Sunday, August 13, 2017

What You Find in American Homes

It has been so sweet to live life alongside my church family in these past six months, as well as to meet many other dear families who live locally in the Chicago suburbs. It has been especially meaningful to get to know their kids and their family culture. Each home that I have lived in, come to for a meal or babysat in has a unique style, set of values, traditions and family lingo. As someone who grew up in Czech, I have truly enjoyed seeing more of this day-to-day home culture here in the Illinois.

I love to observe cultural differences and nuances. It tickles me to think that so many people view the world differently from one another, yet we were all created in the image of God! I have learned much from living in my American culture (more on that another day!), and I have also enjoyed noticing what is considered "normal" in an American home.

After babysitting in many homes, I thought it would be fun to start noticing which things show up most frequently in family kitchens here. What are commonplace "kid snacks"? What do parents direct me to for feeding the kids for breakfast?

Many of these things are ones I grew up with as well, since my parents are American (and there is also some crossover), but here is my imperfect list of what you will typically find in most homes in the Midwest:

1. Cheese sticks - I find that most kids get really excited about this one, even though they are common! Now the real question you peel them, or do you bite them? In Czech, they use spreadable cheese, like the farmer's cheese below.

2. Cheerios - Growing up, we only had honey-nut cheerios, but I love that the plain ones are in style here in the States! Kids love them, and it's a staple for snacks, breakfast, and really any time of the day. I would say that in Czech it is more common to have Muesli or cornflakes.

3. Peanut Butter (and Jelly too!) - I love that you can find PB in almost every home here. PB+J continues to be a classic among kids, and I fully agree that it makes such a delicious combination. My Czech friends were baffled by this when I was in elementary school, but our imported peanut butter back then was a treasure, and the PB+J never seemed strange to me!

4. Ice-Cream - Well let's just say it's maybe a good thing that I can't have dairy, because otherwise it might be difficult to resist the ice-cream that is sitting right next to the ice-cube trays in the freezer.

5. A Gallon of Milk - Although, alternative milks show up quite commonly too these days! It still surprises me how often I see almond/cashew/coconut milk right alongside regular groceries. In Czech they still like to use what they call "shelf milk". Many Czechs use fresh milk, but boxed milk is still quite popular as well, as it can be stored for months unopened in the cupboards.

What else do you think belongs on this list? What do you keep on hand in your own kitchen at all times? 


Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by! Your comments make my day! If you want to ask me any question, or need to contact me, write me at: