Saturday, April 25, 2020

Living the Pantry Lifestyle - A different way of thinking

I am finally beginning to come out of a pain induced fog.  This has been the most challenging season of back spasms that I've experienced in many years.  It only takes a couple weeks of pain to remind me to be more careful when lifting anything heavy again.

Yesterday was the first day since last week that I able to spend any time on the computer.  Even then it wasn't for very long.  I am way behind on emails and didn't even attempt any mid-week blog updates but the last few days have been free of spasms.  Only a little back pain remains and I'm being very careful. 

We decided this week to renew our Sam's Club membership.  The reason behind our decision not to renew was that we could stock up at the grocery store instead.  Obviously, that has changed significantly in the past couple of months as it has taken going to three different stores to locate what is needed and at times, none of them had some food items available. 

For instance, I have tried to purchase the large container of Quaker Old Fashioned Oats but stores have been out of them since almost the beginning of the pandemic.  It is one of those items I didn't realize would go off the shelf as soon as it was restocked.  This week, when my husband renewed our membership, he found a box that held two huge bags of the oats.  I can make granola again!

I have learned so many lessons from this pandemic about what food and supply items are often out of stock.  They tend to be different than what one finds sold out with a weather emergency, which is what we have most often where I live.  If it is going to be a short lived emergency, people tend to go for bread, milk, and comfort food.  Now we find flour and yeast sold out. 

I have been able to find a couple bags of my favorite King Arthur AP flour but no yeast has been available.  I thought about buying yeast from Amazon even though it was on back order until late May.  When I decided to make the purchase the next day, it was no longer available at all except third-party.  I have enough for now in the refrigerator but when it is available again, it will be a priority.

I've also learned to think out of the box to find what I need.  For instance, while my grocery store was out of every kind of egg, the health food store had plenty of the good free range eggs from the Mennonite farmer.  They cost more but 1) they are worth it, and 2) we are supporting local farmers.

That is the kind of lesson that I'm writing down for revised pantry lists.  I don't know what the future of the country and the world holds but whatever it is, we all now see the importance of having "extra" put back.  I don't want to forget anything I've learned in all of this.

I'll be back (God willing) next week with more pantry ponderings.  Ummm... pondering was hard with the pain but I'm looking forward to be able to put more thought into next week's pantry post. 

I thought often of Ravi Zacharias, who has been in intense pain after back surgery and now cancer treatment.  I prayed for him a lot during this time.  It certainly makes a difference when we can empathize with someone as we pray for them.

Keep well!


Anonymous said...

Thanks to you I always have plenty of toilet paper and paper towels which has really been helpful during this pandemic. I have been able to share with people that had none and could not find it. I live in North Carolina and my husband and I eat old fashioned oatmeal every morning. There is no problem finding it here. Southeners love their grits! I am a Southern girl that loves grits and oatmeal. When I went to the grocery store this morning there were no slow cooking grits but plenty of old fashioned oatmeal. Thank you for these posts. They are always so uplifting and informative.

Jennifer B. said...

Thanks, Brenda! I am glad that you are feeling better! I am surprised that my local Meijer is still out of toilet paper. I have seen it once or twice since the lock-down, but didn't want to take what I already had. I have since thought that I might buy one just to restock my stock up. However, they are still very hard to find. Lysol wipes are also unavailable. I was able to find some hand sanitizer and did buy two of those. I think that we are all learning some lessons here. I hope your back continues to heal! ~Jennifer B

Jenny said...

I am so sorry for your pain. Back pain is one of the worst to endure.

I will have to try making granola. I've never made it before....if I can find the supplies.

I've been able to get quite a few things through my local Farmer's market & the local Mennonite grocery store has not run out of yeast yet.

BeBe said...

Have you considered making a sour dough starter with a bit of yeast and keep it in the fridge? In a pinch you can keep that going indefinitely by feeding it a little each week. Just a thought. Hugs Brenfren

Vee said...

Have found myself wishing so often that I had kept a record of these unique times, but they are so repugnant to me that I am missing the message of it beyond "get ready, it's going to be a wild ride."

So sorry that you have been dealing with a bout of back spasms. They're no fun. Glad that they are going away and may they stay long gone.

i had not heard about Ravi Zacharias. So many troubles in this old world. I have no answers for any other of them other than Jesus. He is our all in all.

Hope you find some flour and yeast. (Those Amazon prices are unreal!)

Jennifer H. said...

This pandemic has revised my thinking about what to have in my pantry. We personally need to have foods that will keep our immune system healthy and more able to resist this virus. For our family , a high fat ,low carb diet is the healthiest. We need to stay constantly stocked with meat, eggs, cream, butter, almond flour, egg, bacon, cheese and low carb vegetables. The pasta and bean that I had as emergency rations would make my husbands blood sugar skyrocket and might make him more apt to get sick.

We are stocking up on canned items as we see them, as well as trying to keep our freezer full.

Good luck with your back.

Anonymous said...

So glad to see you back today and feeling better. I was surprised about oatmeal also but was able to get some at a later trip. Blessings, Sharon D.

Carol said...

Yes, it seems that yeast and flour are high commodities right now. I was able to find a couple of small packets and I have put them aside for now. I realized that I had a bit still in a jar and I was able to save it as well. I don't use it often but if I needed to make bread I would be able to.

Suzan said...

Brenda I am relieved to read that your back has improved. I pray your continue to improve.

Deanna Rabe said...

Would you like me to send you yeast? It’s plentiful in the local Amish store. Message me if you do.

It has been interesting to see what people panic bought. I can’t find Mission brand low carb tortillas, and in some stores there are no tortillas at all.

A Woman that Fears the Lord said...

I'm so very sorry that you have been in so much pain. It's been wonderful to come back and 'visit' your writings. They have always been an encouragement. May you continue to heal.

copperswife said...

I’m not venturing out often, of course, but I’ve noticed a few things the one or two times that I’ve been out during these last few weeks. In California, we’re on week seven of “safe at home”, so it’s been almost two months,, though the shortages started a week or so before that. When something is in short supply on the shelves, I see people almost snatching it in panic. On one visit to the big grocery, there was NO flour of any kind and hardly any sugar. As people passed the shelf they didn’t seem to be looking for sugar until they saw there was just a little, so they grabbed a bag, and walked right on buy the plentiful boxed mixes. The next visit, there was plenty of sugar of all kinds and brands, and gobs of AP flour, but the boxed mixes were in very short supply and I watched folks see the shortage and then buy accordingly. My daughter saw a man with a flat car piled high with dog food at Costco and he started a similar panic until he started telling everyone in ear shot, “I work for a rescue. This is our normal weekly purchase.” I guess it’s just human nature, but it’s been interesting to observe.

mdoe37 said...

I was able to get a small pack of TP at both Walmart and Aldi this last week. While I had some, it has been a full month since I have seen any in the stores. I'll admit that I switched to cloth (ew I know) until there was a return of it in the stores. No sense in running through my supply and not be able to replenish it. We are over the hump, Sam's in Grand Rapids had 50 - 48 roll packs. They are limiting to one pack total of paper goods.

There have been some rumblings regarding meat shortages. My friend's brother is a butcher with his own shop, they do no feel there is a shortage of meat at all. I suspect there might be some supply disruptions with a few of the plants closing for illness, but not long term at all. I did get to Sam's and get burger and pork yeast in the store yet. Maybe Gordon Foods...

Your pantry posts are always a nice poke in the ribs to stay on top of the pantry stock. Its easy to let off the peddle and get caught short. I was a bit on TP and regular flour. Just before all heck broke loose, I made a couple of trips to the stores, cherry picking things like canned fruits and veggies, frozen veggies, bread flour, tortillas, cheese. There is no panic....just a purposeful mission.

Rest your back and get better soon.

Kay said...

Sending healing prayers for your back. That is a bad pain. I know.

We took a trip to Sam's Club this afternoon. With all the stuff going on in my world, I kept missing my Wm Grocery Pickup. Farmer needed softener salt so I decided to just go along and stock up on what we needed. Mostly fresh produce. Got cucumbers, tomatoes, strawberries, blueberries, bananas, potatoes and sweet potatoes, romaine lettuce. We also stocked up on snacks for Farmer. Graham crackers, Ritz crackers, Raisin Bran cereal, Animal Crackers. I got butter and halfnhalf. And a large can of tropical fruit mix, avocado oil and Light Olive Oil. Other than the berries, nothing was a splurge and those not really either. We eat them for dessert or in smoothies.
I looked for TP, but as it was late on Sunday, those shelves were empty. Alot of the frozen & fresh meat sections were pretty empty.

We've been using up our canned veggies. Our frozen potatoes. Canned tomato products. I'm being a bit stingy with our flour, even though I can grind white wheat and will to help stretch the flour. My yeast is a bit slow to rise but it's still working. I am going to see if my local Mennonite store has yeast and flour.

As you may remember me saying, we raise beef. We've had several people contact us, asking if we were selling any for butchering this year. Farmer laughs when I say we really need to be prepared to protect our herd. Maybe this will all go away soon and things will be back to normal. I just know I'll be glad when the cattle are back in our more protected pasture where they cannot be seen from the road.

We also just picked up our 1/2 hog from the butcher yesterday. I am well stocked on bulk sausage, pork roasts and chops. I have a ham left from the Christmas sales and our gifted case of bacon is still plentiful.

All this along with farm eggs from friends and local truck farms that will be doing drive-up veggie markets; we should eat just fine for a long time. And we'll have enough for our 2 adult sons and families.

Have a sweet week.