We're a one-car family now, and it's taking time to get adjusted. I know -- I'm grateful that I have a car, and a family to haul around, for that matter. But it has definitely cut into my freedom and has given me a wake up call the size of Hagrid's mother: I need to plan before I shop for food. Maybe even write things down.
I see women in the grocery store with lists and coupons and a full cart -- things that will obviously be made into flavorful, healthy dinners with a minimum of waste. I daydream about having fresh food in the fridge with which I can throw together a meal vs. soggy vegetables and greenish meat. I once knew a woman who cooked all day on Sundays to prepare and freeze meals for the week. I still think of her with malice.
(My coupons and my lists both seem to have agoraphobia).
I usually go into a store with a mental list of things I need for a few meals, and I generally act them out: frying onions, chopping spinach, hurling spices with abandon. (The last time I was with my sisters, they asked me to sit on my hands while describing a recipe just to see if I could do it.) It's a different story dragging the family to the store after a long day: they are tired and ready to get home and do family things like read the classics aloud, play Scrabble, have a pick-up game of basketball with the neighbors.....I am cracking myself up again. They are embarrassed watching me chop imaginary vegetables and spatchcock an imaginary chicken. Most of all, they are impatient because I might grab a few onions, select a nice bit of meat or poultry, go back to the vegetable section for a bell pepper, remember we need dog food and return again to the vegetable section because I need fresh thyme to sprinkle on the pot-au-feu.
I really miss calling John and telling him he needs to pick up a few things from the store if he wants to eat that evening. Especially on a day like today, when the Kroger parking lot will be full and people will be out en masse buying bread, milk, butter -- all the essentials for the seven hours in which we might have a sprinkling of snow.
Inevitably, when I go away for a weekend with girlfriends, someone asks if I leave frozen meals for John and the girls. No matter how many times I hear it, it makes me laugh -- I'm laughing as I write this. However, from now on I'll have to make sure the pantry is stocked with the basics at least, which means thinking ahead. Which is why I'm open to suggestions.