Posts tagged ‘alcohol’

Important Ingredients

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.





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

Buffett Babies?

Tomorrow, in Pittsburgh, the Parrot Heads will congregate at StarLake. I’ve lost count of the concerts, but it’s at least my 22nd time to see Jimmy Buffett. (23 if you count the time I shook his hand and said hello on 6th Street in downtown Pittsburgh, when I happened to see him on my lunch hour.)

I’ve been going with pretty much the same friends all these years. And, I suppose it was bound to happen sooner or later. Drum roll and a short one. This year. August 12, 2010. We are about to introduce some of the next generation to the parking lot. For the girls, a few tips.

1. Eat a good, absorbent breakfast.

2. Wear sun screen and a hat–preferably a straw hat with tropical flowers, plastic hamburgers, or even a game of ring toss on it.  

3. Bring toilet paper. If you’re going to use the porta-johns, learn to hover. If you’re going to use the woods, you’re going to need superhuman balance by the end of the day and shorts or a skirt that aren’t too complicated. You’re probably going to pee on your shoes.

4. Speaking of shoes, wear comfortable ones. Ones that do not require superhuman balance, ones you can walk around in all day, ones you don’t really care if you trash (or give away).

5. You can’t take any alcohol into the concert. Or can you? 20-some years running, I have carried in a beer. And, one year, two oranges injected with vodka. (The gate attendant not only let me in that year, I think he had a crush on me.)

6. Don’t buy a souvenir T-shirt inside the concert. First, they’re ridiculously expensive and you’ll either forget it on the lawn or have to carry it around all night. It’s illegal to sell knock-off T-shirts in the parking lot, and security keeps an eye out. So, as you’re buying one, keep it low-key.

7. There are two ways to approach the concert:  Go all out and build an attraction around your parking space. Or, travel light and go sight-seeing. Either way, get to the parking lot early. (And ignore all the warnings on the radio the day before the concert when they tell you the gates won’t open early.)

8. Lots of beer. Lots of ice.

9. The fun seats are the lawn seats. You’ll want a blanket, not so much to sit on but to mark your territory on the hill. It’s going to get crowded. Most people will be super friendly and loads of fun. However, there are about 2 people per 100 who are lightweight a-holes. They may sit behind you. Remember that puke and pee run downhill.

9b. Don’t be a lightweight a-hole.

9c. We’ll take care of you no matter what.

9d. But don’t be a lightweight a-hole.

10. Hydrate. And, if you have a friend who doesn’t hydrate and makes fun of you for doing so, don’t make too much fun of her when she gets carted off to the hospital. (Love you Nancy.)

11. You will be asked, many times, to “show us your tits.” It’s your call.

12. Bring cheap sunglasses. They will get stepped on, sat on, danced on, and probably conga-lined on.

13. Soon as you park, memorize your parking area. Write it on your arm if you have to. (Brain cells will die this day.)

14. Bring a chair and a koozie.  

15. If you show up in jeans, wearing heels, sans Hawaiian accessories, carrying a purse, in a state of extreme sobriety, or worried about working the next morning, we will make fun of you all day. (Also, if you show up appropriately attired and in the right frame of mind, we will probably still make fun of you all day.)

Okay kids. The Big Day starts in about 14 hours, and I’m looking forward to it in a whole new way. You’re about to see humanity at its odd best. Get ready for a silly, whacky, very friendly, free-for-all, life-preserving break-from-reality sort of day. 

If we couldn’t laugh, we would go insane.

August 11, 2010 at 3:02 pm 2 comments

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