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Navigating an Abundance of Shortages

Updated: Aug 2

"Count your blessings," we often hear, and it's true we sometimes don't realize how lucky we are.



(Photo by Gloria)


At times, it's hard to see the positive aspect of things.


For example, store shelves seem bare at times, and we hear on the news how various shortages of everyday products can impact Americans and other consumers around the world.



(YouTube screenshot)


Business Insider confirmed that some of the items that are currently hard to get include computer chips, new and used vehicles, refrigerators, fuels, plastics, palm oil, houses and rental properties, lumber, household products such as toilet paper and diapers, furniture, chicken wings, bacon and hot dogs and other pork products, imported cheese, coffee and oil, chlorine, corn and medical oxygen.


If you can find these items, you will notice quite a price markup.


In addition, there is a massive labor shortage at many different businesses, and it is also hard to find drivers who can transport products in trucks, which adds to the issue of high demand for supplies that are very limited or not available at the moment.


ABC News recently reported that even school supplies are hard to obtain.


With more classrooms fully re-opening, experts say after a year plagued with product shortages and supply chain problems demand will be high, especially the longer you wait.


“If you’re a family out there wanting to get all the school supplies, but usually wait until maybe a week or two before school, that’s when it’s going to become a problem,” said Retail Analyst Hitha Herzog.


Get what you need, but don’t hoard stuff. Interestingly, the psychology of hoarding toilet paper last year was an attempt by many to restore some sense of control during a pandemic.


PsychCentral wrote:


“Research on decision-making has documented a ‘zero risk bias.’ People like the idea of eliminating one category of risk entirely, even if it is something as superficial as running out of toilet paper. People can get complete control over that one little thing in their lives. They can feel like they are doing something.


“Toilet paper has some particularly attractive qualities as an object of hoarding.

The psychological concerns that motivate people to stockpile toilet paper could, in theory, be assuaged by hoarding other kinds of items. Why toilet paper?


“Toilet paper isn’t perishable. It will be there for you when you need it, and no matter how long that takes, you will eventually need it. You aren’t really wasting your money.”


Well, there is not much we can do while we wait for policymakers, business and labor as well as supply chains to improve the shortage situation.


However, we can try to do simple things such as learn to grow a garden or can or preserve the food we obtain from it or from our community-supported agriculture (CSA).


Last year, we expanded our garden and improved our green-thumb skills. This year, we planted new items, including corn, grapes, raspberries, blackberries and carrots.



(Photo by Gloria)


Lately, we have been blessed with an abundance of organic food from our CSA.


I have also been blessed with receiving many recipes from our group to help others find ways to use their food in creative ways.



(Photo by Gloria)


Here are two yummy recipes to try.


Colleen made an Indonesia-inspired Gado Gado Salad that incorporates a lot of the veggies we get each week.



(Photo by Colleen Orozco)


Colleen wrote:


Colleen’s Gado Gado Salad:


*Create a bed or base of thin-sliced cabbage and shredded carrots first.


*Add peeled and thinly sliced cucumbers or even slice off some freshly cooked kernels from corn on the cob.


*Add radishes that are thinly sliced (yes, I still had one or two from the CSA pickup! They were sooo fab!)


*Use those green beans; I sauté in frying pan in a little water for 2 min to crisp steam them and then add a little drop of oil to brown them a little!


*Toss in some sliced sweet red onion (or whatever onion you have)

Top with whatever protein you choose.

My plant-based option was some pan-fried tempeh, but you can do tofu, or grilled chicken strips, whatever sounds good to you.

I then garnished with my homemade coconut bacon because it’s delicious. Usually this is sprinkled with chopped peanuts, or sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds.



(Photo by Colleen Orozco)


Peanut Dressing:

In a blender add 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter 3 tbsp tamari (or soy sauce) 2 tbsp maple syrup 2 tbsp lime juice 2 tbsp water 1-2 tsp of Siracha or whatever hot sauce you like (optional) Blend and adjust how you like it!


Another member, Lee, sent us a few recipes as well.


Here is Lee’s Italian Stuffed Zucchini with Herb "Sausage" and Basil Crema, which was adapted from https://www.purplecarrot.com/plant-based-recipes/italian-stuffed-zucchini-with-herb-sausage-and-basil-crema:

Lee’s Italian Stuffed Zucchini with Herb "Sausage" and Basil Crema

Servings: 2 INGREDIENTS MAIN INGREDIENTS: 2 zucchini ¼ cup vegan sour cream Fresh basil 2 cloves garlic 1 shallot 1 tomato 2 vegan Italian sausage 1 tsp dried oregano 2 tsp red chile flakes ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs 6 oz kale 3 tbsp olive oil* Salt and pepper*

TOOLS Baking sheet Large nonstick skillet STEPS 1) Roast the zucchini Preheat the oven to 425°F. Halve the zucchinis lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop the seeds out to form “boats.” Place cut side down on a baking sheet and coat with 2 tsp olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Roast the zucchini until just tender, about 10 to 14 minutes. 2) Prepare the crema Add half the sour cream (reserving the other half for the Crispy Black Bean Tacos) to a medium bowl. Pick the basil leaves and roughly chop. Add just half the chopped basil, a pinch of salt, and 1 tbsp olive oil to the bowl. Stir the basil crema just 2 to 3 times—the oil shouldn’t mix in completely. 3) Prepare the stuffing Peel and mince the shallot. Peel and mince 2 cloves garlic. Chop the tomato. Remove the casing from the Italian sausage. Crumble the sausage with your hands. 4) Cook the stuffing Place a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat with 1 tbsp olive oil. Once hot, add the crumbled sausage and cook, tossing occasionally, until crispy and well-browned, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the minced shallot, minced garlic, dried oregano, and as many of the red chile flakes as you’d like. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chopped tomato and cook until hot, about 1 minute more. 5) Stuff the zucchini Add the panko breadcrumbs and remaining basil to the skillet and season well with salt and pepper. Flip the zucchini on the baking sheet. Using your hands, loosely “stuff” them with the sausage stuffing. Place in the oven to bake until lightly browned on top, about 5 to 7 minutes. 6) Serve Destem the kale and roughly chop the leaves. Return the large skillet to medium-high heat with 1 tsp olive oil. Once hot, add the chopped kale and a pinch of salt and pepper and cook until wilted, about 2 to 3 minutes. Spread the basil crema onto the bottom of large plates. Top with sautéed kale and Italian stuffed zucchini.


Thank you, Colleen and Lee. I will include more recipes in the next blog.


All are welcome to submit recipes to me at jerseyeditor@gmail.com.


Don't forget to also email me photos of your fur babies eating healthy foods.


My beagle tried a carrot, but ended up just chewing it into shreds and leaving a mess. At least she tried!


(Photo by Gloria)


My pippet tried a little, but was not impressed with an already-chewed veggie from her sisfur.


(Photo by Gloria)


So, I ended up giving her a few slices of cucumber and a couple of green beans, which she loves.


Have a great week, and I look forward to getting photos and recipes from you and remember to count your blessings!