As you all must know by now, Mother Connie adores mail! One of our faithful sent a bit of a rant and I wanted to share it with you because Delaine makes some salient points. She always expresses her ideas directly from her heart. Her letter is unedited; here’s hoping it trips your trigger and touches you the way it touched me:
It seems to me that the time between Samhain (aka Halloween) and New Years is shorter every year. Still, the *feast* days in this time are always a source of goodness to us. We celebrate the good things we have and try to share as much as we can.
I recently had the experience of housing a young man who is homeless. It’s a complicated story, and not even a tenth of the success of my *far-to-young-mother” who is doing very well. One of the things that has become ever more, sadly, apparent to me is the observation that I made years ago. In the USA, hunger is not an absence of food, but an absence of knowledge. I just walked around my block here in Sacramento, CA, and found much that was just growing and hanging over the fence lines. Figs, lemons, oranges, crab apples, pomegranates, not to mention the salad growing through the cracks in the sidewalk: arugula, red lettuce, dandelions, wild onions, wild leeks and a plethora of other growing things, not to mention the gleanings from the local farms that are just not economical to harvest mechanically. I am not advocating urban hunter-gathering, but the amazing abundance here is comforting. I guess it’s one of my “grateful for” things.
Nevertheless, one of the points that I make over and again, especially as I teach cooking, is that the very basic skills are just not being taught. I remember (far too long ago) that there was a set of “survival courses” that we had to have 1 elective credit in order to graduate. This was the most practical and useful course in my entire education next to typing. In the curriculum, we learned basic auto maintenance like checking the fluid levels, belt conditions etc, and basic cooking skills (boil, braise, roast, grill, stir fry and bake) and a variety of things that are amazingly useful like how to re-wire a bad light switch. We also learned how to read technical things and interpret what is meant. Oh – for the good old days when we didn’t spend so much money and time teaching tests.
What I am kvetching about is that this young man had food stamps and means to get to food banks, but had no concept with regard to how to cook anything much less over an open fire, an impromptu grill, and forget about making a dirt oven to bake anything. I put a few pounds on him, got him some practical cooking skills, and cured his scurvy. (That’s right – vitamin c deficiency with lemons and oranges hanging over the fence waiting to be picked and either eaten right away or turned into lemonade!)
So anyway, thanks for letting me vent my ire about the failures of our educational system – as only a retired teacher can do – and the fact that hunger is a function of ignorance!” ~Delaine
Thank you for all you do, Delaine. And thank you for putting something into our mailbox!
For those of you who may be new here, we want you to know that this corner of the internet is dedicated to users of public assistance for their food dollars.
If your food budget is supported by an EBT card from WIC or SNAP or you are using goods from a food drop, food pantry or have food commodities on your shelves, you are welcome here. So are those who are frugal by nature! Everyone is welcome. We hope to be of help to you whether you are a seasoned cook or just a newbie in the kitchen. We want you all to be healthy and it’s important to eat well and wisely, most especially if you are on a tight food budget.
We love mail, as you are well aware. If you send us a message our hearts will go pitter patter: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are in the Tecumseh, NE area, you might be interested to know that there will be a Cooking Class on Friday, November 13 at SENCA. There is no charge for this class about SALADS but to save your place at the table, please let Terri know by calling 402 335 2134.
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