Pipi’s Pasture: Getting along without soda and chips
While writing last week’s column, I remembered those growing up years on the ranch when we didn’t have modern conveniences such as a washer and dryer and, in early years, not even hot water. These memories helped me remember other things that we didn’t have back then, too. An example is popular snack items, like soda and chips, that today’s kids (and adults) enjoy on just about a daily basis.
Money was tight back then. Some years Mom sold eggs to the grocery store and then used the money to buy grocery items, mostly staples. She didn’t spend money on lunchmeats, hot dogs, soda, chips, and baked items. She purchased “boughten” bread that was saved only for our school lunches. Almost everything we ate was made from homegrown ingredients that came from the ranch. It doesn’t mean that we didn’t eat well, however.
It’s not that we didn’t ever get snack treats, either, and we looked forward to those times. Sometimes Mom surprised us with a treat from the grocery store. Other times we kids rode along with Dad when he drove down to the Hamilton Store to buy something he needed. He treated us to a soda, in a glass bottle, from a chest cooler filled with a variety of soda flavors. We used the bottle opener on the side of the cooler to remove the cap. If we had saved up a little money, we kids got to select some candy, too.
As I’ve written before, sometimes we took time for an impromptu fishing trip when the hay needed to dry after a rainstorm. Because Mom didn’t have time to prepare a lunch, we stopped at the Hamilton Store on the way and bought hot dogs, buns, chips, and cookies. We looked forward to this lunch even more than fishing itself.
Just because we didn’t have a lot of snacks, we had good food. For our school lunches, even though we didn’t have lunchmeats, Mom made a sandwich mix from a small can of potted meat (still available today) mixed with chopped boiled egg, pickle, and Miracle Whip. This was spread on the “boughten” bread she saved for us.
Sometimes Dad took a lunch when he rode horseback on summer pasture to check the cattle. Mom used leftover roast meat for the sandwiches or, more often, made a mixture of ground-up leftover
roast meat. I found her recipe for this sandwich mixture, in her beautiful handwriting, which follows.
Leftover Meat Sandwiches
1 cup ground cold meat
1 hardboiled egg, chopped
½ cup grated raw carrots
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste
Mix together and spread on buttered bread.
A note about the recipe: I have made the recipe many times by grinding the meat, egg and pickle together and mixing it with Miracle Whip. Sometimes I used cooked and drained ground beef in place of roast.
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