Spoonie Retirement — life, love and groceries in the time of COVID

Spoonie living is a series of complications and considerations. Things like grocery shopping for spoonies in the time of covid are even more complex than before. Now every meal must take into consideration, availability of ingredients, nutritional analysis, ease of preparation, and cost of said meal. Grocery shopping used to be a recreational activity for Superhubs and I. Now, it’s a chore.

When I was younger (OK a LOT younger), I was an earth child. I lived off the land for a few years and loved the experience. I have some seriously mad skills that need dusting off. In my post earth child years when I could no longer grow/raise/hunt my own food, I enjoyed CSA boxes. Community Supported Agriculture brings a portion of a local farm’s harvest to you in a cardboard box. When we first moved to South Dakota where CSA’s a few and far between, we simply bought a box from the Farmer’s Market in town. Pretty cool seeing what’s in season, what’s growing and what’s not and whipping up meals based on that. Of course, winter comes early here with a first frost date in September and a last frost date in late May; we have a really short growing season. What’s a “farm girl at heart” to do?

Fortunately, our local farmer’s market runs all year with on-line ordering. I build my own CSA box from the market’s offerings and my local health food coop. Fun huh?!? Then, I base my menus on what’s available. Right now, fresh produce is limited to “storage” crops. We still have offerings of dried items, some greenhouse growth, meats, cheeses, nuts, spices, honey, teas and lots of preserved and baked goods. Yummmmm!

Oh yeah, back to the whole “grocery shopping” theme of this post. So, that’s my “recreational” shopping these days. The bulk of our grocery shopping is done on-line. We order from Costco, Amazon, Nuts.com, and our local Safeway, farmers market, coop and health food stores. It works but it’s not as much fun. I’m striving to keep our eating seasonal this year as I firmly believe that seasonal eating is healthier both for us and the planet. One caveat here, Superhubs and I both follow a low carb diet, he is diabetic and I’m just fat, er, ah … fluffy. A lot of the currently available storage crops are out of our carb allowances; onions, potatoes and several of the winter squashes fall into this category. Boxes average $25/week.

My CBAB (Community Based Agriculture Box)

*Fresh Produce
8 oz. cranberries
1 medium spaghetti squash
*dried goods/spices/teas
1 oz freeze dried maitake (hen of the woods) mushrooms
4 oz dried apricots
3 oz chili powder
2 oz cinnamon black tea
*meat/dairy/eggs
8 oz local sharp cheddar cheese

Here’s how we used them:
winter fruit compote – cranberries & apricots (raisins from pantry)
low carb spaghetti marinara – spaghetti squash & some mushrooms
bok choy & mushrooms – dried maitake
low carb turkey chili – chili powder
various lunch plates & cheese omelettes – cheddar cheese
various lovely afternoon teas – cinnamon black tea

Do you eat seasonally? What are some of your favorite fall meals?

Til next time ~Peace ~JP

5 thoughts on “Spoonie Retirement — life, love and groceries in the time of COVID

  1. What a fascinating ‘peep’ into your meal planning! You have a great system in place for eating healthy and my hat is off to you! You asked “Do you eat seasonally? What are some of your favorite fall meals?” and I must say “No.” to the first, unless you count the amount of fresh fruit I’ll eat in summer and early fall. Otherwise my diet is fairly boring as in ‘same old, same old”. Like your hubs, I’m diabetic. I don’t manage it nearly as well as you guys do either. My favorite ‘fall’ meals are chili with cheddar sprinkled on the top (I mix a ‘thick’ chili with a meatless version and the combination is really good for cold nights), stew, soups like clam chowder, and whatever else might catch my eye. I have trouble with appetite these days, and eating three squares is beyond me (which frustrates my diabetic doctor no end). I try to put as much variety into my meals as I can, but they’re not all that healthy. It’s a battle.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oooohhh chili! I make a thin chili very light on the tomatoes and beans (carbs) but oh so yummy with lots of fragrant spices and a good homemade broth. Most of our vegetables in fall and winter come in the form of soup of one sort or another. 🙂

      Like

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