Down the Backroads: When it Comes to Food, Make a Little Extra

Posted on Oct 19, 2020

October is one of my favorite months of the year. I love to see the changing of the leaves and the feel of cooler temperatures. But it is food that garners most of my attention this time of year. I know when October rolls around, the menu at my house takes a turn toward traditional fall food offerings such as chili and homemade soups, not to mention all the yummy desserts.

For those who know me, I really was skinny at one time! That is not so much the case these days, but I have enjoyed putting on every pound. Now, before I start getting messages of how bad it is to gain a lot of weight, I do try to eat in moderation as I have gotten older.

But being married to a fabulous cook makes moderation difficult, especially when “autumn leaves start to fall,” as the song says. She starts practicing for the holidays and I am the main sampler in the house.

I am reminded how much of a role food plays in our everyday lives. Whether it was the Sunday dinners our moms prepared, the holiday feasts that have been family traditions for generations, or the special celebrations we are a part of each year.

We even take comfort in food when loved ones have passed away. I remember all the wonderful dishes friends and neighbors brought when my parents moved on to their Heavenly home. I think there is still half a casserole in the back of the freezer that has been there since 2005!

As we move through this harvest season, I think it is only natural we are reminded of the food we enjoy and are blessed to have.

One of the things my father was always adamant about was that we had plenty of food in our house. We lived in the country and had a chicken coop and a garden and fresh food was always abundant. My mother canned much of that food so we could enjoy fresh vegetables all year long.

I wouldn’t fully understand how important our food supply was to my parents until I was older. My mom and dad were children during the Great Depression and often food was not abundant, and I knew there were times when both were hungry. Not hungry because it was past suppertime, but hungry because they didn’t have enough food to eat; the kind of hunger felt after going days without a good meal.

Thankfully, I have never known that feeling. But I know there are people who do and I often feel guilty when I sit down to a big meal, to be honest.

I recall my mother always making extra when she was baking so she could share with friends and family. I know she did that out of the kindness of her heart, but I also know there was a time in her life when the only meal she might have had in a days’ time had come from a friend or neighbor.

So, while we anticipate the many good fall foods we enjoy year after year, I hope we all remember to make a little extra, and share with someone who needs that food much more than we do. I hope we all drop by our local food pantries and leave a bag of canned goods as we make our way home from the grocery store. And I hope our desire to share some of what we have never leaves us, as we travel down the backroads.