Old school ways taught you to survive. I think about this now as the area I live in is preparing for our first major snow storm of the year. The storm is threatening to shut down power as it did in 2002 when power was shut down for as little as 4 days for some or 2 weeks for others (in a major city). I listen to some of the 20 something young women, and it makes me sad that old school ways of cooking your own food, and eating out less (or, not at all) is not a part of their daily, weekly ritual of eating right. Just because you may order healthy foods in a restaurant, this does not mean it is healthy. Many restaurant foods are overly processed, over salted, and cooked in unhealthy oils.
Memories of old school ways flood my mind, and make me smile. I thank my parents and grandparents for instilling in me old school ways; but, back then it was not called old school ways. It was just called "survival skills", or "how to just live." How it came to be known as old school ways today bogs my mind...I know...it's just not taught anymore in the homes. We let technology run our lives; and, that will be a downfall one day when the children coming up today will have no common-sense skills. I see it happening now around me with young employees.
I believe that some of the "Old School Ways" that should still be passed on to our children, nieces, nephews, and grand-children include (but, does not incorporate everything because that will require a book on my part) the following:
1. Cooking for yourself and/or family instead of eating out daily. Eating out daily, even as a vegetarian, is unhealthy. Cooking at home, and having family dinners even at the dinner table brings the family together in conversation, fun, and love. We pay attention more to each others' needs, and do not answer the phone while eating: A rule that ran my household as a child and I still practice today. Single Sisters? When I was single, I still cooked at home, ate at the dinner table, and did not take calls while eating. I lit candles as a single person when I ate alone and treated my meal as though it was still a family affair because we as individuals deserve the love, respect, and joy associated with winding down after a long day to a home cooked meal in peace.
2. Old school blenders: Powerhouses that did not die in a year. Not too many choices of functions. Just did the job. Why not purchase a basic blender that gives you the choices you need rather than too many functions you will never use. Chances are, it may last longer.
3. Bringing your lunch to work. At least you know that you will always be eating healthy, and know what you are eating.
4. Heating up frozen leftovers or leftovers un-frozened on top of the stove instead of the microwave. I cheat sometimes and re-heat my home-made stews in a microwave, but I am going back to old school and heating it up on the stove. No radiation, and it tastes better.
5. If using a microwave, heat your food on a plate-NOT plastic,paper plate, or the plastic container you stored your food in. Plastic and the chemicals transfers to meals when heated in a microwave. Take your frozen or leftover food out of the storage container and place it on a plate. It tastes better, and less of a chance for it tasting like plastic and chemicals from the plastic being transferred to your food when heated up.
6. Let Your Meal Make Love to You: As in Sister Green's section, to be eco I suggested eating with cloth napkins and not paper napkins daily. Let's take it a step further, eat with cloth napkins and plates daily (not paper plates). Think in terms of Luther Vandross and Barry White. Let your meal warm you, caress you, talk to you, make old school love to you (not, sexually sisters but think in terms of old school sweet talking and putting a smile on your face), and show you a proper date rather than it telling you when you're done eating "wham bam thank you mam!"- Yes, I had to go there but it also relates to your meals.
7. Purchasing more fresh produce to make meals from scratch than processed foods (yes, vegetarians can be guilty of purchasing processed foods rather than cooking).
Picture: similar to my old 1975 orange stove.
Not my stove. Picture found at Retro Renovation
8. Using a basic stove rather than a futuristic version that requires a re-reading of the user manual every time you turn on the stove; or, maintenance more than you want because it's just too finicky. I had to purchase a new stove 2 years ago after my 1975 GE stove gave out. It worked awesome, and cooked as though it was new. It was a basic electric stove and oven that was a beautiful orange from the early 70s...you, know...when everything in the 1970s kitchen was orange and gold. Sure it did not go with my redone kitchen of red, silver, and black after we removed the 1975 wallpaper; but, I kept it because she cooked fantastic. I hated to replace her, so I used her daily until one day she told me it was time to part. She no longer turned on, and it tore me up inside to shop for a new stove. I was not happy with any of the shiny, computerized versions in the store; but, I had to make a decision because eating out for meals was something I did not do. I actually had a tear in my eye when the delivery men from Lowes Hardware brought our new stove, and took her away. One of the delivery men actually fell so in love with her that he said he may be able to fix her, and may take her for himself if we did not mind. He said they did not make such powerhouses anymore. That made me actually tear up. There is something to be said for old school. She was family. Sure she was a stove, but a beautiful, unique, orange of a stove that was always on time and I always knew she would never falter in making a meal. I did not immediately give her away for the newest, shiniest thing on the market when I also heard from others that new computerized stoves they purchased had stopped working in 2 years (as my former Director at a company had purchased a $2000 stove that died in 1 year).
There is much to be said for old school ways, traditions, survival skills, or just plain living...whatever you want to refer to it as depending how you grew up. I can go on, but you get the point.
Let's not be so quick to put aside old school ways for the newest, brightest, technological improvement on the market. Heah...I do not even text. I own a basic cell phone, and that suits me well. If you want to speak to me, do not text me. Call me. Speak to me face to face. Say hello...say how are you doing and I'll ask the same. Don't send me text annotations of BTW, IMO, LOL, and BFF. You may be my BFF but don't text me...you won't get through. If you are my BFF, I want to speak with you and know how you are doing. I block my texts because a phone call will do. It's just old school, my sister.
~ Donna M. Beaudoin "Sister Vegetarian"