Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Time Traveler--The Granola Year(s)

There's a really good chance my mom made her vest and his shirt, but check out those spiffy Easter shoes!
We went on a vegetarian/organic/goat milk kick in the 70s for about a year, when Mom decided to substitute "healthy" foods instead of "unhealthy" foods.  Like carob chips instead of chocolate chips in cookies. ("Yay! Cookies! Wait--what?")  Whole wheat everything.  Homemade granola.  Wheat germ instead of the usual brown sugar on our Cream O'Wheat at breakfast. ("What's this brown stuff?") Garbanzo beans in "meat"loaf.  Brewer's yeast on popcorn (what? I don't even...No).  Goat milk was also a big thing.

Bean sprouts and avocado on whole wheat/seed/nut bread for lunch, when you're in first grade?...not cool.  Only the city kids had stuff like American Cheese and Kool-Aid and battery-powered toys. City kids.  And they pretty much never wanted to trade.

The phrase"...because we weren't weird enough" comes to mind.

We spent a lot of time at the local health food store, and to this day, the smell when you walk into a health food store takes me right back to 1975.  There was also that incident where I was hanging on the front of the grocery cart at the health food store (like you're not supposed to do--even then, there were some things that were known to be unsafe), and I tipped the whole thing over with a large crash, right in the middle of the store.  (sorry, Mom!)  I used to use that story for my own kids, when this sign wasn't convincing them:
Also, I remember something called kefir.  I don't remember consuming it, but--what.the.heck.  I saw it at a store not long ago and had a total flashback to 1979.  What? This stuff is still around?

In view of the lack of meat and "fun" food at home that year...Dad used to sneak me down to the local bar/restaurant for a burger and ice cream, and his favorite--French fries with gravy--and we'd share a secret loathing of the hippie/granola food kick.  Unfortunately, I insisted on always getting a chocolate ice cream cone, and he insisted on not being able to wipe my 6-year-old face, so we always got busted.  I remember telling him that if I'd only had the vanilla, our crime would've gone unnoticed for a lot longer; but I didn't like vanilla, so what can you do?  *sigh*  He didn't even know about the dreaded lick-the-thumb-and-wipe-that-off-your-chin parent trick, so our ice cream sneaks ended.

Fortunately, the vegetarian thing only lasted about a year before our rebellion was successful, but the health food thing lasted all our lives, which I hated at the time.  The first thing I did, when I got out on my own and could choose what *I* wanted at the store...was to buy WONDER BREAD, CHOCOLATE CHIPS, AND PEPSI and consume as much of it as I wanted.  For breakfast.

Eventually, your life comes full circle, though, and I am so grateful to my granola-Mom now, because I am all about healthy food.  It's also why I have a 5,000 square foot garden and spend my autumn canning and preserving instead of--I don't know--whatever other moms do in September.

What do city folks do in September..?


  1. My mother was a version of your mother but only about 20%. We did carob chips. Gross. And she put powdered protein in EVERYTHING. And wheat germ.

    My mother also insisted that we take 'herbs' (laxatives) because she was convince...completely convinced...if only we would all poop on a regular basis, the whole family would be healthy.

    1. Funny! Ahhh...the 70s! Most people I meet just go "Huh?" when I mention carob.

  2. My mom has the most deeply rooted sweet tooth, so luckily carob did not darken the door to our house.

    1. I remember it, but I'm not even sure what it IS. Maybe I should buy some and see...for old time's sake?

  3. Brewer's yeast on popcorn is GREAT! C'mon, you put a ton of butter on it and then you can feel like you're Saving the Planet while chowing down on what is basically like really buttery cheese corn. I love these posts about being a Hippie Child. I always did wonder what happened to that little boy who lived with his mom and maybe-dad in the tepee behind one of my co-op houses, next to the school bus. Probably he's got a blog somewhere about being a hippie kid. BTW, carob is great if you don't pretend it's chocolate and you get it as part of a soy ice-cream cookie. My kefir rec is to get the strawberry type with lots of sugar. You may notice a theme here. Hey, I didn't get through the late 70s/80s without healthy survival skills.

    1. Ahh, hello! Yep, those are My People, right there! lol Wasn't that a fun decade to grow up? I still think of "old hippies" as one of my favorite kind of folks. You know...the real ones, from the actual 70s...? :D