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haresfur

Food in the time of a pandemic

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A couple of days...

Artichoke quiche with Aidells artichoke sausage

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White corn chips with salsa

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Cod with house tartar sauce, yard chard

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eGullet member #80.

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I placed an order on Instacart yesterday using both Costco and a local grocery store. I could get a delivery time for the local store but not Costco so the app wouldn’t accept either order.  It was really frustrating.  I started over and finally realized that there were just no delivery times available for Costco.  Many more glitches occurred probably due to my impatience but order was successfully placed or doubled placed.  Local store plus Total Wine order arrives tomorrow, Costco on Monday.  But whew I spent way too much time on this, I’m sure it’s easy but this was my first time.

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They say you should support local business and they say, for efficiency, you should try to do larger shopping runs rather than small ones. So I was returning home from picking up a friend's dog to take to the park and thought it had been a long time since I had a meat pie. Stopped in at the Eaglehawk Bakehouse and came out with a lamb and potato pie, a chicken and mushroom pie, a vanilla slice, a Canadian date slice (don't ask me why it's 'Canadian'), and a half-dozen hot-cross buns. Who say's I'm not patriotic?

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It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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13 hours ago, Smithy said:

 

As much as I love northern Minnesota, I do envy the earlier (and longer) growing seasons of more temperate areas. That looks lovely!

While I understand your envy, I don't think there's much in there that's "early." Most of it, as a matter of fact, is very late!

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

mweinstein@eGstaff.org

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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12 hours ago, Shelby said:

You were right!

 

I humbly apologize :) 

Why apologize, you and I just had similar experiences.  I just have purchased many different kinds of bananas when the Mexican markets have the unusual ones on offer.  I wish the regular markets would carry some of them, especially the red bananas which have a more intense flavor.  And the Burro bananas that can be substituted for plantains when green and when ripe have a lemony flavor.  

 

Anyway, I really believe that some growers have been producing some bananas that are different from the Cavandish because apparently something is going wrong with that variety for the past couple of years.  

When I was a child, we got whole stalks of green bananas that were hung up in the spring house to ripen. They came in wooden crates that had a name stenciled on and it wasn't Cavandish.  The flavor and the scent was much more intense. One difference was they had to be lightly scraped because the string-like membranes did not come off easily and turned black some time after peeling them. I remember one of cook's helpers scraping them before slicing them for a recipe (I used to get the ends, one of the perks of hanging around in the kitchen) so there would be no black threads in the pie, cake or ??

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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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The variety sold then was "Gros Michel," or "Big Mike." It suffered an apocalyptic collapse due to some pathogen or other, which caused the industry as a whole to swing to Cavendish. They're preparing for the same scenario now, though I haven't been keeping a close eye on the current contenders.

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“What is called sound economics is very often what mirrors the needs of the respectably affluent.” - John Kenneth Galbraith

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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20 hours ago, Shelby said:

So, every day I walk by that bunch of green "plantains" and think "Ok.  Tomorrow I will be creative and make something wonderful with these."  And then the next day comes and I think the same thing.    My brain just doesn't want to deal with something  new I guess.

 

Anyway.

 

Yesterday I was out in the garden and Ronnie scampered up to me (yep he scampered) and told me that I and all of EG owe him an apology.  I rolled my eyes and said "For What???"

 

Yes, friends.  He was right.

 

They are freaking bananas.

 🤣

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Took 7 years to turn yellow, but yes.  Bananas.

 

So, I apologized for all of us and made him a layered chocolate pudding/banana/Nilla Wafer/whipped cream thing

 

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🤷‍♀️

 

 

These look different, besides the color.

Any chance he switched the plantains for bananas?

 

 

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3 hours ago, weinoo said:

Oh, wow!  I'd love to try some of those.  I am off of bananas for the time being (overload of potassium in my system), but love them and can't wait to get the go ahead.  Thanks for posting these lovely things.

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I'm back from the battle of shopping.  It truly does feel like a battle.  I'm exhausted.  I have a homemade "mask".  It covers from the bridge of my nose clear down my neck.  It's not medical grade or anything, but I figure it does some good.  It was hot as hell though.  Store was packed.  Looooong lines.  Only 2 checkouts open.  Most people wearing some kind of mask.  All of us did well at spacing except I guess I did too well.  I was so far back from the person in front of me that a guy with a full cart cut in.  Sigh.  People.  Got everything except still no yeast to be found.  No sanitizer --or any of those type of things still.  I had toyed with buying some TP if it was well stocked.  It definitely wasn't at all so I passed.  We are still ok for now.  The produce section was full which was nice.  I got some strawberries that sort of smell like strawberries.  Oh and I was able to get a whole chicken.  AND SWIFFER PADS.  Glory be.  I was excited.

 

I'm off to take a shower and change clothes and maybe a nap.

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Scored a bag of AP flour at the grocery store!

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Just went down to the local weekly farmers market.  Not sure what was more odd - the masks and distancing guidelines or the rain and chilly temps.  Not freezing by any means but our high temp was only 50°F and it's been raining steadily all day.  

Lots of local messaging for Los Angeles to avoid going out at all, including for groceries but I was down to my last 2 eggs and feel strongly about supporting our local farmers.   Also, not that viruses pay any attention, but I'm in Ventura county rather than LA.

I wore a mask because I need the practice and wanted to see how long I could tolerate it.   My glasses got fogged up on the inside from the mask and covered with rain on the outside so my vision was quite impaired but I survived!  Got eggs, escarole, green onions,  radishes, celery, parsley, cilantro, watercress, kumquats, lemons and tomatoes.

No need to decorate these beauties for Easter:

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My favorite egg vendors are an older couple (mid to late 70's, I'd guess) and I was a little worried because they weren’t at the market last week.  I was delighted today to see that he had a young man helping him out and doing all the handling of the money.  I bought 2 dozen, more than I ever use in a week but I'm ever so happy to have them!

 

The rain kept a few vendors away and a lot of shoppers as well. I have to say that made the experience much more pleasant.  The last few weeks, it was necessary to queue up at each stand but I didn't have to wait at all today.  Vendors have streamlined the way they display their produce (sadly, more plastic bags, but that seems a necessary vice right now) and shoppers have gotten down with the process.  I hope enough people shopped to make it worthwhile for the farmers. 

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I live in Brooklyn New York.. This is important in terms of the shopping habits of places vary.  Most people do not have a freezer chest, let alone a full size fridge and freezer.  We do daily shopping for the most part.  So, it's been a major adjustment for people to even have to think more than a day ahead.  I can only imagine the waist.  A lot of restaurant suppliers are now going direct to the people.  Fish Suppliers, Baldor, Butchers even wholesale mushroom vendors are now working directly with customers.  Wait times can be really long.. Usually about a week out. I stopped by a butcher today and one had a line maybe 1.5 hours long, the other one was opened but, not taking walk ins but, also, I couldn't call in an order as their phones were off for the day.  

Alcohol seems to be pretty easy to get.  Chinese groceries impossible to get delivered.  I went today to a chinese grocery store..Before entering, I was made to purchase a mask for a dollar.. I had seen an hour plus line the other day but, during a rainstorm today it was empty.. But, so were the shelves and most of the stock.. Oddly, all the workers there were hispanic and all the chinese fish guys and grocery store workers were gone.. That was odd. The fish section was empty, a lot of the frozen food was gone.. 

 

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Posted (edited)

BK, I've switched to online since I'm of the "stay in" age group.   We took a ride across town yesterday and I was gobsmacked by the line, 2/3 block long, outside a hometown market, with a doorperson allowing one in after one out.   I can't imagine how long it would take from end of line to checkout.    And, as you suggest, no idea of availability once inside.   


Edited by Margaret Pilgrim (log)
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eGullet member #80.

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Report from Berkeley Bowl: My husband went yesterday morning,  The line to get into the store was long, and he had to wait more than half an hour before getting inside. He had a mask and so did just about everyone else. People on line were polite and careful to practice physical distance. Upon entering the store everyone was handed gloves. Inside it was calm and everyone was careful. Certain things were packaged differently. No bulk olives, only containers already filled. We don't need flour, as we got our KA shipment, but there wasn't any on the shelves. Nor was there basmati rice, but he did score a package of jasmine rice. Just about everything on our long list was on the shelves. We bought chicken parts for stock and the only shortage was feet; he bought what was there, about half of what we usually get, and for some weird reason the feet were all very small! Were they baby chicken feet? So all in all we did well. Mostly we stocked up on a week's fresh vegetables and fruit, and we now have plenty of soup broth in the freezer for whatever. Tomorrow is one more trip to an entirely different shopping area, which includes picking up a script, ice cream and my favorite rye bread. Hope it's there! Then I think we are set for quite a while.

 

Despite increased anxiety, mostly due to an underlying lung condition, I know I am fortunate. We are retired, used to functioning together fairly well in isolated togetherness and one of us knows how to cook and the other one knows how to bake.. The Bay Area is not doing too badly. We were locked down fairly early, and most people seem eager to obey the rules and to help out those who can't shop or run errands for themselves. The homeless situation in the CA cities is shameful during the best of times, but now it must be really frightening to be without shelter. Stay safe, everyone. 

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Rice tonight for dinner.  The Tamaki Gold I like has gone up to $31.00 for 2 kg...and it's not even available.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

It's very strange here in NYC.  We're basically at the epicenter of the pandemic, and both Significant Eater and I are quite sheltered in place. Yet so many providers have started contactless delivery, that we're in need of very little, and therefore have no reason to leave the apartment.

 

And I also seem to be getting stuff at home that I would have to schlep all over town to procure (if I could get it at all), at prices below what I would be paying. That whole brisket, for example? $60. Where am I going with this - oh yeah - I got 2 deliveries yesterday, some of which looked like this, after it was all bathed...

 

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Carrots, celery, leeks, fennel, Caraflex cabbages, green beans, avocados, a pound of mushrooms, RAMPS, bananas, Cara Cara oranges, lemons, 2 kinds of apples, a jar of horseradish, sunflower oil, a big can of good anchovies, free-range chicken. Most of the fruit and vegetables are organic. Not shown from another supplier - more mushrooms, 5 or 6 different cheeses, French butter, heavy cream. It's crazy, and I know how lucky we are, for a number of different reasons.

 

Of course, when life hands you such an excess (what should I do with 3 pounds of assorted, gorgeous mushroom?), one can always open up Mastering The Art of French Cooking, Volume 1, and make a riff on Legumes a la Grecque. Which is what I did...

 

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Edited by weinoo (log)
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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

mweinstein@eGstaff.org

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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I was speaking to an acquaintance over text messaging, and they admitted they panic bought food items that they normally never use and really don't know how to use, (ie bread flour, yeast, cornmeal, canned fish etc).  They don't bake or cook from scratch normally at all.   She was kind of joking/lamenting that "when this is all over" a lot of it would be not needed because she just doesn't have the pantry space for all the extras.  Of course, the canned goods can be donated to food banks, but stuff like the flours and yeast are probably going to get tossed eventually.  I suggested that maybe in the near future, friends could go "shopping in each other pantries" and help use what could potentially be trashed.   Maybe barter system.  I am not going to let that bread flour, yeast, and cornmeal be wasted if I can help it, it seems just too precious now.   

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Agreed, I'm making sure I don't buy things I know I wouldn't normally use. I have always been a light user of flour and had kept it in my fridge, so that continues (and I only buy the 5 lbs bags). Although there are some tempting recipes now that time/boredom is abundant, I'm generally resisting any that require specialized ingredients. It has been satisfying to work my pantry reserves down over time, as well. The other possibility is that offices (when they re-open) will be flooded with baked goods...

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"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

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Absolutely relevant meal... fried rice, seared veg, spicy “crack”

 

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I got two shipments yesterday.  From D'Artagan, 12 poussins and four packages of chicken sausage.  There was also supposed to be five packages of bacon, but they forgot to include it 🙁  I also got a big box from Eataly: pasta, canned tomatoes, tomato paste, pesto sauce, and a hunk of parmesean cheese.  Maybe a few other things that I am forgetting as everything but the cheese is in quarantine at the moment.   The cheese was shrink wrapped in plastic and worth using a Clorox wipe on.

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The wait times for grocery pick ups was getting days longer and the online selections were getting fewer, so I decided to brave in-store shopping. My local HEB opens at 8:00 am and I was in line at 5 minutes after. Most of us were wearing masks, everyone observed social distancing, the grocery staff was supplying freshly sanitized carts and everything on my list was in stock. Back home in less than an hour. We should be good for at least the next week.

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43 minutes ago, liamsaunt said:

I got two shipments yesterday.  From D'Artagan, 12 poussins and four packages of chicken sausage.  There was also supposed to be five packages of bacon, but they forgot to include it 🙁  I also got a big box from Eataly: pasta, canned tomatoes, tomato paste, pesto sauce, and a hunk of parmesean cheese.  Maybe a few other things that I am forgetting as everything but the cheese is in quarantine at the moment.   The cheese was shrink wrapped in plastic and worth using a Clorox wipe on.

I hope you got those poussin on sale!  I like them pan roasted simplys; of course if I had a backyard, I'd be grilling them.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

mweinstein@eGstaff.org

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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