Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Weekend shopping spree
Saturday, late morning. The birds are singing, the sun is shining, already allowing a glimpse of the heat that probably is going to come later in the day. My boyfriend and I are having breakfast in the fresh, crisp morning air on our balcony, enjoying fried eggs, whole wheat sourdough bred and freshly squeezed orange juice. Already, you can feel the giddiness and a little bit of excitement in the air, because next to me lies the a blank page of our weekly shopping list, waiting to be filled with the promise of new pleasures.
To to most people (including myself from time to time), grocery shopping is a chore that has to be taken care of. For my fiance and me, it is a special event we look forwards to all week, an exciting opportunity to get inspired, get fulfilled and have good food for yet another delicious week. After the staples like eggs, milk, bread, potatoes and onions, the brainstorming starts. Has either of us come across a new recipe that sounds so unbelievable and maybe even a little bit crazy that he is dying to give a try? Has either of us a craving for an old and long beloved friend of a dish that she can’t wait to taste again this week, maybe giving it a tiny new twist? Or do we just want to go and see what’s fresh and available today?
People these days are all about farmers markets, and if you have the time and live close enough to one, and truly enjoy the communal feel they can have, go for it. In the small town I grew up in, where everyone knows the merchants and they know you, and the produce has been harvested earlier that very day, and everyone you know spends their Saturday mornings going there and choosing the best food for the Sunday feast, it’s a great way to meet and greet friends and catch up on the latest neighborhood gossip. For me personally however, and as the default way of shopping, there is nothing to be said against the efficiency and practicality of a well-stocked supermarket!
After easing into the weekend with an extended breakfast and maybe one or two episodes of our favorite TV show (whichever it is at the moment), we get ready for shopping, list in the pocket. Each of us has their favorite sections in the supermarket and we know each other well enough to decide when to let the other buy this utterly useless and overpriced item, and when to gently shovel the other away from the object in question. I can never get enough from the fruits and vegetables, picturing myself happily chopping away onions, bell peppers, zucchini, eggplants, tomatoes, cabbage heads, cauliflower... making all these tasty and healthy dishes full of colorful goodness. Reality check, realistically we don’t really eat more than 4 or five vegetable dishes a week and whoever has ever tried to eat a whole cabbage between two people knows, you don’t need that many different vegetables. The fiance on the other hand loves to buy meat and fish, and our freezer quells over with sausages, fillets of that special fish that is available only every other week and the beautiful cut of veal that could just not have been passed on...
But it is fun, and our imagination of delights to come and yet be enjoyed, of the fun of preparing our favorite meal surrounded by flavors of fresh herbs and lemon gets us through the rather boring moves of getting the milk, detergent and toilet paper. It also bestows a sense of accomplishment to come home, unload the piles of food and know that for another week, fresh food will be available.
Life is good!