When life takes away your hams

When life takes away your hams

Nov 30 , 2021


Welcome to t he latest installment of "Supply Chain Shortages." We received an update from a local distributor this morning listing several items currently in short supply. The distributor- OK, it was Nicholas and Co- did an excellent job in listing the level of level of impact for each item, an estimated time table in which supply is expected to normalize, and a brief "Summary of Challenges" for each item. Impressive, really!

We have tried to be transparent about the lack of access we have had to a number of items this year, most recently and longest running being dry ice, for which medical needs are prioritized, and so with recent Covid spikes in the Mountain West... you get the picture. And we applaud Nicholas and Co for being so thoroughly transparent with their challenges. In comparison with another distributor's urge, via our sales rep, not to "hoard" ingredients and supplies. along with assurance that there were no shortages on the horizong- followed not long after by a letter from a C-level exec explaining the company could not have known this was coming, but here it was... Well, thank you to Nicholas and Co. This sort of information, rather than creating uncertainty and hysteria, allows the purchaser to be able to plan ahead, and to make substitutions as warranted and appropriate.

For instance, forget the ham. Ham is in short supply. It's holiday season, and there are plenty of people out there who would like to set a big old ham on the Christmas dinner table, especially now that they feel they can safely congregate with others again. But guess what? Supply is outpaced by demand this year. Hams are in short supply, and the distributor encourages substitution with turkeys. OK, so we just had turkeys for Thanksgiving. 

Speaking of giving, it's Giving Tuesday and time to give the suppliers out there who are struggling with supply chain issues a break. When continued pandemic-induced issues such as tie-ups getting products from overseas into ports and off boats combine with labor shortages AND increased demand, there is only so much a supplier can do. 

And the end is not in sight. This is not meant to be a Debbie Downer sort of post. So, let's move on to the good that can come from continued supply chain issues. Sure, a turkey can substitute for a ham. And since it's Giving Tuesday, even though the plethora of pleas coming from charitable organizations via text, email and USPS to make a gift may be overwhelming to the point of irritation today, are they really as annoying as all those ads for Black Friday that bombarded us days, if not weeks, before the actual day? Or the Cyber Monday notices that are still coming in? Probably not.

Please giving someone a gift this year in the form of a donation in their name. Or a homemade goody. And speaking of homemade goodies, how about having a holiday potluck instead of a traditional dinner, with each guest scaring up something in their own kitchen to share? Or take it a step further and make it a challenge. What can you make with just the stuff you have currently stocked in your cupboards, fridge and freezer? This is actually a really fun opportunity to get creative and invent something that could become a new tradition on the table every year!

Tis the season for giving. But giving doesn't have to be a commercial exercise. We all read this often enough. Magazines and newspapers and blogs give us all sorts of ideas for making our holidays less stressful, less expensive, and more fun and sentimental. Do we do it? Aw, jeez, maybe. And maybe we heed these words of wisdom the same way we keep our new year's resolutions. (Said tongue in cheek by someone who doesn't even bother to make those.)

We challenge you. We challenged you to the Holiday Mile, and are thankful to our little team for taking on that challenge. We'll reach out again next year to invite you all to join again. Meanwhile we challenge you to put your creative cooking or arts and crafts talents to work. Post a pic on our social media. We'd love to see what you come up with!

And there is a little time left for donating to a good cause on this Giving Tuesday. But then there will be tomorrow and the day after and so on. And those causes will still be there in case you don't get around to it today. 

Thank you. We appreciate you.


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