daily recap · planning · what we ate

Day 20 Recap: A Trip to the Store, Leftovers & Hot Chocolate (4/1/20)

I finally left the house today! It has been 21 days since I last grocery shopped or left the house and actually went anywhere. It was nice seeing all of the trees and flowers in bloom while driving to the store. Our neighborhood has a lot of flowering cherry trees and I was sad I was missing them.

I went to Aldi and it was stocked as normal. Some stock was slightly lower than normal but they had everything they always do including things I heard were in short supply like flour, eggs, butter, toilet paper, paper towels, and cleaning supplies. They were very well set up–Plexiglas between you and the cashier, lots of signage about staying six feet apart (it’s about the length of your cart and you) and only one person was allowed to put things on the belt at a time. It wasn’t very busy either; about the same as it always is when I shop on Wednesday. Most people were wearing masks and a lot were also wearing gloves.

I didn’t buy more than 1-2 of each item (except tuna, they had many, many cases of tuna so I didn’t feel bad getting a few extra cans–we eat a lot of tuna) and I think I will be good for most (all?) of April, especially if I can keep getting produce delivered. I still had a few items left from my shop three weeks ago–amazingly a bagged salad (it is mostly carrots and cabbage), some cabbage, cauliflower, celery, carrots, Brussels sprouts plus a small ham and some hot dogs. We were pretty much out of fresh meat and getting very low on onions, eggs and dairy. I got a bunch of different meat and seafood (fish sticks! something I don’t think I’ve eaten since the late ’80s), a few hardy veggies, some canned goods and other basics. I’ve never spent so much at an Aldi before! The expiration dates on the meat weren’t quite as good as they were when I shopped in early March so I have to be careful to use things wisely and possibly freeze somethings for later. I honestly had a couple more non-essential things I kind of wanted but my cart was super full and starting to overflow thanks to some bulkier/weirdly shaped items. It’s really strange trying to shop for a month at once. I’m glad we were able to do that, I know a lot of people don’t have that opportunity. It kind of throws off our budget for the next two weeks but since we aren’t doing any socially or spending money commuting it should even out. Plus there should be little to no food shopping for the rest of the month. It’s just a lot up front.

Matt went to a local Weis and it was apparently the Wild West. No one kept their distance, most people didn’t have masks and the shelves were missing a lot. Yuck! We only get a few things there that we can’t get at Aldi and he was able to pick up most of them. Some more unusual shapes of pasta (for soup), beef Better Than Bouillon, frozen pierogi, kasha, specialty rice, frozen puff pastry, banana leaves, empanada wrappers and phyllo dough and a bunch of rolls and bread. Now that we know we are probably going to be home for a long, long time, we wanted to make sure we have things beyond just the absolute basics so we could make some fun meals. Plus they aren’t as popular of items so they were in stock!

I know there is some debate about whether we should wipe off or disinfect food packaging. I don’t really know. I wiped off the packages of meat and stuff I put in the fridge and freezer. Produce will be washed as usual and we left the nonperishable items on our (locked) enclosed porch to sit for a day or two. They seem to think it would be difficult to get the virus off cardboard or plastic surfaces but it does apparently live on them for a bit. Who knows? I can’t really find any definitive answers and I don’t think they have any. We did a lot of hand washing, changed our clothes and took a shower after we came home and unpacked.

I knew we wouldn’t want to cook after all the shopping (and unloading, oy) so I planned our meals earlier this week so we could have leftover borscht for lunch and quesadillas with the leftover pork for dinner. A lot of very similar/repeat meals the last few days. I bought a whole chicken today so I think I will roast that tomorrow for something different.

For a bedtime snack I had a really good cup of hot chocolate made with a mix by Amara. Seriously the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had. And four marshmallows. It was an exhausting day.

Non-food related activities:

Since I actually left the house I was able to spin some stops for Pokemon Go and leave some things in gyms. My friends in the game keep sending me gifts every day but I haven’t been able to reciprocate since we don’t live near a stop.

We watched The Mallorca Files on Britbox. It was pretty cute. A very light mystery series set in a pretty place–perfect quarantine watching. I feel like the woman who plays the “serious” woman detective must be secretly funny, she always seems to be almost ready to laugh or smile but then fixes her face.

Not much else, I’m so tired!

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