As I started making chili the other night, I wish I had taken a few minutes to soak some our farm raised Pinto Beans before heading off to work. I didn’t, so I used canned beans. Then I got to thinking, Beans…. who eats pinto, black, kidney, and white beans?  I always thought that beans were a sign of economic status- aka poverty. Meal kits and food baskets from food pantries and government food programs always provide and push eating them because they were cheep and nutritious- right? Is this true or my thoughts based on ignorance? And what are a bag of beans saying today?

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Pinto Beans

My thoughts then traveled through various memories. I reflected on the years when I was starting school. I remember money being tight. I remember my mom making some of our clothes and hand making Valentine’s – (how embarrassing). Often we ate scrambled hamburger and buttered noodles or a consisting of a canned soup, rice and a meat. I remember having pea soup made from a bag of 59 cent split peas, a bit of chicken broth, and a bay leaf. I remember swapping clothes with relatives and the “new to us” items.  During the same time I know that we received free or reduced lunch and I had to tell my teacher once that I couldn’t the pay the $3.50 field trip fee. Times were tight and tough. So, why do I share this back story? Because these experiences of homemade, a bags of beans and peas, and second-hand items still exist, but in many cases they carry very different meaning and value today than 30 years ago.

My thoughts then traveled through various memories. I reflected on the years when I was starting school. I remember money being tight. I remember my mom making some of our clothes and hand making Valentine’s – (how embarrassing). Often we ate scrambled hamburger and buttered noodles or a hotdish consisting of a canned soup, rice and a meat. I remember having pea soup made from a bag of 59 cent split peas, a bit of chicken broth, and a bay leaf. I remember swapping clothes with relatives and the “new to us” items.  During the same time I know that we received free or reduced lunch and I had to tell my teacher once that I couldn’t the pay the $3.50 field trip fee. Times were tight and tough. So, why do I share this back story? Because these experiences of homemade, a bags of beans and peas, and second-hand items still exist, but in many cases they carry very different meaning and value today than 30 years ago.

img_7546Trends have made the idea of homemade and rustic fashionable. Beans have become the alternate protein and highlighted in high-end restaurants and magazines. Online rummage sales and second-hand stores are popping up all the time. Fads and trends made popular with the influence of a few with people with some previlence of social status have made my experience of the less fortunate or financial challenged into the best “new” practices.

So, what do I think? I think the trend is great! Why? It encourages support for products that often went to the way side. It encourages creativity. It looks at options and provides variety. It can help people save money and potentially reduced stigma for the scenarios and people who have lived in the darkness of being less fortunate or going trough tough times.

Depite what I see as the cutain in which I hid behind and was emabarrassed of I see an open door of new chances. I have embraced this. I am working to help my children embrace this and help others see that what was doesn’t always have to be and some trends and fads are fabulous opportunities to break free! img_7542
Take time and visit a local second-hand store. Look up a quick bean recipes ( hint: many freezer meals include beans!). Have you thought of making your own halloween costume or birthday cards? A little bit of homemade and refurbished shows love and interest. Give it a try! Besides isn’t saving a few bucks, using your imagination and spending time with family making a few things something we can all do a little more of?