The Food Channel identified shopping schizophrenia as one of the food trends to watch for in 2012. When I first read this article several months ago, I didn’t give it much thought. Mom-and-Pop shops, specialty stores or the large chain grocery stores: whether you are shopping for price, quality or source-locale, all options have something to offer.
But I am starting to notice a different trend that I find quite fascinating. Did you know you can buy a pork roast, pay your bills and have your nails done at Walmart? Our local Asian market offers fresh produce, seafood, and a hair salon. Even our local grocery chains now have Starbucks and banks on premise. It seems businesses want to become “super” stores – all things to all people.
I remember growing up with Blue Laws. Not only could you not buy everything you needed at a single store, you couldn’t even purchase products they did carry if you happened to be shopping on a certain day of the week. Blue Laws limited the types of purchases you could make on Sundays, allowing shoppers to purchase only the necessities. To this day, I still don’t understand why my neon yellow yoyo wasn’t considered a necessity. After all, it was imperative that I learn how to “rock the baby” and go “around the world” before my friends.
Today, retailers keep their doors open 363-5 days a year. They want to ensure you have every opportunity to buy whatever you want or need, whenever you want or need it, in the most convient way possible. I am all for convenience, but do you really want to buy your groceries and have your hair done within the same four walls?
Memories That You Can Taste Forever
It is so interesting and fun to think about the differences in food cultures amongst us. For example, I grew up in the heart of the Midwest, in a little town in North Central Illinois, just about 90 miles southwest of Chicago. Everything revolved around food. Friday nights were planned on which neighborhood tavern you would go to for fried fish. Cod? Walleye? Well you could go to “Walt & Krash’s Tap” in LaSalle, “The Riverview” in Peru, and then there was “Lenuti’s, or Rip’s” in Ladd. (And when I say tavern, I mean tavern!) If the wait is too long and any one of them, you just go a mile down the road to the other. Of course you could always pick up this healthy fried fish “to-go” and we might even open a glass bottle of Dad’s Root Beer or Bubble Up to drink it down! Sundays or special occasions were treated by “smorgasbord” where you would find all-you can eat fried chicken, mostaccioli or ravioli, and of course a variety of jello salads! If you were Polish, or Slovenian breakfast included the homemade smoked kielbasa and potica. Is your mouth watering yet? But wait, there’s more.
The best food, in my opinion to come out of our Illinois Valley area has to be, hands down, the infamous fried pork tenderloin sandwich. I don’t know what it is about “The Igloo” which is truly famous for this incredible food. It could be all the memories that are packed into eating pork tenderloins (cheese pork with the works in case you didn’t know what to order) and all the fun, laughs and growing up that make the food as great as I know it to be, but as an adult, I still plan my trips to the Midwest to make sure I can have “a pork” while I am there. It’s a little crazy !
I’m not exaggerating, check out this article in the Chicago Tribune (which is huge news for us LaSalle Peru folks to get mentioned in a major publication like the “Trib”).
Yes, I am proud of my Midwest roots and all the delicacies that have been part of my life. We all have these wonderful food memories that have formed us both physically, and socially (in a good and bad way too) that make us who we are. Thanks for letting me share my history with you.
Maryann and I are each the proud parents of 2 high school juniors. We are inundated with SATs, ACTs and whatever other acronyms the educational system can string together. One thing this long and somewhat aggravating process has taught us is that practice is key. More practice, better results!
With that in mind, we decided to run practice-cooking classes in preparation for our “real” classes at Alice and Louise. Our friends have been wonderful guinea pigs, coming over at the appointed class time and letting us practice our teaching and culinary skills on them. They have offered up some well-needed advice on our recipes, ingredients and instructional technique. We have gladly accepted this advice, making changes to our recipe ingredients, directions and instructional style. We know our “real” students will surely benefit from these practice sessions.
More important than improving our skills are time in the company of these beautiful and talented women. We are truly blessed to have such wonderful friends and family. Thank you for your support Ladies, you are the best!
Mother Earth Meals is about eating healthy and consistently following a cancer fighting diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and non-sugar foods. It really is common sense when one thinks about it. It’s when I don’t think about it that I get in trouble.
For example, I have just returned from a spring trip to the beach with my family and of course I know when I travel, I don’t eat as healthy as I should. This trip however, I thought I was being very good about eating plenty of great fish entrees as we ate at some wonderful restaurants; the problem came when it seems like every meal came with the ever tasty – French fries! Ah, my downfall. I can’t turn down a good French fry if my life depended on it! What is it about these incredible, little potatoes that make them so irresistible to me? I have tried to pass on the fries on multiple occasions only to end up stealing “just a couple to taste” from my dining partner. It’s such a bad habit, and I know it yet I can’t break it!
Help! I need an intervention! Can anyone make me hate french fries? Ah, I have to stop talking about them, I’m craving them already.
We are approaching the one year anniversary of our website launch. This past year we have learned how to tweet and use facebook like a teenager. We have posted over 300 recipes, 48 blogs, redesigned our website and released 2 newsletters. We have hosted events featuring our foods and held cooking classes with our friends at Alice & Louise. We have visited with local support groups to learn about the nutritional needs of cancer patients and how we may better serve our community. We have managed to do this with a smile on our face and nary an argument between us. That’s certainly better than your average married couple, right?
We are excited about the positive feedback we have received so far. We are even more appreciative of the suggestions from our family, friends and community. These suggestions brought about some of our current site enhancements and are the genesis for our future plans. Our goal moving forward is to continue providing our community with nutritional information, healthy recipes and access to resources. We plan to become even more involved in causes that promote a healthy lifestyle and are devoted to eradicating cancer.
We can’t wait to see what the second year brings and hope you will be there with us as we learn more about health and nutrition. Please don’t hesitate to share you experiences, suggestions and comments with us.