I don’t go grocery shopping; at least, not like my mom used to when she went on her weekly shopping excursion to the local ACME. My method’s a little different and fits my single lifestyle just fine. Every evening, on the way home, I stop at the Safeway, bolt in, grab JELL-O pudding (for dessert), applesauce (for breakfast), and some sort of food for the main course which can range from tilapia on a good night to Sloppy Joes on a better night. I’m in and out in twenty minutes top, and always go through the “15 Items or Fewer” line. If there’s more than three people in line when I go in, I chuck it all and go out to dinner (hello, Jersey Mike’s!) Shopping for one just isn’t all that fun.
When people talk about having a “well-stocked pantry,” I fear that I give them a blank stare. I don’t have (many) canned goods or boxes of prepared foods on hand. I don’t have a spice rack. Heck, I don’t even have ice cubes. The cat has more food in the pantry than I do. If there’s ever another blizzard that keeps me snowbound for a week, I guess I’ll just start eating her food.
Recently my mom gave me (another) cookbook and we decided to have a competition. We’ll make the same thing on the same night and then discuss it. After hearing that a few of my friends have Sunday morning grocery rituals, I decided what the heck? This Sunday, I’d go to the grocery store and buy food for the week. I rolled out of bed, didn’t take a shower, pulled my hair back in a messy ponytail, and changed into sweats and an old tee-shirt, because really, who’s at the grocery store on a Sunday morning at 10 AM?
Turns out, my friends were. That was only awkward for a second before they directed me to the soup aisle. By the time I got to the condiment aisle, I figured, ah, what the heck, they’re my friends, they don’t care what I look like. We bumped into each other again and they helped me look for Liquid Smoke (why the heck I wanted Liquid Smoke, I don’t know but it was on THE LIST). Then my pals invited me to dinner - see, why’s a girl have to shop when she gets dinner invites?!
I didn’t exactly plan my route around the store so I ended up having to do a little backtracking. Like, I got all my produce, chugged on over to the Deli Counter, remembered that I needed cauliflower, so I had to go all the way back to Produce but then I forgot my hamburger buns so then I had to go back to the other side of the store to the Bread Section. Next time, I gotta plot it out better because I wasted valuable time. Maybe I can catch some old episodes of Supermarket Sweep.
When I got to the Meat Section, I saw these tiny Cornish hens! How can you resist tiny Cornish hens? You can’t. I had to have them!
|Two Cornish hens crossed the road...|
And look at these cool premeasured packages of spices! Who needs a spice rack when you can just buy a couple hundred of these things every once in a while!
|I picked up spices for fajitas?! Fail on my part!|
OMG! Corn on the cob holders! I need those!
|Corn skewers for my two ears...of corn!|
I loaded up on meats and fresh vegetables…not a frozen veggie in sight! My cart was filled up so much, I wasn’t eligible for the “15 Items or Fewer” line. So, I had to get in regular line. That’s where I met Luther, the world’s slowest cashier. I used to do that job and was damn good at it. Luther, well, I’m going to be nice. Suffice it to say, I spent more time with Luther than I really wanted to.
An hour and fifteen minutes after I went in, I emerged with a cart full of groceries and the satisfaction of knowing that my fridge was going to be filled with really good food for the week. Then I remembered that I was gonna have to cook it.
And if there’s one thing that’s less fun that shopping for one, it’s cooking for one. It’s a vicious, vicious circle, I tell ya!