End of an Era

On Tuesday I had the last delivery from my milkman, Mike, as he is retiring.

I started dairy delivery 25 years ago.  YA’s beverage of choice back then was Yo-J, a Kemps product that I could not replicate (despite many attempts).  It seemed that I was always running up to the store for a carton of Yo-J (or milk or butter) and when you have a small toddler, running up to the store is not a lot of fun.  Dragging home cartons of Yo-J and milk wasn’t that much fun either.

YA eventually grew out of her Yo-J habit (right about the time that Kemps discontinued making it) but I had long since settled into having my dairy delivered.  In addition to milk and butter Mike delivered eggs, whipping cream, half and half, yogurt, waffles, cheese pizza, frozen cookie dough and a huge variety of Kemps ice creams; it was a long list of products. 

When Mike first mentioned his possible retirement to me (last summer), it made me a little sad.  I would, of course, miss him, but I would also miss the delivery; I didn’t really want to have to lug home more items than I currently shop for.  So I was happy to hear that Mike had sold his route to Joe, who apparently has a nearby “territory”.  When Mike made his last delivery, he dropped off Joe’s product list and schedule.  Unlike Mike, whose schedule for me was “Tuesday”, Joe has a time and a date – 3:45 a.m. Thursday.  Yes, you’re reading that correctly.

Well, I certainly can’t have Joe coming in on his own in the wee hours and putting my weekly purchases in the fridge; Guinevere will lose her mind.  And, since she sleeps on my bed, I’ll be up as well, and at 3:45 it’s likely I won’t fall back asleep.  I can put my cooler out front – that’s how Mike and I handled pandemic for well over a year, but I’m pretty sure that somebody coming up the front steps and depositing items in the cooler at 3:45 may rile up the dog as well.  I’ll be emailing Joe this week to discuss this and hopefully he can get us a better time slot.  Fingers crossed as I really don’t want to lose having a milk man.

Do you have a staple you don’t like to run out of?

90 thoughts on “End of an Era”

  1. Staples are, by definition, things you don’t like to run out of.

    That seldom happens in our house. I keep a mental inventory of what and how much of essential items we have and where they are stored.

    What qualifies as a staple is personal. We often have a hard time using up a half gallon of milk before it goes bad. We have had both corn syrup and Lyle’s Golden Syrup n the pantry for over a year without opening either.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. A site I found looking for derivation of word said a staple is also a food item that will keep well for a long time. Flour is a staple, bread is not. Maybe. but we are sloppy with words.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. That was the definition I was taught many years ago. Staples were things like flour, sugar, coffee, molasses, raisins, lots of shelf-stable baking supplies. Milk and butter did not qualify as as staples. Now, though, the word is used for anything you buy and use often.

        Liked by 4 people

    2. I was sloppy when I suggested that was an actual definition for staple. All I meant was that staples are precisely the things you try not to run out of.

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  2. I discovered to my horror that I was almost out of cinnamon in early December. I resent paying so much for spices in the grocery store, so a quick order to Penzey’s got the Vietnamese cinnamon we like to use. As I think of the staples I consider essential, I realize how spoiled we are.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I get most of our spices from the co-op. That way I can get a small amount, it’s always fresh and I’m not paying for a jar. That being said I did get a gift for Solstice of some Penzey cinnamon and vanilla sugar and baking spice and I can’t wait to get into it.

      Liked by 5 people

    2. Love love love Penzey’s cinnamons. Is it weird that I like the Vietnamese cinnamon for some things and the Korintje for others?… (Also a fan of their cardamom – which was liberally used in this year’s julekage.)

      Liked by 4 people

  3. I’m listening to MPR this morning and they are doing the “who died this year”, and since the last almost 2 years are just sort of a formless mass to me, it is coming as news to me that Nancy Griffith died.

    I’m sitting with that.
    One of the best songs about remembering what is no more:

    Liked by 7 people

    1. When she died it felt like it hit close to home. Of course I did not know the person, Nanci Griffith, but the musician Nanci Griffith I knew and valued. So it hit hard.

      Liked by 5 people

  4. I am learning this cooking for one thing. I am using lots of fresh foods, like greens and grapes and tomatoes, things Sandy cannot eat. I make lots of salads. Buy meats and make a meal with part of it and freeze the rest. Hartd to plan to far ahead or buy ahead yet until I get used to this, or maybe just shop this way from now on. A Cub store is just off the four mile route between here and Sandy. I counted: I have been to Cub 17 times this month.
    So not a lot of staples. Have not had any milk in the house for 3 months or so. Have a pound of butter frozen in the freezer. Most of the potatoes I buy go bad before I eat them. Threw out the flour 2 months ago because it was old. Did not buy any new. Same with sugar. Much of this has to do with the diet I am on. I eat a Lean Cuisine for my middle meal, at about 5:30, then fresh made meal at about 9. I am so European right now. How I shop and when I eat. I bought a small frying pan that can go in the oven. That and a 2 quart sauce pan and an old ceramic baking dish are how I cook most everything, well, now and then steam fish.
    The staple may be coffe and heavy whipping cream, my one treat that cream. Sometimes hard to get. I order 3 lbs of coffee at a time from Caribou. Oh, and oatlmeal and yogurt for my first meal at about 11:30 before I go over.
    Sandy is now out of lockdown. Daughter and family come over tomorrow midday to do Christmas with her. We are doing crackers and meats and cheese, whiich she loves.
    I loved using the Instant Pot. Not sure how to use that for just one person. Going to figure it out.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. There is at least one cookbook out there called I Love My Instant Pot for One. I haven’t tried it yet but I probably should. I hope I can get it from the library.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. It might be more interesting to ask, “What are some things you consider staples that other people probably don’t?”

    I was at our local Asian grocery (United Noodle) yesterday, hoping to replace our supply of coconut milk and red curry paste, both of which I consider staples. New Year’s is a bad time to try to shop in an Asian grocery. I couldn’t countenance the crowd.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Swany White flour for bread, King Arthur Artisan flour, home rendered lard (I have 2 qts left in the freezer) black Finnish licorice, rye flour of various kinds, our homemade pesto sauce (it freezes beautifully) dried figs and apricots for Husband to snack on, and Kirk’s Castille soap.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I think just answering the “what are the staples you like to have around” may beithe same as asking “what staples do you like that maybe others don’t.” There’s not one thing on your list Renee that I even have in my house much less consider a staple.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. VS, have you tried Instacart or another delivery app? I had fairly good success with Instacart. I don’t know if your local Co-op uses a delivery system like that. Ours in Northfield didn’t. You had to call in your order and pick it up at the door. I think they’ve discontinued it. I used Instacart for other things and it worked all right, most of the time.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. We shall be without running water for some hours today. Darrel, our beloved plumber, is returning to replace the deteriorating pipe that supplies the kitchen with hot water.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I read your post from yesterday Renee. We had a similar pinhole leak 6 or 7 years ago that we were unaware of. When finally we were aware, it had decomposed into mold which messed with my allergies, and wood rot. Thus the “Great Remodeling Project of 2015” was launched because the damage was widespread and so toxic.

      Liked by 3 people

  9. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    I like to have my homemade Tomato Basil soup in the house, because I can use it as soup (Cream of Tomato with a little cream in it, feta cheese in it for a Greek flair) or add it to other dishes which are Italian-ish.

    My list of staples is long because I do cook a lot:

    Fareway meats (Iowa chain with custom meat department—picky, picky me)
    Baking supplies (flour, baking powder, soda, salt, WW flour and several different rye flours, yeast, etc. I find I have to take care with flour here in AZ because some brands are different formulas than Midwest flours)
    Homemade jellies for gifts and our use.

    And on and on it goes. There is a separate list of art supply staples.

    OT, we arrived here in AZ yesterday about 3:30pm. The first leg of the trip between Mpls and DesMoines was a bit fraught due to every variety of precipitation available in 3 hours and 45 minutes (rain, sleet, snow, ice on the highway, but no hail. The wind in place was fierce). I stopped in Iowa for a very brief visit with my mother because she was already seated for lunch. To my surprise, she still knows who I am. I left my Peanut Blossom Cookies she requested for Christmas. They are packaged two to a bag and frozen by one of my siblings, then they take a bag to her every visit. There is not much else she wants for these days.

    The rest of the drive was uneventful, but we streaked by Denver only hours before the fires there began. It was windy there that day. There had been a winter storm in the AZ mountains the day before we drove through so the snow was fresh and traffic heavy because families with children came up to the mountains from the city to build snow men and have snowball fights.

    Have an exciting New Year’s Eve at home avoiding COVID. I am spending the day choose a movie to stream. I also have to go shop for groceries and a bottle of wine to toast 2022.

    Liked by 8 people

  10. Growing up in western Iowa in the years when they got REAL blizzards, and having parents who were born in the Depression and grew up during WWII, the idea of having a stocked pantry has never left me.

    So when the shutdown happened in March 2020, we were in pretty good shape (it didn’t hurt that it coincided with Carleton’s spring break, so I had restocked in anticipation of the s&h coming home to burn up all the carbs).

    But one thing we quickly discovered was that we had become woefully short on CHEESE (as a vegetarian houseold, this matters quite a lot). Things had gotten so dire I placed an online order with our usual farmer’s market source that arrived just in time for Easter.

    For some reason, at the same time we ended up watching Mutiny on the Bounty (when a cultural reference comes up in the news we sometimes track it down).

    One of the plot points is the stoppage of the Cheese Ration. We could relate. We vowed to never be caught short again. So now there is a clear box (the kind salad greens come in) tucked into the back of the fridge with what has come to be known as The Cheese Ration.

    Liked by 7 people

  11. Cheese, coffee, ingredients for brownies. Daughter regularly teases me about my inability to leave a grocery store without at least one type of cheese. She is working at the store this afternoon – I will likely have her get me some baby Swiss to get me through the weekend… a few months back I started melting chocolate for brownies and realized I was quite low on refined sugar – subbed in some brown and it came out okay (thankfully my brownie recipe is very forgiving)… though that reminds me that when I got out the brown sugar for Christmas cookies it was pretty dried out – should add that to the list.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. i really miss cheese
      it kicks my ass
      i eat it but i like it a lot better than it likes me
      i need potato onion eggs and veggie sausage to put that lump in my stomach that lasts all day long
      the post about ditching canola oil helped me a bunch
      earl gray loose tea by the pound
      peanut butter and apples
      chips
      if i can avoid chips it’s a good idea but i’m not sure it’s meant to be
      kinda like cigars

      Liked by 6 people

    1. Well if I had any weird-sized staples, I’d bring them over. I went through a phase about 10 years ago when colored staples on your cards was all the rage. So I purchased several boxes of staples in different colors. Suffice it to say the rage had discontinued and I now have lots and lots of staples. Way more than I will probably ever use in my lifetime.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Back in my bookstore days, they sent me to take over running the Burnsville store. (I was more than once sent to a store that had been having problems as a “cleaner upper. “). The manager of the store prior to my getting there was a nice enough gal but very unorganized. They had not done returns for quite some time and the books were double and triple stacked especially in the storage areas above the regular shelves. (I had to make several calls to management and to the computer inventory techs because we did a massive clean out of the over inventory in the store and I didn’t want the computers to automatically say oh they’ve gotten rid of all these books, we should send them more..) And supplies in the back were completely out of control. After digging through and organizing and sorting I found close to 100 boxes of staples. I don’t know how the computers at HQ didn’t at some point say “hey why is the store ordering so many staples?” I don’t even know if that store is still open but if they are, they haven’t had to buy staples in 30 years.

        Liked by 5 people

        1. It is my observation that no one would need to make paper clips for a looonnnngggg, if all the paper clips stashed in people’s desks and file cabinets were found. I’ve moved many folks multiple times, and always find huge numbers of them. I imagine this is true of staples, too.

          Liked by 5 people

        2. It’s a rare theater that has the PROPER stapler and staples to fit it. Various lengths? Almost a pipe dream. PLUS organized and not floating loose in a coffee can?? Almost unheard of!

          My college shop I work hard to stay on top of the stapler box. 😉

          Liked by 1 person

    2. I have standard staples and the “tot” size staples. When I was at the flower shop, the staplers that were tethered to the counters took a different size, smaller than standard but still bigger than tot. I don’t know what those are called.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. 1. butter, half & half
    2. my favorite teas
    3. Wilbur’s chocolate buds, dark and milk
    4. chicken bouillon in a jar
    5, tamari
    6. a variety of cheeses
    7. chicken gumbo soup (used with hamburger for sloppy joes)
    8. corn meal & flours

    Barbeque sauce – I had mistakenly run out of this last week, and I rely on it with meat or chicken.for a quick crock-pot dinner. Happily, there was a partial bottle of French dressing (not my favorite) on the fridge door, from the last time we moved our friend W. An internet search showed a way to turn it into bbq sauce. : )

    Liked by 3 people

  13. I have lots of staples I don’t like to run out of. Mostly nothing very exotic or unusual, but how can you cook if you don’t have onions, garlic, olive oil, and well stocked supply of herbs and spices on hand? I always have an assortment of canned tomatoes, pasta and rice in the larder. When I go to the Asian market I’ll buy a couple of small cans of coconut milk and perhaps a few different Asian noodles along with the fresh watercress, baby bok choy or bean sprouts that I came for in the first place.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Question: Does anyone know the difference between coconut milk and coconut cream? I had a biofeedback scan last fall that informed me that I am allergic to many more things than I knew. One of those things is coconut cream. I questioned the results of the scan (still do) and almost immediately made a curried chicken dish with lite coconut milk. If I suffered any ill effects, I didn’t notice them. Is coconut cream just a richer version?

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I googled it. Apparently both coconut milk and coconut cream are made from coconut flesh and water. There is less water in coconut cream. So why would I be allergic to coconut cream and not coconut milk or just plain coconut? Again, I’m a little skeptical about the biofeedback. I did think some of it might be accurate but I’m doubtful about being allergic to the coconut cream, peppermint, and organic wheat.

          Liked by 1 person

        1. I saw some in the Co-op today and I was just curious about what the difference is. They have the same ingredients so I must assume that I’m allergic to coconut milk too. I don’t notice any symptoms from coconut milk though.

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  14. OT – This morning I was cooking up a batch of rice porridge for my friend Philip. I tried something I’ve never done before, and am happy to report it worked like a charm.

    The rice porridge I made for Philip is a Danish Christmas tradition, essentially it’s Arborio rice cooked in milk, and he loves it. It requires that you pay close attention and stir it a lot, otherwise it boils over or scorches and generally makes a mess of both the pot and stovetop. This time I brought it to a boil, stirred for about two minutes, and then turned off the heat. I wrapped the pot in a bath towel, and for lack of a hay box, I stuck it on my bed and tucked my down comforter around it. An hour and a half later, I had the perfect rice porridge. Has anyone here ever cooked using a hay box, I wonder? The nuns at the boarding school did it a lot.

    Liked by 4 people

  15. Bill, if you are still online today… now that “staples” has gone from food items in the kitchen to desk accessories, why do we call things that we like to have on hand the kitchen “staples”? Which came first – staples in the kitchen or staples in the stapler?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Staple with regard to fibers like wool comes from the sense of a staple as a market place royally chartered. In the context of that market, an inspector of wool was known as a wool-stapler. From that came the term staple as a relative measure of wool quality.

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      1. The melody is written by Mary Reynolds (the woman in the video playing the guitar); the words are, of course, by Robert Burns. The woman on accordion is Louise Goldberg.

        Liked by 4 people

    1. We did a similar version when I sang in a group over in Mankato. I think it’s a Scottish version. I remember learning it from a trio who did it a cappella and we learned it from that version. I can’t remember who the trio was though. I think I have it on cd somewhere around here but if I can’t remember who it was… well… it’s gonna drive me nuts.

      Liked by 3 people

  16. Came home from Sandy and their in the mail was a letter from USPS :OFFICAL CHANGE OF ADDRESS CONFIRMATION at my address not my name. This ia step to steal information and commit fraud. My old ophthamologist had a security breach and they notified me last week. I had put fraud alerts on three credit firms. I also sent a letter to building management if maybe a new resident apllied using the wrong apartment number. They replied that yes the person was a recent move-in. She contacted the person about it. Address change has to be verified and the code is on the letter I have.

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  17. The title of today’s post feels weirdly apt given that Betty White died today. Is this 2021’s final “F*** you” to humanity?

    I think I will be offering to give free tours of St. Olaf, Minnesota.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. And tonight I am wearing my highest heels with my pajamas and robe to celebrate the New Year! To complete the ensemble I will add my wool socks because the weather forecasts 34 degrees today.

      Liked by 3 people

  18. My sister worked for McCormick Spices for many years. And we own stock in McCormick so I kinda insist that’s what we buy.
    Kelly doesn’t always agree… I’m torn.
    😂

    Liked by 4 people

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