Saturday, December 25, 2004

clean up on aisle three

I love Safeway. I love it so much that I have no qualms about linking my favorite grocery store in a weblog post. One of the things I love about the place is that it takes exactly four minutes to get there. In case you didn't know already, I have grocery shopping down to a refined art. I've had no choice but to learn to do so, because in my family we go grocery shopping seemingly every three days or so, and I'm talking about excursions involving entire grocery lists here, not even just one or two items at a time. My mother sees half a bottle of milk in the fridge in the afternoon and becomes convinced it won't see the light of morning. This is just the way my mother is, but perhaps there is an element of truth to that paranoia, considering the fact that some of us bake so many chocolate chip cookies that one has no choice but to consume endless quantities of milk in conjunction with the cookies, which, in this household, are readily viewed as acceptable forms of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and every meal in between.

I prefer to think of grocery shopping as a tyrannical act. My mother hands me (or dictates) the grocery list, but my shopping methods and choices are absolute and inviolable. We do things my way.

I list as examples, for your edification and entertainment, the following highlights from my grocery shopping trip yesterday:

- Chocolate chip cookie dough? Forget the cookie dough. I'm buying brownie mix. Chocolate fudge brownies, and it even comes with a frosting packet. And, look! It's two-for-$5! That means I can buy a box of walnut brownies mix for the daddy-o, who demands nuts in every dessert.

- Wait, fine, let's get both the cookie dough and the brownie mixes. Ingenious! Somewhere, there is a sigh of relief. The universe is re-aligned on its axis, to run the true course of dessert-lovers everywhere. Give yourself a pat on the back.

- Sourdough bread? We already have enough at home, contrary to whatever my mother may think. Therefore, forget that, too. 100% crushed whole wheat bread is where it's at! And, look! It's on a buy-one-get-one-free deal! Ironically enough, our father raised us to love wheat bread and now wrinkles his nose at it himself, thus the constant requests for sourdough bread.

- Avocadoes are not on the list, but I buy them anyway. I'm on a goal to engage in some sandwich-making frenzy over winter break, thankyouverymuch. Whoever has not tried avocado and cheese sandwiches is not living life. Yes, there is such a combination! Get with it, people.

- Red bell peppers? I do not like them in my salad. So I will not be buying them. End of (nonexistent) discussion. Green bell peppers are cool. Got it. Cross them both off the list. Next?

- Strawberry jam? Raspberry jam? Where did these come from? As far as our family is concerned, there is only one kind of jam, and it is blackberry jam! Seedless is preferable, but it doesn't really matter. Forgot those other fruits; blackberry it is. (Meanwhile, I also waste a few precious minutes rolling my eyes at the peanut butter and jelly combinations – "SMUCKER'S Goober Grape Peanut Butter & Jelly Stripes"? Who the holy freakin smoley would want to eat anything partially named "goober"?)

- Tomato sauce? Let's buy real tomatoes instead, even if they're more expensive. Tomatoes will go well in my upcoming avocado-and-cheese sandwiches. Yes, this whole thing is about ME, obviously. You'll have to deal with it.

- Fudge cake? Oooh. This is a hard one to resist. Hmm. Two batches of brownies (for $5 total) versus a $12 fudge cake. Brownies win, hands down. Let's face it, the fun of licking the bowl during brownie-baking is one important factor in the decision-making process.

Anyway. You get the idea, I'm sure.

Also, in case you were wondering –

Calories? What calories? We don't count no stinkin' calories in this household. Well, at least 4/5 of us don't. But the other 1/5 bakes enough chocolate chip cookies to make up for her momentary weaknesses. Ultimately, we are just not "CHOLESTEROPHOBIC" people, to semi-steal a word from some others of us.

The best part of the grocery shopping experience, though, was when I got home and had to practically crawl into the trunk of my car to extricate the two bottles of 2% reduced-fat milk* that had lodged themselves into the far recesses of my trunk. That's what I get for living on a hill and driving like a speed demon on the curves around here.

*DISCLAIMER: I'll have you know that the reason we buy 2% reduced-fat milk (Grade A pasteurized homogenized with vitamins A & D!) is not because it's healthy, but just because it tastes better. The same goes for the choice of wheat bread over white bread. That's right! The end.