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Batten down the hatches

After a dreary Summer, comes a miserable Winter. They’ve been bigging up shortages, and now shortages are coming to pass.

Partly self-fulfilling. BP announced gas rationing for their filling stations today and this afternoon our local (non BP) station had a brutal queue.

Meat, particularly beef, is getting scarce. I had a hankering for a slow-cooked beef joint and we couldn’t find a brisket for less than £8. (Still not eating the bugs, tho).

Tuesday we went into a supermarket – in person! – for the first time in…oh, fifteen months. It was fully stocked, but the online shopping has shown up some missing products. If they keep talking about it, people will naturally start to hoard toilet paper again.

Natural gas prices have exploded. Electricity also, and little suppliers are going bust. We’re preparing for blackouts.

That’s the second fire of the season. We’ve opted to go with all wood this year (instead of switching to solid fuel for the coldest months) because it’s much, much easier. Also we once had a delivery guy drop a literal ton of coal at the end of our drive, blocking it. We’re getting a little old and crunky for that kind of manual labor.

If it’s a cold one, I’m disappearing under the electric blanket for the season.


Comment from Mark Matis
Time: September 23, 2021, 7:49 pm

What makes you think there will be electricity to power that “electric blanket”???

Comment from p2
Time: September 23, 2021, 8:28 pm

We’re slated for 3 or 4 inches of snow tonight.

Comment from BJM
Time: September 23, 2021, 8:54 pm

@Stoaty: Got hot water bottles? You may need them.

We have 3 large dogs so we’re good.

Comment from Armybrat
Time: September 23, 2021, 9:33 pm

Still 90F with 80% humidity here. Most of the grocery stores here have weekly BOGOs (buy one get one). My friends and I just shop as usual and pick up whatever BOGOs we find. We had a meet up today to put the BOGOs up for the picking. Much wine was consumed…all BOGO of course! One of the girls hubby’s is a local chef. We order what meat we can’t find at Costco thru him. Just got some great looking beef short ribs for less than $3/lb.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 23, 2021, 9:43 pm

Damn you, Mark Matis! Hot water bottles it is! (Yes, I have multiple).

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: September 23, 2021, 11:50 pm

I hope your freezer is full; you didn’t say much about the garden this year. Our garden was not successful by any measurement, but we learned a lot. Failure is such a good teacher!

Comment from Mark Matis
Time: September 24, 2021, 12:13 am

How do you expect to heat the water for those bottles, eh???

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: September 24, 2021, 12:04 pm

@BJM – I never knew why “Three dog night” till a “native” American friend said it one night while camping out and the idiot lightbulb over my head lit up.

We’ve downsized the self propelled heating units from Great Danes to Pomchees. But the poms burrow and it works if you get them to huddle in the cold spots under the covers. Couldn’t do that with the Danish bed hogs.I

Animal heaters are mostly global warming friendly and all natural, unless you’re re using cows of course.

Comment from Drew458
Time: September 24, 2021, 2:55 pm

Completely off topic, here’s some high tech chicken news.


Yeah. Use a 3D printer to layer up blobs of mashed chicken, or syntho-chicken, then fry it with lasers. Sounds super yummy!

Needs lots of electricity no doubt.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 24, 2021, 3:06 pm

Ah, I’m ahead of you there, Mark. We have fire!

Although you can see from the picture that we opted for the tall top. Okay, I did. It was me. I chose it because I thought it looked good. But it means no room for a kettle.

Actually, there’s room for a tiny kettle, like one of those Japanese tetsubin kettles. I have one around here someplace, but I can’t find it.

Comment from BJM
Time: September 24, 2021, 3:44 pm

You can set a cast-iron kettle right on the fire, just clear a spot and set it on the coals, we did it all the time camping,(best way to cook a thick bone-in ribeye too) however if your tetsubin has a wrapped handle then not. You can get enameled cast iron kettles fairly cheaply.

BTW- a solution to handling hot stuff on the fire is welder’s gloves…they are a thick split rawhide and because they are work gear and not fancy BBQ shit, they can be had for less than $10 in the US and last for years.

Comment from Anonymous
Time: September 24, 2021, 4:07 pm

@Army Brat…Ha! I recently bought a shit ton of English and Korean cut short ribs at Costco. I love BOGO’s. My local supermarket BOGO’s rolled beef roasts and pork shoulder/butt monthly.

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: September 24, 2021, 5:24 pm

Costco? Wait, is a Shit ton a Metric ton, Long ton, or US ton?

Some useful info in case you’re buying a shit ton of Korean ribs.
Don’t let them fob you off with the American ton!

Comment from Anonymous
Time: September 25, 2021, 1:16 am

@Durned…another dubious unit of measure is “a boatload”.

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