Friday, September 9, 2011

Why I Scrape Burnt Toast and Other Things I Thought I'd Never Do

I admit, I scrape my burnt toast.  But I didn't always.

Like when I was a teenager.

I was a bit of a toast snob back then.

Okay, a BIG toast snob.

For because I would shake my head and chuckle when I would watch my mother scrape, scrape, scrape that black crust off her toasted bread.

Because when I burned toast back then, I simply tossed it in the garbage. And started toasting all over.

Now, I'm a mom of NINE kids (Eight who currently eat toast. The ninth is trying to work her way up to rice cereal). And I don't know if anyone has visited the grocery store lately, but the price of food is interfering with saving for college.

And now, I TOTALLY understand why my mom still scrapes her burnt toast.

* * *

My favorite breakfast in high school was cold, day old pizza with an icy, cold glass of milk.

Talk about refreshing. And a breakfast meal with all the necessary food groups: grains, dairy, vegetable, meat.

And the foods I had a hard time eating? Watermelon, strawberries, tomatoes, and cooked onions.


"You may not always like pizza for breakfast. And you may start liking everything you hate," my dad would tease.

Bah-ha-ha. Not my terrific, teenage tastebuds.

Umm, guess who was right?!

* * *
Growing up, our family didn't have a lot of money.

My dad worked really hard providing for our family. My mom stayed home and did everything she could to extend his meager earnings the best she could by bottling fruits, making bread, sewing clothes.

While I didn't go without, my obvious "lack" was juxtaposed with friends who lived in homes with walk-in fridges, saunas, game and theatre rooms and swimming pools in their houses. (And that was over 30 years ago!)

So being young and naive (and obviously not in my parent's situation), I didn't quite understand why my mom and dad would have to say repitious, irksome phrases like,

"We can't afford to get you those jeans (those jeans happened to be 501's)" or "You don't need a Sony Walkman. You have a clock radio (a CLOCK radio?!?!)" or "We sure wish we had enough money to put you into gymnastics . . . but sorry, we don't."

And more often than I wanted to admit, my mother would always put on a sweet, humble smile and reply to my complaints, "We may be poor in money, but we are rich in spirit. We have the gospel of Jesus Christ."

I got SO irked when I heard those words because what they meant to a teenager was "WE ARE POOR!"

And I vowed a vow that I would never ever, not in a million, billion, trillion years say those irritating words of obvious financial poverty to my children.

Let me just say right here, right now, just for the record, I've put on A LOT of poundage over the years for eating. my. words.

And the phrase that has made me the most fat - the one I have used more often when my children ask me why we don't have this or why we don't have that- is "Children, we may be poor in money, but we are rich in spirit. We have the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! Woo Hoo."

(Hopefully you noted that I've added a little to my mother's phrase. So you can see why I've gained all that "never-say-never" weight).

I admit that it's funny how I use those words my mother used with me. The only difference is, now I know exactly how she felt when she did.

1 comment:

  1. I totally understand- grew up the same way and am raising my kids the same way. When I read your title I started to chuckle because I just scraped off the black from 4 pieces of toast and fed it to my family two days ago :). I remember eating toast with butter and pork and beans on top for dinner many nights growing up. Talk about fancy! I am thankful for my and your parents for the examples they gave of service and making the best out of meager living.
    Thank you for this post :).