I had a really nice visit with my grandparents yesterday. They have a great home on the lake that they maintain themselves. Grandma is an amazing cook. She has always had at least one large garden and freezes or cans anything that they can't eat fresh. It's not uncommon to be eating a meal and have grandma tell you that the potatoes or asparagus you're eating "slept in the garden last night." It's always a treat to eat at grandma's. All the grand kids (and great grand kids) have their favorites and she remembers them all.
Starting at around Thanksgiving my Grandma's kitchen really ramps up. Krumkaka, lefse, rosettes, and all the other butter cookies start coming out.
Last night as we were devouring homemade meatballs, potatoes with gravy, refrigerator pickles, asparagus, and homemade rolls, Grandma and Grandpa started talking about when they were kids. Because no one had refrigeration then, their moms would send them to the butcher shop each afternoon with a quarter to buy a pound of round steak. Grandma said that sometimes her mom would ask for $0.25 worth and sometimes she would ask for a pound ($0.20). Grandma would get all the way to the butcher shop and have to remember which one her mom had asked for. On Sundays, my Grandpa's mom would send him with one dollar to buy a whole chicken. This was a splurge considering his dad only made $16 a week.
If you didn't like what your mom made that night, you ate it anyway. If you refused, you didn't eat because there wasn't anything else. It makes me think twice about the pickiness of kids and the excesses of today. When I watch Guy Fiere make 3 whole chickens on the Food Network I wonder why it's necessary.
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