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The New Normal looks Familiar

Updated: Dec 6, 2021

My How things have changed

So, let’s hit the Wayback button to see how this story starts. In the early 60’s things were very comfortable, and the cooler weather meant a change at home too.

The family would migrate home more often between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. And this made for much excitement waiting for far off uncles and aunts to return with exotic treats. I remember my Florida uncle would always bring home small plants like Areca Palms for everyone and of course fresh oranges. And he always brought with them some really, really small ones, maybe an inch in diameter, that I would Scotch tape together to make little ornaments for the tree. Another uncle from New England always brought Maple Leaf candy, and my youngest uncle still living in Akron had a source for peanut brittle.

I remember as a kid back home in the 60’s, for special occasions we used to make snack trays.

We had all the latest trends; Ritz crackers, potato chips from Wise if I remember correctly, celery stalks, Philadelphia cream cheese, maybe some diced ham, and on one fateful party we had pickled herring. Someone had opened the fancy jar of herring just to taste it and then simply put it back on the shelf in our pantry, not realizing it must be refrigerated after opening. Only one guest had a taste for this exotic treat and boy did they get sick, all the way home. Sorry cousin.

Well back to the platter, it was the season for Holiday parties and that meant chip dip, right? The real star of the show was the onion chip dip we made ourselves. My Uncle Jerry was a college freshman at the University of Akron, and he found out about this new fad that was all the rage in California. It was simply Lipton Onion soup mixed into a pint of sour cream. It was delicious, and I think at the time it was even called California Dip.

We tried this often before we discovered Lawson’s Chip Dip. No contest after that, better taste, easier, and cheaper.

We did like the idea of making something fresh right at home, and if my memory serves, Wishbone or maybe it was Good Seasons, came out with an Italian dressing kit. and it had a glass cruet and stopper to create your own tasty dressing, just add water, oil. I think a little vinegar was needed also. Very tasty compared to what was available in the grocery aisles. I think we always had French dressing prior to that. Now there are hundreds of flavors for just about any taste, but the memory of making our own makes me smile even today. My wife remembers this but never tried it. So, I will buy it just to demonstrate, Old School and all that.

If you would like to see the dressing kits and get them today, check out this Amazon 2 pack you could get, and then share one of them in a gift basket for someone else.

Today we have so many options.

If you like the idea of fresh homemade dips, you could still try making some of your own. The obvious choices are Ranch, Buttermilk Ranch, Southern Ranch, and for a change of pace, Uncle Dan’s brand California Country Dill. But don’t stop there, try it with fresh, smashed Avocado. Ranch Guacamole, or even Taco flavored Guacamole dip with Salsa and McCormick’s Taco packets.

Here is the good part of the Best of Jeff and Stuff. I get to share my New Normal as I try to bring back that feeling of comfort from my childhood.

This is turning into a public service announcement.

I hope it will help some people.

With the resurgence of Covid and all its variants, you don’t have to go into your local grocery store and mingle unnecessarily. Save your mingle time for family and trusted friends. This is what works best for us. I suggest you try it once or twice to see if it fits for you too.

We have been using Walmart Grocery pickup from before Covid hit, because it was much so easier after my surgery. We have used it on over 100 grocery runs and, on those orders, I only have had a few issues with freshness of produce or out of stock, or close sell by dates. The service is free, and I am back home in about 40 minutes which is mostly drive time where I usually spent an additional hour pushing the cart around. I am especially happy not having to complain that there aren’t enough cashier lanes open. It makes my life so much easier. Who doesn’t need a little bit of that? As an added bonus you can also buy non grocery items you need in a hurry, batteries, strings of Christmas lights, wrapping paper, or yes, even toilet paper. All Black Friday prices apply through year end, so you can easily add gifts to your order, and if it is not in the store they will ship it to you, usually in 2 days.

Walmart shop from home has really upped their game.

You deserve a break, and your common sense tells you to work smarter. Spend your time, wisely, no more walking across windy and slippery parking lots, with hardly any nearby parking, plus, if you still want to donate like you did before in the baskets out front, you can round up your purchase to the next dollar as a charitable donation. Every little bit adds up.

If you are like everybody else you will want to compare prices, but you will find Amazon and Walmart are the top two destinations for price, variety, and confident shopping. Why not make your life safer and easier?

This in not just a seasonal issue, it is the one of many changes to our New Normal. We can make our lives better. Please share these ideas with someone you know who will appreciate these new safety conveniences.

And if you appreciate these stories and if you are feeling generous, you might

If you want to see the latest items on our “You Need This” list, click here

Thanks for reading.

Jeff Adkins

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