Important Ingredients

April 27, 2020 at 12:43 pm Leave a comment

I have done the grocery store shop, wearing a mask and with a pocketful of Clorox wipes. It wasn’t too bad. Most people were very polite and aware of personal space. Most people would pause at corners and intersections, to allow for six feet. But, of course, the problem is never most people . . . it is Some People. For example:

  • The couple who were oblivious to social distance (and kept sniggering at my mask).
  • The woman who set her cell phone down on top of fresh, unpackaged produce.
  • The people who just walked around, nearly colliding with others, because they were (A) lacking spatial intelligence or (B) lacking any type of intelligence.
  • The woman who slowly ran her hand over at least 12 loaves of bread and then wandered off with nary a slice, while a crowd of other people (people who think of bread as food, not an interactive exhibit) stood and stared from six feet back.

Friends, I’m sorry to tell you, there is no prep or protection for idiots and weirdos.

Another problem I had was using self-checkout. First, I’m against it on principle. Second, you have to transfer groceries from one cart (which I had sanitized) to a different cart, a cart that might have been used by a contagious person or the bread fondler.

I survived the adventure, but, the next time I needed groceries, I decided to try delivery.

Let me mention, I enjoy cooking food. I enjoy eating food. I enjoy feeding people. I like to learn new recipes and read cookbooks. I even get a kick out of organizing pantry cupboards. But I have never liked to grocery shop. So our current situation has taken my least favorite chore and turned it into a complex task that, if not handled properly, could put lives at risk.

Note:  I’m not saying my meal preparation skills have never raised an eyebrow or rumbled a tum, but, to date, I have never actually killed anyone.

I tried for days, at all hours, to order pickup or delivery from Giant Eagle. I tried for days, at all hours, to order from Whole Foods. Then, I tried Shop N Save via instacart. They have an option of “fast and flexible” delivery, which isn’t exactly fast by anyone’s normal standards but does allow you to sign up for delivery without needing to hit refresh for 5 hours to win the time slot lottery. You simply place your order and they bring your groceries within a time span. It’s a brilliant idea for these strange pandemic days. It’s not perfect, but it’s brilliant.

If an item you select isn’t available, the shopper will either substitute something similar or skip it and refund the price. I have ordered through them twice and likely will again.

I’m usually fairly loosey-goosey about groceries. I sort of, sometimes keep a running list; I go to the store and get stuff; I look around for other stuff we might need. Often, as I think about an upcoming dinner, I run out and buy an additional ingredient or two (or twelve) the day before. It’s true, I did once send my father and uncle to buy pasta after they arrived at my house for a spaghetti dinner I had invited them to, but that’s another story. I guess I’m saying, my project management skills do not translate well to my grocery shopping — even on a regular day. These days, I do try. I make a list; I check the pantry; before I finalize my order, I sit and think real hard. My approach is that I will fully plan a couple of specific meals, and then fill in with other flexible, familiar ingredients that will give me options. That’s a pretty good plan, right?

My groceries were due to arrive between April 27-28. Then they were due to arrive on May 4. Then they were due to arrive April 27-29. Then, yesterday (April 26), they were due to arrive April 26-27. I was excited! Last night, around 8:45, I received a text that my groceries were on their way to my house. There was dancing. And singing. Bags appeared on the front porch. I carried them in, unloaded, sanitized, washed, and scrubbed. I carried everything we didn’t need immediately down to the basement refrigerator. (I did not touch my face. I turned on lights with my elbow. I opened a refrigerator with my foot!) Getting groceries and putting them away has never seemed so magical.

I finished and collapsed onto the couch in a happy, clean-smelling heap, content in knowing that, for a few days at least, we would be spared the random results of internet recipe searches, mismatched leftovers, and weird ingredient roulette. It was a moment of unique joy. How could tedious, irksome grocery shopping make me feel so good?

And then it hit me. My preparations had included two specific meals:  (1) a big salad and (2) a turkey dinner. My order had been missing two items:  lettuce and turkey.

Oh well. At least I still have these ingredients.

boozeshelf

 

 

 

Entry filed under: Humor - Commentary. Tags: , , , , , , .

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