Welcome to Saturday's Potluck

Polar vortexes are disrupting to life. We get them periodically in this part of Oregon. Hard to be completely prepared. As the years go by I just keep working on trying to have enough preparation done if the unexpected happens it is more an inconvenience than a tragedy.

________

Middle of January is not the best time for a Birthday parties, too soon after Christmas and winter roads. My 10th birthday was special there was going to be a party. Snow covered the frozen ground, roads were plowed and red cinders spread for traction in the icy spots.

After the school bus dropped us off, into the car with Mom for last minute party shopping. She was splurging on paper plates and plastic cups just like the parties shown on TV. Leaving the store the weather changed, warm Chinook winds from the south. Tense drive home, tires cut through packed snow as it melted into slush. The Volkswagen hatchback pushed through the softened snow of our long driveway towards the parking area by the house. Only had another 40 feet to go when it started to float. The whole parking area was now a small pond. When the car stopped at the other side of the pond, water poured into the car when doors were opened to scramble out.

That was it, party cancelled. Mom started calling the guests. Consolation we could still eat cake on the paper plates and use the plastic cups.

Adventure was not completely over. Dad needed help moving his car and pick-up out of the new pond. Now that I was 10 no longer a mere child, tall enough to see over a steering wheel and small enough to fit through a window, I drove the vehicles to dry land as Dad pushed from behind. I was driving slow enough it did not matter my legs were too short to reach the brake peddle.

________

If during a disaster plans have been implemented provide our own safe shelter, food and water there is less demand for emergency services. Perfection is not the goal, simply not getting overwhelmed and being able to respond to the unimagined is a positive outcome. As a bonus if we are not dealing with a crisis of our own volunteering becomes an option.

Dependency on modern food distribution methods and food preparation increases the potential for acute food shortages.

It didn’t take the pandemic to reveal the inefficiency and injustice of our food system: globally, a third of all food is wasted, while nearly 690 million people were undernourished in 2019 — almost 60 million more people than in 2014. But the pandemic has underscored the matter: According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, “the number of acutely food insecure people could increase to 270 million due to COVID-19, representing an 82 percent increase compared to the number of acutely food insecure people pre-COVID-19.”

And the disruption of transportation has shown that the long distances it normally takes for food to get from one place to another can be a serious liability during a crisis. “Food banks are under tremendous pressure to meet the skyrocketing demand,” wrote Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, Feeding America CEO, and Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau, to then-Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue in April of last year. “At the same time, however, we are seeing literally tons of agricultural goods being discarded because of the shutdown of so much of the economy.”

...

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an intergovernmental economic group with 37 member countries, said that the pandemic has “laid bare pre-existing gaps in social protection systems” in a report published in June 2020. “While the impacts of COVID-19 are still unfolding, experience so far shows the importance of an open and predictable international trade environment to ensure food can move to where it is needed,” the OECD report states. “The biggest risk for food security is not with food availability but with consumers’ access to food: safety nets are essential to avoid an increase in hunger and food insecurity.”

Another problem is the lack of media coverage about the food insecurity being witnessed around the world, particularly during the COVID era. As The Economist recently pointed out, journalists in 2020 “wrote more than 50,000 articles about the cancelled Eurovision song contest, but only around 2,000 about drought and hunger in Zambia.”

________

Resiliency does not have to be complicated. It may start with learning to cook with various ingredients and not relying only on store bought mixes. If food supplies are disrupted favorite foods will still be available in your home.

simple example 3/4 cup Biscuit Mix as a substitute for Bisquick

mix together
2/3 cup flour (all purpose, wheat, rye, rice, corn, buckwheat or mixture)
1 teaspoonful baking powder
(intended for immediate use, sugar and salt deliberately left out preservatives not necessary)

Cut in with a fork or pastry cutter, optional blend in food processor
about 2 Tablespoonful solid fat (butter, lard, shortening or margarine)

Dry mixture ready for any biscuit mix recipe such as an impossible pie

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Comments

QMS's picture

sorry your party was cancelled
nature provides amazing surprises

Bringing fish to the potluck today
found a new way to marinade and broil
farmed haddock using oil and vinegar

Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.

-Henry David Thoreau

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studentofearth's picture

@QMS it just morphed from a potluck party with family & friends to just the nuclear family. Only our 5 acres was effected by a mini flood. Tthe roads were pretty safe until the temperature dropped after dark and standing water and slush turned to ice. Mom walked to end of the drive multiple times for a present and a potluck dish. After we had moved as many items out of the water as possible before it froze, my parents whet ahead with the celebration. Potluck and cake on paper plates, drinks in plastic party cups, and open presents. A call to everyone to hear them sing Happy Birthday, thank them for my present and describe the other gifts.

It was not as much fun as if everyone could be in the same room to celebrate, but they succeeded. I did not feel completely cheated, the celebration happened and certainly a memorable day.

Now I am curious.
What type of oil, vinegar and spices for used on a dense, fleshed white fish before broiling? I have some Cod and Halibut in the freezer.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

QMS's picture

@studentofearth

had a b'day party cancelled about the same age
due to a missing drunk parent. Wasn't pretty. Sorta traumatic.

Yeah .. as to the fish marinade. Used 2 parts grape seed oil to
one part rice wine vinegar, just enough to cover. On the counter for
couple hours. Drain the marinade, then broil on foil. The sauce goes on
after broiling -- butter lemon and parsley. Yumm!

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studentofearth's picture

@QMS households. They made a pact when married - abuse was not going to move forward another generation. Provided end of life care for both of them. People get reflective within the last few days of life. Each of them in a separate private conversation mentioned their most satisfying and difficult achievement in their life was not repeating the actions of violence and emotional abuse of their childhood into their adult life.

It is very hard not to repeat what is learned behavior as a child. It is harder to stop an automatic, reflective emotional response to a past trauma. Triggers happen. Be as kind and forgiving to yourself as you are to others. Smile

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

QMS's picture

@studentofearth

also try to dissolve hurt

Thanks!

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Raggedy Ann's picture

Great story about the birthday party ~ was your birthday present learning how to drive? That was an adventure for a 10 year old!

Thank you for the walk down memory lane. I couldn't live without bisquick, back in the day. My kids grew up on impossible pies and I made that pineapple upside down cake, regularly. Now you've put it all at my disposal once again!

Enjoy the day! Pleasantry

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The UFO’s are coming to unify us.

studentofearth's picture

@Raggedy Ann keep needing adjusted. Cooking enjoyable food for one or two is a challenge. Happy cooking.

For two years I believed I could drive. When tall enough to reach the peddles and see over the steering wheel it became much more difficult. Keeping an engine running while shifting feet between clutch, brake and gas peddle was really hard.

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8 users have voted.

Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

QMS's picture

@studentofearth

too small to pick up a bale of hay
so was put behind the wheel
in low gear about a walking pace

once you get the hang of it
the rest is just pushing pedals
with the feet in the right order Wink

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Lookout's picture

Perfection is not the goal, simply not getting overwhelmed and being able to respond to the unimagined is a positive outcome.

I have some friends who are constantly disappointed because they expect perfection when it doesn't really exist. I would add a caveat to your excellent statement above. My approach is to (try) to find joy even in the challenges. As you know here on the homestead it is always something...from weather to machinery to natural disasters (like your b'day story). It isn't so much that you enjoy the struggle, but more that you take pride in handling and solving the situation.

So as you suggest, be assured more challenges lie on the horizon. Don't let them overwhelm you and we all need to help others when we can.

Thanks for the OT and thoughts.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

smiley7's picture

@Lookout

the kind of experience staying forever on the disk. Thank you for sharing.

Seventy degree weekend, so no complaints, may even go fishing.

Have a good one ...

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studentofearth's picture

@smiley7 possible yesterday. Good weather here yesterday and I pushed too hard on outside projects. Fell asleep instead of replying to everyone yesterday evening.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

QMS's picture

@studentofearth

sometimes weary good

cheers

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studentofearth's picture

@Lookout TV and movie joy is very formulistic. They are the modern equivalent of fairy tails and legends used to teach children how to function in society. If one can brake out of our modern culture propaganda of commercialism, waiting to be saved and hero worship contentment in life is easier to find.

Thanks for adding your wise observations.

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5 users have voted.

Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

enhydra lutris's picture

quite an adventure at the time it happened. And, of course, the "consolatin prize" - more cake for us!

I ws taught to make that biscuit mix at a yound age and used it off and on throughout my life, sometimes "at home", and often when camping. My fondest memories is using it in the woods up along Mendocino County's Big River to make drop biscuits in a war surplus mess kit over a small open fire out "hitch-packing" with a buddy. (Hitch packing was gearing up for backpacking, then hitch hiking to the vicinity of someplace cool to camp and then hiking in - that was my first real trip to Mendo)

Edit: Upon further reflection, my second trip, but the first as spent entirely on the beach at the river mouth and in town, didn't get to really grok the woods.

be well and have a good one

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

QMS's picture

@enhydra lutris

once, doing the same, brought a box of biscuit mix, couple apples and potatoes as grub to
hike over the rockies in Montana. Same kinda mess kit. Made a biscuit / apple cake over coals.
Best tasting stuff when you are half starved. Wink

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enhydra lutris's picture

@QMS

Best tasting stuff when you are half starved.

be well and have a good one

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

@QMS

in the Bitterroots?

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QMS's picture

@Blue Republic

hiked over just north of the
Great Northern Railroad line
Got off the train in East Glacier
and re-boarded in West Glacier
a few days later, early summer.
The mountain goat hearts were amazing.
The ranger said the trail was not yet open,
so I hiked it anyway. Think it was Dawson Pass
Only the mermots gave me trouble.

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@QMS

sort of place you could run into a grizzly or grizzly watcher like Doug Peacock.

The only time was at Glacier - except going through on the train - was just a quick
car trip - did get to see an actual bear going over the mountain, though, at Logan Pass.

Grizzly Years: In Search of the American Wilderness - by Doug Peacock

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studentofearth's picture

@enhydra lutris always tastes better. Why America loves its barbecue. Open fire cooking at home.

Hitching wasn't to safe for women in our area. You know one of those safe rural areas without the crime problem plaguing urban dwellers. Traveled back and forth on my adventures in a reliable vehicle.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

enhydra lutris's picture

@studentofearth

Capisce as to females hitching. I started early, but, then again, I hit 6'4" in 8th grade and, as I tried endlessly to explain to my mom "folks looking to hassle somebody don't stop for guys over 6' tall".

be well and have a good one

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

QMS's picture

@enhydra lutris

when dropped off at inaccessible locations
would wander out to the tracks
and pick up a freight train

rough ride, but rarely felt threatened
except by the cops, ya' know ..
met a lot of interesting bums along the way

there were stops to allow oncoming freights
passage where we would disembark from the
various cars and gather on the side
sharing food, stories, drugs and laughter

before having to jump back on board for another
two days of having the brain rattled
hell of a way to get around, beats walking

good times Wink

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@QMS @QMS
Learned to cook in hobo jungles. He was a good cook. Except for boiling spareribs, Scandinavian style instead of roasting them. He taught me trick of softening a rib rump roast by boiling it halfway before putting it in the oven. Works.

When we were newlyweds I spied some spareribs. My wife said, "Ugh! I'm never going to have to eat them again now!" I was astonished and she explained. Told her, "I never heard of that! You roast them with barbecue sauce and peppers and onions." I also had to teach her how to make spaghetti sauce, but that was okay. Nobody expects Scandinavians to know about spaghetti sauce.

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I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

QMS's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness

Swedish meatballs were invented?
Always wondered where those things came from.
Heavy on the creme de mushroom sauce.
Regular food at a potluck. Sure to please.

Wink

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@QMS
put on by Mr. Wikstrom, owner of the Swedish deli next to the Swedish Museum on Clark street in the Andersonville neighborhood of Chicago. We drank akavit (I don't like it) and Swedsh delicacies. We sat at long tables. Our table seemed to be all swedes with non-Swedish spouses. I found it amusing that all the Swedes hated lutefisk, the national disk, while most of us non-Swedes liked it. Personally, I loved it. I also eat bacalla, dried and salted cod traditionally eaten by Italians at Christmas. According to a PBS show, 90% of Norway's dried cod is exported to Italy.

Although I didn't like the akvavit, the spiced wine called Glögg is spectacular. I could drink a pitcher, and according to my wife, I did (the salty fish makes you thirsty). Swedish beer is pretty good too, but I prefer German (and Guiness is Ambrosia). American beer is suitable for pouring down drains.

I was amused that the non-swedes liked the traditional Swedish dish much more than the Swedes.

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I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

studentofearth's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness a traditional Portuguese restaurant in San Jose, California out of curiosity. Simple dish, scrambled eggs, salt code flakes and green peas.

Part of my plan to travel the world via food.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

I might have been 6. and took some aspirin, have worn some hiking boots today to sort of keep the foot compressed.
One thing I have noticed in the past couple of years is how truly poor people consider others that have plenty of food as well-off. My Dad said having food was a big indicator of wealth when he went through the Depression.
The more things change....sigh.
Well, last night I did a quick about face, but one of my slippers stayed put. I fell, may have done something to my foot. I declined to go to the er, kept my hiking boots on today, kept the foot compressed, and some acetaminophen has helped with the pain. Whatever it is, it will mend sooner or later.
I love biscuits! I just never find the time to bake any.

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@on the cusp . Elevate it when you can, stay off it as much as possible. Take a break whenever you get a chance. Feet injuries seem to take an extra long time to heal.

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@randtntx and advice.
I did elevate it for hours, used an ice pack for a bit this morning. I thought the hiking boots would keep it stable, and that worked. I had to figure out how to walk on it without causing pain.
Years ago, I broke my big toe and a bone in my foot. It took every bit of six weeks to mend.
Maybe this is just a sprain.
That red lentils recipe sounds great. I keep lots of dried beans and peas in my pantry. They do take a long time to cook.
Stay safe and healthy, rand.

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mimi's picture

@on the cusp @on the cusp (edit spelling)
please be very careful with your feet and bones. Hopefully you will manage to heal them over time. I have problems with my bones and had to use crutches. Don't wish that to anyone.

Don't give up.

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@mimi @mimi The first toe/foot break was a nightmare. I had to wear one of those boots for over a month. This one is much less severe, and only hurts if I put weight on it a certain way. I have adjusted my gait, weight distribution, and I do not have my usual swagger, I can get around fairly well.

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@on the cusp hi, I learned to drive an old Willys when I was ten, my feet could not reach the pedals but I could steer and shift like a champ from my dad's lap. He'd put the windshield down, probably to keep us from cracking it if I hit a tree before he could hit the brakes. LOL seat belts? Yeah, no. I learned on fire roads, which are a thing in California's wayback machine now. Heli-Dunn. The street I lived on was in fact called Fire Road. lol omg

I have a story about fire too might as well. Around age 6, some kids at the bottom of the hill we lived on top of played with matches and started a grass fire at the bottom. The fire department was at the bottom of our road and sent their tanker truck chugging up the hill. Ten minutes later they hooked up hoses and the tank was empty, so they had to go back and fill it! Shovels and garden hoses was what kept the house from burning. I swear the luck in my family has never run out, I still have the same kind to this very day. I call it doh luck. Yes, the fire truck has arrived. Yes, it has no water. Doh!
---
In my handy first-aid booklet it says the acronym RICES for a sprain. Rest Ice Compression Elevation Stabilization, which reminded me to try and acquire more sports wrap for the aid kit. Thanks. I had a stress fracture in my foot few years ago from skipping wrong. Spent money for an XRay which returned "inconclusive", ten days later it felt better anyway. shrug We need strong bones to survive.

It seems you were pretty well prepared for this current disaster even after your office burnt down. Right on. I am thinking good thoughts and sending good vibes generated by the kindness of others here, and my new pal IRL, B52 Joe. He flew, and now he walks a lot. Ten miles, six days a week and he's already invited me to tag along. Nice guy.

Peace and Love

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@eyo A walking pal!
My tractor was a Poppin' Johnny, a John Deere made available to WWII vets at a reduced price. That damn thing lasted until the 1970's, and was running when the family traded it in for a small Kubota. I bought the Kabota from my parents, still have it on my place.
RICE is working well. I am glad we do not have live court, since I do not want to wear hiking boots to trial. On the other hand, shit like that really loosens up judges and juries! They giggle at the stories! My snake bite entertained many courthouses during the year 2018. The first day I could wear a shoe caused the room to erupt in cheers.

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studentofearth's picture

@on the cusp Still have it parked outside. Working on a trade with some neighbors. Four of them came over yesterday as a work crew to help with some larger projects and wore me out.

Hiking boot for the foot was a good idea. You have enough experience to know toes need to be checked for good circulation and skin for damage due to over swelling or pressure. Quick healing.

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5 users have voted.

Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

@on the cusp

far more people were producers. Most of those that could stay on their land didn't go
hungry - but not without putting in work on a level most people are not remotely accustomed to now.

My mother had gone three years of college in S. Dakota in the 30's and had to quit due to lack of money.

Had to choose between going back to the farm/ranch or out on her own.

Caught a bus for L.A...

“For West is where we all plan to go some day. It is where you go when the land gives out and the old-field pines encroach. It is where you go when you get the letter saying: Flee, all is discovered. It is where you go when you look down at the blade in your hand and the blood on it. It is where you go when you are told that you are a bubble on the tide of empire. It is where you go when you hear that thar's gold in them-thar hills. It is where you go to grow up with the country. It is where you go to spend your old age. Or it is just where you go.”

― Robert Penn Warren, All the King's Men

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it's nice to have dried beans on hand for emergencies. They're great in so many dishes. The only problem with them is they take a lot of energy to cook even if they have been soaked overnight.

When the power went out for us last week, cooking those legumes was not an option because they take too long and use too much fuel. We were using a variety of methods to cook; a small propane fryer set-up outside, a small camp stove outside (in the morning for coffee), and at times, the grill, and a patio fire pit to cook our food (a few potatoes put in the fire pit were later added to green chili). Most dried legumes take way to much propane/fuel to cook to completion. The best dried legume option that I know of are red lentils which cook in about 20 minutes.

This is a fast soup that uses red lentils, and coconut milk. It has Thai type flavors. It's spicy enough to warm you up and it won't empty your propane bottle so you can cook another meal.

1 can coconut milk
cilantro- about 1.5 cups chopped
2.5 cups water
1 can chopped tomatoes
3/4 cup red lentils
ginger 3 tbsp finely chopped
3 garlic cloves finely chopped
red pepper flakes to taste
1 tbsp curry powder
1 onion finely chopped
2 celery stalks finely chopped
coconut oil to sauté the veggies
salt and pepper

Love the 10 year-old point of view of unexpected events.
Thanks for the OT soe.
Taking things in stride.

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studentofearth's picture

@randtntx Lentils are a great high protein source and if so inclined a meat substitute.

Glad you were able to adapt to the weather and power grid problems. Never easy, comforting warm food helps.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

lotlizard's picture

But one of them, Makamaka Grill, only offers raw salmon or falafel (!?) , whereas the other, Happy Bowl, offers either salmon or tuna (in Hawai‘i it’s always tuna).

The latter also has a certain edge in that it advertises itself as being very near Edward-Snowden-Platz (“Edward Snowden Square”). Huh, have to give the Dresden city council credit for getting that name change through.

https://edward-snowden-platz.de/

Now that’s something I haven’t yet heard about a major American city doing — naming a street or plaza after Edward Snowden.

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