It is amazing to look at and compare the eating habits of folks today and those of yesterday.
Fast food and real food are different creatures, and also come from creatures of a different world.
Fast food in earlier days was perhaps a hot dog in a pot of boiling water and a piece of loaf bread, a can of pork and beans and a can of apple sauce. It was not bad to a growing youngun, but how healthy it was might have been another issue.
Real food came from the other side.
Folks today appear to have no concern about the seasoning of the food they put in their mouth.
The fast food joints cannot depend on me, but I will admit the Bojangles biscuit is as good as granny made ‘em.
A place in Goldsboro, where I eat three or four times a week, puts out a spread that is as close to being on the farm as one can get.
Some will call it “soul food,” but I call it down home cookin’.
Down home cooking for years and years was a favorite Saturday afternoon to-do thing for me.
However, today, cooking for one person is not the practical thing to do.
There are do’s and do not’s about food if you are in the game: food has to look good, smell good and taste good. Anything short of that gets an F in my class.
The cook at the place where I eat is from the farm, and actually still lives on the farm. The plate she puts on the table, as far as I am concerned, would make the Queen of England fire her kitchen staff.
It was just last week when a few of us older guys, who eat there, were treated to a real country platter that took me back to the days when I was working in tobacco during the summer to earn school clothes money.
Dinner, in those days, was a highlight of the day.
The highlight of the night was playing poker, but that is another story we will talk about later.
Folks, I still call the three meals of the day: breakfast, dinner, and supper.
You, who grew up on a farm, and you who worked on one during the summers of your teen years can surely relate to what the dinner table looked like in those days.
The other day I got as close to that as it gets: fat back, collards, navy beans seasoned with sausage, and good ol’ home-made “roll ‘em out yourself” biscuits.
About the only thing on that table that was missing was a bowl of sliced cucumbers and cut up tomatoes in a bowl with vinegar.
You folks can eat from the fast food joints if you want, but I am sticking to the real thing: a cook trained on the farm and had enough sense to never leave it.
They are the ones who enjoy the symphony of the crickets, the smell of fresh air like bed sheets on the clothesline, the pitter patter of rain dancing on the rooftop, and a brighter picture of the moon and the stars in a sky away from the lights of the city.
There is something still missing: where have all the dirt roads gone?
William Holloman is a staff writer at the Mount Olive Tribune.