The Pandemic Pantry -Basic Corn and Bean Salad – 04.18.20

The look on my face must have revealed my aching soul. Maybe it was the numerous trips to the pantry or the multiple freezer checks. We had plenty of food to survive on but nothing I really wanted or cared to eat. The truth was I needed to cook. I needed some fresh foods to cook with. Ultimately she relented.

“You can go to the store and shop with the old people. You will wear a mask and keep your distance from everyone else in the store. You will not wander up and down the aisles like you usually do. You will not shower before going. When you come back you will wash your hands for 20 seconds then put the groceries away. Disinfect the items you think need disinfecting. The plastic bags will not be recycled. They will go into the garbage. You will then go into the laundry room where you will strip down and put your clothes into the washing machine. Then and only then you go to our bathroom to decontaminate.”

Senior Time at the grocery store is 7-8:00 AM. There were not many shoppers. The customers were all wearing masks, some had both masks and gloves on. But most of the employees were not wearing any masks or gloves. We know the mask wearing thing is more about not spreading virus if you’re infected and less effective for personal protection (though the latest scientific guidance is that masks do offer some level of personal protection). So is setting a specific time for a high risk group to shop at the same time and NOT have employees wear masks smart? It would take just one infected worker and s(he) could take out a number of the oldies. Just a thought. But everyone in the store respected each other’s space and kept their appropriate physical distance.

We began sheltering in place behavior one week before our state formally declared a shutdown. Minus two days in Owasso, Oklahoma (the trip was taken with the expectation a lock down would be ordered) we have been home for a month. Welcome to The Pandemic Greater Depression. At our home we are fortunate to both have jobs. Many, many others are not as fortunate and the road ahead will be hard. Despite the fact we have a roof over our heads and food on the table the new era Depression mentality has set in. I call the new mindset Forced Frugality.   The grocery store trip was interesting.  Some of the supply chain issues are resolved and the shelves look better.  Still no paper products and some of the shortages (like frozen pizza) are just plain strange.  There were arrows on the floor in an attempt to direct traffic.  I learned that some people don’t know how to follow arrows.  And despite clear instructions not to wander the aisles I pretty much went down every aisle because you never know what you’re going to find (or not find).  I found this:

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$0.59 for organic dark red kidney beans and $0.84 for organic corn!

Today’s lunch side was a simple corn and bean salad.  Here it is.

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 1 celery rib, tiny dice
  • 1/4 cup red onion, tiny dice
  • garlic powder
  • pinch or two dried basil
  • a splash of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 can organic dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can organic corn, drained and rinsed
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
  • salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  1. Whisk olive oil, vinegar, mustard, garlic powder and basil in a medium sized mixing bowl.
  2. Adjust your seasonings.  Add sugar, salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Add your vegetables and beans.  Stir and mix thoroughly.
  4. Add a splash of fresh lemon juice.
  5. Serve as a side dish or over some fresh greens.  This size recipe makes around four servings.

Tips

Sugar is only needed to counteract the acidity in the dressing.  You might not need nor want any sugar at all.  I wanted to put some red bell pepper into this dish but there were none to be found at the store.

Here’s a list of pantry items.  Hopefully you have many if not all on hand as we shelter in place.

Pandemic Pantry Items – Updated 04.18.20

  • Canned tomatoes in 14.5 and 28 ounce cans.  Diced, crushed, diced with green chilies and stewed
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Brown and white sugar
  • Dried oregano, basil, and parsley
  • Onion and garlic powders
  • Bay leaves
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Dried pastas
  • Dried beans such as brown and green lentils, pinto, black, adzuki, mayocabo, yellow and green split peas, black eye peas and cranberry
  • Canned beans such as garbanzos, black, black eye peas, pinto, great northern, navy
  • Broth, vegetable, beef, chicken
  • Rice – multiple varieties like basmati, brown, Texmati, arborio  and plain long grain white
  • Flour tortillas and corn tortillas

Stay safe, stay well, stay home.

And if you do venture out of the house wear a mask.

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Scared of Romaine Lettuce? Eat Local

Buried in the latest CDC update on romaine lettuce is the following:

No common grower, supplier, distributor, or brand of romaine lettuce has been identified.  Nine additional people have been reported since the last update on November 26, 2018. This brings the total to 52 cases from 15 states. Nineteen people have been hospitalized, including two people who developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome. No deaths have been reported.

I was surprised when romaine lettuce reappeared at my local grocery store at $4 a head.  I haven’t checked the prices of bagged salads but I’m sure they are higher too.

 

Well, the eat local movement should get a huge boost from this most recent e coli outbreak.  If you’re in Oklahoma try the Looney Farm or Scissortail Farm.  I’ve had both and they are excellent sources of fresh locally grown greens.

 

Greek Salad – The Pioneer Woman Cooks – Ree Drummond (One Rotisserie Chicken 50 Meals #8)

I love Ree Drummond.  Never met her.  Never mind the fact I’m married.  I love Ree Drummond.  I love Ree because every recipe of hers I’ve tried is awesome.  This Greek Salad recipe is all Ree.  It is reproduced in its awesome entirity and I’ve given credit to this Goddess via the link below.

We had the usual gang over for pizza one night.  Everyone asks “What can I bring?”.  So for one of our couple friends we said “Salad”.

They brought this salad over to have with pizza.

Awesome!

Since that fateful day, we’ve made this salad several times.  One time we put chicken on top of it.  Dinner. Done. Delicious.

Greek Salad | The Pioneer Woman Cooks | Ree Drummond.

Ingredients

  • 1 head Romaine Lettuce, Chopped
  • 4 whole Ripe Tomatoes, Cut Into Six Wedges Each, Then Each Wedge Cut In Half
  • 1 whole (large) Cucumber, Peeled, Cut Into Fourths Lengthwise, And Diced Into Large Chunks
  • ½ whole Red Onion, Sliced Very Thin
  • 30 whole Pitted Kalamata Olives, Cut In Half Lengthwise
  • 6 ounces, weight Crumbled Feta Cheese
  • Fresh Parsley, Roughly Chopped
  • ¼ cups Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar (more To Taste)
  • 1 clove Garlic, Minced
  • 6 whole Kalamata Olives (extra), Chopped Fine
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 whole Lemon, For Squeezing

Preparation Instructions

Add chopped lettuce, tomato wedges, cucumber chunks, onion
slices, halved Kalamata olives, half the feta, and parsley to a large
bowl.

Combine olive oil, vinegar, sugar, garlic, salt, pepper, and chopped
olives in a bowl. Whisk together until combined. Taste and adjust
seasonings (I almost always add a little sugar.)

Pour dressing over salad ingredients, then add salt and pepper. Toss
with tongs or clean hands. Just before serving, top with additional feta
and squeeze a little lemon juice over the top.

via Greek Salad | The Pioneer Woman Cooks | Ree Drummond.