Thursday, January 08, 2009

Home is...

This morning the Philadelphia Inquirer's food section caught my eye: above the fold, a large cross stitch sampler, "Home is Where the Food Is.*" I thought it was an interesting use of our favorite hobby to convey feelings of quaintness and homeyness and old fashionedness. Even though I usually hate when people think those who stitch are quaint and homey** and old-fashioned.

Did I ever tell you I had the opportunity to stitch the cover for this book? I knew an editorial functionary at the publisher. The cross-stitch in this instance was meant to signify the old fashioned idea of "words of wisdom" and offer a contrast to the fact that it was "dirty." But I was being Serious about my dissertation at the time the call went out and the opportunity passed. So this blog is the only place where we can see my cross-stitch in public.

Back to "Home is Where the Food Is." The article tells us that the hot trends for 2009 are eating at home and potlucks. I don't think you need a lot of pseudo-scientific social research to tell you that people aren't going to be spending a lot of money over the next couple of years. Duh.

What is interesting is that sales of canning equipment and baking ingredients are way up locally and nationally. And the sale of flour went up even when the price was rising. I know a lot of us crafty types get busy in the kitchen every now and again. Do you think you'll buy into the craze? (I half plan on it. If I am out of this job soon--and all signs point to yes--then we're going to have to make some cuts somewhere. Since our mortgage is our only debt, it's going to be a colder house and more eating at home.)

I learned a few other interesting things from the article. We'll still eat chocolate. And apparently when people buy salty snacks it means they are entertaining at home more. People, when I buy salty snacks, I'm only having one visitor and she's making me cranky. I'm guessing that some of this increase in snack sales results from people eating salty snacks to comfort them when they think about their job prospects for 2009 or their retirement accounts.

Also, that whole "Peruvian food craze?" So five years ago; Peruvian was huge when we were living in L.A.


*The photo will probably be down tomorrow. That's the ephemeral nature of things in our society.

**Dear English readers, in American English "homely"--which you would use to mean homey or homelike--means ugly, as in "Poor thing, she's such a homely girl." Anglo-American translation: just another service we provide at Stitch Bitch.

11 comments:

doris said...

A chocolate-loving, wine-drinking friend of mine says that the two things people continue to buy during economic downturns are chocolate and alcohol. Oooh, maybe I should look for my chocolate martini recipe!

MyLifesAStitch said...

LOLOL!!!

"People, when I buy salty snacks, I'm only having one visitor and she's making me cranky." Hilarious b/c I totally relate. I've been lurking on your blog for a while now, and really appreciate both the stitchery and the bitchery. You keep me laughing... thanks!

Kathryn said...

And the local quilting newsletter points out that sewing machine sales are also up, up, up. Extreme nesting.

Peruvian, huhn? Is it time to dig out my Peruvian/Jewish/Japanese cookbook?

Rachel said...

Loved the salty visitor comment. It is annoying how many articles are naming our passion as old fashion.

About the home cooking - we've been doing that before it became fashionable just to save $$.

Love reading your blog.

Nic said...

Our guinea pigs are hoping that the the Peruvian food craze is short lived ...

Redwitch said...

Sounds like the self-sufficiency we had going on during the two world wars. 'Make do and mend' is becoming v.fashionable again here.

riona said...

Since I like to combine salt and chocolate ... as in chocolate covered pretzels ... I guess I am working double time at denying the panic that overwhelms me everytime I look at my dwindling retirement savings ... and, by the way, why did we have to start earning fractions of a percent interest in my lifetime? This wasn't what those friendly bankers who visited my elementary school back in the fifties promised when they had all of us Baby Boomers become savers by opening kiddie accounts and depositing our pennies in little brown envelopes collected at school.

Megan said...

Yes, I only have one visitor who likes salt, and luckily she just left so I can put down the Fritos ;)

I'm totally into from-scratch cooking. Started last year really reading food labels, and YIKES! I now try to not eat things I can't pronounce. I'm taking baby steps - now I'm making my own pickles (I eat a LOT of pickles) and hummus on a regular basis, and basic tomato sauce. Oh! And ice cream, of course. This year I want to learn to make bread. I've eyed canning supplies, but haven't taken the plunge yet.

Lelia said...

LOL -- Well, I've been trendy for two years now. That is what happens when the kidz go to college : )

Glenna said...

I used to blame the salt craving on my visitor, and now that my visitor has left for good, I'm searching for somone else to blame. And I'm one of the people who's going to be stocking up on freezing/canning equipment and enlarging the garden. Best of luck on the job thing--if you are out of a job, hopefully it won't be terribly worrisome for you.

Donna said...

Speaking of salty and sweet combined, Trader Joe's has these caramels with sea salt that are amazingly good.