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Michael J. Parkinson | all galleries >> Galleries >> Food & Restaurants September 2009 > Food Basics 07029_filtered copy.jpg
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Food Basics 07029_filtered copy.jpg

An over abundance.

I promised a story to go along with the last image. This is a story about Suzie's sister.
During the mid 70's the neighbours across my parents' back fence were Herman & Suzie. They were older, probably as old as some of us are now, and were from East Germany. Having somehow managed to survive WW11, they escaped from East Germany just before the gate slamed resoundedly shut. Suzie's sister was not so lucky and remained behind where she became an MD.
By the mid 70s East Germans were finally allowed to travel and Suzie's sister came to visit her sister in West Island Montreal. As you may imagine it was an extremely happy reunion. But reunion or not life had to go on and Suzie and her sister went to do the weeky shopping at the local supermarket. When they stepped through the door sis was completely overwhelmed. Never in her life had she seen so much food in one place. She went to a bin of green peppers and industrially burrowed all the way to the bottom and in total amazement announced that they were all perfect. In then East Germany the peppers, and everything else, went from field to bin never experiencing a thing called quality control. Can you begin to imagine pepper dregs. As they turned the corner to be confronted by the meat department she broke down and wept. Before her was a sight that in her wildest dreams could never ever have existed. She told of lining up at the butcher shop, sometimes for hours, and on finally getting to the counter would hand over money and in return receive a mystery package that could turn out to be anything, anything but really good that is, but nevertheless meat.
I never met this sister, as I was away at the time, and do not recall her name, if I ever knew it. But this story has stuck with me and I have related it many times. By now things are greatly improved over there but still is probably not like the west. I don't expect everyone to give away their worldy goods but the next time you are looking for that perfect green pepper, by our standards, or that perfect cut of meat think of Suzie's sister and remember how lucky you and all the rest of us truly are.
This has been a lot of fun, recipes have been exchanged, future heritage tomatoes are in the works and I learned a lot from watching the way various people have solved their photographic problems. But alas, there are not enough hours in the day. A busy weekend can see me shooting well over a thousand images that all have to be dealt with in some fashion, coupled with everthing else I have going on somthing has to give, and for now it is PAD. I will continue to drop by and leave the odd comment and maybe jump back in at a later date.

Sony DSLR-A700
1/60s f/14.0 at 35.0mm iso3200 full exif

other sizes: small medium large original auto
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Guest 03-Oct-2009 05:11
Yes! I have in mind going in farm lands with our horses, and seeing whole fields of green peppers, cucumbers rotting away, because a storm had damaged some of them. It was cheaper to just leave them there and to collect insurance than try to get mayby 50% of the crop.
Doug Cruden01-Oct-2009 20:13
A poignant message Michael - sometimes we don't always realise how lucky we are. We should never take our health and our food for granted.
Thanks for sharing all your wonderful photos this month - it's been a real pleasure to see them, and thanks of course for you comments on mine!!
LynnH01-Oct-2009 18:26
I loved your story!!!! You should put it in this photo's description. We really are lucky and blessed. Will miss you on PaD.
borisalex01-Oct-2009 05:22
Thank you Michael for that story. I remember having been in East Berlin 1972, Alexanderplatz. There was the only big "Kaufhaus", like a Macy´s. You entered the main entrance and you find on the right hand side potatoes on the floor and at the shells sugar in gray backs, no name on it just sugar. Imagine you going to Macy´s and finding potatoes at the entrance on the floor.
Thank you for all your comments on my food gallery!
Margaret Lew01-Oct-2009 05:13
These are the basics for a real healthy diet! Great choice here.
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