Growing up, I was surrounded by older people. Most of my memories are the times I spent at my Granny’s (great-grandmother’s) house. She was the eldest of 10, and all of her younger siblings, would always stop by to visit and bring her things. Her husband had passed just before I was born, and she lived out the rest of her life as a widower, caring for her grandchildren and staying busy at church.
All of my great aunts and uncles used to share stories of their farming days as share croppers. They would talk about how poor they used to be and how thankful they were for all that they had. They shared stories from their grandmothers and grandfathers about how life was during the civil war, their own stories about the life in the Great Depression, plus so many more important life lessons and pieces of family history.
Because my Granny grew up so poor and lived through the great depression, she was one of the most frugal, green women I’ve ever met. She wasted so little, and recycled and reused so much while living off the land as much as she could.
Today I try and practice and teach my son everything that I learned as a kid. Even though we live in the city and can’t have chickens, yet, we do other things like have a small garden, compost and recycle. I try and teach my son about wasteful spending, being happy with what he has, and reusing and recycling whenever possible.
I also still like to eat like we did back then, not only because it’s frugal, but also because it’s healthy and I can share the memories of my Granny with my own son. There were lots of frugal lunches I shared with my Granny like fried bologna, tomato, liver cheese, or if I was lucky, hog head cheese sandwiches. But my favorite was onion sandwiches. Now you’d think every kid in the world hates onions, but not me, I loved them. Granny fixed me the most delicious crispy Vidalia onion sandwiches slathered with creamy mayonnaise. And I was in heaven when she plucked a ripe tomato from the garden and added it on top of the sliced onions. Now I make those same sandwiches for my son, while I share with him as much as I can remember of those amazing stories I heard as a kid.
I made these sandwiches with whole wheat bread and red onions for a pop of color. Add salt and pepper and you’re done!
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Bon Appetit. The opinions and text are all mine.