Tuesday 10 March 2020

Emergency rations

It's not over till it's over. The day after our 2020 marmalade blitz-meitheal, I was boiling up another batch of Seville oranges. I thought I'd scraped the very bottom of the re-usable jam-jars box to get that quantity into a preserved state. It is amazin' if you think about it from the refrigerated sell-by-date 21stC point of view: here is food that can be stored indefinitely on a shelf in a shed. When considering what to include in the CoViD-19 self-isolated hoarded food [and t'ilet-rolls I gather] bunker, a few jars of marmelade have clear-and-present value. Can be bartered for a snow-shovel or an asthma inhaler. My solo-run on 1st March barely made a dent in the box of whole oranges, so I resolved to make another batch last weekend; when I was down the Déise with Pat the Salt and The Beloved. But the trouble with cooking off site is that you're bound to leave some essential bit of kit on the kitchen table at home. And it was so! But I was able to fill my tallest st.steel saucepan with halved Sevilles and cook 'em up enough to kill any fungal spores and start releasing pectin. In the succeeding week I had been able to rustle up a motley crew of jars [see above R], most of which with plastic lids that are really not suitable for long-term storage.
Last night I boiled up again & extracted 3pts = 1.7 litres of first pressing orange juice, which according to reliable practice, will set nicely with 3kg of white sugar. And it was so! I now have another 11 pots of the good stuff, against the Zombie Apocalypse / CoViD lock-down / the end of the world as we know it [sing it!]

Did someone mention CoViD lock-down? They did: at a staff meeting at The Institute on Monday. After my last class on Friday afternoon, I was cruel enough to return to my office singing ♯♫♪♫
Four more weeks of teaching
my room-mates are not retiring this year; so they have to think about how they're going to update their courses and change their patter next year. Not me! After the meeting, it is looking reasonably likely that I could rather have been singing
Two more weeks to go
Two more weeks of teaching
because a lock-down before Easter is definitely on the cards. We were advised to think of contingency plans for continuous assessment CA assessment. I had been planning my remedial maths practical exams for the week starting Monday 30 March 2020. The Man was suggesting that the date be brought forward a couple of weeks if possible. Could be done, I reckon. 

I can sort that, and talk real fast about sex and immunology during the next two weeks in Human Physiology, I will have covered all the learning outcomes that require my physical presence in the same room as students.
I can retreat to Das Covidbunker and start loading silver bullets into the 12-gauge . . . lest any escapees from Shaun of the Dead come looking for the good stuff.

No comments:

Post a Comment