Notes from Jan

What’s For Dinner?

May 4, 2020

These are strange times when it comes to food.  The President commands meat to come forth, no matter the cost. Lines of folks wait for something, anything to eat. And I go on a daily archaeological dig to my freezer to unearth something edible, then to determine the time period during which it was buried. I love a good mystery, but not when it comes to what I’m about to swallow.

Over these weeks of obeying my youngers, as opposed to them listening to their elder,  I’ve returned to my childhood for inspiration on  how to do with less, while staying inside.  For example, when there was no money for meat, Mama got a bag of bones from the butcher for soup. Wilted vegetables filled in the broth. Now, bone broth’s an “in” drink.   It’s taken a pandemic to remind me less is more and too much of anything harms me and the rest of the world in one way or another.

It’s not just my freezer that’s a treasure hunt, it’s the back of the vegetable bin in the refrigerator.  Yesterday I found potatoes reproducing themselves behind closed doors.  The dairy compartment contained a piece of cheese turning into a  possible cure for something.

When my family shows up with fresh anything, I devour it with  unusual gratitude, not allowing vegetables or fruit to morph into something mysterious.  Fresh strawberries and blueberries come with an aura. Before Covid, I’d quickly lop off the top, taking more fruit than needed.  Now, I cradle each strawberry like I’m about to perform heart surgery on it, carefully cutting around the stem, removing only what’s essential.  God only knows when I’ll eat another fresh berry and at what cost to someone.

So what’s for dinner?

Something still thawing for someone much more thankful.


This story has been viewed 74 times

1 person HEARTS this story


  • Reply Darlia Conn May 4, 2020 at 5:25 pm

    You said it Jan! My freezer looks the same, and my inspiration is at an all time low. There is, however, food in there, and for that I am thankful. Bless you for your humorous reality checks!


    • Reply Jan Carlberg May 4, 2020 at 8:08 pm

      Happy to know I’m not alone in the hunt for food for body and thought.

  • Reply Pat McBain May 4, 2020 at 5:27 pm

    Thanks for another nice post. Steve and I have been doing the same thing with our food. And we have accumulated a few cans of beef stew, devil’s food ham, tuna, and soup for times when that may be all we have to eat. My heart breaks thinking about folks who have had to think this way for their entire lives. I hope to be able to help them more after this pandemic ends. ❤️

    • Reply Jan Carlberg May 4, 2020 at 8:10 pm

      Me, too, Pat. It’s a restart button , another chance to do better .

  • Reply dale May 4, 2020 at 5:54 pm

    Thanks Jan,

    You delivered important truths through humor.

    Blessings, Dale

    • Reply Jan Carlberg May 4, 2020 at 8:11 pm

      It’s the old “spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down” but I have to ration sugar, too. Its running low, but that’s not all bad.

  • Reply Susan Curry May 4, 2020 at 6:06 pm

    The stew story is one of my favorites…but you know this! Miss you, my Jan.
    Sending a virtual hug! Stay well and eat your vegetables! XO

  • Reply Jan Carlberg May 4, 2020 at 8:12 pm

    Fresh or wilted., there’s a place for those veggies. Good to hear from you, Suzie Q.

  • Reply Sue Andringa May 4, 2020 at 8:22 pm

    Hi Jan …. I am relating to this in a different way. Bob and I drove up to our cabin in the White Mtns of AZ for a few days … a nice break between Radiation and Chemo. We’ll be in and out thru July when I will be DONE with all treatment! Thank you, God. Since we were coming just for a few days, we brought what food we thought we would need so that we did not have to go in a grocery store. We came prepared with out masks, just in case though. We go back to Scottsdale tomorrow, so out last supper is tonight. The only option is tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. Not much, but it will get us through. I believe that less is more, but, next time I will bring up more or plan to order take out from a good restaurant. I love your humor, transparency, and spiritual insights, Jan … and YOU! xoxo

  • Reply Jan Carlberg May 4, 2020 at 8:31 pm

    And I love you, Sue, and am happy to read you and Bob have been enjoying time away. Hard to beat the comfort food of tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches.

  • Reply Radina Welton May 4, 2020 at 11:45 pm

    You make me giggle, Jan, mostly because I share the same experience; but you have such an entertaining way of describing it. Thanks for the humor. We certainly need it right now.

    • Reply Jan Carlberg May 5, 2020 at 10:51 am

      You’re welcome, Radina. Good to know I have others on the hunt for edible food with humor for dessert.

  • Reply Sharon Wolgemuth May 5, 2020 at 12:24 am

    Thanks Jan for sharing your thoughts. I grew up with my dad saying,
    “Use it up, make it do, do without.” And many is the time I did the “refrigerator stare” hoping something good was in the back, hiding out.
    We’ll all get through this! Love you and miss you Jan!

  • Reply Sharing Wolgemuth May 5, 2020 at 12:29 am

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us Jan. I grew up with my dad saying,
    “Use it up, make it do, do without.”
    Many is the time I would do the “refrigerator stare”, hoping to find some surprise at the very back, lurking behind something. I miss you Jan!

    • Reply Jan Carlberg May 5, 2020 at 10:52 am

      Good to hear from Illinois friends. I miss you and Ken, too, and the Myras. Your Dad gave good advice and raised a good daughter.

  • Reply RUSS BISHOP May 5, 2020 at 9:29 am

    If my can opener breaks I will starve to death!

  • Reply Jan Carlberg May 5, 2020 at 10:54 am

    Long may it last, the can opener and you.

  • Reply Katherine Bagley May 5, 2020 at 11:40 am

    Your comments ring so true with me today. The old adage of waste not, want not has a new and relevant meaning. I mean, how many squares of toilet paper do you REALLY need?!

    • Reply Jan Carlberg May 5, 2020 at 5:14 pm

      True! Someone said, “I used to spin the toilet paper roll like the Wheel of Fortune. Now, it’s more like I’m trying to open a locked safe.”

  • Reply Christy Dee Porter May 6, 2020 at 11:58 am

    your post brought a smile. Thank you!

  • Share Your Thoughts

    WP2Social Auto Publish Powered By :