Prior to Covid-19, grocery shelves in my city never ran out of food. If I wanted to buy something, it was always there. That made it easy to meal plan around what I wanted to cook.
Times have changed, now. With the introduction of new and unexpected challenges related to supply chain issues, it’s no longer as feasible as it once was to cook according to what we plan. Instead, flexibility is what’s called for.
If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that while I find the act of cooking an act of therapy, I also really like being organized enough to not have to cook every day, of cooking ahead to meet a future need. One way I’m organized like this is to not necessarily have a plan for exactly what I’m cooking, but to cook thoughtfully, aiming to have leftovers, so the basic building blocks of a new meal are ready to go in my freezer.
If I find when I’m shopping that I’ve planned on pork but there isn’t any available, I can choose chicken instead. If I plan on beef but there’s none to be found, I can choose something else. The most important thing to remember is that remaining flexible gives you options when you’re shopping- rather than going home empty handed, you pivot and create a meal that works for you anyway.
Seeing empty shelves can be disheartening, especially if you can't find what you're looking for, be it dairy, bread, meat, or produce- but having flexibility and patience will make it easier to manage that which we have no control over.
Allowing yourself flexibility gives you freedom to roll with whatever you can find. Keep an open mind, knowing you may just discover a new favourite meal in doing so.