Finding Comfort in “Canned Meats”

I wasn’t home a week during this pandemic before I was eating Vienna sausages out of a can. A few days later, deviled ham on crackers. Chicken spread wasn’t too far behind that. 

Back in March we just didn’t know what in the cat hair was going to happen! Would we be able to go to the grocery store? Would there be food there if we could go? What about the supply chain? 

I’ve worried about a lot of stuff in my life, but I can honestly say the words “supply chain” never kept me up at night before 2020. 

I normally try to eat a pretty healthy diet. Lots of fresh fruits and veggies. Organic if I can get it. Grass-fed this and free-range that. All the buzz words for clean eating. 

But fresh food doesn’t last long as anyone knows who’s had to throw out a sack of kale that’s turned to liquid in the back of your refrigerator’s produce drawer.

That’s why when I did go to the store, I stocked up on foods with a shelf life. 

Sure I got cans of tomatoes and beans, sacks of rice, oatmeal and cereal, cornmeal and Crisco. The basic stuff you can live on forever. I even got powdered buttermilk just in case I needed to make cornbread and there was a milk shortage. 

But I was also drawn to the aisle labeled “Canned Meats.” 

As I stood in front of the shelves and assessed my option, I remembered fishing trips with my grandfather and those hot afternoons we spent swimming down at Puppy Creek. We’d always stop at some country store for a snack of Vienna sausages and crackers on the way home. I thought about Granny’s bridge parties and fancy finger sandwiches made from ingredients that came from white paper-wrapped cans.

I loaded my buggy up with little cans. Somehow when many other shelves were empty, there was plenty of stock on the canned meat shelves, so I didn’t feel too bad about it. And strangely, it felt comforting to have all these little cans.

They were a known quantity. They were familiar and comforting. They were a safe bet when not much else was.

And that’s why the tenth lesson I’ve learned in 2020 is that even if you try to put on all sorts of organic airs, in times of crisis, it doesn’t take you long to revert back to your old country, potted meat ways. And there’s not a damn thing wrong with it.

Except for maybe heart disease. And cholesterol. And a few extra pounds. But we’re in a crisis. And I know I’ll go back to kale one day.

(This year for #BlogLikeCrazy, I’m talking about 30 lessons I’ve learned in 2020. Read the other entries here).

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