I am reading the very interesting book Hungry Planet by Peter Menzel and Faith D’Alusio. This is the sequel to their amazing book Material World, which asked families to bring all their household goods out to be photographed. In this book, they photographed a week’s worth of food for people from 24 different countries.
Since I had just done grocery shopping for the week, I thought I would do the same. Here it is: food for the week. We are a household of two adults and two teenage boys, 15 and 17.
#2 son and I went to the farmer’s market, the health food store, and the grocery store. We bought local fruits and veg and honey, ham, beef, chicken, molasses and raisins and oats, milk, cheese, eggs, butter, bread from a local bakery, juice and Perrier, canned tomatoes and broth, brown rice, pasta, protein powder for the boys, and responsibly-produced chocolate. Not in the picture is some food we had on hand: corn given us by The Empress, coffee (from the church’s fair trade program), tea (from England by mail order), herbs and peppers in the garden, my husband’s enormous containers of rice and noodles, and staple baking supplies and spices.
My photo is not as good as the pictures in the book, but I was interested to see how it would compare. We don’t look like the developed world pictures, actually, because we don’t have many processed foods. The amount of food we have is not large relative to most of the pictures, but we have only four people, and some are feeding 12 or 13.
Among the nations studied, the cost of the food ranged from $1.23 for a family in Chad to $500.03 for a family in Germany. I was startled by how much Europeans spent for food. I wonder whether it is that food is a great deal more expensive there, or if the families are just very wealthy. There are three American families represented, including a Southern family with two teen boys like ours. They spend over three times as much as we do. The California family — if we count in the Schwan’s man’s visits and the boys’ school lunches — spends about the same as we do.
Having considered the shopping aspect, I then thought about the cooking aspect. I would be fine in Guatemala or Egypt or China, I determined, but if I were presented with the foodstuffs for Greenland or Mali, I would be at a loss. As for eating, well, I whined enough at having to eat prepared foods that you can imagine I am not wishing I had the opportunity to try deep-fried starfish and mutton-tail-fat dumplings.
The book includes recipes for exotic foods, gorgeous photographs, and details of shopping, cooking, and eating in the lives of people all over the world. There are also essays on global economics, but I keep finding myself distracted by the photographs, so I am saving those for later.
Then I marked with great care, sewed, and pressed. There was some aggressive easing involved, but at this point I have the front and back done and sewn together at the shoulders. It appears to fit well and looks good, though I must of course finish the seam edges. The next step is to do the collar and facings, which I expect to be difficult, so I am leaving that for the afternoon.
In the lap of the jacket is Tychus, which is coming along pretty well. #1 son nags me about it quite a bit. I think that I said last year that I would never make anything for him again. Not sure why I gave up that sensible plan.
Today I am teaching Sunday School, and there is church, and we are meeting my parents for lunch. Yesterday was the last day for cleaning the entry way, and I did not complete the coat closet, so I hope to fit that in today. I did make my “salon wall,” but I am not happy with it. You are supposed to take all the art pieces for the wall and lay them out until you have a pleasing arrangement, which you then transfer carefully to the wall.
I had a couple of cross teenagers clambering up atop the organ bench and hammering nails into the wall haphazardly, so the arrangement is perhaps not the best possible one.
So what with one thing and another, I may take this afternoon to finish up the entryway. I hope also to do the collar of the jacket, and some baking. However, I also reserve the option of postprandial lolling.
Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley
E. F. Benson’s Collected Ghost Stories
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
On the Night of the Seventh Moon by Victoria Holt
I may throw in some Lovecraft, too, but I didn’t find any at frugalreader or on my shelf (where I found my grandmother’s copies of several Holt and Du Maurier books which I may fit in someplace). The link to the challenge is just below, at the beginning of yesterday’s post.