Those of you who have read my blogs know that I love the grocery store. Big grocery stores, small grocery stores, spice shops, meat shops, bakeries, I love them all. In the last year, I have developed the habit of hitting my local spice shop at least weekly. I run to my local grocery stores at least once mid-week, in addition to our routine weekly grocery shopping. If you let me loose in the meat department in at least three stores in town, I’m going to test the limits of my refrigerator and deep freezer every time. I can spend hours surrounded by cookbooks exploring and planning all the things I want to make from the inspiration they provide. In fact, I’m currently sitting with books piled up and covering two different surfaces.
But alas, Covid-19 happened. We are in Chicago, so our state has a “Stay at Home” order in place. In truth, my immediate family had pretty much implemented this process about a week ahead of our governor. My husband and I were both germophobes prior to the start of this pandemic, so it was a pretty quick leap.
But I battle myself every day to avoid going grocery shopping. I am a person who maintains a pretty decent stock of food, so truly, I could manage for a month or more without even really feeling like I’m missing anything as far as nutrition goes. But, similar to when I have tried to diet in the past, as soon as you tell me I should not go to the grocery store, that is all I want to do. I become obsessed with the fact that I don’t have one thing, and if I had that one thing, I could make so many more creative dishes. Repetitively, this has been corn meal over the last week. I have not purchased corn meal in more years than I can count. However, now, I’m all like “I could make tortillas with that tortilla press I bought 2 years ago and haven’t used”.
In my defense, some of it is a little less crazy. I happened to be in the middle of a freezer clean out when this all started. While I have enough food in the freezer to get by, the variety is not as wide as it would normally be. I actually find myself without any roasts, loins…i.e. large chunks of meat for smoking. I do have chicken, and I’m sure that will happen. It’s also winter, and I don’t yet have an herb garden. So fresh herbs are not in ample supply, though my spice cabinet is a thing to behold.
I actually went online to my local grocery store’s site and built a list for curbside pickup. Luckily, their next available pickup time that day was not convenient for me, so I waited. They’ve emailed me twice to see if I need help finishing my order. Or, their automated system has done so, I’m sure. Nothing on the list constitutes something I could not live without. I just have a crazy urge to get groceries and feel deprived by anything I have a sudden whim for and cannot make with what I have in my kitchen. I recognize this sickness, and I am resisting, but I have a feeling there will be a moment of caving soon.