Tuesday, February 19, 2013

"I'll Never Be Hungry Again"

If you've ever read Margaret Mitchell's Gone With The Wind or seen the movie, you might recognize 'Scarlett' swearing at the end, "I'll never be hungry again. No, nor any of my folk. If I have to lie, steal, cheat or kill, As God is my witness, I'll never be hungry again!" (Number 59 in AFI's top 100 movie quotes.)

In my last post, I talked about rendering lard. I mentioned that I had read about using lard as a spread on bread and said I'd never been hungry enough to do that. One of the things I remember my Mom saying when we were kids was that we might not have much money, but we would never go hungry because we lived on a farm. We had our own meat, eggs, milk, vegetables and fruit.
Once when Grandpa Ridnour was going to butcher a cow, we went down to help. Well, Dad and Ron were going to help, I was told not to go near where they were doing the butchering. Might as well have told me to head right up the hill behind the hedge where the hoist was set up, because sneaky me had already decided I was going to see what was going on.
 I told Mom I had to go to the toilet, which was on the side of the hedge opposite the butchering site. I went around behind the outhouse and peaked through the hedge. Yuck! Ew-w! Good grief, why did I think I wanted to see that? Why couldn't I have recognized that Mom knew best? It was a long time before I could get the sight of that strung up cow out of my head.

Mom always had a big garden. Every year she canned or froze enough vegetables to easily see the family through the winter. When I grew up and had a family of my own, I dreamed of having a garden like Mom's and canning and freezing plenty of food, just as she had done.
Over the years I planted many a garden. They would start out looking good - something like the perfect dream garden pictured above.

But by the middle of the summer, all my gardens looked like this one - full of weeds, hardly a vegetable in sight.

And while I did once in a while can a few jars of food, that dream of having my own shelves look like this just never happened. Now, with the price of food getting higher every week, and the appeal of knowing how and where our food comes from, I find myself once again dreaming of raising the perfect garden; preserving healthy food grown organically.

But even if I had the space for a garden, I know myself well enough to know I still wouldn't have that perfect garden. It would still be full of weeds because instead of weeding I would tell myself I would do it tomorrow. Like Scarlett, "After all....tomorrow is another day!" (Number 31 in the list of the top 100 American Film Institute's quotes.)


  1. That's funny. Yesterday I did a blog entry in which I said I am a mediocre gardener. I do always get enough stuff out of my gardens to make it worth the effort, but I am surely not a great gardener.

  2. Donna - Often when I read your blogs I think how much alike we seem to be. Being born in the same era probably contributes to that. Knowing that we most likely at least once 'met' at Aunt Lois's makes it even more ironic that we 'found' one another again.

  3. Donna - I meant to mention, I always had good luck with tomatoes - canning them plain and making salsa and spaghetti sauce to can. One year I had 75 tomato plants - what was I thinking?! My young son piled his little red wagon full of tomatoes and sold them to the campers in a nearby campground.
    Then there was the year I tried eggplant. It grew very well. Problem turned out to be we didn't LIKE eggplant. I also had good luck with zucchini which we loved picked small and cooked with tomatoes and onions and smothered in mozzarella. That was a favorite summer supper which I still make with the bounty from our local farmers' market.
    Part of me envies your space to garden while the other part is thankful for the lack of room to garden. Ha!