the grocery store is a magical place for me. there is just something about it that i just love love love. when i was growing up, i used to go to the store with my mom - we would walk down each aisle choosing items, and then the best part - the produce section, it was usually an hour long experience. i have never grown out of my love of the grocery store. i like to go at all times of the day and all days. even the day before a holiday. i like going by myself, but i also have a few favorite people who i am willing to share my grocery shopping experience with. when i was in college, both in australia and here, my friend, melissa, and i would go grocery shopping together -- walking down the aisle, looking at the products, discussing and deciding what and with what we were going cook-- and on a college student budget. these days, i grocery shop a lot with the roommates, mostly just kim --unless it's an ice cream trip -- kim and i, we've done a lot of things together over the years, but grocery shopping is one of my favorites. first- we make the weekly menu, then we write the shopping list. next, we decide where to shop. once we get there, we spend a lot of time in the produce section, because we eat a lot of produce - - down the aisle's to get the rest -- sometimes quickly, if it's the usual - sometimes not as quickly -- must read the labels -- (do you know what's in the food you are eating?) while we try to avoid most items that come in packages - especially if it has a long shelf life - there are some things that we do choose and prefer them to be free of corn syrup, food coloring, other additives and preservatives, and anything that we can't pronounce and haven't a clue what it is... then sometimes we have to talk about which brand to get, organic or not, free range or vegetarian fed-- and then compromise, get both, or take a turn -- it's a plus that we mostly like to eat the same things. sometimes, kim even throws in a box of cinnamon toast crunch as a consolation for telling me no pop tarts (yes, i really could buy the pop tarts, but i don't really want them -- it's just fun to have her give me the "look" and shake her head as we walk past them). mostly we shop at our favorite local market down the road from us, but sometimes, we shop for plaid shirts or easter dresses in the middle of a wal-mart shopping trip, or get breakfast burritos on our way to farmer's market, or buy seasonal latte's at starbucks if we are shopping at safeway. sometimes we talk about little things, sometimes big things, or sometimes nothing at all, but it's always a good trip.
i couldn't finish this post without talking about going to the grocery store with my husband. one of our favorites is going to farmers market or the store and choosing ingredients for a meal we are going to cook together. i am blessed with a husband who enjoys cooking and, especially cooking with me -- unless i am trying to cook with green peppers, nuts, or any bean other than a pinto. the best (and most expensive) part of going to the store with jon is what ends up in the cart -- whole milk, boxed cereal, half and half, steak, frozen cinnamon rolls with orange frosting...the list goes on-- though i'm not complaining -- he buys organic, tofu, fruit and veggies too -- and he doesn't get the super sugary cereal or imitation juice, and i don't think he's ever bought a t.v. dinner... i love this man.
anyways -- after that detour -- where was i?? oh yes, the grocery store and all it's beautiful produce made me quite happy...and the 2nd round of pain killer kicking in didn't hurt either... so i came home and decided to make split yellow pea and sweet potato soup and a whole wheat honey walnut pumpkin bread - minus the walnuts tonight - both turned out pretty well. the soup is a really thick pea soup, which i have been craving for the past week or two, and especially today after the rainy weather -- it might need a little more salt or a dash of nutmeg, but an easy recipe -- it makes about 8 cups, so plan to feed many, freeze some, or cut the recipe in half. the pumpkin bread is also good. i didn't add the sugar, and next time i will use applesauce instead of oil (tonight i was not motivated to go get another jar out of the shop) - i also dumped it out of the pan too fast and it didn't like that very well - i made both recipes at the same time and it took about 80 minutes including cooking time.
i think i've already had two pieces -- and a bowl of cinnamon toast crunch -- midnight snack time is over
p.s. -- i didn't even talk about costco trips -- that's a whole other post....