Grandma (and Grandpa) wisdom will change the world.
Well, some things. Like making do, making your own, mending what’s broken and saving up for something. And playing the piano. Or bowls.
I was blessed with two Grandmas I grew up knowing and loving dearly. They taught me lots about how to live and love, in their own different and precious ways.
They both lived through the depression and post-war rationing, and knew first hand what it was like to go without, although they never had to raise a family without a wage-earner as many women did.
Grandma Molly was the kind of lady that everyone loved. She had an enormous heart (despite its physical weakness) and an incredible zest for living. Even when her body was falling apart, she never stopped being interested in life. She was definitely the life of the party, and could knock out a tune on the piano for Grandad Reggie to croon along to. There’s no doubt her spirit is alive and well in my extended family!
Grandma Joan was a great cook (and doyenne of the lawn bowls green). When they lived on the farm she cooked everything on the wood-fired stove. Coming from a blessed realm of electric fan-forced multi-function oven with actual thermometer, wood-fired everything doesn’t sound so hip. There was always something delicious to eat at Grandma’s – real Melting Moments and Monte Carlos, cakes and slices. Grandma knew all the classics, of course, but certainly wasn’t hide bound when it came to trying something new! Everything was made from scratch and her skill and high standards were passed down to Mum, Auntie Ann and Auntie Trish.
So, I am the lucky inheritor of a taste for great food, the ability and expectation to be able to make it myself, the experience of a welcoming and generous table. And the importance of doing something you love – whether it be lawn bowls or bringing out the piano and forte in the pianoforte.
Eating well is not really about eating gorgeously-rich and decadent food (I have no problem with that!). It’s not simply eating fresh, real food. Or being conscious about how our food is produced, how it impacts on living creatures, the natural environment or other people. All those things are important ingredients – even the occasional decadent indulgence – to eating and living well. We need to nourish our bodies, not just fuel them.
Grandma Molly knew to put off her diet for another day and enjoy the special feast. Grandma Joan knew the value of good food prepared with love.
You are what you eat. And a little of what you like will do you good.
And don’t forget a dash of music and a game of bowls.
A balanced diet.