Sunday started cold around here. In the span of a week, we went from almost ninety highs to around forty lows! Sunday after church, I put on a pot of brown beans for dinner. I figured that it might be the last weekend to eat a big pot of brown beans. I don't like to eat hot food like soups in the summer.
All afternoon, those beans cooked in my crockpot. I had soaked them in boiling water during church so they didn't need to cook too long. I seasoned them with a polska keilbasa, garlic, salt and pepper. I put the sausage on top in the crockpot so they could cook last. After about three hours, I stirred it all up and let it cook another two hours.
I served the family a traditional Okie dinner. The kind of dinner my grandma would have loved. She served brown beans with every meal. I love brown beans! My sister not so much. She told my grandma one time that she was allergic to beans.....it went over until grandma mentioned my sisters allergies to my mom!
Well, I served brown beans, fried potatoes and onions, cornbread, wilted lettuce and strawberry pie! We ate until we were ready to pop! The meal started talk about our relatives that lived during the depression. Both my husband and I had relatives that traveled to California to find work. One of my grandmothers always said they didn't know what a depression was....they were dirt poor before the depression and they were poor after the depression!
It started me to thinking about hunger in America. I'm pretty sure my grandparents knew about hunger. I'm sure they experienced it during the depression and probably before. But my grandparents knew how to find and grow food and make simple meals that were tasty and inexpensive. A bag of beans is not expensive. Growing the lettuce, green onions and radishes are cheap. Flour and cornmeal is not expensive. The entire meal cost less than five dollars not counting the strawberry pie, but I grew the strawberries so mine cost me a pie crust and some sugar!
My husband pointed out that the problem isn't necessarily hunger but the lack of ability in America. When you don't know how to cook a bag of beans, peel and fry a bag of potatoes, or stir up some cornbread then you have to purchase pre-cooked meals. Expensive pre-cooked meals. Pre-cooked meals that are not healthy!
My grandparents ate squirrel and rabbit. They picked poke and made poke salad. They hoed a row and planted. They survived. When America finally get hungry enough, maybe we will relearn those tasks.....