We learned early on cruising in remote locations that if you see something in a store that you want, you just “buy it now”. Always. Buy it now. All that you need or want. Right that moment. Because likely when you come back for it later it’s gone.
In Bahia Caraquez, Ecuador there was a little tienda on a side street that we wandered through one day and found the best Asian noodles to make Phad Thai with. There were six packages and we bought them all. Another week later they had six more and we bought all of those also. I’m sure the tienda owner was confused why in rural Ecuador there suddenly was a run on Asian noodles.
But we had learned in Mexico that if there is something in a store that you want, you cannot wait until tomorrow to buy it because odds are it will be gone tomorrow. That leads to some unusual shopping trips, but we learned how to adjust. In Cuba last year we saw the “best grocery” in Havana. It was frightening, but the food shortages in Cuba are another issue driven by years of politics and leadership challenges.
Flash forward to 2020, the year of Covid-19. First we have a run on toilet paper (and I still have absolutely no idea why that happened).
And then peanut butter started getting scarce. And then our favorite brand of peanut butter disappeared completely. Even online, the manufacturer had none, Amazon and Wal Mart, sold out. We heard rumors of a peanut shortage, but I’m not seeing that in the news.
Then one day months later in the local grocery at Friday Harbor, a delightful little town in the San Juan Islands, we wander past the peanut butter shelf and there it is! So we bought all of it and brought it back to the boat.
The next day Rob goes back into town while I work and stops in at the grocery, and they have restocked! So he packs up his pack and schlepps another 8 jars back to the boat.
The only problem now is that this is creamy and we like chunky, so we’ll be chopping and adding nuts to this supply of peanut butter that ought to last us a very long time. Good thing is, I don’t know if peanut butter even has an expiration date.