In 2020 We Ate Certain Foods Because We Stopped Buying Fresh Produce and Meat

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In 2020 We Ate Certain Foods Because We Stopped Buying Fresh Produce and Meat

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In late spring 2020, we begin to realize that it was too dangerous and too expensive to buy fresh produce and meat. The fresh produce was often out of stock for weeks at a time. Then other times the produce just seemed difficult to trust. The grocery store often had people without masks and the COVID numbers were rising. We really couldn't trust any fresh fruits or vegetables unless we cooked them. Eventually as the prices began to rise on fresh meats, we stopped buying those too. Eventually we found that the pandemic had completely altered our day to day eating habits. We didn't always trust restaurants for takeout since they had COVID outbreaks also. Living in a small rural town, we had limited options. This left us trying to buy a few canned foods at stores or ordering delivery of shelf-stable foods in bulk from online retailers.

One of the things that I remember the most is how I began to struggle with my blood pressure. We were eating too many boxed and canned foods; not enough fruit and vegetables. My sodium intake was high and my potassium was low. We then decided we would start buying dehydrated vegetables and fruit. We tried not to buy canned versions that were preserved with salt. The main thing I remember is that one of the first meals that seemed so good and healthy was a meal of Anazazi beans. We had bought some in New Mexico the year before and really liked them. This time we bought a 10 lb bag and assumed that we may have to stock up as the pandemic continued on. We also bough dehydrated onions, dehydrated jalapenos, and other dehydrated mixed vegetables. We did an instant pot of the beans and what ingredients we had. We really enjoyed it. For the first time in weeks, it felt like a real meal. And this was a hot meal during a warm time of year, something we would normally never cook before 2020.

Here is the instant pot recipe and with the ingredients we had, leaving out the ones we didn't have. We adapted as best we could. The original full recipe is linked for comparison.

The recipe we found:
Instant Pot Anasazi Beans

2 cups. dried Anasazi Beans
6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
4 c. low sodium chicken stock
1 c. water
1 fresh bay leaf (or 2 dried)
1 t. cumin
1 t. dried oregano
1 t. dehydrated jalapenos
1/8 c. dried onion
salt and pepper to taste

1. Place dried beans, crushed garlic cloves, chicken stock, water, cumin, oregano, bay leaves, dehydrated jalapenos, and dried onion in instant pot.

2. Close lid and pressure cook at high pressure for 25 minutes, then pressure release for roughly 15 minutes. Open the lid carefully.

3. Switch pot to soup setting. Stir occasionally for about 10 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

4. Serve.

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This item was submitted on August 6, 2021 by Clinton P. Roberts using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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