Sunday, April 25, 2010

How I Avoid Going To The Supermarket

I often manage to put off my trips to the grocery store for three or four weeks at a time. My husband goes to a gym near the supermarket, so he runs in to buy the odd banana or potato when we run out. Otherwise, I have over the years evolved a number of strategies to avoid grocery shopping, which tires me out and depresses me.

Strategy number one: buy a freezer. In its recesses one can always find a long-forgotten piece of meat or fish that will do for one more dinner.

Strategy number two: plant a garden and keep some hens. The garden allows us to eat fresh, freeze or dry most of the vegetables we need, and the hens deliver fresh eggs daily. (BTW, raw eggs, with the yolk and the white barely scrambled, can be frozen.)

Strategy number four: give up milk, because it necessitates frequent trips to the store. I keep some cans of evaporated milk on hand for cooking.

Strategy number five: plan dinner according to what is actually present in the fridge, the freezer, or the pantry--not what some recipe calls for.

Strategy number six: don't eat lettuce unless you grow it (lettuce doesn't keep well). And give up the idea that sandwiches and salads need both lettuce and tomatoes. Combining the two is an unnatural act, since lettuce grows in cool weather and tomatoes in hot, and you'll have to buy one or the other at the supermarket if you insist on eating both together.

Strategy number six: for fresh fruit, buy things that keep well--apples, melons, oranges, grapes.

Strategy number seven: eat out once in a while.

It had been almost a month since my last trip to the supermarket, but today I had to go. We were out of things that I don't grow, such as potatoes and carrots. But also, for the first time in years, we had run out of our own frozen vegetables before the spring salad crops in the garden were ready. There was nothing for it but to buy green veggies at the store.

So I did, and found that you can get organic (frozen, not fresh) broccoli, green beans, peas--all nicely packaged in a plastic bag, ready to cook. For a brief moment, I played in my mind the movie of my typical summer: the planting, weeding, watering, harvesting, washing, cutting, blanching, bagging, labeling, freezing. And for a long moment I was tempted, sorely tempted to give it all up and become once more the supermarket's slave.

6 comments :

  1. i don't much like grocery shopping, either, though i woudln't say it depresses me. but growing all my own foods and keeping hens seems like more than i can handle (and more than my city yard would allow).

    my solution: doug does almost all of the grocery shopping. he does most of the cooking, too. that works out well for me, though i can't say how well it works for poor doug.

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  2. And of course Strategy #8, or subset of Strategy #5, is listing all the ingredients you have on hand in an internet search to find a recipe that features all of them in one dish.

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  3. Urban girl plan: CSA, milk delivery (and eggs and butter), small garden, marry a deer hunter.

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  4. Alison, then you have the problem of choosing among seven hundred recipes for zucchini with lentils and molasses....

    Bridgett, I sure envy you that deer hunter!

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  5. I can see you feeling tempted, but I don't think for a minute that you'll give in.

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  6. With all my garden veggies under 1/2" of snow this morning, I may be forced, not just tempted.

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