Self-Sufficient Christmas

Every Christmas Eve, we do two things at our house. First, we go to our church for a short devotional, after which every single person is given a brown paper bag with an orange, peanuts in the shell, and a few candies. This tradition began 70 years ago, at the height of the Great Depression, when this was a very small town indeed, and families were looking at quite a bleak Christmas. The Burgess family owned an orchard (they still do), and they scrounged up some apples and a bit of candy and gave them to everyone in the town at church on Christmas Eve. There is no more perfect way to celebrate Christmas Eve, and we never miss it.

Afterward, we came home through the blowing snow to my scratch stew. This year, our stew was completely self-sufficient. You can see a picture of it above. The carrots were from our winter garden. I used in two kinds of potatoes, white russets and a rare all-red potato. The onions are from our garden, and, I'm proud to say, even the beef is from our property. Normally our beef comes from my parents' farm. Now we have our own beef. I diced an entire rump roast for this stew.

Delicious, and wholly self-sufficient. This self-provident stew is probably a close replica of what the original folk here would have eaten on Christmas Eve during the Great Depression. Certainly most of the farming families (it was all farming families then) would have used their own vegetables in their winter soup, and most likely their own protein too. Having our brown paper sack with an orange and peanuts, and a Christmas devotional, and self-provident stew felt like a humble and appropriate way to remember those who came before us, and their sacrifices. -Caleb

No comments:

Post a Comment