Post # 283 Random Thoughts at the Grocery Store

August 11, 2014 at 5:12 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Post # 283 Random Thoughts at the Grocery Store

I was selecting eggs a few weeks ago.  We use a lot of eggs in baking and cooking and just eating.  They don’t hang around long enough to “go bad” so we aren’t all that concerned about how old the eggs are in store, though we do buy the freshest we can.  We also try to find Jumbo sized eggs, or extra large.  So I was standing in front of the case and selected a dozen Jumbo sized eggs in a cardboard carton.  Cardboard is biodegradable.  Now everyone opens the carton to make sure the eggs aren’t broken.  But I do something my mom taught a very long time ago.  I quickly ran my fingers along the tops of the eggs making certain that they were all loose in their respective cups.

“What are you doing?” a lady asked.

I smiled.  “Something my mom taught me.  It’s easy to see cracks in eggs on the top, but the ones on the bottoms you can’t see.  If the eggs move in their cups then there usually aren’t any cracks.  The egg whites didn’t leak out and make them stick.”

You’d a thought I just handed her the secret to eternal life.  Her whole face lit up in wonderment.  “I never thought about that!  I’m going to tell everyone I know.”

I smiled again.  “Hope it helps.”

Another time, I was trying to select avocados.  I don’t like them.  I don’t eat them.  But Partner/Spouse likes them and likes to make guacamole.  I decided to surprise him with a couple for dinner that night since we were having Mexican.  Since I’m not experienced in avocados, I was completely out of my element.  I asked a lady standing there how to choose one.

“All you need to do is look at the stem end.  If it’s black and kind of icky looking, it’s over ripe.  If it’s still green and healthy looking, you should be able to keep it for a couple of days.”

“Hmm, if I’m going to use it tonight for guacamole would I want an over ripe one?”

She then gave me a recipe for guacamole using over ripe avocados, lemon, garlic, tomatoes, and a few other items that everyone went wild for.  I learned later that it was Alton Brown’s recipe.  No wonder it was good.

Once, I was reaching for a ten pound bag of generic AP flour.  I use a lot of flour over the course of time so I tend to select the best value.  I’ve used the upper end, expensive brands, and I’ve used the generic cheaper brands.  For most of my applications, the generic flour is indistinguishable from the brand names.  One caveat about this, you want to use the right type of flour for what you’re cooking, so use bread flour for bread, etc.  As I was reaching for this giant bag of flour, an older guy, looking puzzled, asked “Why are you taking that one?”  I told him and he asked, “What’s the difference?”  So I found myself in the middle of the baking aisle having a discussion on the various types of flours, etc.  “I’m just getting this for the wife.” he said.  “I don’t know what to get.”  I handed him a five pound bag of AP Gold Medal flour, “She’ll be fine with this.”  He walked away happy.

Years ago, I used to buy Bounty paper towels because I liked the lumberjack on the wrapper and in the commercials.  It was no big deal, I just liked it.  When Partner/Spouse and I started dating, he insisted on buying Viva.  When I told him I liked Bounty, he actually did a comparison of the two focusing on strength, absorbency, hand feel, and scrubbing power.  We’ve been buying Viva ever since.  We hate the “select a size” feature, but otherwise, it’s all good.

When I was a kid, Keebler used to make a chocolate cookie that was two chocolate wafers with chocolate cream in between.  For a little kid, they were the perfect four bite size.  Somewhere along the way, when I wasn’t looking, they went away.  Then, suddenly, they were back!  They must have found several boxes full in a warehouse somewhere.  I bought those when I felt like and enjoyed them again, although now they were only a two bite size, sometimes three bites.  I’d grown.  Then something awful happened.  They disappeared again!  I should have bought every bag on the shelves and bought the replacements when they came in.  But many years later, another company created a rival cookie of the same type that was worlds away better.  I’d learned my lesson and I bought every box on the shelves.  One time, I was checking out and had ten boxes.  Two girls in their early twenties were walking by and I heard one say, “Oh, he bought them all!”  They got pretty snippy in their comments to each other so I decided not to offer them a free box as I’d been first inclined to do.  But over time, the cookie disappeared.  Which was okay, because the quality went down, too.  Now I don’t even look for them.  So sad.

I think a lot of things at the grocery story.

Enjoy!

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