Chicken for 5,000 Please

My mother grew up in the Great Depression. With six in their family things were tight.  She wore homemade clothes with flour sack underwear and I am sure her list of wants was far longer than her list of haves.  With so many mouths to feed one of the basic needs was food.  Seconds weren’t on the menu and there wasn’t often a great quantity of firsts.

When my mom married and moved south she made sure there was always enough.   We ate our share of chicken and ground beef as my dad struggled up the ladder of success though I never felt we went hungry.

After my sis and I were gone mom and dad moved into their dream home.  They upsized into a new neighborhood.  With two of them they had two refrigerators and two freezers, one for each I assume.  There was never going to be a shortage in their larder.

Though I had my own home by then, there were rare occasions when my mother and I went to the grocery store together.  One time she asked me to help her buy some whole chickens.  They were 29 cents a pound.  Each customer could buy six.  You guessed it.  She got one cart and I got another.  We came home with twelve chickens that were placed beside other chickens from other sales in her two freezers for two people. You would have thought she was feeding the five thousand – next week.

When mom and dad passed on I cleaned out those freezers.  Wrapped in foil was one mystery package after another.  She would not only freeze raw food, but cooked food as well.  We still remember a chocolate concoction for which we wished we had found the recipe.  There were also some wonderful sausage crepes.  Yum.  And yes we did find some whole chickens.  I wonder how long they had been there.   Sometimes it is better not to know.  Just cook and eat.

It is amazing how much our early years can influence our later actions and attitudes.  Even though she clearly had enough, there was a need for this security of knowing she had more than enough, that she would never run out.

How often my definition of what is enough is actually way more than I really need.