Thursday 26 March 2020

The great vegetable gap

We have been proponents of online food shopping for quite some time. In fact that visit to Tesco's the other day was probably the first time anyone in our family has visited a local supermarket for well over a year. We don't have a regular weekly delivery, we just order as and when. Sometimes that might not be for over a week, other times that might be twice a week, it just depends on how many people are home or whether we have guests etc. It has been laughably simple to set up and maintain, and has resulted in lower food bills due to an almost complete lack of compulsive "bargain" purchases.

Then along came Coronavirus and our ability to get a delivery slot vanished overnight. In fact our ability to even log on to the website vanished. When we did finally manage to place an order that also subsequently vanished. And so we are about to enter the long dark vegetable gap of the soul.

The contents of our veg box are as follows:

- 1.2 Bell Peppers
- 3/4 of a bag of Salad
- A root of Ginger
- 3 sticks of Celery
- A bag of Carrots
- Some not so fresh Coriander

We are mostly vegetarian these days, and with five of us in the house having almost no fresh vegetables is actually really annoying. Unlike the rest of the UK we are not stock-pilers or panic buyers, so when our regular and reliable source of food that we don't even think about is suddenly pulled from under us we find ourselves a bit stuck. We don't have loads of tinned food in the cupboards, or a deep shelf of frozen veg. In fact we don't even have a potato in the house! That said scurvy is still a long way off, and we won't starve, but once we've made a carrot biryani and a pepper, ginger and coriander stir fry, the meals could start to get a little bland. Boiled rice anyone?

Our next delivery - fingers crossed - is still about a week away. To even place this required logging on at about 5am, and then getting bounced from virtual queue to virtual queue until around 11am when we were finally able to start placing items in our basket. This was by far the most exciting thing to have happened in Chateau L for several days and we all crowded around the computer. When the website returned a "bad gateway" error on the final click there was pandemonium! Fortunately the back button worked and when we retried it went through. I am ashamed to recount it but there were cheers. This is what we are reduced to. Half the world is hungry, people are dying of a killer virus, and we're upset about our Ocado order being a little bit problematic. When all this is over and things get back to normal, I wonder whether we will ever take things for granted in quite the same way. 

I hope we don't.


  1. Depending on where you live, most of the Asian/ethnic shops still have fresh veg... We have the same problem!

    1. I'm sure many places do, but I am not going out!