Those Were The Days? - Stevie's Crazy Kitchen Blog at - 274437

Stevie's Crazy Kitchen

Those were the Days? 
May 4, 2012 1:18 am 
Updated: May 7, 2012 6:08 am
I grew up listening to my dad complaining about rising prices...  My sis and I each got maybe a nickle allowance each week, and would look forward to WALKING the half mile to the store, where we might buy candy, or get a COKE in a returnable bottle!  Go figure, a whole candy bar!  Ok, my memory is fuzzy, maybe our allowance was 10 cents!  All I know is, that I could buy only one item, with MAYBE enough left for a "Bazooka" bubble gum...  ( They used to have a comic in them!)  If one of us found an empty soda bottle along the way, we felt we had struck gold, as I think in that day and time, an empty soda bottle was worth about 2 cents (deposit.!)  Talk about maximizing our allowance!

Now, I'm not actually 139 years old, but I did grow up in a different WORLD than youngsters today!  Seems like when McDonalds first opened in our town, a burger was 29 cents!  My family couldn't afford to go there very often, so it was a real treat, a burger, fries, and a shake!  That reminds me, when and where did a "malted milk" go?  Anyway, the burger trip every couple of months... but there was also the "Dog and Suds..." which served hot dogs, and "A&W" root beer!  That was a "chain" of drive in's, where the food would be delivered to your car, and hung off the semi open window on a tray...  UMMMM, that root beer... HUGE mugs on "tap!"

Back in this day and time, my "stay at home mom" fixed both lunch and dinner every day (except for special - now called "fast food")  In her words, dad told her to "spread the margarine on the (sandwich) bread, and then SCRAPE it off again (to conserve.)  She packed his lunch every day...  Two slices of bread, and one slice of bologna or olive loaf with a dribble of mustard, wrapped in wax paper, and tucked into his lunch bucket, with a thermos of....  coffee, perhaps...?

We had one car, (not one for each licensed driver,) which dad drove to work most days...  He'd take "us" all grocery shopping once a week or so.  Most of the time, mom was a "prisoner" at home, tending to polishing floors (SOLID OAK!) doing the laundry, and washing windows.  Once in a great while, mom would take dad to work, so she might have the car for a while... I presume to take one of us kids to the dr or dentist...  There were no trips to the hairdresser, or such, she did that sort of stuff herself. 

There isn't a day goes by now, that I don't here myself  saying my dad's words, something about the "prices going up" at an alarming rate!  Whatever would he say today, about gasoline being near $4 a gallon, and a loaf of bread $3?    (Back in the "70's he complained that I'd paid 25 cents for a loaf of bread!)   

Back then in this day, and time, cars were huge, and had fins on the rear end...  Who cared about mileage?  I can remember during a "GAS CRISIS," dad waiting in line to fill up our car... since gas at that station was 25 cents/gallon! 

WHERE have the years gone?  Apparently, I've lost about 50...  And now, I'm paraphrasing my dad, complaining about rising costs (of everything) and talking about tightening up "the belt."  How can I "pinch pennys" as he did?  In today's economy, I think I'd have to "pinch quarters!" 

Where has all of this taken me?  To a place where talking to your kids won't make any sense to them, as it didn't when I was young...  It's not until we have paid our own bills for years, and have actually noticed the rising costs of such comodities as FOOD, that we begin to sound like "our parents."

So, the next time your child leaves the house in his or her luxury car (like a BMW or LEXUS) and brings home a loaf of bread, as you've asked, don't complain it cost $3...  That price won't mean a thing to your child... who will only hear "YOU PAID HOW MUCH?"  "But you told me to buy bread!"

I have no children, so I'm going on one theory only... that history repeats itself...  So, for those of you with "kids," remember...  "times have changed" in the past 50 years, and the kids won't understand at all, and don't EVEN expect the grandkids to understand that "gum" used to be 2 cents!

Be well, friends, be happy, and cook crazy!
May 4, 2012 3:03 am
oh my Stevie, i recall all the things you speak of here...i got married at thirteen, had first child (Hope Renee) at fourteen...yap i was a stay at home mom for a short time,but i had to pay the bills and buy food for the week,so at that young age it was hard at first..but i got the hang of it,was easy back then when things was so very cheap...that was a great time,but every one in my small group made every thing from scratch and had a garden...oh dang i was 22 the first time i ate fast food and it made me sick because i wasn't use to eating that way....those were the good old well my friend....Judy
May 4, 2012 9:09 am
The last time I had Bazooka gum (about 10 years ago) they still had a little comic printed on the wrapper. :) And I've noticed just in the last few years how quickly the prices are rising. I don't have any kids to confuse with price comparisons, but my nieces all think I'm crazy when I tell them that cable and internet are two luxury items that I'll do without so I can afford to do other things. They seem to think those things are a necessity. I wonder what the kids today are going to remember when they think of the "good old days"?
May 4, 2012 1:57 pm
Ha! Ha! If you are 139 yrs old then I must be at least 150. I remember the nickel coke and you could still ride the NYC subway for a nickel. My fathers first house cost $7,000 in a great area solid oak floors, plaster walls and a huge lot. We too only had one car and my mother and grandmother, who lived next door, would walk to the stores, church and library. Mom cut our hair and my sister would get a "Toni" perm every few months. I remeber putting $2.00 worth of gas in the car and filling it for $5.00. I laugh because my adult children complain about prices of things that didn't even exist when I was their age. And you know, I think people were generally happier and certainly less stressed back then.
May 4, 2012 8:51 pm
Judy, you started so early... but I'll be it made you stronger! You've done well for your family, from what you've shared with me! Be well, friend, and be happy!
May 4, 2012 8:56 pm
Amanda, I don't think that "young ones" of today will ever understand "our" old days! Hopefully, the economy will right itself, so when today's teens are parents, things might be on a strong upswing... rather than "stalled in the water!" as it seems to be today... be well!
May 4, 2012 9:04 pm
BigShotsMom... OMG! I'd totally forgotten about the "Toni!" Mom used to do her own! And those perm rods, that came in the box... hinged at one end, and would snap closed on the other! LOL! Thanks for the reminder! We didn't have any nearby shopping or anything, so it was always a matter of mom & dad juggling the car for such things. When folks divorced, dad had a black ford with lipstick red interior... oh, and a red stripe down the sides of the car! Life today is fine, but back then, when worries were few - yet somewhat the same? Be well, friend!
May 5, 2012 5:57 pm
The last time I had Bazooka gum was about 45 years ago. But I had a Sugar daddy about 2 months ago.
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Stevie crazycook

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Lansing, Michigan, USA
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About Me
Started cooking many years ago, and learned as I went. First meal may have been "steak & chips" at age 15, in Birmingham England, where I lived for several years. Mostly grew up in MI, transplanted to the desert 30yrs ago, or so. Favorite cookbook is "Better Homes", also enjoy "Great British Cooking, a well kept secret." Hesitate to call myself "expert," but friends do rave...
My favorite things to cook
Italian has been my "specialty" for some time, and my "signature" meal is Lasagne, salad, garlic bread, which I first made 20yrs ago... from SCRATCH, very first time I made it. (Never again, folks...) Now start with a big jar of sauce!
My favorite family cooking traditions
Thanks to my heritage, I have enjoyed trying foods from different cultures. We still have beer battered fish, and chips of course; ground meat dishes often, chicken occasionally, pork too. I would love to submit a bean dip recipe, however, my ex who gave me the original has passed, and I have no way to verify that it didn't come from another source! I also enjoy British cooking (with a few yankee twists) and once made Plum puddings, also known as Christmas puddings, as far as I know... what an ordeal that was, but well worth the effort. Today, there is mail order!
My cooking triumphs
Greatest triumph was not too long ago, when I held a sit down dinner for 12, Lasagne being the entree. It was a fund raiser I chose to sponsor, and am proud to say that "we" raised over $1000 from that meal alone, minimum donation being $25. All proceeds collected were donated; my partner and I provided the meal and beverages.
My cooking tragedies
MEATLOAF of all things! Went through a stage of "winging" it each time, and I pulled one after another out of the oven that were almost unedible. As yet, not too big on baking... no sweet tooth here! Have dabbled, but find doughs/pastries especially difficult, perhaps as it's 90 degrees in my kitchen much of the year.
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