This piece is an unpublished essay by Gail Martin. It was in one of her writing notebooks. She may have planned to use it for an eHow article.
“Company’s coming up the road. When that happens, many families prefer to dig into their pocket books or pull out the credit cards and take the surprise visitors to a favorite cafe or pick up some food from a take-out place.
In the era of my mother and mother-in-law, there was always their pantry to fall back on. They stocked their pantries with food they grew and preserved for their families. There was no panic when someone sighted company coming up the road.
Clyde and I continued this tradition. Even when my husband worked on the drilling rigs, he found time to grow a large garden. When our six children were in 4-H, they took gardening, preserving and rabbit projects.
Our garden was a family affair with the planting, weeding, hoeing, watering, picking and preparing the vegetables. Everything was saved. These were served to our large family summer and winter.
All too soon our children grew up and started families of their own. We moved to town and gave up the milk cow and the rabbits but still maintained a large garden. Jars of colorful beets, green beans and corn fill our pantry shelves.
When my cousin called on her cell phone to say they were on their way, I knew we had plenty of home grown food ready to feed them.”