Now what?

30 Sep

Lets talk about the 10,000lb elephant in the room.  When money gets tight what is the first thing to go?

Luxuries.

Is eating a luxury or not?  Of course not, it is something we have to all do every day.  But, spending money on ingredients is something that people will immediately cut back on when money gets tight.  “What is the difference between Parmigiano Reggiano and Grana Padano anyway, no one can tell right?”  Well, can you tell?  (There is a question. Who can really tell, but that is another blog. )  I can not tell you how much we appreciate the people that are continuing to come to our restaurant and say that they are only spending money on going out at restaurants like this one, because it truly makes a difference.  Makes a difference?  To whom?  To the farmers, to the local economy, to the local neighborhood, to everyone in the chain. I know that sound like a cliche now, everyone is talking about local, heck, I even heard of a Tree company useing the term “Locally owned” as a selling point.  Of course they are local, no one comes from California to prune trees just before winter do they?  (I know, it is not their fault, they were told to use it by some marketing firm)  But, back to the question.  NOW WHAT?  What is everyone doing with their money?  Are you eating out?  Are you cooking for yourself?  What?

We are just starting to wind down on a crazy season of summer here in Minnesota and Wisconsin. This year the farms we have dealt with have had some roller coaster years.  When Pam at South East MN food network is asking for rain, Chad in Tomah, Wisconsin is wondering if it will ever dry out?  When Maurice with Six rivers co-op in and around Barron, Wisconsin is telling me how hard he works, (he does, really) and how they are in need of rain and sun, Joe, just north of them on the Hay river, is trying to get the field dry so they can get in and plant.  This is just all right here folks.  So, with all that going on.  What do they do?

I know, so many questions, what is the point of this post?  The point is NOW WHAT?  We pay attention to things that have value, things that cost something, right?  We spend money on things that are of high value and quality in our day to day life.  We will spend some money on a piece of furniture believing will last, we will spend extra on a phone, cause it will save us time?  Right?  But when it comes to food, we look for 1/2 price deals and happy hours, and value meals.

What are you going to do?  What are your thoughts?  I know it is something large to ponder.  But, it is very important.  What do you want?  Do you choose your restaurant based on philosophy or your bank account?

3 Responses

  1. Tink says:

    It is hard to be a crusader. In any aspect of life, being dedicated is costly.

    I don’t shop at Wal-Mart because of their employment practices. My mother tells me I cannot afford to not shop at Wal-Mart. I make a pretty good case for the fact that eventually we all pay for Wal-Mart’s poor employment practices and that it doesn’t actually end up saving you (us) any money at all. So, I buy my soap at the farmers market and yes, I pay more for soap. I don’t eat at chain restaurants because their food is not locally grown. Therefore, I pay more to eat at Corner Table and believe that in a small way, I am doing something positive instead of negative for the environment, for the farmer and for overall karma. Eventually, we are all going to pay the price for poor lifestyle choices.

    This dedication to social justice, the environment and doing what I think is right mostly means I do not buy a new pair of shoes each month and perhaps I walk to work instead of driving.

    So what is the cost of being a crusader…..maybe time, maybe style points….maybe money….you have to decide what is important to you and what kind of life you want to live.

  2. HungryinSW says:

    I’ll continue to choose where I eat my meal based on philosophy. To me food is many things, and I won’t get long and preachy, but one of the most important aspects of food, at least to me, is the experience. I just can’t have a nice experience at the Cheesecake Factory. I can get a deal, but if I really wanted to save money, I find my kitchen at home sufficient and quiet. When I walk into a place I want to feel something I couldn’t at home. The craftsmanship that goes into the composition and plating, the personality of the waiter and staff, the ambiance of a dimly lit room on a rainy fall evening. That is just a portion of how I justify the costs of eating in fine food establishments. Sure I pay a bit more, but I often leave satisfied in knowing that I just ate some great food, that was prepared by artful hands and minds, and had the good fortune of sharing that meal with the people I enjoy the most.

  3. kat says:

    We have a budget & in making that budget we decided what was important to us. We decided belonging to a CSA, shopping at a smaller (& we feel better) grocery store & eating out at restaurants that we consider worth getting our money are things that our important to us. So, we set aside the money to do those things. We eat out a lot less than we used to, cooking at home a lot, but it’s actually the cheaper on-the-go meals that we are eating less of instead saving our eating out budget to go to places where we feel we are getting something special for our dollar.

    btw….loved the apple bacon dessert we had there last week!

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