Hunting and Gathering

There was a host on a now-defunct classical station who would describe today’s weather as “moody and introspective; a good day for tea and Russian novels.” I would add wool socks to the list. If I had any in the house, I’d add a shot of blackberry brandy to the tea.

Today’s introspective processes are brought to you by the irony of living in still more or less farm country but having to make a 20 to 30 minute drive to go grocery shopping. I’m blessed with a home delivery service for some items such as eggs, greens, organic chickens, and bison at competitive prices. For nonperishables and some organic stuff, I divide my shopping between Trader Joe’s and a couple of local family- or employee-owned stores. 

We have some chain stores, but I really prefer to avoid them. One which offers deep discounts smells kind of weird, even in the new building, and carries too much stuff made in China. Another that used to be locally owned is chronically overpriced, and its new parent company has a creepy policy of sending a bagger to your car with you to “help” (working theory is to prevent shopping cart loss). Then there are Target and Wal-Mart. Target is OK for grabbing milk and has a pretty decent line of pizza made in Italy, but I don’t get much else there. I try to avoid Wal-Mart, except in an extreme emergency.

When Hubby worked in the physical office before telecommuting, I would send him a list for Woodman’s and Trader Joe’s. Nowadays, I do most of my shopping mid-week on days when I have voice lessons. My teacher is within spitting distance of Woodman’s and Trader Joe’s. I take a cooler for things like cheese and chicken so they can sit in the quiet cool of my hatchback while I sing. 

I have a local friend, another unrepentant foodie, who shops at the same places. We carpool in summer. If we go out for lunch, we have made a day of it. 

This year, I’m toying with joining an organic CSA for the summer, anyway. The farmer’s market the next town over has some good options, especially as summer rolls on. 

I picked up some chicken from a decent producer for dinner tonight. I’m thinking oven fried, a nice compromise between comfort and austerity. My produce lady brought asparagus yesterday. Probably roast that. Maybe some mashed sweet potato. 

It sounds good enough to take a nap on, and dream of the coming summer.



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