They are saying that healthy is new sexy?? What is health? What does health mean for you?
You know when I was a child, my grandmother who lived next door milked her cow, made her butter, ate her own chooks (actually it was a big family thing – where we would all get together cousins, uncles, aunts etc and butcher enough to divvy up between us all) to kill a beast was a huge thing so didn’t happen very often but we would regularly eat home butchered hogget (no not lamb but deliciously flavoured hogget), in later years my mother would often substitute the hogget with a goat (sometimes I couldn’t even tell). Our neighbours had pigs so we would trade with them and receive lovely pork in return.
My grandmother was an amazing cook and would often enter her cakes, jams and chutney’s into the local Dubbo Show and was a keen CWA member – her vegetable patch was an array of all things edible and then her orchard WOW, how I remember picking mulberries from the tree and ending up with purple fingers, amongst everything else being stained purple. It was a real old fashioned orchard – not that I appreciated or knew the significance at the time, with figs, quinces, apricots, plums, nectarines, oranges and oh my lordy the wonderful pomegranate right there just off the verandah in amongst the rose bushes.
There was no real fast food – yes of course the odd fish and chip shop – who remembers Sam’s Fish N Chip shop in Jubilee Street Dubbo? None of these 24 hour convenience stores or drive through breakfast places.
What I’m getting at is, if you wanted something to eat – you had to make it. Yes make it from scratch. Either at my grandmothers house or my own there would always be an array of cakes or biscuits available, plenty of fresh fruit and then there would always be cold meat in the fridge which you could pop on a slice of bread with wonderful home made pickles.
Oh! then there’s the preserves – I can’t tell you how many times my parents would have the kitchen table covered in fruit. Dad’s job was to do the peeling and coring, Mum would be making the syrup and it would take what seemed like the whole day to make a huge batch – and that was just the peaches!! The next day it would be apricots, the next day the pears – some times I thought it would never end EVER. However, it enabled our family to have access to fruit the whole year round.
When my brother and I would come home from school, Mum would always have a fresh batch of piklets or a hot milo ready for us, in summer it would be an ice block made from homemade custard – I can tell you there were no packets of chips or biscuits etc in our house for school or after school snacks.
Lunch on the farm would be cold meat and salad, salad was usually tomato, lettuce, cucumber, beetroot, boiled egg, some cheese and homemade mayonaise. It’s still one of my favourite lunches today.
Did all this make us healthy or healthier than we are today? Take a look around, check out what you are having for lunch, really check it out.
There’s a family who live not far from here who are hard workers on the farm – I’ve been there for smoko and WOW its a feast. They have chops, mince, veges its a huge meal – I forget that by smoko these people have already done half a days work. The men come in and clean it all up and then the mum is back to cooking again. No junk food on that table either! Definitely no time for Facebook.
Can you be healthy if you are a busy person? I know that as my family grew I tended to have more packets of things in my pantry – started off with white sauce, then gravy, spaghetti bolognaise sauce. Then when the kids started going to school it was so easy to throw a packet of chips into their lunch box. The tip of the iceberg. I’ve seen some children’s lunch boxes with muesli bars, biscuit and cheese dippy things, fruit roll ups, and then a white bread sandwich with margarine and some processed cheese filling. I’m doing my best to avoid packets of stuff. It’s hard sometime I can tell you.
I’m enjoying dabbling in whole foods and definitely getting back to basic cooking from scratch and I even feel better. It’s a steep learning curve tho – did you know that anti caking agent (which is found in salt and grated cheese just as an example) can be made from wood pulp or even sand???
I’m lucky Ive got a family that will eat almost anything. I got this text from my 18 year son who is an apprentice builder – he slept in one morning and didn’t have time to make his smoko. “Mum can you please bring me in an omelette for smoko”
So seeing he asked so nicely I made up this wonderful feast, which I might add is very very easy and definitely something that the average home cook can whip up. The reaction from his work mates when I delivered it was amazing. Apart from the predicted ribbing of “Mummy bringing lunch” they were, I have to say gobsmacked when they saw what it was and were very jealous indeed and then put in their requests for smoko for the next day. And you know what? The best part? it took no longer to make and deliver and probably cost less than the usual convenience style food that usually the norm for a young tradesman when he doesn’t pack his own… And even better I reckon it was healthy.
So I ask again – what is health? What does health mean for you? I also now ask what can you do to be a little healthier? I’m not a health expert but my mind is open and I encourage yours to be too.
- Note this blog has been in my drafts for 6 years and now I am publishing it – fast forward to June 2020 incredible to read back and see what an influence the earlier generation has had – I am proud to say there are less packets in my pantry (not completely gone) and I am continuing the chutney, veggie garden and home kill legacy that my parents and my grandparents taught me.