In the countryside

Today for lunch we’re eating vegetables from the family garden and roast chicken. Earlier this morning, I baked bread and made some butter using the milk from our cows. But to make my cake, I had to buy brown sugar at the general store. Even though we can make almost everything we need to eat right here on the farm, sometimes we have to buy a few products to round out our diet.

In the summer we keep food that needs to stay cool in our icebox. We buy a large block of ice from the iceman and slide it inside the icebox where it helps keep the food cool. We can also keep vegetables cool in our cellar.

As summer draws to an end, I have to start thinking about making jams and preserves for the winter months. In December we’ll do the butchering; that is, we’ll slaughter a few of our animals for meat. Not only will this provide us with beef and pork for the whole winter, but we’ll also have fewer animals to feed. We will salt, smoke or freeze the meat to help it last longer.

In the city     

If I lived in the city, I would have to buy almost all my food at the market, where farmers sell some of their harvest each week. The townsfolk get their meat at the butcher and their fish at the fishmonger. In the homes of the wealthy upper middle class, the dinner table is laden with imported food like chocolate or exotic fruits like grapefruits.

With our new means of transportation, food can travel faster and come from farther away. Newspapers are full of advertisements praising the virtues of all these new products. In fact, I recently saw an ad for chips. Are they any good?

Author: Service national du Récit de l’univers social

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