Growing up, I was lower middle class, sandwiched between the poor and the middle class.  Being poor meant you never had everything you needed.  Middle class meant you had practically everything you wanted.  Lower middle class was having enough, period.  Having enough meant you didn’t ever go hungry. 

My mom was an incredibly creative cook.  She’d take two or three main ingredients, no matter what they were, throw them all in a pan and make a meal out of them.  She grew up on a farm with eleven brothers and sisters, and three cousins, eating things like “milk soup,” which was nothing more than warm milk in a bowl, eaten with a spoon.  The only difference was that if you ate it for breakfast, you added some sugar, and if you ate it for lunch or dinner, you added salt. 

My father came from a similar background, living in a cabin with no running water and having survived for six months on nothing but white beans and rice; breakfast, lunch and dinner. When we got older, my brother and I teased him about that, but it wasn't funny.

© Salahub 2003