Find What Brings You Comfort… Especially Now

Here are a few jars of food I brought to the ranch. Pasta sauce, corned venison, a little chicken stock, and some venison stock, set out to lessen the weight of the cooler that I had to carry inside, then brought in to be placed in the fridge and later used in the recipes I planned to make.  Seeing the jars, with the corral and glorious old oak in the background pleased me so I snapped a quick picture.  Seeing the picture even now makes me smile.

Things are pretty crazy these days. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to stay sane during this pandemic.  It’s so easy to dwell on the negative, focusing on the apocalyptic statistics, waiting for the next dismal news report. I’m pretty sure we’ve all succumbed to it. I know I have.

As we hunker down at the ranch, miles from anyone else, I know how blessed we are to have a place to hang out, to isolate.  I guess it’s lucky for me that  I find comfort in organizing. It drives my family crazy but making lists, planning menus, organizing my pantry and shelves brings me comfort. It is a necessity when the nearest grocery store is miles away. In the current circumstances, it also helps me feel like I’m just a little bit better prepared for whatever gets thrown my way.


Mason jars are perfect for organizing and storing my shelf-stable pantry foods so that they are protected from mice and other pests.My small shelf above holds (clockwise from back left) flour, sugar, cornmeal, rice, beans, dried split peas, dehydrated hash browns, raw sugar, flavor drops for water, cereal crumbs for cranberry rubbish muffins, lentils, crystalized ginger for cooking and soothing upset stomach , cereal, artificial sweeteners, rotini pasta. (not pictured, a mix of dehydrated carrot, celery, and onion to be used in bean soup and others)  Some of my spices are under that: oregano, thyme, rosemary, ground cumin, dill, red pepper flakes, cinnamon.


As it turns out, having these items readily available and safely organized has served us well as we shelter in place.  I’ve been able to make bean soup using venison stock and veggies that we brought with us.  Rice always rounds out a bowl of beans to create a hearty meal that will also provide leftovers that can be frozen and reheated at a later date.

In the freezer there’s venison, fish, soups I’ve prepared ahead, breakfast and other kinds of sausage, red and poblano peppers, cheese enchiladas, chicken enchiladas, various kinds of veggies, a couple gallons of milk, several loaves of bread, and ready-to-cook flour tortillas.

I will continue to plan and organize…. and cook…. and find beauty in unexpected places.

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and pray.  It brings me comfort.

Do what brings you comfort… especially now.

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