Saturday, August 14, 2021

Living the Pantry Lifestyle - Is COVID returning enough for lockdowns in America?

I've seen a lot of photos of empty shelves at Wal-Mart online but since I rarely shop there, I don't know what ours is like.  I need to go there this week for 99% isopropyl alcohol since the shelves at Meijers originally had no bottles at all and then had a few but only 70%.

The thing that makes Wal-Mart susceptible to shortages is that they have locked in contracts with suppliers and they are famous for their use of the Just In Time warehouse ordering.

Otherwise, I have noticed mainly the usual shortages that happen off and on.  Wet cat food has been iffy since COVID began.  I've changed the way I buy it for Florentine.  Instead of stocking up once a month, I check what is available when I go to the grocery store and purchase it when available.  Especially since she is, like many cats, quite snobby about her preferences.  Sometimes the size bag of kibble I want has been sold out but otherwise, there have been no shortages.

I've noticed, though, that we do not have as many options as before from various brands.  Also, when my husband did our Sam's Club shopping last time, he was surprised that they are no longer carrying the Old Fashioned Quaker Oats but only quick oats now.  The store employee he talked to said she wasn't happy about it, either.  So, I will have to buy it at the grocery store now and not at a bulk discount.

I haven't noticed any coffee shortages in general but Meijer has a hard time keeping my favorite decaf in stock (Michigan Cherry decaf K-cups).  Probably because it has a lot of fans.  I don't usually care for flavored coffees but I do like this and I buy the decaf version for a late afternoon treat.  They got a supply of the Starbucks Instant Coffee in but had already sold out of the Blonde Blend.

More people are beginning to wear masks at the grocery store again and the local schools are either requiring masks or there are debates at school board meetings about the subject.  We have had a significant spike in the number of new COVID patients in the hospitals and with approx. 45,000 students coming back to the University, it will be interesting to see what happens.

I can see the possibility of another lockdown.  Although, local and nearby mayors have said that another lockdown is the last thing they want since the local economy is just now on the way to recovering.  

Remember that everything seemed to happen overnight last year with COVID lockdowns and shortages in the States.  Do be prepared "just in case".  At least this time, we should be able to read the signs that another lockdown is possible.

It is going to be interesting to see what happens and whether vaccines will be required to go into stores as there have been some rumblings.  We have had both shots of the Pfizer vaccine after talking to our doctors (who definitely advised it due to health concerns) and our children (who pretty much demanded we get it, how did we raise such pushy kids?).  But honestly, people my husband's age and people with Type 1 diabetes like me were dropping like flies at one time so we took our chance with the vaccine.

I'm not usually a pro-vaccine person since my son ended up in the ER as a baby due to a reaction from a vaccine.  I'm not against them if they are given wisely.  I just think doctors are giving too many vaccines to babies all at once these days.  At least when my son had such a severe reaction, he had only been given a couple of vaccines so the Emergency Room doctor could easily trace what he was reacting to and told me never to let him get that particular vaccine again.

We need to show grace to each other whether we get the vaccine or not.  It is not the Mark of the Beast and anything less than that should be an individual decision.  At least that is what it used to be like in America.  I could get on a soap box here but that is not my message.  It is sad to see the name calling and shouting going on over whether someone decides to wear a mask or not. 

On a more pleasant subject, here are a few more cookbook recommendations.  I'll give a few more next week.

I adore the cookbook Jerusalem, it is written by two well known chefs/restaurant owners who both grew up in Jerusalem but did not meet until they got to Europe.  One is Jewish and the other is Arab.  The stories, the photographs, and the recipes are all wonderful.

I gave my son my hardback copy but the Kindle version is very inexpensive.  It now resides on my tablet.

A similar book that I just bought last year is called Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking.  The author holds dual American and Israeli citizenship and has a restaurant in Pennsylvania (if I remember correctly).  The stories are heart warming, interesting, and give some insight into Israeli culture as the author mixes it with living in America now.

It is similar to Jerusalem but I think the recipes are a little easier.  Perhaps because the author is used to cooking the recipes for Americans?  Both cookbooks are very good but I do admit that I tend to read Jerusalem but Zahav has no less than six tabs in it for recipes I want to try when the weather cools down.  I do love Middle Eastern cooking and it is very healthy.

There is a Palestinian cookbook I want to get, recommended on the Milk Street cooking show.  However, it is very expensive and if the price comes down, I will get it and review it here.  Just to give equal time (although that cookbook writer has a Christian mother and Muslim father).

Seasons at the Farm: Year-Round Celebrations at the Elliott Homestead
is written by Shaye Elliott.  I have followed her for years on social media (and I do not follow very many these days) and I enjoy her podcast with her best friend, Angela of The Parisienne Farmgirl.

I am no longer a gardener and definitely not a homesteader but one thing I know about Shaye Elliott is the woman can cook!  This cookbook combines my appreciation of recipes divided by seasons and cookbooks with good stories and photographs.  

Mentioned in this Blog Post

Jerusalem... here (hardback) and the Kindle version is available on this page.  This book is quite interesting since it combines the perspectives of a Jewish man and an Arab man who grew up in Jerusalem in very different neighborhoods.  They are friends today and I believe continue to operate a well known restaurant together in London.  They believe good hummus can encourage world peace.

Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking... here.  Like I mentioned, there are no less than six book tabs holding recipes to try soon.  This book is not very expensive and I bought it during a time that I wanted to try more Middle Eastern recipes.  Then the COVID shortages hit and I set it aside.  It is sitting now in the basket where I keep the cookbooks I am using the most currently or very soon.

Seasons at the Farm: Year-Round Celebrations at the Elliott Homestead (gardening, decorating, cooking, entertaining)... here.  I've had this book a few years and enjoy pulling it off the shelf at the start of a new season.  It is enjoyable for the cook but anyone who loves gardening and showing hospitality will love it thoroughly.

Disclaimer:  Most links to are Associate links and I earn a teeny tiny minuscule commission but it cost you nothing extra.


Suzan said...

I have bough my mother some of Ottolenghi's books. During my brief three days in London I looked up his restaurant but didn't go. Three days was not enough time for me yet Jesus changed the world and our redemption in three short days!

Our most populous state is in complete lockdown. It is so sad to hear that babies are now dying of this dreadful disease. I heard one antivaxer talk of being injected with some kind of tracer device. It seemed laughable to me. In Australia these medicines are drawn from multi injection vials. It would be hit and miss. One person could end up with multiple "devices" while the others had none. As an ex R.N. it seemed laughable. I was vaccinated as soon as I could be. Our vaccination rollout has been an absolute nightmare.

God bless you and keep you.

Kathy said...

Thanks for the cookbook reviews! I will check them out.
I hope that you all stay safe, and I'm glad that you have the vaccine. I can't believe the actions of those parents in TN over masks.
I'm trying to stock up a bit more each week, esp on sale items. Unfortunately cat food is going up, but at least I can't find it in stores again.
Have a good week.

doe853 said...

Hi, I’m wondering if you have any so called health or bulk stores near you? I always get our grain such as oatmeal in bulk, I can bring my own container. Also as to the cookbooks, I just found out from his mother, my 7 year old grandson Otto is named that because she had one of Ottolenghis books on her lap as they were trying to come up with a name for an about to arrive baby! Too funny!
P.S. I read your blogs every weekend, look forward to them. Thank you. Dale

Anonymous said...

Hi Brenda,

You might want to try Aldi's for old fashioned oats. Its their brand though. Also their coffee is good. Prices are pretty good.

Also my boldness is showing here. Should we let our country go back into the dark ages? I do applaud people who stand for their rights to not wear masks or be vaccinated. Where would we be as a country if George Washington or Patrick Henry or Thomas Jefferson, etc would have not taken the stance to go against Britain? I'm not so sure we would have that constitution that we embrace today. Or do we? Biblically, where would Israel have been if they would have taken the stance with Caleb and Joshua to go in and take the land? God is with us! Different stories would have unfolded. Thanks for letting me air my views... Lydia

Carrie Jane said...

Are there particular recipes in the Jerusalem and Zahav cookbooks that you highly recommend?


montanagoose said...

I agree, absolutely, that the vaccine should be an individual decision - a matter of informed consent. Unfortunately, we have had very little informed consent. The short term data is wanting, the long term data does not exist, and thus it difficult if not impossible to assess the true risks of these vaccines. And, even worse, with the ever escalating nudges, pressures, and coercions, we now have very little consent. These are not "noble lies". Just hubris.