Saturday, December 04, 2021

Living the Pantry Lifestyle - Checking off the To Do List

It has been an extremely busy week here with Christmas decorating in the beginning of the week, two medical appointments on Thursday, and stock up shopping on Friday. I don't foresee another quite so busy week for awhile.  Hopefully!

We put together a list of priority items we needed to do in light of both supply chain disruptions and inflation.  Two of those have now been accomplished as the old refrigerator was replaced a few weeks ago and last week the big trees next to the house that were dying were brought down.

We have been praying for protection each time there has been a big wind storm go through our area since the tree nearest the house should have come down soon after moving here but the cost was pricey.  Eventually, we knew they had to be taken care of for our safety so we contacted the tree trimmers who had done work for a friend and was put on a list.  It took a couple of moths for them to finally get to us.

They were here early one day and finished just before the sun went down.  It was a day of sawing and the thumping of heavy limbs hitting the ground.  Honestly, I think Florentine needs therapy!  Mouse just did her usual outdoor cat thing and hid at a neighbor's property.

We already had one limb fall on the house during a storm so the work was worth it and a side benefit is that we now have more light getting into the rooms.  There will also be no more raining down of black walnuts come Fall on our roof and yard.  I wonder if the squirrels knew what was happening that day to their food supply?  (Black walnuts are a mess!)

Our next big home project will be in the Spring when our driveway has to be resurfaced.   It is not the priority as the refrigerator or the trees coming down but it is past due and the driveway is showing it.  Houses need maintenance and repairs even in a pandemic and during supply chain disruptions.

On a lesser note, we both have had dental appointments recently and I go back next week.  I have been in a lot of contact with my medical doctor and the staff at the clinic because I have had trouble getting my long term insulin.  Who would have ever thought our life saving drugs would be hard to get?  

It made me realize how important it is to keep up with all medical appointments. Since I already have a long term relationship with my doctor and other staff at the clinic, they were able to do the research necessary to help in this serious situation. I don't think many unknown doctors would have been so willing to spend the necessary time to find a solution.

After having trouble getting that insulin all year and having to resort to another brand off and on, my doctor decided to switch me to the other brand permanently even though the original had helped to bring my blood sugar down to normal when others had not been successful.  

My long term insulin I am switching to is made by EliLilly, as is the HumaLog I have been on for twenty years.  Lilly drugs are made in the USA, many of them in the Midwest where I live.  The other insulin is made in another country.

I've been making a list and checking it twice (oh, that wasn't for the pantry)... checking it off and on... of inexpensive items to get now should there be more supply disruptions.  I even purchased a package of underwear since they are something like 10 for $10 (Hanes for Women if I remember) to tuck away in a drawer along with extra socks.

Like most people, I am having to make changes in the way I shop for groceries.  I still do a big grocery shopping trip at Meijer and at Aldi in the beginning of the month.  I can still stop in at the store weekly to fill in items such as produce and dairy.  

However, what has changed is that I am spending more time going to other stores to find what is unavailable on my stock up shopping day. Inflation has certainly been instrumental in my having to tweak my grocery list, too.  It is alarming how much some items cost now. 

I have a feeling this will be with us for a long time and it is necessary to become even more skillful at "bringing our food from afar".  Of course, it would be even better if I could still garden but since I cannot, I resort to the second best way of getting food in the pantry, and then the third best way, etc.

If we cannot do the ultimate that we would like to do in our life (I want to be Annabel!!!), as a Christian I know God is giving me wisdom on what can be done in our present world situation.  We need to be sensitive to His leading and yes... I pray before doing any shopping, whether it be for food or Christmas gifts.

I mentioned I was trying more vegetarian recipes and a week ago I made a bean burrito using a can of refried beans, a jar of salsa, chopped onion, and some shredded cheese on a soft burrito shell.  They turned out to be very good. More items can be added as available.  So, on Friday I purchased a few cans of refried beans for the pantry.

Something else I have added are some cans of tuna in extra virgin olive oil as a protein for the pantry.  I always think of Julia Child when I buy canned tuna.  She was a fan of tuna packed in the extra virgin olive oil, which is how it is packed in most European countries.  However, she thought packing tuna in water was horrifying and she did have a lot to say about America's infatuation with low fat cooking.

I usually use the tuna for a casserole and sometimes to add to a salad so the richness of the "EVOO" packed tuna does taste better.  I don't usually make tuna salad sandwiches because someone in our family hates mayonnaise.  I teased him this week that I knew he would be happy to know I purchased a backup jar of mayo for the pantry.  ;)

No sharing of cookbook ideas today since I plan to be back mid-week with a Christmas edition of Book Talk.  Hopefully!

Image:  Brambly Hedge (where one finds the best pantries!)


Deanna Rabe said...

So far we’ve not experienced any real lack of supplies. I’m thankful.

We must ask God to give us wisdom as we navigate these interesting days.

Jenny said...

I love Brambly Hedge...I need to remember to get out my book & read the Christmas stories in it.

Anonymous said...

I hate mayo too. It is nice to know I'm not alone. Ha!
Glad you found a solution for your prescription issue. We really should make more things here. Outsourcing so many necessities (like medications) was NOT prudent. Wishing you and your loved ones a blessed Christmas. Dee/NY

John said...

I used my dried kidney beans to make a pot of beans, then use some of those to mash with the potato masher, and then saute in a bit of oil to make the burritos. That way I can save on canned bean prices, since dried are less expensive. Also, to me, fresher tasting. I also will brown my burritos on the skillet to make chimichangos. I like the crunch.

mdoe37 said...

I miss Julia! I remember her saying....There is no need to eat flabby cheese. But Velveeta is soooo good.

Anna Gartin said...

Interesting on the insulin shortage. We use Lantus and I just looked it up China sigh. Thanks for the tip on American made good to know.

Morning's Minion said...

We do quite a bit of our household shopping at local Mennonite/Amish markets--discounted merchandise and a produce market. Meal prep is tweaked according to what is available.
When I have to resort to Kroger or Wal Mart for some items I am shocked at the price increases, as well as the empty gaps on some shelves.
I've always kept a deep pantry--grains, baking supplies, staple items. It takes thought and planning, but a rewarding and frugal way of life.

Anonymous said...

Few Americans know how dependent we are on other countries for the majority of our medications. Not just prescription meds, but also OTC. It's a very uneasy place to be. A dozen years ago I started renewing my husband's each month as soon as allowed to get him at least six months supply for his CAD, it's been a blessing since a couple times there was a recall on one med.

I hope you will be able to get the insulin that works better for you and in the meantime pray the one you are using will work.

Anonymous said...

Gradually building up a buffer supply was a wonderful tip by my pain specialist years ago. This Dr. also worked to enroll me in Patient Assistance Programs run by the makers of several of my meds. There was a fair amount of paperwork at the beginning (& one med is sent directly to one of my physician's offices which I then have to pick up) but WELL WELL worth any hassle. Honestly, I could've never afforded some of my life-giving meds otherwise. A huge blessing that I do not take for granted.