you are, in the middle of the grocery store… and for all the possibilities
that exist, you are lost.
doesn’t happen often. And, the reality is, most of us feel somewhat
comfortable in our local store. We can find the ice cream, bread,
orange juice and potato chips quickly. Five-minute stops are only
slowed down when we try to get in line to pay.
then it happens… perhaps a specialized visit for a specific recipe
item… and we’re circling the produce section over and over because,
no matter how high or low we look, no matter what aisles we investigate,
there is no garlic or avocadoes or green onions to be found.
it can get worse.
had days where I’ve wandered up and down and up and down aisles.
I’ve checked top shelves and endcaps. I’ve turned five-minute
errands into thirty-minute adventures, breaking down emotionally
when once again… despite my best intentions and efforts… I found
myself arriving at the rows of dog food and paper products and
laundry detergents that indicated I was crossing out of the regular
items and into the frozen foods and I hadn’t found what I was
the biggest problem is, despite the concepts of asking for help,
it seems so easy.
would you look for honey?
literally went out this morning to run some errands, and decided
to stop in four different grocery stores just to make sure I’m
sharing accurate details from past experiences. And… I am. But
before we get to it, consider…
processed cocoa powder.
two years ago, I came across this specialized chocolate ingredient
in a recipe I was thinking about making. I had used it before,
but had never purchased it myself. (Those of you that know my
mother, and especially those of you that understand the consistent
supply of chocolates she has in her kitchen, will understand why
I didn’t need to purchase it before.)
processed cocoa powder wasn’t something I used frequently—by any
stretch of the definition of frequent—but it sure seemed like
an easy enough ingredient to find.
went, literally, to seven different grocery stores along roughly
a fifty-mile stretch. I found rice flours and tapioca flours.
I saw agave nectar. I even found chocolate chips offered as chips,
mini chips, chunks and plenty of different kinds (semi-sweet,
milk, dark, and on and on). In one store, when I decided to complete
my shopping list and left the baking aisle, I laughed as I passed
coconut milk and soy milk and almond milk and stopped counting
after reaching a dozen types of rice.
processed cocoa powder? Nope.
our stores carry thousands of ingredients. Actually, thousands
upon thousands of ingredients and products. But step outside of
your normal purchases and suddenly things get a bit weird.
to the honey.
where would you look?
the first store, I found the honey options near the peanut butter.
Store number two had the honey on display just above the syrups.
Store number three, back to peanut butter.
guessed for store number four?
They went for a portion of the baking goods aisle.
sure, I’m trying to be funny. But the simple fact is that this
is honey we’re talking about. Just some honey. The only cute ideas
involved would be the size of the container and whether or not
to buy it in the plastic bear. That’s it. It’s not a specific
brand of granola, where the differences between cereals or organic
specialties or some other idea might mean a distinct approach
for shelf space decisions.
to the peanut butter. Head to the syrup. Head to the bread or
baking supplies or… gosh, I just don’t know.
it any wonder that in grocery stores these days I often completely
change my plans for dinner, shop accordingly for the new menu,
and make it a point to add ice cream? (I’m guessing you understand.)