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Food in the time of a pandemic


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Stopped in to Whole Foods near my house today, I haven't been inside a WF store since end of Feb or beginning of March. Went a little nuts in the produce, it all looked so good. Altufo mangoes, Rainier cherries, heirloom tomatoes, apricots, bananas, baby eggplants, 4 pack of mini cucumbers. Couple of dry goods items that were on sale. They had aisles marked for one way traffic, to be honest I didn't notice that until I was a couple of aisles in, so I may have violated...but the store wasn't at all crowded at 10:30-11am. Definite holes in the stock on the shelves (particularly the snacky items). I did not look at dairy, seafood or meat since I wasn't prepared to buy anything that needed to be kept cold. All baked goods (muffins, cookies, rolls) are individually wrapped in the display case where you'd usually grab one with tissue paper. They have emptied out the salad bars/hot foods bars...had some more pre-made and wrapped sandwiches than usual for take out. The sushi area was still making rolls. The outdoor seating has been removed, which I guess is so they don't have to worry about people moving their chairs too close together.

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

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3 hours ago, liamsaunt said:

I know that there is a markup, and I understand why.  I am willing to pay it to not have to go in to the store.  It's been creeping ever higher each time I order though.  I do follow along when the shopper is getting my order. I like that feature a lot.  

 

Yeah -- I don't mind the markup either (and we have been glad to have Wegmans pickup as an option) -- but the lack of transparency and consistency drives me nuts. At least Wegmans does have the in-store prices online so we can check -- at other stores around us that's not a possibility. (Some stuff, like bacon, has indeed gone up in price -- the bacon we used to get for I think $7 is closer to $10 even in store.)

At this point, we are trying to get stuff from not-Wegmans whenever we can, and use it to fill in the gaps. We've been pretty happy with boxes from Imperfect Foods, oddly especially for meat and dairy options. We have less need for the produce now that our CSA has started up, but I think we may do a fruit and grocery box every other week from them going forward.

 

I've also found Target curbside pickup to be a godsend for pantry items. They won't do it for anything perishable (which includes some odd items -- bread is unavailable, but tortillas are fine). But for canned / dried jarred goods, there's no markup above in-store prices, their website makes it easy to see what's in stock -- and in the odd case that something you ordered ends up being out of stock, they'll ship it from another store. And no time slots -- just a four hour turnaround window that often ends up being two or less.

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My experience with Ralphs (Kroger) has been no mark-up. If you approve a suggested sub on-line they show price. If they sub on their own - no increase. Been a decent experience. 2 hours has been max lately.

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I stumbled on this topic 67 pages in.  It begins with stocking up and ends with Instacart issues.  I skipped everything in between, forgive me if this has all been said before.

 

Some thoughts:

 

I'm Italian.  No matter where I've lived (apartments mostly) I've always had a well-stocked cupboard.  I'll buy until the cupboard is full.  I chuckle when there is a storm, or other impending threat and the news is full of fear and empty shelves.  I'm getting a bang out of the stocking and restocking, in spite of how tiring it is and how old it is getting.  Right now as we face a national/global uptick, the threat of a second wave, I am revisiting my initial thoughts of what if there is no food?  My freezer is filled, every square inch,  my cupboard is groaning.  I run a lot of green veggies through the fridge since I juice.  Thank god I don't have what my grandmother had, which is a fruit cellar she could fill with her own canning.  Because I would go nuts.  Nuts nuts nuts.

 

Consider the health of your Instacart shopper.  A good friend of mine does that, as well as works as an Uber driver.  He did both of these things while he had COVID because he had to work.  A reality.

 

Canned salmon prepared like my mother prepared canned tuna:  add chopped celery, onion and Miracle Whip.  Wow, that's good.  Stuff it into a tomato.

 

Two working at home:  a hard boiled egg, sliced with the egg slicer, salted and peppered and a dab of Miracle Whip delivered TO THE BEDROOM DOOR!!!

 

Stop.  I don't like Hellman's.

 

Baking:  at least once a week until I weighed myself.  There was Little Debbie Nutty Buddies, Tate's chocolate chip cookies.  There was my poppy seed cake, and butterscotch brownies, and things I don't remember, and now it's key lime pie.

 

The food punctuated incessant gardening:  runs to the garden store to break up the monotony.  Annuals, perennials, bushes, Andromeda, eight Coral Bells, hellebore, Japanese painted ferns, coleus, begonias of many colors, creeping Jenny, brunnera, caladium (caladia?), Thornbergia, salvia, petunia, red peppers.  Nuts nuts nuts.

 

Goal is still as it was in mid-March:  to stay alive.

 

All this food, all those flowers, all that Miracle Whip:  nothing without the wonderful people we are privileged to share it with.

 

I miss everybody.

 

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I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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@Lindacakes Good to hear you are navigating the drama well. I do not stockpile because of family crud. I do consider the health of all the workers I encounter. I converse at appropriate distance and ask bout their experiences. My son has been exposed multiple times (juvenile treatment facility manager). He did not visit on Fathers day because he was concerned about the old ones. They were nasty but I appreciate him thinking of their safety. And yes - we are all flexing our food creativity muscles :)

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51 minutes ago, Lindacakes said:

I stumbled on this topic 67 pages in.  It begins with stocking up and ends with Instacart issues.  I skipped everything in between, forgive me if this has all been said before.

 

Some thoughts:

 

I'm Italian.  No matter where I've lived (apartments mostly) I've always had a well-stocked cupboard.  I'll buy until the cupboard is full.  I chuckle when there is a storm, or other impending threat and the news is full of fear and empty shelves.  I'm getting a bang out of the stocking and restocking, in spite of how tiring it is and how old it is getting.  Right now as we face a national/global uptick, the threat of a second wave, I am revisiting my initial thoughts of what if there is no food?  My freezer is filled, every square inch,  my cupboard is groaning.  I run a lot of green veggies through the fridge since I juice.  Thank god I don't have what my grandmother had, which is a fruit cellar she could fill with her own canning.  Because I would go nuts.  Nuts nuts nuts.

 

Consider the health of your Instacart shopper.  A good friend of mine does that, as well as works as an Uber driver.  He did both of these things while he had COVID because he had to work.  A reality.

 

Canned salmon prepared like my mother prepared canned tuna:  add chopped celery, onion and Miracle Whip.  Wow, that's good.  Stuff it into a tomato.

 

Two working at home:  a hard boiled egg, sliced with the egg slicer, salted and peppered and a dab of Miracle Whip delivered TO THE BEDROOM DOOR!!!

 

Stop.  I don't like Hellman's.

 

Baking:  at least once a week until I weighed myself.  There was Little Debbie Nutty Buddies, Tate's chocolate chip cookies.  There was my poppy seed cake, and butterscotch brownies, and things I don't remember, and now it's key lime pie.

 

The food punctuated incessant gardening:  runs to the garden store to break up the monotony.  Annuals, perennials, bushes, Andromeda, eight Coral Bells, hellebore, Japanese painted ferns, coleus, begonias of many colors, creeping Jenny, brunnera, caladium (caladia?), Thornbergia, salvia, petunia, red peppers.  Nuts nuts nuts.

 

Goal is still as it was in mid-March:  to stay alive.

 

All this food, all those flowers, all that Miracle Whip:  nothing without the wonderful people we are privileged to share it with.

 

I miss everybody.

 

Thank you so much for this post, @Lindacakes!  I love that it gives me an idea of what your days are really like and how you are dealing with the realities both practically and emotionally.  I wish that I could gather my thoughts together to put out a similar post.  You are so eloquent!  Be safe! Take care.  

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I'm also doing a little mini stock-up.  I'm running low on things like brown sugar, powdered sugar and baking powder.    Also over the counter meds such as Immodium ad (yeah....stress makes me...well, you know).  And pet food.  My thinking is that it might be hard to find since so many shut downs of meat processing plants?    Trying to decide whether to go into a store or whether to order.  I'm sure it's cheaper to go into a store.

 

I'm going to be making homemade Clorox wipes soon.  I really thought by the time I ran out that they would be back in stock, but nope.  And believe me, I've rationed what I had.  Many places I've had to go do not have wipes at the door for their carts so I have to bring my own.

 

I have a periodontist appt very soon.  Terrified.  Trying to decide whether to cancel, or go and get it done...I lean towards going because I think things are going to get worse before they get better.  So many around here that I've seen on the news seem to have forgotten about the virus. Ronnie says he thinks it's safer to go there than get a haircut....sigh. Lets not talk about how awful my hair looks.  Not so much the style, but oh do I need color badly.

 

I need to clean my house so bad....you'd think I'd be motivated but all I want to do is be outside for some reason.  Probably because my house is so bad lol.

 

 

 

 

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9 minutes ago, Shelby said:

I'm also doing a little mini stock-up.  I'm running low on things like brown sugar, powdered sugar and baking powder.    Also over the counter meds such as Immodium ad (yeah....stress makes me...well, you know).  And pet food.  My thinking is that it might be hard to find since so many shut downs of meat processing plants?    Trying to decide whether to go into a store or whether to order.  I'm sure it's cheaper to go into a store.

 

I'm going to be making homemade Clorox wipes soon.  I really thought by the time I ran out that they would be back in stock, but nope.  And believe me, I've rationed what I had.  Many places I've had to go do not have wipes at the door for their carts so I have to bring my own.

 

I have a periodontist appt very soon.  Terrified.  Trying to decide whether to cancel, or go and get it done...I lean towards going because I think things are going to get worse before they get better.  So many around here that I've seen on the news seem to have forgotten about the virus. Ronnie says he thinks it's safer to go there than get a haircut....sigh. Lets not talk about how awful my hair looks.  Not so much the style, but oh do I need color badly.

 

I need to clean my house so bad....you'd think I'd be motivated but all I want to do is be outside for some reason.  Probably because my house is so bad lol.

 

 

 

 

Perhaps you could call the periodontist and talk to them about the changes they have made. I agree with Ronnie, though, that dentists are taking the most precautions of anyone these days, and are probably more worried about getting the virus from patients and less likely to be spreading it themselves. 

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My dental cleaning appointment got rescheduled from May all the way to August. I have perio issues as well; that's why I have to go for cleanings more often than most people.

 

Anyway, the "waiting room" is now in the parking lot (you sit in your car until your appointment). Also, they will not be using the Cavitron for cleaning (creates a mist, I'm guessing). They will revert to hand-scaling (scraping stuff off teeth). (This is what they told me over the phone when I rescheduled.)

 

I thought about holding off, but I think I will keep my August appointment.

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I had the first cleaning appt when my dentist opened up on June 4.  They are taking all kinds of precautions.  Wait in the car until they let you know to come in, plastic gowns, face shields.  They are all wearing tank tops and shorts under the plastic clothing  because it gets so hot.  Went to the oral surgeon today because an implant broke and a tiny piece of the post fractured and was stuck.  50/50 chance of getting out but it was successful.  Everyone was wearing masks, temp check, questionnaire about symptoms, sanitized anything you touched immediately after.  I felt safe. Dentist actually wore a N95 mask with a surgical mask over it.

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On 6/22/2020 at 6:13 PM, JeanneCake said:

 

You've probably already  made these, but if not - lower the oven temp -  300 is fine - bake for 10 mins, turn the pan, then bake another 5 and check them.  If they start to "souffle" then turn off the oven and leave them for 10 minutes or so.  They will sink down and be ok.  You may more likely see bubbles in small cheesecakes the size of mini cupcakes; these aren't wide enough to crack. 

 

I made these today and they were a big fail.  I checked them after 10 minutes and they were very liquidy, so I left them in longer.  When I went to check on them again they had indeed soufled but were still liquidly so I didn't think turning the oven off would help.  When they had just a a little jiggle I took them out.  They had sunk back down but the batter/dough extended on to the pan itself.  I think part of that problem  was because i had completely filled the cavities.  And, they were still not done.  So as not to give anyone nightmares, I am sparing you the picture.  We won't be eating these.  The good news is I have enough of the graham cracker crust and filling left to make a small(er)  cheesecake in a bundt pan.  I expect that should work out.  I hope so, the filling is delicious.

Edited by ElsieD (log)
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17 hours ago, Shelby said:

Trying to decide whether to go into a store or whether to order.

Quoting myself.

 

I decided to go to the big city store this morning.  Got there around 8:30.  Not many people.  Most in masks except for some young people probably in their 20's.  Not expecting to find a thing, I went down the cleaning isles.... O M G they had 3 packs of Clorox Wipes.  $9.99 like they always were.  I almost cried right there in the isle.  They didn't have very many--I noticed most people had a 3 pack in their carts.  Bet they are sold out by now.  They had lots of single containers too.  So I came home with a total of 4 containers.  I'm giddy with excitement.  Who knew I could be so excited by wipes lol.  Also scored some Clorox toilet bowl cleaner.  Over all the store was stocked way more normally like it used to be.  I noticed they opened the olive and salad bars.  Bad move IMO.  I certainly won't be partaking.

 

I'm off to stare at my wipes.  Might sleep with them tonight.

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16 hours ago, ElsieD said:

 

I made these today and they were a big fail.  I checked them after 10 minutes and they were very liquidy, so I left them in longer.  When I went to check on them again they had indeed soufled but were still liquidly so I didn't think turning the oven off would help.  When they had just a a little jiggle I took them out.  They had sunk back down but the batter/dough extended on to the pan itself.  I think part of that problem  was because i had completely filled the cavities.  And, they were still not done.  So as not to give anyone nightmares, I am sparing you the picture.  We won't be eating these.  The good news is I have enough of the graham cracker crust and filling left to make a small(er)  cheesecake in a bundt pan.  I expect that should work out.  I hope so, the filling is delicious.

 

Are you talking about making the roasted strawberries cheesecake?  If so, how long in total did you cook them?  It sounds like you cooked them slightly longer than 10 minutes, but I might be misunderstanding you.  I noted on my recipe that the person who did them cupcake size cooked them for 45 minutes.  

 

58 minutes ago, Shelby said:

Quoting myself.

 

I decided to go to the big city store this morning.  Got there around 8:30.  Not many people.  Most in masks except for some young people probably in their 20's.  Not expecting to find a thing, I went down the cleaning isles.... O M G they had 3 packs of Clorox Wipes.  $9.99 like they always were.  I almost cried right there in the isle.  They didn't have very many--I noticed most people had a 3 pack in their carts.  Bet they are sold out by now.  They had lots of single containers too.  So I came home with a total of 4 containers.  I'm giddy with excitement.  Who knew I could be so excited by wipes lol.  Also scored some Clorox toilet bowl cleaner.  Over all the store was stocked way more normally like it used to be.  I noticed they opened the olive and salad bars.  Bad move IMO.  I certainly won't be partaking.

 

I'm off to stare at my wipes.  Might sleep with them tonight.

LOLOLOLOL!  We were the same way when we found them.  Jessica called us one night after the store was closed to tell us they had them and Mr. Kim went over at 7am to pick some up.  Just one, but we were so excited.

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@Kim Shook  Yes, I'm talking about the roasted strawberry cheesecake.  I baked them about 30 minutes.   They really were sad little things when I took them out of the oven.  I am in the process of taking the left over mixture and baking it in a 7" bundt pan.  I just pulled the base out of the oven.   We are going out for a bite to eat and when we get back the base should be cool and I can finish making/baking it.   That strawberry mixture is really, really good.  

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17 minutes ago, ElsieD said:

@Kim Shook  Yes, I'm talking about the roasted strawberry cheesecake.  I baked them about 30 minutes.   They really were sad little things when I took them out of the oven.  I am in the process of taking the left over mixture and baking it in a 7" bundt pan.  I just pulled the base out of the oven.   We are going out for a bite to eat and when we get back the base should be cool and I can finish making/baking it.   That strawberry mixture is really, really good.  

Ok.  Thanks!  I think that 30 minutes might be too short of time.  Hope the Bundt cake method work, because you're right - that mixture is delicious!

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I went down to the basement to do a little laundry

 

found this , almost right in front of me :

 

DSC08478.thumb.jpg.0ebc5c359fc14601739da0e0d348def9.jpg

 

UnIOpened .   32oz.   etc  etc

 

I know how @Shelby feels !

 

I rounded up all the white wash cloths i have , and several white towels, ' Gym Size '

 

washing them w bleach   , not to disinfect , but why not ?

 

after they dry , Ill have two small boxes on my Highlanders back seat :

 

unused white towels +   ( I chose white to ' show the dirt ' )  w the APC w Bleach

 

Box # 1

 

Ill take out one unit , w my disposable gloves on , and spray it,

 

use it on my hands , generously after taking off the gloves 

 

then toss that towel in box # 2.   when B #2 gets full , wash all the contents , w bleach

 

dry on Hot , and place in Box # 1

 

and start the cycle again !

 

Happy Days !

 

P.S.:   I put this in Food as it relates to my trips to TJ's and RocheBro.

Edited by rotuts (log)
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Today’s curbside pickup from a local farm stand. We are heading back to Cape Cod on Saturday for two weeks, staying in a private hone on a private beach so we can continue our quarantine. We are bringing all of our food with us, except the fish that we can get via contactless pickup from the fish market. 
 

Today I am making the strawberries into jam, and the tomatoes into roasted cherry tomato sauce. I am also making and freezing garlic scape butter, which, along with the ramp butter and green garlic butter that are already made in the freezer, will be sauce for the fish.  Cherries, grapes and cucumbers will be snacks.  The limes are for cocktails 🙂

 

We also scored on the wipes front. My husband found them in stock online at Vitacost, and seven containers were delivered yesterday. I have been able to get as much disinfectant spray and toilet bowl cleaner from instacart as I need, but the wipes have been elusive until now.
 

8D2C6220-FAA3-4AF1-BB83-06A34FBBE606.thumb.jpeg.6030d80dac58428b8fe93259f26ab1ec.jpeg

 

67C304AD-45CE-4A31-BA5E-1B853A0FEEF9.thumb.jpeg.c7147ee53d229abc587deb3ee02633ad.jpeg 

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@liamsaunt 

 

nice , very nice.

 

since we live in a similar area

 

not in anyway being critical 

 

im wondering where a local farm stand got

 

most of your delicious haul .

 

Im not wondering too much. and hope they can continue 

 

providing .

 

 
 
 
 
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Went to Costco a few days ago to begin restocking the freezer. Its 1/2 empty.

 

Meat section was back to its full span but the beef was about 50% higher priced.

 

It costs more now to grow a cow? I think not. Really pisses me off. Just like the price ofK95 masks is about 1000X higher than pre-COVID  How is this not price gouging? If this was Home Depot marking up plywood before a hurricane it would be prosecuted.

 

 

 

 

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@gfweb 

 

I feel for you , but mostly Henry 

 

Beef is up , probably for simple reason :

 

growing a cow probably did not change 

 

after all , I haven't herd of Cow distancing 

 

but , unless you process that Cow your self ...

 

processing centers , using the cheapest labor they can fined

 

and those workers need their work more than most of us do ...

 

and now restricted , but not The Swells the own then

 

so that's Cow Meat and Pig Meat for some time.

 

Too Too bad  about the Swells ...

 

I take it there is now TJ's in your area

 

they have all their stuff , and for me Senior Hour is

 

quick 

 

risk out there in The Wild is

 

time sensitive 

 

and the risk will only increase .

 

TurkeyBurger ( TJ's )

 

pan saute 

 

maybe some CSO  red potatoes form Tj's

 

and Tj's hydration  therapy

 

with an e-book ( Bosch , Michael Connelly )

 

if I can focus later !

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2 hours ago, rotuts said:

@liamsaunt 

 

nice , very nice.

 

since we live in a similar area

 

not in anyway being critical 

 

im wondering where a local farm stand got

 

most of your delicious haul .

 

Im not wondering too much. and hope they can continue 

 

providing .

 

The farm sells both things they grow and things they bring in from other sources.  It also has a deli, bakery, smoothie stand etc.  Of what I bought today, the only thing grown on the farm are the strawberries.  As you know, it will be August before we will get much locally grown produce other than lettuce, leafy greens, and herbs 🙂

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I pandemic ordered 5 lbs of onions a few weeks ago.  Every time I walk into my kitchen, I smell raw onions.  It’s been driving me nuts.  I finally threw all of them in the slow cooker tonight to make (and freeze) caramelized onions.  But I swear I thought smelling onions was a sign of Covid until my brain finally made the connection that I was smelling onions because I had a surplus of onions. I did wise up and take out the garbage bag of onion trimmings, but geez my brain is compromised by all that is going on.

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2 hours ago, Jacksoup said:

I pandemic ordered 5 lbs of onions a few weeks ago.  Every time I walk into my kitchen, I smell raw onions.  It’s been driving me nuts.  I finally threw all of them in the slow cooker tonight to make (and freeze) caramelized onions.  But I swear I thought smelling onions was a sign of Covid until my brain finally made the connection that I was smelling onions because I had a surplus of onions. I did wise up and take out the garbage bag of onion trimmings, but geez my brain is compromised by all that is going on.

 

I keep my 5 pound bag of onions in the bedroom.

 

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