Thursday, November 3, 2011

Passing On The 'Old Ways'

Yesterday was a very busy day for me.  I woke up early and headed to the farm where I picked up 1 1/2 gallons of fresh raw milk.  Then I drove to Loganville and sold 17 Farmer's Market Baskets at our new location which is the little cottage industry I sometimes refer to.  While 17 baskets is a small haul for the amount of time and distance I have to drive to get there, I see it as a starting point.  I am personally so thankful for the benefits my family receives from the baskets that I want to pass it on.

While I was there I had the chance to pass on some of the 'old world' life skills Racey and I are passionate about.  I took the raw milk and taught the family who's home we use as the drop off point how to make butter from the cream in the raw milk.  The kids took turns shaking and laughed and played as if it were a game!  I think that's an important concept in this style of living.  You have to involve the children in the daily chores to make everything work in the long term, but it also needs to be fun so they don't really feel like it's work.  By doing this you're teaching them valuable life skills like being self sufficient and making their own products, but also a responsible work ethic.  The butter isn't going to make itself.  If you want butter then shake some cream!  Forget the tendency to just pop into some big box store and pick something up that you have no clue when or where it was made and from what.

After the butter was finished we had butter milk left and in the mindset of waste not want not, we used it to make a pan of biscuits.  Once again the children were as interested as the mother.  They pulled their chairs up to the counter and watched every single thing I did.  They insisted that the flour tasted good.  The two year old, Corbin, dipped his little fat fingers in the buttermilk and sucked it off till his mama moved the bowl!  I wish I had taken more photos, but with four little ones five and under in age, picture taking wasn't very easy.  After the biscuits were finished cooking, everyone had a hot butter biscuit as a treat.  Yes, it was a TREAT!  The family was as happy to have the hot homemade butter biscuit as if it was something special from the store.

As the last person picked up their basket, the question came up of how to you use real carrots.  I started laughing and thought she was joking at first.  I asked her, "have you never eaten carrots before?", and she replied, "yes, but they are always cut up and ready to eat."  Again I laughed and shook my head.  It's really only funny if you've ever been as modern and spoiled as this.  I have, and when I look back at all the money I wasted on pre-washed, pre-cut, ready to eat convenience foods I realize the joke was on me.  It's silly, I know, but as a society we are being dumbed down when it comes to self sufficiency.  The more knowledge they take from us the more they can make us pay just to eat and survive.  Okay, okay, I'll get down off my soapbox here... maybe ;-)

As I left, I took a fruit and veg basket to my children's grandfather who is by himself now that their grandmother passed away last November.  I hate to use the term ex-father-in-law when referring to family as I have found when you have children even if the marriage doesn't last the family connections do.  He was very grateful for the veg, and we talked about the kids and life for a little while.  When I left he seemed a little happier than when I got there.  It's somehow nice to know that just a little food and companionship cane make a difference.  I had a 1/2 gallon of raw milk that was supposed to come home with me, but knowing who I was visiting and his love of 'old style' living I left the milk with him.  He was really excited about that, and of course then the stories started about how when he was a boy that's all they drank!

I backed out of the driveway and glanced back one more time before driving off and saw him through the kitchen window drinking strait from the jar like a kid!

By the time I made it home it was dark and I had been gone for almost 12 hours.  I was welcomed into a clean house with dinner ready on the stove, and my hubby waiting for me around the fire pit.  For all the hard work it was overall a great day.

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