Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Special report: Grocery shopping, recipe and holiday style, frustrations galore #%&$###!!

It started out to be a real simple grocery shopping mission of "just a few items for a recipe." How hard can it be to buy bits and pieces to fit the recipe for a "cozy soup", Southwestern Chicken-and-Rice Soup with Tortilla Strips, and Creamy Apple-and-Pecan Salad? Well after looking at the recipe I thought this was going to be a piece of cake(no pun intended), but it turned out to be one of my longest days in the ole super market. Fact is, it turned out like when you go for a run and get cramps or upset stomach or something worse, or when you go on a bike ride and have 4 flat tires with no tubes, or a dog bites your leg and you can't finish your ride or you go swimming and they have drained the pool or the water is so cold you can't feel your privates for 2 hours afterwards, and last but not least you go bowling and they have run out of Coors Light or anything resembling cold beer. That is the kind of day I had shopping on this October 31 Halloween Day. In the first place I never dreamed that this was such a, "go to the grocery store and shop" type of holiday. What is going on with our world today, we now have 38 official holidays in the United States alone, with Germany coming in a distant second with 18 holidays. Of the 14 countries listed for holidays there was only one holiday that was recognized by all countries, you guessed it National Boss Day, whoops just kidding, it was actually January 1, New Years Day. Second was Christmas Day with only Japan declaring not to celebrate this holiday. While this post was about grocery shopping I have ventured over into another one of my pet peeves, WAY TOO MANY HOLIDAYS IN THE WORLD!!! I will cover this in more passionate detail in the future. But I am amazed at how some of these holidays have come about and wonder why we have to have to so many of them. But I guess Halloween has gotten bigger than one could imagine, why there were even people in the store wearing costumes while they shopped. Needless to say I was there on a mission and the costume thing was not amusing to me, unless there was cleavage to admire or whatever. But, I found in my quest for getting the goods and getting out of there it was important that I stay on the beaten path of finding what I was there for, paying for it and getting back to the Canyons. My first mistake was in shopping from the recipe rather than by the item needed, so it was confusing on what department I should start in. I usually get my cart and go directly to the vegetables, fruits, etc., but right off the bat I was thrown a big curve. Right in front of me pushing her shopping cart with a mission was my most frequent ex-wife. I knew she shopped this store but didn't expect her here this day. After I ran head into her cart and saying excuse me, she recognized me(well we were married for 11 years so she should recognize me)and then the normal pleasantries took place. Oh how are how, etc. I explained I was fine and she looked great(you never lose with that line) but that I was on a mission and didn't have time to waste. However, I did take the time to comment on what she had in her basket, which amounted to two bags of candies which I didn't think would be too healthy for supper. She then explained that it was for the trick or treaters and she had a lot of kids in the neighborhood, and it wasn't any of my business anyway. Okay so much for small talk, now lets get on with the shopping. We then unhooked our carts and I moved on to the first item on my list. What I didn't realize is that recipes called for the little bit parts that make up the whole, so if it says 4 cups of something then you have figure out how many cans of something(in this case chicken broth)equals, at least, the 4 cups. Whoops, I am in over my head this time and I recognized it right off. Then of all things the recipe called for 4 apples, you say no big deal, but I say it is a big deal since it calls for 1 Granny Smith and 3 Gala apples. For the life of me I thought there were green apples and red apples, but then I started adding up the different types of apples and found 14 different varieties, then throw in the organic and you have 18 different varieties. See what I mean, this is not easy and I have a long way to go. I am only on the first few items and I am stumped! But I do find my Grannies and the Galaies and move on. At this point though I do have to admit I have bumped into one of my favorite people and former co-worker in one of my early companies. She had always taken care of me when I was the sales manager and now she was there for me to help me find some difficult things. The truth is I really wanted to jump in the cart and let her push me around while we got the next items which I knew were going to be quite a challenge. But, unfortunately she had better things to do. So we said good day and I was on my on. Afterall she said, "you have traveled the world, seen many things and surely to hell you can find your way around this simple store that has signs hanging from the ceiling that tells you where everything is." I agreed, picked my fallen pride up and moved on. After Sheri abandoned me in the produce department I made the comment to a young lady that I felt as if I had been sent to prison and forced to shop for my way out of here. She looked at me with no pity and acted like I was some kind of dirty ole man or something similar. She then moved her cart in over time speed out of my prescence. Now a days it seems that if you say something to women in any context they think you are "hitting" on them. I can assure the world that this was the last thing on my mind, I just want to finish my grocery list and go to the canyons with everything that is ask for. It is important to me that I take home 100% of what is requested, not 95% or 98%, but 100%. Now I am looking for something that I never heard of, have never purchased before and have no clue what it is, "loosely packed cilantro leaves." After 6 decades on this planet and I never heard of this stuff and I must find it before I leave the store. Bottom line here is I actually ask the young man in the produce department what the hell I was looking for and where the hell was it. Of course he smiled and led me straight to it. Surprise, I have seen this before but didn't know the name of it. Now I do and two bundles of it are safely packed away in my cart. Now to the next challenge, dried cranberries and golden raisins. Sheri had told me that these items would be in the baking section which seemed simple enough, NOT!! They were no where to be found by me and as a last resort I had to ask an employee of the store where they were. I prefaced my request to this young man by stating that he could prevent my total insanity if he would lead me to these two items. He smiled that, you dumb ass smile, and took me to the right department. Now I was down to only one last item that I couldn't find and it was really getting frustrating now. This was pickled jalapeno slices or chopped. While I had found the Llano pickled jalapeno olives the just plain peppers were completely invisible. So, I had to ask the same young man where are you hiding the pickled jalapeno's? He smiled that same smile from before and said follow me. At this point I had decided that if he found this one last item on my list I was going to adopt him, send him to college and insure that he went shopping with me everytime. But, after he found it for me he went off into the dog food section to help a young maiden in distress. I was thankful to him and proud for him. But, more proud for myself, I was at 100% and even bought a few extra items just because I wanted to. I always buy cherry tomatoes and radishes, these are my favorites and I make a meal out of them. I am the only one in the house that eats these two gourmet veggies, so I have them all to myself. When I eat them Buffman looks at me like I have really lost it, but I just ignore him, afterall he eats dog food all the time. How tasty can that be? He is a weird dog though, and has many human tendencies, poor thing! With all of my new found food products for this forthcoming delicious meal I am now ready to go to the check out. One thing good about holidays is that they have someone manning all of the check out stations. As is usual the first thing the young lady ask is, "did you find everything?" The answer she usually hears is "yes as a matter of fact I bought more than I came here to buy," but today I say, "no, as a matter of fact I only found a fraction of what I came to buy and if it weren't for 2 or 3 people helping me I would still be clinging to my basket in the aisles." Fact is I said, "I have been here since 10:00 a.m.(it was now 4:30 p.m.(" She looked at me like she believed me and said, "are you serious?" I said of course not, but I feel like I have been here that long. I then answered the paper or plastic question(always plastic), the bags were packed and carted to my car for me. Now the conversation from the checkout to the car, then finding the car drama that always goes on. The conversation was light, thank God, and I found the car with ease. So, now all I had to do was leave the parking lot and head to the canyons, which I did.

With another successful shopping episode in the super market behind me I think I might take up cooking or playing the piano.

Voting day is close at hand, take the time to vote for your candidate. I think Kinky is in trouble, but who knows. He will get one vote at least.

Now I will enjoy my soup and salad,



Blogger OlGal said...

So sorry I misled you re the cranberries/raisins. I think the store folks saw you coming and moved stuff around just so you'd have a better blog! Oh, and I googled apples and found over 80 varieties available. Glad you had only 18 or so to blow your mind.

8:56 AM  

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