Getting Creative with Food and Grocery Shopping in the Time of Covid

The lockdown and quarantine at our home in León, Guanajuato has changed the normal rhythm of our lives since it all started back in mid-March. Thanks to Covid-19, we drastically reduced our interactions with the public, both from a fear of catching the virus and a fear of spreading it to other people. As a result, we do not go out to eat at restaurants anymore, we limit the amount of takeout meals we order, and the percentage of meals I make at home went from 50% to 99%. I had to get creative.

One of the things I had to do was find a way to get groceries without going to the grocery stores or crowded local markets. At the same time, it was important to me to try to support local businesses as much as I could. The Cornershop app has been great for getting basic groceries and cleaning supplies from the chain grocery store but I have always preferred buying meat and vegetables from local producers. Unfortunately, for right now, I’m not comfortable going to the local market where the aisles can be crowded and there are a lot of vendors packed together in the building. So I had to find alternatives.

I found a local farmer that produces wonderful cow-milk cheese, butter, cream, and goat cheese that he delivers to my house. I found a local seafood distributor whose business to local restaurants was severely reduced so he now delivers to people’s homes. The neighborhood butcher shop is small and it’s easy for me to pop in and out quickly when there is no one else around. I also found a wonderful local organic farm that delivers to my house. The farm is called Shambhala and they grow a beautiful selection of vegetables in addition to eggs, herbs, honey, and homemade tortillas, gorditas, tortilla chips, and more. We have really enjoyed the meals that I’ve made from their products. The flavors of their fresh vegetables are wonderful. In honor of fall, even though in León I can’t actually tell that it’s fall, I’ll share my recipe for a comforting carrot soup that I made for dinner using vegetables that were grown on the Shambhala Farm. I am very excited about discovering this farm and after the holidays, I will visit them to see where my vegetables come from. I will share that trip with you in the future. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this recipe!

Ingredients:

1 kg carrots, chopped

3 cambray onions, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

3 stalks of celery, chopped

1 cup chopped broccoli

1 cup chopped cauliflower

Handful of chard, finely chopped

1 tbsp Caldo de pollo/chicken bouillon

8 cups water

Salt to taste

Saute onions and garlic in bacon grease or olive oil until fragrant. Add celery, broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots and saute for 8 more minutes. Add the caldo de pollo and stir into sautéed vegetables. Add the water slowly at first to incorporate the caldo de pollo powder without clumping, then finish pouring the rest. Boil for 15 minutes or until the carrots are very tender. Add salt to taste (I add about 2 tsp). Use a hand mixer to blend the vegetables until the soup is smooth. Add the chard flakes and cook five more minutes. You can reserve a bit of the chard flakes as a soup topper. Enjoy!

Published by Angela.Grier

I'm a wife of an engineer and a mom of two elementary-aged children, a boy and a girl. I was a fisheries biologist for several years, a stay-at-home mom for three years, then a middle school science teacher for three years. I currently live in Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico with my family. I have a WIDE variety of interests, too many according to my husband. I quilt, crochet, knit, scrapbook. I sometimes play piano when I need peaceful moments. I love to cook, especially anything containing eggs (someday I need to raise chickens in order to feed my egg addiction). I read voraciously, books of all genres from Stephen King to Robert Jordan, Libba Bray to Edward Robertson, Grace Burrowes to Kim Harrison. I like to run, especially in races (I'm only a little competitive). I love to fish, camp, and hike wherever there are wild spaces. And if there were more hours in the day, I'd probably fill those extra hours learning a new skill or revisiting the ones I did not include in this list because it's been so long since I last did them.

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