If you were part of a certain generation, your parents were concerned with squeezing the most out of a dollar and the pantry. They read pamphlets, they exchanged bargain ideas, and they rinsed out zip loc bags. You’re saying to yourself, what could possibly be so different now? Sure these days we budget, save, and prepare, but trust me, we are not going to the same lengths.
At first, your heart leapt to see the gallon come out of the paper bag from the store. Then, under the cover of nightfall, mom would gradually mix in reconstituted powdered milk into the store-bought gallon. YOU AREN’T FOOLING US, mom!
Never-ending gallons do not exist, not even in
Eventually, mom would break down and buy another gallon of milk (to start it all over again.)
I mean, I guess it was better than the way they usually tried to get you to drink powdered milk: slightly warm, because the powder dissolves easier in warm water. The sickeningly sweet smell with just a hint of sour wafted out of the beige pitcher as the milk sloshed against the sides. Know what’s better than powdered milk?
A glass of water and eating your cereal dry.
*Your mom would buy a gallon of milk from the store and that gallon never ran dry.
* Peanut butter that you had to stir.
The great grease slick at the top of the jar that would make a thunk sound as you plunged in the spoon. The jars of Skippy at your friends' houses seemed so...glamorous.
* Your dad would give you a couple of tablespoons of wheat to chew.
Not wheat flour, actual wheat grains poured into your hand. You were supposed to chew these because they made gum. And the wheat did make gum, but guess what? WRIGLEY’S IS ONLY A DIME. Why did we have 50 pound bags of wheat hanging out in our basement? So you could grind wheat and make your own bread, of course. All four of us used to beg and plead for ‘store-bought’ bread. Oh, store-bought bread! It was so soft! The thick, crusty loaves my dad pulled out of the oven? NO, THANKS! Why couldn’t we just have Wonder Bread like everyone else?
So tell me, were your parents reading the same pamphlets as mine? Did you can peaches and put up tomatoes? Spend an afternoon at the Welfare (charity) farm picking cherries? Or were you one of the lucky ones: Wonder Bread for your sandwich and pudding cups in your lunch—oh, and real gum?
-I was reminded about all of this in an IM convo that I had with Sue. You need to read her take on this subject. Warning, you'll learn about something called 'chocolate treat', are you prepared?