Monday, September 12, 2011

American Cucina Povera

Nurses keep strange hours. I was up early this morning and at Kroger at 4am.
I needed trash bags and laundry soap. And a package of 100 watt bulbs. I took the scenic route through the produce aisles and saw that one red bell pepper would set me back $2.50.

Yet, there was something edible I could buy for 19 cents. Hundreds of packages of Ramen noodles bundled into a bin in the center of the aisle. With the Wednesday senior discount, the aged poor could shave off another two cents. If they gave up coffee and vegetables and meat they could eat three squares at under 70 cents a day. Governor Rick Perry's Social Security diet. I have mentioned in the past that poor single mothers I work with pour pickle juice on the noodles to get their kids to eat them.

We are the new Techno-peasants, and White Castle burgers, ramen noodles, and 50 cent cups of macaroni and cheese are our cucina povera, though the only cooking involved is turning on the microwave. Unless NES has turned off our electricity.

If we had any sense we would buy rice and dried beans and polenta and tortillas and eat as well as the have nots in third world countries. But we do not.

As a postscript, I will mention that I bought 4 red bell peppers today for $2.50 at K&S World Market, whose clientele are the immigrants who came here with hope. They know what to do with squash and tortillas and some queso. Maybe we should learn from them.


Nan said...

This is an amazing post. Thank you for doing it.

Out on the prairie said...

I enjoy contributing to our food bank and passing out boxes when they need delivered. I think many started gardens this year just to offset that grocery bill.I like to share with big families near me. Those ramen noodles are good once in a great while, I rarely nuke food unless it is leftovers.

The St.George Island area sounds magnificent, it has to go on a must see list.