Labor Day meant apples were in season. My mother made a great apple pie. We ate seasonal vegetables.
By September, everything in the garden would come ready, especially the tomatoes. My mother canned things and made relish.
We switched from summer food to winter food. My mother wasn’t much of a cook, so our meals were pretty set:
Tuesday: Pork chops.
Wednesday: Spaghetti and meatballs
Thursday: This was the worst day for dinner at my house. My mother went shopping on Fridays, so Thursdays were whatever was left in the fridge. That was the day to have dinner at someone else’s house, if you could!
Friday: Even though we weren’t Catholic, my mother always said the fish was fresh on Friday, so we’d often have fish. A lot of times we had liver and onions with bacon. That was her day to go shopping, so that was something to look forward to!
Saturday: Always baked beans, brown bread, hot dogs.
Sunday: Some sort of roast — chicken, beef, something good. And Harlequin ice cream. Remember that?
I brought my lunch to school because I hated school lunches.
My mother often made me olive loaf, with Miracle Whip (on white bread, like Bunny Bread or Wonder Bread). There were times I had that over and over again, but I liked it. Sometimes I had tuna fish, again with Miracle Whip, on that Bunny Bread. I never had chips, just Hydrox or homemade cookies.
The sandwiches were always wrapped in wax paper. We didn’t have Saran Wrap. That was a luxury.
We ate differently in summer: watermelon, corn on the cob. In fall, we went back to canned Cocktail Fruit in that thick syrup for the winter! Vegetables in a can. I hated canned peas. We had carrots and squash and potatoes, and that awful iceberg lettuce. And jello with sugar and milk on it.
We didn’t even have frozen foods until I was in junior high school.
The seasonal change in eating and lifestyle between summer and the rest of the year was huge.