Bits & Pieces


By Brenda Boykin


The Cost of Meat

I don’t I expect food to cost the same as it did in the ‘60s when I first started buying my own food but this is getting ridiculous. To make a bad situation even worse is all the advice of what you need to eat and the warnings of what you should not eat. I didn’t appreciate it even though it was meant with the best of intentions when someone told my son he was not eating right because I serve canned vegetables in the dead of winter. Obviously, our budgets are not the same.

Due to constant increased cost of groceries, I have had to change what I can afford to cook and eat drastically over the last ten years. The variety of foods I can serve has changed along with it.

I use to serve fish, frozen filets or fresh, a couple of times per month at least. Even as poor as my family was when I was growing up, Mom could buy fresh fish from a fish market a couple of times a month for a family of six. Now canned salmon is a luxury. I use canned mackerel instead maybe once a month to make “salmon” patties. No wonder I have lost brain power.

Pork use to be the “high on the hog” way of eating for the poor family. Pork chops, bacon, and sausage were fairly common place in any home. I don’t put bacon on a hamburger because that is extravagant. Eating two meats at once has to be a sin of some kind. Now a pork chop is the new steak at my house and pork roast is for special occasions.

I use to fall back on hamburger meat in some form or other, but not anymore. Beef stew was one of those good winter meals and I would even buy a cheap beef roast and cut it up myself. Beef roast got to be too high, so this winter I tried using some hamburger to make a mock beef stew and that did not work out. It is getting to the place it is cheaper to drive your car 10 miles to MacDonald’s for a hamburger than it is to make one at home. They can buy their beef in bulk. That conflicts with my belief that it is cheaper to eat at home than to eat out.

I have always cooked chicken and now it is about the only meat in the house. It can be fried, boiled, barbecued, baked and other ways in between or a combination there of. It can be chopped, shredded, bone-in, boneless, filet, whole, quartered, and the list goes on. However, it still tastes like chicken. I hope no well intentioned person tells me to use ground chicken in place of hamburger. I have never heard, even another fool, say “Man, that spaghetti with chicken meat sauce I had last night was good!”

I don’t care to be told to go meatless either. If it is your choice, more power to you. I should have a choice too and they are getting very limited as it is. I love the people that say eat more dried beans instead of meat. I do eat dried beans occasionally and I would eat them all the time if I could put that gas in my car and drive it.