Stuff and Nonsense


5.02.2020

Pandemic Reads: Short Fantasy & Science Fiction

thumbnail collage of assorted sff magazine covers


Having gobbled up (perhaps) too many novels at the start of this pandemic, I find I now crave shorter reads. Considering that you, too, might prefer shorter reads, I've compiled a list of my ten favorite short fantasy and science fiction.

4.16.2020

Pandemic Groceries: Sardilli Produce & Dairy


Two Hartford-area wholesalers have begun selling boxes of produce, meat, and dairy to the public for contact-free curbside pickup and this is, frankly, a godsend for me. I don't enjoy grocery shopping at the best of times and now, constantly aware of other people's inability to properly social distance, it is one giant clusterfuck of anxiety and dread. I'd used Instacart a few times at the beginning of the pandemic and found the shoppers very efficient and professional, but the company treats them shabbily and, frankly, I don't want to be the reason someone becomes exposed to COVID-19. So, yes, when I heard wholesalers like Sardilli Produce and Dairy were offering curbside pickup, I signed right up.

Sardilli Produce and Dairy offers all fruit, all veg, mixed fruit and veg, dairy, and meat boxes. The contents of the boxes are listed on their website so, if you want, you can menu plan before you even get your box. The company seems on top of things and is quick to post when a box is no longer available or when the next opportunity to order for pickup will be.


When I arrived today to pick up my boxes (dairy and mixed), there were plenty of orange cones and (masked and gloved) staff to point me in the right direction. I pulled into the check-in area and, through my closed window, showed my order number to a (masked and gloved) staff member. Another (masked, gloved, and socially distanced) staff member put papers under a windshield wiper, denoting what I needed, and then I drove off to the trucks. There, more (masked, gloved, and socially distanced) staff loaded my trunk with boxes and I was on my way. The entire process was extremely efficient and fast, taking less than fifteen minutes.

It is safe to say I am hooked on this, having gone ahead and ordered a meat box for next week. If only Sardelli sold a bread, pasta, and rice box my pandemic life would be pretty okay. (Please don't tell me how I can make my own bread. I don't have an oven).


Lynn, you say, this is all very nice and informative, but what about the goods? Are they worth it? Yes, I say, yes. Everything is perfect, not a blemish or bruise to be found, and the dairy has best buy dates in May and beyond. Altogether there's enough stuff to feed as for two or three weeks and, aside from the iceberg lettuce and cherry tomatoes, the produce is all long-lasting stuff.

Here, have a list:

3 lbs Cara Cara Oranges
1 Bunch of Bananas
3 lbs Apples
1 package of Strawberries
1 head of Iceberg Lettuce
1 Package of Multi Color Cherry Tomatoes
2 lb Haricot Beans
3 lb Brussels Sprouts
2 lb Carrots
5 lb Sweet Potatoes
3 each Peppers (green, red & yellow)
1 Each Celery (bunch)
2 lb Onions
2 each Shallots
3 each Cippolini Onions

1 Half Gal 2% Milk (Mountain Dairy, CT)
1 Pint of ½ & ½ Cream (Mountain Dairy, CT)
2 Dozen Eggs Cage Free
1 Butter 1 lb Block (Cabot, VT)
1 Quart of Yogurt Fage Plain
1 52 oz Tropicana Orange Juice No Pulp
1 8 oz Block White Cheddar Cheese (Cabot, VT)
1 - 8 oz Shred Mozzarella (Cabot, VT)


From the boxes, I brought my dad a dozen eggs (plus a third of the brussels sprouts and green beans), because his local grocery store has been out of eggs for three weeks and, at nearly seventy, I don't want him shopping around when I (mostly healthy, probably) can fetch it for him.