Saturday, November 23, 2013
Searching for age and wisdom in the grocery aisles
Working from home the other day, I took a quick break to zoom to the supermarket. It was a rare rainy day in Phoenix. All I really needed was some Diet Coke. So $122 later I also had juice, cleaning supplies, light bulbs, brownie and blueberry muffin mixes and everything I needed to make a house-warming pot roast.
Sometimes when I'm roaming the aisles trying to make up a menu in my head or remember a recipe, imagining how flavors will blend, I look for an older woman to chat with. They know their stuff for sure and they usually know the answer to the question, "Where the heck does this store keep Maraschino cherries?"
Before I hit on the idea of cooking a pot roast yesterday, I bumped into an older couple standing in front of the raisin-craisin, dried cherries and dates shelves. By older I mean early 80s, by dried fruits I mean 123 choices in very similar packaging.
"What are you looking for?" I asked.
"Dried candied dates," the woman replied. Luckily, I saw them right away.
"This it?" I asked. The price was right so she picked up two. As she put them in her basket, I asked, "What are you making with them?"
"Date nut bread," she beamed. "I make it every year."
"You making that again?" he finally spoke up and then turned to me. "I hate it. Don't like it. Won't eat it." She ignored him, smiling at her dates, and we parted ways.
A few minutes later, after picking up a pot roast, I returned to the vegetables for potatoes, carrots, onions. And I wondered, "What would a pot roast be like if I put in sweet potatoes rather than white potatoes?" Hmm... started looking for an older woman to run this one by.
She kept her distance, but cocked her head and said, "I haven't done that. I bet they'd cook faster."
"Hmm.. you're right. I could put them in a little later or not use too many. I'll try it."
She nodded, "Yes, it might make the roast sweetish."
And it did. Sweet potatoes cook much faster than the new potatoes I also used. And the beef was a little sweet. And the house was warm all night. ~ Robin, Phoenix