Thursday, November 15, 2012


Once upon a time, my sister (S-2) and I went to Girl Scout Summer Camp.  I'm not going to write about camp experiences or about when it happened or even tell you the name of the camp.  I'm going to write about a small thing that my sister (S-3) said during the first family dinner after our return and S-2's comment on it.

It's mildly amusing.

It may help you to know that we were a frugal family, by reason of necessity.  Of course, since it was necessary, it was valued as a virtue and talked up a good deal, so if a Martian had visited and listened to what was said, they might be forgiven for thinking that we were frugal as a matter of philosophy.

We rented a meat locker so that we could buy a quarter of a cow at once, that being the least costly way to buy beef.  The quarters were quality good rather than quality choice because the only difference between the two was the amount of fat marbling in the meat, and there was no use paying extra for extra fat.

We also ate beans as a semi-regular thing.  Don't ask me how often.  Just know that it was often enough to feel like a regular thing.

It was always white beans cooked with ham hocks, which were cheap at the time.  It would cook down to a creamy and tasty one bowl meal, although usually we served it onto plates with salad* on the side.

Beans was what we were having the night after we got back from camp.  There was a big bowl of them.  In addition to salad, I think we had a vegetable** that night. 

There was plenty of everything for seconds. That wasn't surprising, especially with the beans.  Beans could be cooked up in a big batch and then used as leftovers for a few days.
S-3, who was old enough to be in school, but probably not more than second grade, cleared her plate and then wanted more beans. They weren't next to her, so she asked Dad to pass them.

"Please pass the bee-oops.***"

S-2 leaned toward me and muttered, dryly, "We left her alone with him too long."
* salad was always chopped iceberg lettuce with chopped tomato, if tomatoes were in season.  Mayonnaise was available to spread over the top. 
** vegetables were usually heated from frozen.  We bought frozen peas, corn, and green beans in big plastic bags.  Usually if we had fresh vegetables, they were from the garden.
*** bee-oop was a family term, meaning fart.  Think onomatopoeia.

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