Thursday, September 5, 2013

Grocery Shopping

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with grocery shopping.

If you were popping by for a deep, theological post, today aint it.

What I hate? Trying to balance ethical eating {i.e. buying fair trade and organic whenever possible} with frugality {not spending a bazillion dollars, valuing meals that are simple} and nutrition.

It's harder than you'd think. And this really is a big deal for my family. Groceries are our number one expense. We spend more monthly on food than we do for our mortgage payment. We have 11 mouths to feed, after all.

My honey has thrown an extra wrench in the works by requesting at least 2 low carb {meaning no pasta or rice} vegetarian meals per week. I'm pretty sure my response was to stare blankly and then start murmuring indecipherable words.

What the what?!?

Like I don't have enough to do, dear?


I told my bestie about this and she asked me, in genuine sincerity, Why??

And I was like, heck if I know.

But hey, I like the man, so I'm trying play his silly game.

Tonight Riley and I tag teamed. He made brilliant cheese souffles and I made a layered salad. It was all a teensy bit salty but, Low Carb Vegetarian Meal #1 for the week- DONE.

What I love about grocery shopping? The routine. I go every Thursday afternoon. Apparently I am not the only one who shops every Thursday, because I am beginning to recognize some of the same faces every week.

I love taking Ella Grace to the bakery, getting her a cookie, and watching her big, blue eyes light up with excitement at the chocolate chips or the sprinkles or whatever giant monstrosity of flour, eggs and sugar they give her.

I also have a confession: I am a closet internationalist.


Whether it is German coffee or Danish butter cookies, Swedish lingonberry jam or British Digestives, I swoon. I gawk. I linger there until whomever my shopping companion for the day is starts moaning MOOOOOOMMMM, from the other end of the aisle. Just so you know, if ever I turn up missing, I'm likely holed up in the international aisle. Or a book shop. I used to request going to get coffee at the book store on Trev and I's *dates*, but he figured out it was just a sneaky trick on my part to drool over books and ignore him completely and stopped taking me there for date night. Something about wanting to actually spend time *together*. I guess. But that is neither here nor there. {wink}

Today, I found a beautiful jar of raw honey from Italy. It was a pale yellow, clear liquid that looked like sunshine in a glass. I brought it home and the taste made my eyes roll back in my head. I found myself nodding involuntarily, as if I was agreeing with an invisible friend about what a worthy purchase it was. It went into my tea this afternoon. I am most certainly going to enjoy this little luxury. I got a tiny jar of wild strawberry jam to go on scones or crumpets {yes, I did get some of those too, in case you're wondering} and I am looking forward to trying it far more than is normative. If they bring back clotted cream I'll die and go to Heaven.

The international aisle is most definitely a perk for adventurous, foodie types like myself.

There are other things I hate, now that I think of it, like getting stuck behind a dreaded couponer in line. Oy. They pull out their BINDER of coupons and you feel yourself aging. Or trying to figure out what an appropriate obligatory tip would be for the baggers. Or when people are talking on their dang cell phones, loudly, and then you mistakenly think they are talking to you, so you say, Excuse me? Just to have them give you the death stare and act like you're truly a liability to humanity. I hate that. Grrr.

So yes, today's post was all about grocery shopping. I spent a little more than I'd hoped to this week but was still within budget. Ella Grace proudly displayed the remains of her chocolate chip cookie all over her face, hands and dress, smiling at all passers-by and nearly humming with contentment. She insisted on giving me sweet, slobbery kisses undoubtedly induced by her sugar rush, and I was happy to comply. Riley kept me from growing old staring at imported delicacies. I bought ingredients for at least 2 vegetarian meals for the week. I still don't know why. {wink}Overall? It was a success.

And this is the quotidian commerce that makes up my Thursdays.

~amy danielle

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