My Orders Tell a Story


A week or so before The Isolation, I was thinking about a month of March with warm, sunny Sunday afternoons, when we would give Island Jazz concerts on the patio in front of BIG ARTS.  I needed a sun umbrella that I could clip onto my beach chair, so that I wouldn’t fry to a crisp during those concerts, I thought.  So I ordered one from Amazon.

I haven’t used it because of The Isolation.  Within a couple days after the March 8 concert, my husband Tom and I knew enough about the corona virus that we decided to cancel all seven of the remaining concerts for the season.

This No-Knead Bread tastes like something we would buy in a bakery in Paris.

Then came a stream of orders from Amazon.com that tell one aspect of the story of our isolation.  

Each week of The Isolation, we have ordered everything from the local Bailey’s General Store that we can – but there are perturbations in the supply chains, and sometimes Bailey’s cannot deliver certain items.  The first problem was sparkling water, which my husband Tom requires.  Hey, at least he doesn’t drink beer.  Perhaps hoarders snapped all the bottled water off the shelves at Bailey’s, I don’t know because we would not walk into the store after March 11.  I just knew I couldn’t seem to get that fizzy stuff delivered, and exchanging Soda Stream cartridges is a problem when isolating.  The exchange can be done by mail, but it is much too expensive.

So, I turned to Amazon, and a case of Perrier was delivered on March 16.  I subscribed to have it delivered regularly after that.
Tom likes my apple pie.

There were other shortages at Bailey’s, so I placed an Amazon Pantry order on March 13.  Soup, nuts, organic granola, pasta, and most importantly, low sodium V8 juice – my main source (in addition to leafy greens) for Vitamin C.  Amazon Pantry was struggling.  It took an entire week for that order to arrive.

We started running out of things that we’d normally pick up in a short trip to CVS.  But there was no way we were going to go into CVS.   With Tom’s underlying medical condition, we are not taking any chances.  So I found the Folic Acid (Vitamin B9) that he needed on Amazon on March 13.  That arrived the next day.  Later, Amazon came through with a delivery of acetaminophen when our supply was running low.

My regular subscription order for Raid Ant Baits arrived on March 19, no problem.  Some things never change.  Battles against ants are forever in south Florida.  Isolation or no isolation, the ants are always trying to move in.

The low sodium V8 supply was sporadic at Bailey’s, evidently.  So I turned to Amazon and ordered a monthly subscription of it.  It isn’t quite enough, but I suspect that I can occasionally get V8 low sodium in my Bailey’s order.

Then we had a crisis.  The dishwasher was dying.  In The Isolation, we run it every day because we cook everything now; we do not even get takeout (although I am tempted daily by Bleu Rendezvous’ takeout offerings).  I researched dishwashers on the internet for a few hours, then decided on a Bosch 300 Series model.  I tried ordering from Bill Smith Appliances, as I normally do for appliances. But the Bill Smith folks said it would take weeks for the appliance to arrive. 

Amazon came through:  only one week for delivery, and it was less expensive.  Tom expertly removed the now-dead KitchenAid, and he installed the new Bosch like a pro.  Well, probably better than a pro. Dishwashers are amazingly important during The Isolation, when cooking and baking are happening every day.
Caesar salad, flank steak with Bearnaise, and a glass of rosé.

Then other appliances were sending me messages.  The refrigerator said it needed a new air purification cartridge.  Ordered on March 27, delivered on March 30.  The Zero Water filter in the pitcher in the fridge also demanded replacement.  That was delivered in a week.

March 29, 31 and April 7 Amazon deliveries brought us more nuts, organic granola, Perrier, and rice.  Environmentally friendly shower cleaner came then as well.  More cleaning products arrived the next day.  During The Isolation, I have time to clean.  Someday, maybe sooner rather than later, our house will be immaculate.

I later learned that the only way to buy the granola that I like (Nature’s Path Organic Granola with Pumpkin Seed Plus Flax) was by 12-pack!  I don’t mean to hoard, but the supply chain has forced me to have a big supply of granola.

Who knew that roasted radishes would taste so good?
All ingredients from Bailey's.

Tom nearly panicked one week when the Bailey’s delivery did not include a bag of Bailey’s Blend/Jimmy’s Java coffee beans.  He is addicted to those coffee beans, which include our favorite kind, Sumatran.  To ease his panic and reassure him, I found a big bag of Copper Moon Sumatran beans on Amazon.  It is there, ready to be used, when the Jimmy’s Java does not appear in the weekly delivery of groceries.  That bag of caffeinated reassurance arrived on April 7, along with the environmentally friendly shower cleaner. 

I must have milk in my morning coffee – more milk than coffee, in fact.  But the organic milk supply has hiccups.  So I found Maple Hill Creamery’s shelf stable grass-fed, organic milk on Amazon.  The 12 pack of little cartons sit on a pantry shelf, ready to serve when fresh milk does not arrive.

Tom announced that our battery supply was dangerously low.  Both AA and AAA, he said.  I knew that wouldn’t be a problem.  I ordered big packets of each from Amazon on April 6, and they arrived on April 10.

Most nights, we finish off dinner by having one little square of dark chocolate.  I like Lindt’s Excellence 85 percent dark chocolate, and Tom prefers the Lindt’s Excellence Touch of Sea Salt dark chocolate.  But he often has more than a square, so he runs out of chocolate before the next delivery.  So I ordered him an entire pack of 12 of his preferred chocolate bars.  Amazon delivered it on April 15.  That should last for a little while, I hope.

Risotto with sweet peas and Parmesan.

Amazon does not always come through – not by a long shot.  I was having trouble getting flour and yeast.  I had to order directly from King Arthur Flour in Vermont.  The deliveries from King Arthur finally arrived, and the prices were amazingly fair.  King Arthur is not jacking up the price of flour and yeast during the pandemic.  Good for them!  I bake a loaf of Jim Lahey’s No Knead Bread every other day.

On April 23, Amazon delivered parchment paper, nuts, and environmentally friendly dishwasher detergent which had been ordered a week earlier.

I was doing so much cleaning that the Shark vacuum cleaner insisted on new filters.  It has three different kinds of filters!  I ordered them on April 9, and they arrived one week later.  While I had filters on my mind, I bought a new one for the refrigerator water dispenser.  It came at about the same time as the Shark vacuum filters.

More Perrier arrived on April 14, and more V8 low sodium juice came on April 24.  We were doing okay now on beverages.

Since I am spending so much time in the kitchen, I treated myself to a stack of 12 beautiful flour sack cotton white kitchen towels, made by Utopia Kitchen, available on Amazon for about $26.  They make me smile.
Leftovers (roasted red pepper, sweet potato,
 Yukon potato, slivers of pork tenderloin with Bearnaise sauce.

Speaking of smiles, I place all these orders using Amazon Smile, so that Amazon makes a small donation to my church every time I buy something.  In case you didn’t know this, you can use Amazon Smile to help support your favorite charity or church.  Same inventory, same prices.

Back to food.  We like Indian and Thai food, so I have a monthly delivery of a jar of Gram Masala Spices’ Tikka Masala sauce.  The latest installment arrived on April 24. 

Amazon has been very apologetic about the fact that the packets of organic jasmine rice that I ordered on April 15 will not arrive until May 16-18.  But I had no trouble getting Hungarian sweet paprika, which I ordered on April 25 and was delivered on April 29.  In this upside down world, the common things are harder to get, and the more obscure things are easier.

Jasmine rice is nice, but I also like to make risotto, which requires arborio rice.  I only had enough arborio rice to make one main dish of risotto.  Finding a replacement box was a little challenging, but on my second attempt on Amazon, I was able to find some, which arrived just a few days later, on April 26.

Having more and different kinds of flours and baking supplies, I needed new canisters for the pantry.  I found some dandy ones sold by Chef’s Path on Amazon.  They arrived quickly, and they store flour beautifully.

Caesar salad, mashed sweet potatoes and
pineapple, pork tenderloin with blueberry ketchup.

The bread I’m making, Jim Lahey’s No Knead Bread, involves an extremely sticky dough.  After watching a few YouTube videos of expert bakers making this bread, I realized that I needed something called a bench scraper to handle this sticky mess.  There they were, on Amazon, a pair of them for just $5.97.  They arrived in three days.

This past week, Tom accidentally had a close encounter in our yard with the neighbor’s landscapers.  He worried that he might have been exposed to the virus, and he asked me what to do.  I said, “Throw your clothes in the washer and go take a shower.  Drink a full glass of water, and put lubricating eye drops in your eyes.”  Unbeknownst to me, he threw his cell phone in the washer, inside his pants pocket.  Later I thought, “What is that thudding noise coming from the washer,” and suddenly I knew.  I nag him to keep his cell phone in his pocket when he is outside, on a ladder, trimming the trees.  I want him to be able to call 911 if he has an accident.  After he calls 911, he can call me.

Well, the accident was the phone being thrown in the washer.  I went through the arduous process of draining a front loader to get the door unlocked, retrieved the phone, tried to revive it, but alas it was very dead. 

Moon rising over Dinkins Bayou on April 7.
After a couple hours researching on the Internet, I decided to order a Moto G7 Power phone (similar to, but better than my G5 Plus) for Tom.  Amazon delivered it in two days.  Tom likes it, and it is similar to my phone so now I will be better able to help him with all his phone questions.

So it is Saturday, and there is freshly baked bread being consumed in my kitchen, Tom’s Perrier arrives on Monday, and cell phones and appliances are working.  We are grateful.

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