It's kind of like Black Friday and it's getting worse all the time. Retail stores started Boxing Day Sales several weeks ago, more and more. Whatever happened to Buy Nothing Day? Well, I don't want to drain the economy, or put anyone who still has a job out of a job. Nor do I want to sound very OLD, tutting away at extravagant spending, thoughtless consumption and irresponsible waste, but stop a moment and consider. Years ago now I took my husband's aunt shopping and feared for her as she experienced sticker shock. She sounded positively asthmatic as she gasped and caught her breath at the price of things she remembered as costing much much less. A box of writing paper that used to cost maybe $2.95 was up to 12 dollars. Nowadays, I buy 12 hasti-notes for $17.95, if Im lucky, reduced from $22.95. When I married, a loaf of bread was 7 cents. Designer loaves now cost upwards of 5 dollars. In my first year of cooking I learned about London Broil, a way to cook flank steak, which was very inexpensive, around 70 cents a pound. Now it's priced right up there with other steak, except T-bones and filet mignon which are astronomical. If I don't remember the names correctly, it's because I never buy them. I was given a pressure cooker and despite my fear of it exploding, I cooked cheap cuts of meat in it, oxtails, for example, which cost 8 or 9 cents a pound. Ah, well, nostalgia like this is no comfort. We are compensated with variety, all the vegetables that didn't exist when I began to cook. When did you first hear of edamame? Whatever your age, try making a small list of food you didn't grow up with or never heard of. This could grow into a longer discussion but people have come into the room so we must have coffee by the fire, a great pleasure.