My reminiscing may have been the MLK and not the RFK assasination, and either way, I can’t imagine what I thought was going on (I would have been 8 or 9), but I remember creating enough of a scene that the nuns asked one of my besties to take me out of class. I guess that’s just me .
When my Mom cooked (bless Her soul) seemed like everything we ate was Survival Food. She went to work as a young teenager in the 1930s to support a Sand Hog disabled father, a younger sister and a toddler brother. She grew into a power despite having no kitchen skills. I grew up recognizing my Dad didn’t marry her for her domestic skills. She made a mean bowl of Campbell’s Tomato Soup & grilled cheese sandwiches. She fried up a perfect egg on cheap bread to send us off to school when we attended Mass and received Communion. We ate breakfast in that first hour of school when the other heathen Cat-licks were doing lessons. Bliss!
But I did learn to hate Meatless Fridays…
From the time I was about nine years old, it was my job to ignite the broiler on our family stove. You turned the gas on, fell on your knees to strike a match to the broiler, and hoped it didn’t explode to singe your eyebrows or hair. I was always a victim. Fridays were toasted bread from the broiler, over canned Tuna cooked in Campbell’s Mushroom Soup.
My sisters and I, and my parents ate this with enthusiasm.
I don’t think any of this would/could happen today.
Love the image of dropping your knees to light the broiler!! When we were first married we had a gas stove and I was terrified of that thing. To this day I don’t use the broiler in our (now hip height) oven. Creamed tuna on toast was comfort food but my mom put peas in it…
It HAS to have peas.
Something I never experienced…
The peas give it a pop. Everything else turns to mush. Besides, the peas add visual appeal.
Whoa, I thought I was the only one!
What moms—and grandparents—will do to take care of their kids.
My mom served this breakfast to me in a small pressed glass candy dish. I think she did that to make both of us feel that the rice-in-milk meal was a treat, instead of that my very bad dude dad wasn’t interested in allocating enough for grocery money.
Our pantry would run bare on a fairly regular basis as a result.
My maternal grandparents didn’t know, and when they found out they would somehow instantly stretch their small budget to make sure we had enough to eat. I suspect they pulled it off with the help of a kind grocer they knew—his delivery truck would arrive at the door unannounced. Suddenly we had supplies! Beyond generous.
Wow…you were lucky your grandparents were around ….I guessed that they loved all you guys!!!
Thanks, @PHREDDY. Indeed my maternal grandparents did love us. And how lucky we were that they did.
When my grandparents married, their wedding dinner involved buying potatoes, a kielbasa sausage, and a pot to cook it all in. Just enough for the two of them. The story helps explain why they could not stand for us—or anyone else—going without. Like so many folks of their era, they worked very hard for what they had and learned how to do a lot with a little.
I’m forever grateful they shared.
Our busdriver was the one that let us know about the Kennedy assasination and why we were going home early….the nuns were too chicken I guess.
I learned what happened when I got home. My mother was sitting in the living room with no lights on but she was listening to the radio and was crying.
I remember how it rained for days after…my mom was devastated too.
This has been an interesting read (not just our posts, but the original reddit too).
There was a question in the reddit that I found interesting . . . . “what do rich people eat?” (paraphrased) I wouldn’t say I grew up poor or in survival mode, but I ate almost everything on that thread (except that my relatives didn’t cut the cheeks out of fish that had been discarded by a fish monger - though I’m not against a cheek today). I also found it interesting that so many posters still eat the foods of their survival days (I eat them now too).
So I wonder what makes people link those foods to poverty or survival . . . . I also wonder how this food is being experience currently (e.g. what will the current kids in survival mode remember about the food of their childhood in 20-30 years). What will their relationship between money and food be?
When I look back on it, growing up we did not eat much in the way of processed or “convenience” foods. We had a large garden, and canned a lot of it. My mother baked bread, cookies, etc. I hope kids are learning to cook now. I don’t know. We lived in the Netherlands for several years and when we came back we were really surprised how salty and sweet the food tasted here.
Interesting. We were comfortable, not poor nor rich, I suppose.
We had a set of dishes that we had with regularity, but most seem to have fallen out of favor.
Beef in many different ways, because it was prevalent and inexpensive (compared to today)- round steak made as chicken fried steak, as Swiss steak (tomatoes), big family sized sirloins, hamburgers , tacos and spaghetti.
Pork chops in a variety of different ways, almost always with rice and gravy.
Fried chicken or pot roast for Sunday dinner because of the cooking time involved…
And stews tomatoes, something that seems to have completely disappeared.
The only fish we had were catfish, crappie, or blue gill caught by my uncles.
And always vegetable soup and beef stew.
And my favorite dish all, chicken and dumplings.
Don’t see that around anymore either.
Too bad for me.
And midwestern chili, Texas pinto beans, and green beans with ham hocks and new potatoes.
I asked my mom awhile ago how she managed to serve shrimp and scallops so often, and she said back then (1960s) it was the cheapest thing around! Lucky us
Back then king crab was also poor people food – it was almost always buried in far corner of the A&P freezer, so we remember while trailing a parental unit. We weren’t “poor”, but lived frugally and efficiently as an article of common sense.