Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Grocery Shopping and Sunday Dinner

I was assigned the task of picking up my step-daughter and then going grocery hunting (I mean shopping) for my mother-in-law.

I thought I'd get a jump on things so I met my step-daughter and picked up the list while she was getting her hair coiffed thanks to her mommy.

Mother-in-law is a brand-conscious shopper and I knew that so I tried to be rather careful. I even called her dear daughter for some elaboration about certain list entries.

Buying for someone else from a list is challenging. I recall that. Making a list for someone else is challenging, too. The problem is that the person who makes the list knows what it is that is desired. The person reading the list has to guess.

Some things on the list I thought I understood. For instance, Pinto Beans, was one item I had no question about. I found the canned bean aisle and put a couple of cans in my cart. No problem. Milk I knew from prior experience had to be a particular brand at a different store and I arranged for a two store hunt, something I would surely not do for myself. Bacon I did not know about but I just chose what I would have purchased for myself. After all how different can bacon be?

Other items weren't so clear to me. For instance, what does "chicken" actually mean? Rump roast turns out to be not quite sufficient for the variety of rump roasts actually present at our store. Or L. H. cheese was too abbreviated for me. My wife explained it meant Long Horn cheese. Well, let me tell you there is no cheese at our store labeled merely "Long Horn."

Speaking of which I learned that "long horn" cheese refers to a process more than it does a type. It is when you pour the cheese into a long cylinder - like about 18 inches - and let it cure and then you cut it into rounds and half-rounds. I didn't know that.

I am certain everyone can imagine where this post is going eventually.

I finished all shopping and picked up step-daughter at nearly the exact time. Drove to mother-in-law's home and unloaded all those sacks.

About 1/2 of what I bought was wrong.

Pinto beans apparently should elicit images of dried beans first rather than canned ones. Bacon can be purchased in an overwhelming variety of brands and I chose poorly. I could go on and on here but I suppose I've made the point.

But I am a glass half-full kind of guy so I think it was pretty good getting 1/2 right.

After church on Sunday we were invited to mother-in-law's home for dinner. Had to stop on the way and pick up a "snickers" cake. Step-daughter jokingly told me not to mess this up, referring of course to my less than perfect shopping experience of the previous day. The store was out of snickers cake naturally. We decided to not tell mother-in-law but just put the cake we bought on the cabinet and see what happened. She said "you got the wrong cake!"

The cornbread was not quite done when we arrived but was in the oven cooking. Boy the house was alive with the wonderful fragrances of food! Made everyone of us salivate as soon as we entered.

The cousins had a big reunion and I took a few pictures and finally everyone got their plates and filled them: roast, potatoes, carrots, onions, gravy, cornbread, beans, tea, and cake.

There is just something about a big family dinner like this that makes me nostalgic but also wonderfully happy all at the same time.


¸.•*´)ღ¸.•*´Chris said...

I love this entry. Felt like I was right along with you. It's so hard to shop for others. I remember doing it for Dad. Some stuff I got wrong but he never seemed to care much.

The meal sounds awesome. And when I think of pinto beans, I think of the canned ones too:)

~Betsy said...

It's funny how we all have our ideas of what the ideal roast is or where to get the pinto beans - canned or produce aisle. It sounds like you did a fair job since the meal was so good!