Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Bread For Chocolate

My daughter and son-in-law were sitting at the breakfast table.
Over delicious French toast, they were discussing their grocery list.
The subject of bread came up.
And the best places to get the least-expensive.
“We never buy our bread at the regular grocery,” my daughter told me. “That’s far too expensive!”
“Yes,” my son-in-law agreed. “We always get ours in packages of three loaves for $6.00. It’s much, much cheaper.”
I stared at him.
Okay. I admit it. It has been some time since I actually ‘purchased’ bread.
We’re a homemade kind of family.
So it was quite a shock to hear someone describe a two-dollar loaf of bread as inexpensive.
Yes. I’m deplorably, woefully behind the times.
Perhaps because I spend so much of my day in the past.
Moving on . . .
As the discussion went on, I suddenly remembered the first time I saw my Mom purchase bread.
(She was a homemade kind of person, too.)
We were in the Red and White grocery store in Milk River.
Mom had a cart and was getting important things done.
I was perusing the candy display.
Also important.
Mom passed me on her way to the dairy case.
“Diane, could you please run over to the bakery aisle and see what the price of bread is?”
I tore my eyes away from the tempting display of chocolate bars and made some quick mental calculations.
Hmm. Was there time to run to the bakery and get back before Mom again walked past the candy on her way to the checkout?
 I should mention, here, that the Red and White, though one of Milk River’s two modern grocery stores, could hardly be described as ‘large’.
There were, maybe, six aisles.
With the bakery being two aisles away.
I could do it if I scurried.
“Okay!” I shouted.
Then scurried.
There was a large sign tacked up at the end of the row.
‘Bread – 8 Loaves for a Dollar’.
I sprinted back, just in time to see Mom grab a couple of cartons of milk.
“It says eight for a dollar!” I hollered.
Mom looked at me. “Okay,” she said. “Grab eight, then.”
Sigh.
I made the twelve-foot dash once more and, with a bit of finesse, managed to grab the ends of eight plastic bags.
Then I manoeuvered them into Mom’s cart.
Whew.
Mom started toward the front of the store.
It was now or never.
“Mom? Can I have a chocolate bar?”
Chocolate bars were ten cents.
Surely she could spend ten cents on a chocolate bar if she could spend a dollar on . . .
“Sorry, dear, we can’t afford it today.”
. . . stupid bread.

12 comments:

  1. What I wouldn't give right about now to be able to find 8 loaves of bread for a dollar. I'd even buy you a candy bar.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Which would also cost a dollar. Sigh. :)

      Delete
  2. Bread and chocolate are both food groups for me, so I would be hard pressed to choose :)!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Eight for a dollar!!
    Here, now, the cheapest bread is a dollar a loaf, but it's the really cheap generic brand, not very nice if you're making sandwiches, but perfectly good for toast. Many people buy it to feed their ducks with. I buy mid-range bread, just over $3 a loaf and it lasts me a whole week, now that I don't have school lunches to make.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. $3 per loaf. Yep. That's about what we pay. Wrretched bread.

      Delete
  4. I remember when my mother made the decision to stop making bread from scratch, and switch to Rhoades frozen bread dough. She sat down and calculated time involved and ingredients. It was quite the process. I miss the days of watching her knead the bread. It taught me that I had better not cross her, because she could really pack a punch!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I loved watching my mom make bread. She made potato bread and I loved watching her squish the potatoes through a seive. Hmmm . . . I think another post is due...

      Delete
  5. That's parents for you...they always have their priorities straight. Rats.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I loved going to the grocery store with our parents - it had only three aisles, though - and I don't remember any candy. Hmm. That's strange.

    The best part was watching the man behind the meat counter (who was missing a few fingers) wrap the chops and roasts in paper and string. The string hung down from a cone above the counter. The butcher could wrap it twice around the parcel, tie a knot and snap it off before you could blink.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was the same watching the lady in the dry-goods store. She would wrap parcels faster than my eye could follow. She had all sorts of ribbon and such on cones and she'd wrap and tie and make pretty. I'd be watching her today if my Mom hadn't dragged me out of the store...

      Delete

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