A deepening respect for food

Since self isolating, which now appears to be more or less ongoing for most of us, I’ve changed. Not in a bad or dramatic way. It has to do with how I view food. You know, that stuff that, if we’re fortunate, resides in the cupboards, fridge and freezer?
For two weeks, after returning from “abroad” (well, Florida) Larry and I were depending on his sister and a few friends to shop for our groceries. The lists were short, obviously. They had to shop for themselves and their families too.
There wasn’t much in the house from before our trip as we’d deliberately used up most of what we had. I hate to leave food languishing in a fridge or freezer for weeks, and some things go rancid.
Anyway, since the crisis, with less food available, I’ve found myself looking at food differently, handling it with more care, preparing it carefully , cooking it carefully. I’ve never, in my life, taken food for granted, even growing up above a grocery store. Having had outport parents who lived through the Newfoundland depression, how could I? But living through this depressing pandemic has blessed me with a special respect for food. A much deeper respect than I had before. When you know you just can’t pop out and get whatever, whenever you want, it changes your perspective.
I now make a stalk of broccoli last longer by cutting it twice. We make do with one carrot each, or I halve a large one. If a vegetable or piece of fruit is badly bruised or has a spoiled patch I cut off the nasty bit and use the rest. Before, I’d most likely bin the whole thing. I’m also finding that I appreciate the flavour of food more than ever.
The other day I was sizing up what ingredients we had available and I decided it just might be possible to make shepherd’s pie, if I was careful about how I spread out the small amount of mashed potato, and if I used leftover mushrooms instead of green peas, and if … Well, you get the idea. I prepared it with great care. I watched it in the oven like a hawk, for fear of burning it. It wasn’t the best shepherd’s pie in the world, but it made a very good and delicious meal for us. I doubt whether a shepherd’s pie was ever treated with more respect or appreciated more.