January 17, 2024
Old Man Winter is knocking on our collective doors. As I type this missive, I am sequestered in my study, warmly bound in a wool sweater and looking out across the frozen landscape. The weather reports say that the main roads are passable but the secondary roads remain treacherous. Unfortunately, the single-lane, barely county-maintained road which leads to our neighborhood of nine homes could, at best, be described as tertiary. I don’t believe that the salt and sand trucks even know we exist.
Of course, that has advantages, also. Excursions to the grocery and drug stores are ruled out, so you have to make do with what you have for meals. I’m more fortunate than most of my neighbors by virtue of my paranoia. Having served Presbyterian Disaster Assistance for the better part of 20 years, I keep a full pantry and medicine chest. Amply stocked freezers and a generator sufficient to power them are also a blessing.
Still, you will always discover things that are missing and need substitution. I’m a big fan of spaghetti as provender on lock-in days. Garlic is a must when making the marinara sauce but it somehow fell through the cracks on the last shopping venture. Not to worry…there is garlic salt in the pantry. Alas, this substitution requires an adjustment in the amount of salt which goes into the sauce. Something I am prone to forget. Needless to say, the spaghetti was barely edible. The vision of survival rations kept haunting my imagination. MREs and LRRP rations, to my thinking, barely qualify as food.
Theology and especially apocalyptic thoughts come to mind in this scenario. The idea of end-times creeps into the peripheral thoughts and a wary eye is sometimes cast across the fields in search of locusts and the possibility of the ponds turning to blood. I am not a literalist when biblical interpretation is on the table but it is still good to cover your bases when you are feeling particularly vulnerable.
Miss Vicki is down in the den, watching recordings of Downton Abbey and enjoying the warmth of the gas logs. All three dogs are next to her, enjoying their naps and blissfully unaware of the winter winds outside. Comfort in the moment is sufficient for them. Sometimes I envy them.
We are getting on toward lunchtime and I am trying to figure out a way to desalinate the marinara. Reverse osmosis of some sort? Probably not. Miss Vicki is now inquiring about lunch possibilities other than spaghetti.
My mind goes to the murmuring Hebrews in the exodus account. How did Moses handle this? Oh, yeah, God provided manna in the morning and quail in the evening. There is phyllo dough in the freezer and I just noticed some fat pigeons across the field. Le pigeon en papier?
Ah, well, as I said, we can sometimes overthink these things when our days are interrupted by Providence.
Still, I am sure that I can come up with a sauce for the above dish. Now, if I can just silently sneak the 20 gauge out the back door!!
I bid you peace!