Whenever I think of fun and fellowship, the first thing that comes to mind is food. It is a trilogy: food, fun and fellowship. The kitchen was the centre of our home when I was a child. Food preparation was an all day project, from making fresh bread, to baking blueberry pies ( we actually picked the blueberries), to creating a fragrant soup stock that simmered on the back burner. Today, we live busy lives outside the home. Our kitchens are smaller and the amount of hours spent on making meals has slowly decreased over the years. With diverse assortment of grocery stores and neighbourhood deli/caterers in our neighbourhood, it is so easy to pick up healthy, delicious meals on our way home from work.
We have come to like our new world where we have the possibility of immediate results (even with food) because the upshot is that we have more hours in the day to pursue other interests. We may deplore fast food, but we desire its speed and efficiency.
My grandmother, a farmer’s wife, cooked for a threshing crew at harvest time. (Threshing is a process of beating out grain from the straw or husk of grain.) In the 1930’s and 1940’s a crew could be up to 20 people. Meal preparation took an enormous amount of organization and effort. Up at first light, my grandmother worked the wood cook stove, pealed the potatoes, carrots. She saw to it that the milk was freshly separated, and the butter hand churned.
My grandmother embraced innovation. The freezer was available to more families in the 1930s based on two factors: 1) falling prices 2) the introduction of refrigerants that were harmless and non-flammable. My grandmother was freezing waffles years before they became a staple in the refrigerated section of our grocery stores. It seems that even 60 years ago, people were looking for fast food!