We hear them all throughout our lives, should we believe them? Do you feel the same? Old Wives Tales are a supposed truth, past down through the older women to the younger generation. So, just like Santa Claus and Tooth Fairy, are they just out right lying to us? Or, do these older women really have some innate wisdom to share?
How do you sift through them and pick out the ones that are really true? Maybe we just have to figure it out for ourselves. Things like, “an apple a day, keeps the doctor away,” is actually true. Eating an apple a day can prevent heart attacks, yup, for real. Or that the “full moon” has magical powers. Right on, grandma! It is scientifically proven that weird things happen on the full moon. Like there are more babies born on the full moon, more women will become pregnant on the full moon, more people take their own lives on a full moon and other weird-ass behaviors.
What about if you are having trouble getting to sleep and you are told to count sheep? Well, it’s not about the sheep in particular, it is about focusing on something that you don’t have to think about. When I am having trouble falling asleep, I lay with my eyes closed and pick a letter of the alphabet. I then recall as many words as I can that begin with that letter. If I exhaust all the words that begin with that letter, I move onto the next. Usually I don’t make it to the next letter, but you could if you needed to.
So you see, maybe there is something to these little old ladies. Wait, I have grey hair, am a grandmother, and am over 60…does that make me one of these little old ladies?
One of my many joys in living life abroad is the abundance of farmers markets. Traveling and perusing through farmers markets in foreign countries will put you face to face with these “old wives tales.” The farmers markets are full of old women and their tales. I have learned my lesson more than once from the little old farmer ladies. The keepers of the soil, is how I refer to them.
My latest lesson was in Konstancin, Poland. Konstancin is a beautiful area outside of Warsaw where the aristocrats lived before the war, (and many still do) in their rambling manor homes. It boasts a magnificent park with walking and biking trails, a spa, wonderful restaurants along the paved pathways, and an outdoor concert arena. On the weekends they also have a great farmers market with local, picked right from the ground that morning produce, eggs, flowers and of course, Polish pickles.
I was urning for a roasted chicken and had my heart set on a farm fresh chicken with freshly picked herbs. My husband and I arrived at the farmers late, just as many of the farmers were closing up for the day. We happened upon a little old lady sitting with her legs spread wide open as her her three freshly killed chickens lay between them. Head and feet still attached. It was a sight for sore eyes. It was an almost comical but what the heck. She had what I wanted.
My husband (in Polish) explained to her how excited I was but she shook her head no. Her chickens, she said were just for soup. What, how can that be? I thought, what does she know? I’m American after all, we do things differently. Not paying any attention to what she said, we purchased one of her scrumptious looking birds and continued on our way to find our fresh herbs.
At home, I quickly warmed up the oven, rubbed the chicken with all the fresh herbs, a little olive oil and into the oven it went. It smelled amazing and I knew it would satisfy my craving. Viola, the meal is ready. We sit down to enjoy the lusciousness placed before us only to find it to be the toughest piece of meat we had ever had.
What went wrong, did I cook it too long? Maybe at the wrong temperature? But, no, the curse of the little old lady was upon us. The chicken, as she mentioned, was for broth only. I quickly learned that there are different kinds of chicken and this one was for broth. Damn it, the little old lady with her old wives tale was right.
Little did I know that there are laying egg chickens, which are good for their eggs and for roasting. Then there are the chickens that do not lay eggs, which are good for the best broth you’ve ever tasted when boiled with feet and all. Am I the only one that did not know or believe this? Was I not paying attention in school that day? Someone tell me they didn’t know either….please!!!
So, yes, there is some truth to these little old wives tales. The next time you feel ill and your mom makes you some chicken soup…eat it! Chicken soup is proven to reduce inflammation which is a cause of your illness.
Trust the farmer!
Eat well, be healthy, love life,
P.S. It’s not too late to join the Time Waster Group Mastermind beginning April 4th, 2019. Isn’t it time to stop the procrastination and get on with life?