22. Finger vs. Potato

Sunday May 3 2020

We broke quarantine yesterday. A friend invited us, along with a few other people, for a cookout. I griped about it a bit, but in the end said fine, let’s go. Figured it would be manageable to keep a reasonable distance from everyone and anyway, it’s outside.

I don’t know, though. There were kids there and except for avoiding handshaking, nobody seemed too concerned about disease exposure. I still feel a bit weird about it. Could it be that I was the only one concerned?

We stopped at Kroger in the morning so I could grab some stuff to make for the cookout. I decided on a red potato salad and bought an angel food cake and fresh strawberries. We didn’t have much time to pull it together, so I was rushing to get the potatoes into the instant pot to cook. Started peeling the first potato when the parer slipped and I sliced off a chunk of my left pinkie finger.

Well, that not only hurt like heck, but I had a hard time getting the bleeding to stop. Don asked if I needed to go to Urgent Care, but I declined the offer. I’m trying to manage with that high level medical emergency training I used to have, which is pretty much Neosporin and a bandaid. Even today, my finger is throbbing like a bitch and super tender. I’m so clumsy sometimes.

But still, I powered through making the potato salad, which only held one pared red potato. The rest proudly held onto their peels, bringing a bit of color to the dish. I may never peel a potato again.

You may not think a pinkie finger is that important, until you realize how many times you need to hit the A key on the laptop keyboard.

So that was an extra stop in Kroger yesterday that I hadn’t planned on, then again today for the weekly run. I put today’s trip off too long, as I do, so many of the things we need are not on the shelves. I was able to find some baby back ribs though. Want to try these in the instant pot this week; heard it was easy to do and the meat just falls off the ribs. Might as well try to do this before the big meat shortage coming up.

It’s been forecasted that we’ll see a shortage of pork and chicken this summer. I don’t expect to see a shortage in our area as much as the resulting price increase. Being a vegan is a pricey lifestyle, but I expect we’ll need to learn to appreciate beans. And I hate beans. Especially navy beans, pinto beans, chickpeas, and whatever bean-y shit goes with ham and cornbread. Looking forward to a diet of cheese and crackers.

And actually it’s not a crisis of supply, it’s a crisis in processing. Through the process of consolidation, there are only three companies that process most of the meat in the US: Tyson, JBS SA, and Cargill. The remaining market share is owned by Conagra and Smithfield. Some processing plants are facing closure due to the shrinking workforce. The Tyson plan in Indiana has almost 900 employees testing positive for COVID-19 – 40% of that location’s workforce.

I’m reviewing various articles on today’s meat packing crisis and it’s really bleak. Nobody wants to think about how that affordable pork chop made it onto your plate. I don’t. But still …

Huge plants are responsible for processing thousands of animals per day. Employees are jammed into elbow-to-elbow processing lines. And low-paying jobs also mean workers face tough living conditions at home, where multiple families are sometimes sharing the same dwellings.

-Bloomberg.com https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-29/tyson-foods-helped-create-the-meat-crisis-it-now-warns-against

Takes some of the flavor out of your warm dinner, doesn’t it? Let’s rethink that vegan lifestyle idea.

Maybe a nice Chianti will help those fava beans go down.

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