If you’d told me last year that there would be a day when I would go to the grocery store just once a week with a list and wonder what I might find on the shelf; or that I would come home giddy over finding a carton of eggs, a gallon of milk, and a loaf of bread, I might have questioned that.
Aren’t these things always supposed to be available? Didn’t rationing end with WWII? Like most of my generation, I’ve never gone to a grocery store prior to this pandemic wondering what might be available on the shelves.
An abundance of food is not something that I will likely ever take for granted. (I’ve talked about this many times here, here, here, here, and here as part of the reason why I choose to support Feeding America.)
Growing up, there were times when I watched my mom create meals out of very little. Charity food boxes were an exciting thing when they arrived, as there might be cool cereals, chips, or day-old donuts tucked inside.
In these moments of uncertainty, I’m actively looking for ways to be grateful for the little things that are happening everywhere around us. I’m overwhelmingly grateful for the human nature that is shining through in beautiful ways as well.
The acts of kindness and moments of happiness that I’ve seen shared online over the past month have brought me so much joy. If you have a story, please share it!
Right now, I’m grateful for the ability to sit on the porch, go for a walk, and most of all to enjoy the sunshine on these pretty spring days. I’ve made a habit of porch sitting in the morning and often the evenings too ever since we moved to Ohio and I’m even more thankful for that peace-filled habit now.
As a child in the middle of eight children, I missed the tightest of years for our family. My mom tells the following story of a particularly frugal season of life:
“I went to the store with a very small amount of money (I don’t remember how much), hoping to buy some meat. Back then ground beef was 99 cents a pound. Liver was 29 cents for a container the size of a small margarine tub. There were times I could not even walk past the meat counter because of the temptation to steal some.
Onions were 5 cents a pound. So, I bought the liver and two pounds of onions. We had one great meal and then fried onions until your father got paid a few days later. I always had beans and rice on hand so the onions provided an elegant garnish.”
I remember pinto beans and white rice on repeat throughout much of my childhood. My mom also made “Arroz con Pollo” (always said in Spanish to make it fancier!) which was always far more rice than chicken, but definitely an improvement over the constant beans on rotation.
One of my sister in laws recalls meeting the family over dinner and as my mom set a platter of chicken drumsticks on the table, apparently some of the younger kids were so excited they shouted “meat!” The story makes me laugh now, as I recall there being meat for many of our meals, but she said that she immediately looked for the smallest piece on that platter to make sure there was plenty for the kids.
Yet, here I stand in 2020 able to buy what we need, but it isn’t there. For the past couple of weeks, you simply don’t know what you might find on the shelves at the grocery store. Will there be eggs in stock? or bread? or milk?
It isn’t good “business” right now to talk online about the Coronavirus or Covid-19 if you’re a food website. The experts tell us that Google and advertisers will eventually search for the terms trending now as we deal with this pandemic and “reverse keyword target” them, meaning there is a list of keywords that they won’t want their advertisements to show next to.
The idea behind that is that if you post content with corona-related keywords in the posts, it is very likely that those posts will not earn nearly as well as your other content that does not include those keywords.
You know what? I just don’t care about that right now. This is a huge part of our life and our history and I don’t want to just gloss over it all.
There is so much unknown and I want to be present and listen and look for the joy in the little things around us. I want to help you where I am able.
Do you have random pantry ingredients that you’re trying to use? Shoot me a note, leave a comment on a recipe, or message me on Instagram. Wondering if you can swap some chicken from the freezer for beef in a recipe? Odds are good that we can figure out a way to make it work with what you have on hand.
How are you doing, friends? How are you feeling? Do you want to talk about it? Please leave a comment.
Want to share something wonderful and great that is making you smile right now? PLEASE do that. Is it as simple as the cup of coffee that is breathing life into your day? Tell me about it.
We’re all in this together.