a-kind "designer" garments. Heck, we never had to worry about another girl wearing the same Homecoming dress or Prom gown. But the ultimate... ordering clothes from the Sears and Wards catalog! To this day, I love catalogs!

So, I guess I've changed my tune! Cuz looking back, I am now so grateful for all that went into a meal, a garment, a gallon of milk, a loaf of bread. That way of living is slowly becoming a lost art... and how sad is that.
So let's be sure to pass on the art of canning, sewing, kneading, gardening, milking and baking to future generations. I for one, long to get back to what brought me so much inner peace and joy while growing up... creating & designing through the art of sewing & knitting & crocheting. Notice I left off canning.

Just got off the phone with my Mom... and I was mistaken, she made homemade bread TWICE a week! Our family went through 8 loaves of bread every week! And she always made homemade donuts and at least 2 pies every week, along with dozens of cookies, cakes and bars... all from scratch! I'm exhausted just thinking about it... however did you do it all Mom!


Anonymous said...

Linda, I just love to read your blogs. I am amazed that your mom did so much! I know that I could not do that much in a month. It really is inspiring to visit Wisconsin. I come home learning something new every year that Grandma Larson taught me and I will cherish forever!

NanAZ said...

My grandmother was like you're mom so I was only exposed to the farm for little bits of time here and there and always several weeks in the summer when I'd stay and visit my cousins. My mom was a city girl so she didn't do so much of the homemade stuff, but she was a great cook! I'll have to blog about it sometime. I'm not sure I have any pictures of my grandmother's farm, but I'll try to find some...great memories! Thanks for sharing them.

Deb said...

Such a great post! and such a great Mum!! Thanks for sharing your stories.

Anonymous said...

Greetings! I just found you via a comment you left at Sylvana's "The Obsessive Gardener" blog.

I agree with you about the special qualities of homemade foods, clothes, etc. And I can certainly relate to that change in perception we have as we grow up where all the "boughten" things lose their shine, and we develop a new sense of value for things homemade.

If you can get your hands on this book, you might enjoy this piece which touches on this very topic (and even uses the same term "boughten bread"):

Book: In Praise of Fertile Land
Edited by: Claudia Mauro

Essay: The Transfiguration of Bread
By: Paul Gruchow

I believe his essay was first published in a book of his, but this is where I found it (and the rest of the book is wonderful, too).


Nancy said...

I just loved this because it reminded me of my childhood. I loved the milk when it was still warm (as in sraight from the cow)... wonder why we never got sick from the unpasturized milk???!!!! Go figure! Have a great weekend!

Anonymous said...

Then teach your kids all that stuff!