Traverse City Record-Eagle

Edna Shaffer: Grandma's Kitchen

August 31, 2008

Grandma's Kitchen: Alaskan price perspective

I have some encouraging news for those of you who are lamenting the escalating food prices. That's about all of us isn't it? Well, take heart, I just read the prices from a grocery ad in Alaska and was really jarred. The rural areas where the wages are the lowest are the hardest hit. Milk is $9.89 a gallon, eggs $4.60 a dozen, a loaf of bread is $6, and a pound of strawberries is $10, Lunchmeat is $14 a pound.

So, for about $44 you can have a simple lunch! Ouch!

In these rural villages 40 percent of the annual wage goes for home heating costs. While we take no pleasure in their misery it helps us realize that things could be a lot worse. They expect to pay $7 a gallon for gas this winter.

On a happier note, hasn't this been a glorious summer? So far I've only had the air conditioner on once and that was back in April. It's been like a UP summer with cool nights in August. The gardens have slowly arrived at their peak, with the rush of canning and freezing. I need to can my peaches and tomatoes for winter, that's two things that are worth the price and labor. So far I've only done beans and asparagus. I did pick and freeze some Saskatoon berries for the Thanksgiving pies. Last year we had gooseberries and blackberries from Leslie Putney's berry farm here in Benzonia. Check it out.

I told you in my last column that I was planning a visit with some folks from my old home town in Arkansas. I had a great time with this wonderful couple and our visit barely scratched the surface! It was like a trip back to my childhood home. The lifestyle there during the Great Depression was different than living farther north. The south had been depressed long before the big depression hit, so it came as almost the fatal blow for many. People did actually die as a result and many survivors still bear the emotional scars.

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