When I was a boy growing up in Sydney – and this is the 60s we’re talking about here – I often spent school holidays at my grandmother’s house in the western suburbs. Generally speaking, it wasn’t much fun. My grandmother never had any money. There was a box on the wall out the back of the house that you fed pennies into if you wanted electricity. The electricity people installed it because she could never pay the bill, so we spent quite a number of nights scratching around in the dark for lost pennies, which was an especially traumatic thing if there was a good show coming on the telly.
That wasn’t the worst of it, though. I can clearly recall having fat for dinner one night. Ancient, globulous, orange-yellow fat, scraped out of an ancient cast iron frying pan where it apparently lived. Mind you, I actually didn’t mind it. It was delicious.
Now, I’m a cartoonist. I know a bit about politics but bugger-all about economics. The mechanics of meltdowns and bailouts is beyond me. I’ll happily admit that most of the analysis here on Troppo, for instance, goes in one eye and out the other. What I do understand about economics is that sometimes things go pear-shaped, the price of pears goes bananas and people have to eat fat instead.
Which brings me to a question: if America fails to rescue itself will we soon have to re-learn the dark art of 20th century working class cooking? Are things really going to get that bad?
According to CNN it’s already happening in the UK, where people are buying up big on cheap meat like livers and pig’s feet. There is even talk of seeking out forgotten recipes for gruel. In the States, of course, they’re going for more traditional comfort foods, such as pizzas and cordial. And soup. Soup is big.
Help me out here. My wife has already dumbed down our meals. She reads the papers. Her consumer confidence has hit an all time low. She’s cooking things on the cheap, like meaty slop that’ll provide hearty meals for weeks on end. She must be stopped. Apart from hiding the morning paper, is there anything I can do to restore her faith?
If the answer is ‘fat chance’ does anybody have any decent end-of-the-financial-world recipes I can pass on?