Friday, May 1, 2009

Apples for the new Depression

Our artistic director picked our new season of plays. The hope in choosing a season is that you can pick works that are relevant to everyday life; plays that make you think (or that help you escape if that's your direction). The unofficial theme that he had in choosing them was "Plays for the New Depression" with the quick caveat "but we can't publicize that because it's too negative."

Its such an odd time right now. We've got the bank system collapsing. I've had my phone service sold out twice over, my car insurance was Century 21, then it was AIG (for about 4 months), then it was very quickly "Century 21" again, and this week that was sold by AIG to yet another company. My bank turned into another bank... my credit card got sold to another credit bank... it's all getting so frustrating. I hardly know who I owe money to anymore.
The News is quick to tell us to run and hide in a cave because of the deadly swine flue that has thus far killed far less than the regular flu and is "responsive to tamaflu and other flu medications".  If they're not telling us that we're all going to die from the flu or terrorists they are telling us about how bad the economy is.  They tell us this with fingers in the air pointing this way and that, sparse bits of true analysis and nobody is really ready to say the "D" word.

We're in a "slump" a "resession" a "tough time"... whatever.
For what it's worth I'm starting to truly understand the abstractions of the Great Depression. The songs are making more sense, the plays... and also my grandparents. In some ways we are becoming them. Now we can understand why they knew 50 ways to re-use a coffee can. We're going to get old and give everybody a hard time about "all that waste"... We're becoming coupon clippers, mold scrapers, and "it's not totally rotten just cut out the bad bits" ... as an environmentalist it's not such a bad thing, but still it's a shift that is not to be ignored.

This week I cut up a full bag of apples to use in pies, apple sauce and cobbler. At the end of it all I held my sticky hands over what amounted to a huge pile of apple leavings. So many cores and peels that would normally go to the compost heap were too multitudinous to just "throw out". So I carefully seperated out all the cores from the peels and put them in seperate compartments of the steamer. I steamed them until the juices dripped down to the bottom pan making a weak apple juice. Then I took the top steamer of peels. When I baked my cobbler I laid them all out on the baking pan... apple chips.

There was hardly anything left for the worms outside. I felt better but also melancholy from realizing the luxury I used to have; being able to just toss old peels without a second thought.

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