"My mother had a pantry under the stairs stocked from floor to ceiling with tins of fish, meat, tomatoes, fruit, vegetables and puddings, packets of sugar (granulated, caster, icing and Demerara), flour (plain, self-raising and wholemeal), rice (pudding and long-grain), pasta (macaroni. twirls and vermicelli), lentils, buckwheat, split peas, oatmeal, bottles of oil (vegetable, sunflower and olive), pickles (tomato, cucumber, beetroot), boxes of cereals (mainly Shredded Wheat), packets of biscuits (mainly chocolate digestives) and slabs of chocolate.
..When my parents bought a freezer, in 1979, the peas, beans, asparagus and soft fruits soon piled up in plastic ice-cream tubs, each one labelled, dated and rotated. Even dill and parsley were rolled into little plastic bundles and stored away for use, so that there was no longer any season of the year when there was scarcity.
..The only way to outwit hunger is to save and accumulate, so that there is always something tucked away, a little something to buy him off with. My mother acquired an extraordinary passion and skill of thrift. She would walk half a mile down the road to save a penny off a bag of sugar. She never bought what she could make herself… It didn’t matter - we weren’t proud, we weren’t some foolish types who waste money for the sake of appearances, Mother said, when every cultured person knows that what really matters in what’s inside.”
from ‘A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian’, by Marina Lewycka