Two days ago I was at the supermarket and the couple in front of me had a young baby. I watched as they tried to pay with their card again and again without success and ended up having to leave without their groceries.
I would have loved to have been able to help, but you can't very well offer to pay for someone's groceries without offending them. Nor would it have been practical. Why were they in this situation? Why would it not happen again?
I also had an urge to run after them and tell them all about cooking from scratch, about vegetable gardens, making the things you need, or maintaining the things you already own. I would have loved to tell them about the jerusulaem artichoke soup that we had eaten the night before. I had cooked some corned beef earlier in the week and kept the broth. I bought some artichokes for $1.50 from our local shop and cooked them, a supermarket onion and some of our home grown garlic in the broth. When cooked, I added some milk and blended the lot. It was wonderful! We ate it with the cheapest supermarket bread (Oh the shame, but it's been a tough week!) The kids loved the meal and dinner cost us about $3.00 for five people. Recipes don't need to be hard or fancy. You just need to learn how to cook and the types of food that work well together.
I would have loved to tell them how to make a loaf of sour dough like the one I just pulled out of the oven. How little it cost, how much healthier it is, how little packaging we use.............. I would have also told them how wonderful a home smells when the aromas of home made bread waft through the house, making it smell enticing and cosy.
I would have loved to discuss which plants grow well at this time of year and share the story of my silver beet root from which we enjoyed a feed this week. This time we ate the roots, rather than the leaves and they were lovely! A bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar on them, and baked in the oven.
I would have loved to sit with that woman and knitted together while her child was entertained by my daughter, Pumpkin. We could have chatted about life and skills and shared information. Now don't get me wrong, my life is far from perfect. In fact, when posting the photos of the soup, I chose not to put a couple up because of the grime on the chairs. Life is hectic, there's always work to be done and my house is usually messy but I wouldn't have any other lifestyle. We are living our lives in a fulfilling and meaningful way and I wish I could share information about how live with everyone. Come to think of it, that's probably what brought me to blogging!
I would have loved to have talked to them about all this and honestly had to hold myself back from running after them, but our society decrees that you behave a certain way, and they would have thought I was a weirdo, not someone trying to help. Not someone with some answers that they could use.
Are this family, and many others, doing it tougher than they need to because they have never been taught simple skills of how to care for themselves and their families without spending a fortune?