Life Is Good, Bad and Ugly

Grilled Cheese & Applesauce

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I was making my three young boys, aged 2, 3 and 4 years old lunch today. Grilled cheese and applesauce. Something that my mother used to make for us when we were younger. Most people wouldn’t think to pair the two together. Usually it’s served with tomato soup or something like that. But growing up in Detroit in the 70s made you learn how to stretch your dollar. Especially if you had a large family.

My mother had 4 girls, no boys, of which I am the oldest. My dad had a good job at the utility company. We were fortunate to have been able to leave Detroit eventually and move to the suburbs. My parents felt like we should be able to have a good education and good opportunities.

My mother, formerly a caterer, taught us that family is important and she also showed us how to love and respect each other and other people. But another thing I learned from her was how to cook meals made from love for my family. How to take the little things you have and make it work so that everyone can eat.

So while making grilled cheese sandwiches for my kids, I lovingly recall days of pork ‘n beans with pieces of hot dogs, beef stew, chili, lasagna and fried chicken. However, I also remember things like homemade pound cake, carrot cake and helping her make chocolate chip cookies. I remember being angry at her for never buying ice cream from the ice cream truck for us like all our friends did; but she always kept ice cream and Popsicles in the freezer for us.

Yes, I, like most other kids enjoyed nutritious meals with my family, but also was able to have things to snack on from time to time. Everyone has cravings from time to time; whether it be a sweet tooth or something salty.

I can’t imagine what it would feel like to have someone from outside my household tell me what I can and can’t feed my children. Although, I’d like to think I provide healthy and satisfying meals for my family, you will still find a variety of snack foods in my house at any time. But what do you consider to be a snack? Well, people have varied opinions on it.

Snack or “junk” foods could be crackers, pretzels, fruit rollups, candy bars, Slim Jims, Vienna sausage, spam, ice cream, brownies, corn dogs, hot dogs, sandwiches, pizza rolls, cake, pie, cheese, yogurt, pudding, tv dinners, toast with jelly, hardboiled eggs, or fruits, nuts and vegetables. Is there really only one kind of snack or junk food? What may be considered junk food to some isn’t to others. So how would you regulate something like that?

I read on CafeMom that the state/federal government is considering banning food stamp recipients from buying “junk food” with their food stamps. I have to admit, I was pretty pissed off by some of the comments on there by other moms. Okay, on one hand, I can truly understand people being upset about abuse of food stamp “privileges”. But at the same time, I don’t want anyone to tell me how to feed my kids.

I read about people wasting their tax dollars on food stamp recipients and all sorts of crappy comments. Where exactly do we draw the line? Should we stop people from buying ground beef because they make cheeseburgers from it and cheeseburgers are greasy and fatty? Or should we stop allowing people to buy Kool-Aid because too much sugar isn’t good for you?  Better yet, will they stop me from buying coffee for my coffeemaker (which I drink while I blog and write) because it has no real nutritional value? Or, no more cooking oil to reduce eating fried foods?

I know, I should just have a spare set of keys made so the government can use the spare bedroom, that way, they can control everything in my household. Come on people, seriously? I think our time is better spent making sure people eat at all, than every-penny-detail of what they spend.

I guess I always could make cakes, cookies, pies, etc. from scratch. Even popsicles and pudding. You guys better start too. Or just have some grilled cheese and applesauce, if it’s approved.


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