trip to the store started with a recipe.
wasn’t a general shopping trip… not for milk and eggs and something
for dinner with perhaps a snack for later… there were no veggies
and juice and bread with lunches planned for the week… no one
created a list over a few days, with a refrigerator to stock and
shelves to fill.
A recipe. Specifics.
to make something specific, and needed specific items in order
to do just that.
thing grocery stores… they can be amazingly similar and yet so
you’re standing at the entrance, getting a cart or basket… ready
to go. If I gave you a list of items, for the most part I think
you could begin heading off to the correct aisles.
and peppers and bananas… easy. Sour cream and yogurt… easy. Potato
chips… come on… easy.
me on this day, as I set off for the store it certainly seemed
simple enough. Terry had me making some nut brittle from a recipe
we like. Because of an event she was planning, she needed me to
put together several double batches. And that meant I didn’t have
had a good assortment of nuts overall, but a fourth run at doubling
the recipe would be aided by getting some more… and some peanuts
would be great. That’s eight runs through the recipe… better get
some more light corn syrup. Actually, four double batches, eight
batches… probably should also get some more sugar.
so there I was… walking in to the store… and preparing to head
toward the baking needs as a start. Because where else would you
go for sugar and light corn syrup?
out, not the baking aisle. Oh sure, you’ll find the sugar there.
That’s a given. But corn syrup? Nope. That will be in the aisle
with things like waffle mixes. You know, where the other regular
syrups would be. And waffle and pancake and biscuit mixes don’t
qualify for the baking needs category in this store.
Mentioned peanuts. Ten minutes into a search for corn syrup, I’m
crossing it off my list and shaking off a desire for some waffles,
while moving on to look for peanuts.
into the aisle with the chips.
Sometimes you’ll find nuts and such near the candy.
I can’t tell you if I was looking up to check out the aisle markers
or looking up in an attempt to view the heavens while asking for
divine intervention. I can tell you I looked up and spotted popcorn
on one of the signs and figured it was worth a shot.
to self… nuts are near the popcorn, not in the chips or candy
or whatever aisle, but in the popcorn and snacks aisle.
crazy thing was that this particular trip wasn’t new territory
for me. It wasn’t a new experience. I’ve headed out on scavenger
hunts such as this before. And I’ll tell you… it’s losing some
of its charm.
you ever had to look for that? Dutch processed cocoa?
good luck to you in finding it should the day come that you need
down any baking aisle in a grocery store, and I feel fairly comfortable
saying that unless you in any way or by definition cook professionally,
you will be stunned at some of the ingredients available in each
and every store.
have never seen a recipe that actually listed agave nectar. Never
seen one. Agave nectar has a considerable amount of shelf space.
Dutch processed cocoa? Nope.
I kid. To a degree. The reality of agave nectar or whatever you
care to consider is that depending on where you are, certain items
may or may not be common. And, depending on where you are, the
organization of the store is going to be different.
move away from cooking and food for an example. You don’t walk
into a home improvement store in Orlando expecting to find huge
displays of snow blowers and snow shovels.
syrup? In Rhode Island, absolutely. In most other states, not
so much. Or try finding salt potatoes. In New York, not only will
you find huge display areas in the grocery stores featuring multiple
brands and options, you’ll also find at least one bag in pretty
much a requirement in every kitchen.
not just that the specific items that are available, or even the
brand names that may differ as you travel. Where certain things
get placed change. We know the basic definitions and categories…
we understand them, from frozen vegetables to soup. But that doesn’t
guarantee a large, obvious, or even marked section for international
not proud of this, but the other day I spent fifteen minutes trying
to find some granola. Perhaps I was just spoiled. Old neighborhood
market used to have some great granola options located near the
fresh produce section, along with dried fruit. New neighborhood
market, no such luck. Felt like an idiot when it was right there,
on the shelves with breakfast cereals.
enough about coffee milk. I’m back home now, and I’ve got some
nut brittle to make.