Boston area in grip of whipped-cream shortage

Shortage of nitrous oxide means less whipped cream on hand

Julie got a grim lesson in just how fragile our supply chains can be last night when she spotted this sign at her local Market Basket, alerting her to a national shortage of nitrous oxide, which has slashed production of whipped cream. Except Reddi-wip, hmm ...

The final line of the advisory, while aimed at store managers, offers some glint of an idea: "If you run out of product, use space for Christmas cookies."

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Another alternative

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First of all, dumbass manager shouldn't have posted an internal memo in the store. Just make a handwritten sign blaming the shortage on kids huffing too many whippets.

But another solution especially around the holidays (presuming folks have more time than usual to prepare meals/desserts) is too make one's own whipped cream from scratch. Sure it takes more time and effort but will get rave reviews from the friends and family. If I can do it, anyone can.

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I actually quite appreciate

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I actually quite appreciate having the full information. Maybe they could have snipped off the bottom of the sheet to remove the irrelevant-to-shoppers bit, but it's nice to know the reasons and projections.

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Not everyone...

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...has a high-speed mixer. And not everyone wants/needs that much whipped cream all at once. The cans solve both problems.

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Yeah

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I will make homemade whipped cream if I am having guests (and we're going to eat alot of it). But I usually get the cans if it's just me because it lasts way longer than fresh. Fresh after a day or so, it just gets too watery (and re-whipping it doesn't help)

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The cans solve both problems..

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...Yes, if they're available for sale!!

My suggestion was for when the store's shelves are empty.

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Whip It!

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"When a problem comes along...you must whip it!
Before the cream sits out too long...you must whip it!"

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Hold it together, people

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Do they have sugar and heavy whipping cream?

And do you own a bowl and a whisk?

Then they still have whipped cream.

2 tbsp of sugar in a cold bowl. Add 1 cup of the cream. Whip until the peaks stiffen.

Once you master that difficulty level, try adding a tsp of a flavor extract or some citrus zest for unique flavors to match the dessert you're putting it on.

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Do you have a hand mixer?

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Use that! Do you have a stand mixer? All the better, but keep an eye on it or you'll get butter (which I hear is plentiful at Market Basket this holiday season).

Also, it won't taste like a chemical plant in Yazoo City,

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Whisks

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Silly rabbit whisks are for kids.

Perfect whipped cream (and bread kneading) is the reason why I got a kitchen aid mixer. 3 minutes and *poof* the right amount of thick peaks.

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yes, but...

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There's a real whisk of making a big mess.

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Yep

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But it helps get the energy out if you're feeling whisky.

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(All the good puns are used already)

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Yeah, it's a good work out, and a great justification for having TWO slices of pie!

I've found a handheld stick blender works great for making smaller amounts of whipped cream, it's just a bit of a pain in the ass to clean.

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Do you have an employer that has potlucks

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Do you keep these items at work. Do you share a fridge with seventy five other people.

See how this goes?

I personally dislike the stuff an only get it so my kids can top things without the whole mess. However, I bought two cans for a holiday potluck at work for a dessert that I usually make the cream for because I knew that real stuff would collapse and weep and I don't have a mixer at work and I'm not hauling one on my bike.

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Stabilized whipped cream

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Use gelatin or a bit of instant pudding mix while you're mixing. It will hold up for days.

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Does the work fridge have a freezer?

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You can freeze whipped cream and when it thaws it will still hold up pretty well. If you're putting it on something hot, then it only takes a minute or two to thaw out. Otherwise, it could take about 15-20 minutes if you pull it out to room temp ahead of time.

You can even portion it out ahead of time to have personal sized dollops and shapes, etc. if you're gonna go all Martha Stewart on it.

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Shared with 75 people

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Did you miss that part? One small fridge/freezer unit.

I'm a very capable cook. That's why I know that I have no other reasonable options for the whipped cream - and why it would be gross to carry it in and let it sit in my office. Bringing the cans in with some ice and a soft sided cooler. Way better than coolwhip!

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Yes, canned whipped cream is

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Yes, canned whipped cream is more convenient. But it's still useful to know how to make it by hand if the canned product is unavailable.

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oh la la

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Well oh la la. Next you're going to tell me there's a superior product for cheese and crackers--better than my cheese in a can--that can be prepared using a knife and a plate.

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Whisk Shmisk!

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Where's the fun in that? You can't use a whisk to spray a steady stream of sweet, sweet, curly foam into your mouth!

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That's incredibly helpful

Do they have sugar and heavy whipping cream?

And do you own a bowl and a whisk?

Then they still have whipped cream.

2 tbsp of sugar in a cold bowl. Add 1 cup of the cream. Whip until the peaks stiffen.

When somebody asks where the nearest Dunkies is, do you tell them how to grind their own coffee?

When somebody asks where to grab a burger, do you tell them how to grind their own beef?

When somebody asks where the bread aisle is, do you tell them to make it themselves?

There are prepared foods, and there are from-scratch foods, and there are different situations when different people find either category to be appropriate.

But giving the answer to a question that nobody asked is never helpful.

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Yes, if the stores had no

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Yes, if the stores had no bread, but continued to sell flour, salt, and yeast, I would probably share the helpful knowledge on the wolrd wide web that you can make your own bread.

Baustin's internal note: If Scratchie runs out of patience with you, offer Christmas cookies.

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Scale versus convenience versus learned ignorance

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If they're asking where the Dunkies is, then they're not standing in a store selling coffee beans at the time, now are they?

If they want to grab a burger, then you can't always assume they have an open-flame grill living in the city, can you?

And if they need bread, they may not have the hours of prep time to spend waiting for the dough to properly proof, do they?

But what I'm talking about requires a whisk (which could even be a fork if you're a bit of a masochist) and two ingredients (one of which is a staple that every home has since nobody knocks on my door to borrow a cup of sugar any more these days). And it takes about 5-10 minutes to whisk the cream sturdy. No complicated ingredients, no extra equipment, no hours of prep time. There are prepared foods and there are prepared foods.

And many people might even look at a can of whipped cream or a container of Cool Whip whipped topping and figure they *have* to buy that because they wouldn't even know where to begin, purely out of learned ignorance. But tell them all they have to do is whisk some cream with some sugar in it and suddenly they might remember just how easy it is and go get the heavy whipping cream instead.

Yet, you're going to chastise me for educating people as to what goes into a simple whipped cream? To what end? You think it's better that nobody learn how easy they could replace canned whip cream because someone might prefer it over making homemade? Why is that better for everyone involved?

Stick around...I'm just about to explain how to make a basic vinaigrette.

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If they're asking where the

If they're asking where the Dunkies is, then they're not standing in a store selling coffee beans at the time, now are they?

Maybe they are. Wouldn't that be ironic? Or maybe they're actually standing in a butcher shop asking how to get to the closest Wendy's. Wouldn't that just be too much.

But what I'm talking about requires a whisk (which could even be a fork if you're a bit of a masochist)

Let me make sure I understand you. You're trying to convince us how simple it is to make your own whipped cream by pointing out that you can make it with a fork? Why not a knife? Or a barbeque skewer?

(one of which is a staple that every home has since nobody knocks on my door to borrow a cup of sugar any more these days)

Or maybe that's because a lot of people don't bake from scratch anymore. And besides, it's better to use confectioner's sugar when whipping cream.

And many people might even look at a can of whipped cream or a container of Cool Whip whipped topping and figure they *have* to buy that because they wouldn't even know where to begin, purely out of learned ignorance

You have no reason to assume that anyone reading this article or standing in the dairy section of Market Basket doesn't know how to make their own whipped cream. Between the mind reading and the "learned ignorance", you should quit while you're behind.

Yet, you're going to chastise me for educating people as to what goes into a simple whipped cream?

Yes. Yes I am.

To what end?

Partly for my own amusement, and partly because I find the internet trend of answering a question that nobody asked to be particularly annoying.

E.g.:
Q: "I'm making ribs. Does anyone know where I can buy propane for my grill in ?"
A: "You really should be using charcoal or wood for real barbeque. You're welcome!"

Q: "Do you know where I can park in ?"
A: "Well, you know, by only making three train/bus connections and leaving 60-90 minutes earlier, you can make the trip on public transportation and not have to park at all! You're welcome!"

Etc.

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Partly for my own amusement

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On this we can agree.

When I logged in again around 2 PM while having lunch today and saw that a simple post about missing whipped cream at a Market Basket and where I suggested people could make whipped cream from a few simple instructions had somehow garnered 30+ responses at the time, I couldn't help but see if I could post a response to a few key players to get the whole thing up to at least 50. We're 90% of the way there!

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Ouch

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Makes me want to hang on to that mostly full can I have that I got around thanksgiving for a pie.

and OMG a shortage in nitrous.. there's a nitrous party out there that just isn't as fun now....

And "importing" Nitrous.. great. Watch the price go up by 50 cents to a buck a can on that stuff now.

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Price might go down

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Euro is cheap.

Granted, come January Donald will put a 35% tax on it for shipping jobs overseas right after tweeting that they are going to lose their contract to supply the white house kitchen and all Trump hotels.

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Explosion

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let me guess - they hadn't had the place inspected and cut staff by 50% to appease shareholders.

That's usually how it goes.

Get used to it!

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I just want to say

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This is an example of why I love UHub. The comments bring me tidings of great joy. I love you guys, man! Happy holidays you crazy f'ers! (and I mean that with the utmost respect)

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Wait - is this memo a spoof?

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After posting my vid above, it occured to me that I had heard of an Airgas explosion this summer. Sure enough, there was an explosion at the loading dock of the Florida plant in August that tragically killed one person - but did not shut down the plant.

There's nothing on the inderwebz that I could find about a more recent event there, or about a NO2 shortage in general.

Is this 'memo' just a weird practical joke by someone?

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Shortage

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Well remember that many of the seasonal foods we eat are ordered and made months before the holiday. This is why we see Halloween candy in August (as Adam so does love to post about). This could just be a break in the supply chain from months ago. (since production could have slowed down since the plant was not totally shut down)

10 days isn't that long of a break, but enough time to show where production slowed down. Plus with the big rush on whipped cream for desserts around this time of year (between thanksgiving and xmas), it's not hard to believe stock was dwindled some.

Plus this stuff lasts forever.. the can I have I bought in early Nov when I made a pie. I think it expires in late March.

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I think this is the stuff

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I think this is the stuff that makes dragsters go fast. What am I going to do on Sunday Sunday Sunday!

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SBW

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not on the south boston waterfront you're not!

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Priorities

As Airgas has built its supply back up, the priority has been on meeting the needs of its medical customers, not food manufacturers.

- From the Tribune Article

Wouldn't the responsible thing be to buy local and use Fluff instead? (Or, you know, do the whisk thing).

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thankfully

There was plenty of it when Herb Alpert put out his album in the sixties.

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Remember Albums

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Perhaps one of the best album covers ever

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If you're bored

Do a Google Images search for "Herb Alpert Whipped Cream parody" covers.

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Best. Album. Cover. Ever.

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I listened to that album and gawked at the cover many times as a youth.

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Ironic

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I usually make my own whipped cream for Thanksgiving but this year said screw it, and bought a can of the aerosol Hood stuff.

I still have a partial can in my fridge. I was just pondering what I could put it on, as I now feel like I should be very grateful to have this rare and exotic foodstuff at hand.

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WE NEED TO TAKE ACTION

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Conserve, people. Obvi.


#putwhippedcreamonyourjellonotonyourjunk

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