Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Poor Man's Shrimp

I never really thought about growing up poor at the time. Pretty much everyone was in the same situation so it didn't seem different. Since my parents had grown up during the depression and war years, they felt fortunate even during the lean years. We were not concerned about what our neighbor's had, but were more concerned about putting food on the table or getting money for a truck repair. Many nights for supper, Mom would feed me mustard and onion on toast. As a child, I never missed the sandwich filling because Mom made it seem like a treat. As an adult, I know it was because we didn't have any meat on hand.

Now days I think children are exposed to so much thru the Internet, television, movies, etc. that they are more than aware of what might be missing. Even as adults, we all want the 'latest' electronic toy. Do we really need the latest hot item? It seems the more the world changes, the more it stays the same. With daily 'bad' news, I think we're all longing for a simpler time and a little slower pace. Remember playing cards? You know, the kind you shuffle with your hands rather than clicking with a mouse on your computer? How about board games or puzzles? When was the last time you did one thing with no distractions? Maybe reading a book without the television or computer running in the background? Or, enjoying a quiet drive without the radio blaring or the cell phone ringing? Walking without an i-pod so that you actually hear the birds singing? Or maybe just listening to the wind blow.....

All of that brings me to the title of this post, Poor Man's Shrimp. This was a tradition in our house for as long as I can remember. Mom would mix up some home-made cocktail sauce made with equal parts of horseradish and ketchup. Then we'd dip leaves of lettuce in the sauce, close our eyes, and take a big bite. It tasted like shrimp! Maybe it was the crunchy lettuce combined with a little imagination or the power of suggestion. Either way it made for some wonderful memories.


Betsy from Tennessee said...

Great post, Marge... You are so right about our lives NOW compared to years ago. I'm not sure it stays the same--but I do agree that most of us who are in the 'rat race' YEARN for the simple life. YET---most of us stop with the yearning--and then go back to our 'get-as-much-as-we-can' lifestyle. The country has become greedier and more selfish--with each passing day.

Hopefully, we will wake up and change --before it's too late. We're losing God in our country --and becoming more and more secular with each passing day. There's no loyalty anymore... Shall I go on???? It's truly scary.

Thanks for making me THINK.

KathyM said...

Well Marge and Betsy...I did manage to let go of my cell phone this year. I've got this computer because I do SOME business on it. I still have Tv but not that interested in it. I love books! But going through this first estate, I'm learning so much about the old times and what we had...and didn't have...it's too much to write about at one sitting.
Marge, the jist of your post is that "if we close our eyes and believe"...then it becomes real for us! We will need to use this technique in the next few years to come. Lucky us! We already grew up in hard times. We live closer to the memory of it so we can more easily go back to it. Here's to how wonderful it is to eat "Poor Man's Shrimp" and all that it stands for! Thank You!