Friday 02 Dec 2016

Food, Food, Food
Jennifer Flaten

I pop open a cupboard and survey the contents. Hmm, apparently I am Old Mother Hubbard, the cupboard while not bare-I see onion soup mix and some ramen noodles lurking in the back-is in serious need of replenishment.

Honestly, there was food, lots of food, in the cabinet just yesterday. I should know I am the one who went out to the store, filled a cart and hauled it home.

It appears that sometime between yesterday afternoon, when I dragged the bags in from the car, and this morning the children (and spouse) found the food. And like locusts, they ate it all leaving not even a crumb. Okay, that is an exaggeration there were crumbs lots and lots of crumbs and a couple of crumpled wrappers.

Sigh, since everyone expects me to magically produce food at the appointed feeding times I guess I am in for another exciting trip to the supermarket.

I like shopping, just not food shopping. Alas, If only I could shop for shoes as often as I shop for food.

Really, I go there so often I expect them to greet me by name. Perhaps, even give me a personalized shopping cart, something in a snazzy pink with racing stripes-is that too much to ask?

I have a sneaking suspicion that I am single highhandedly financing the grocer's Ivy League education for his children.

After wrestling a cart out of the cart corral, I set it for autopilot and start my shopping adventure. My first stop is the produce aisle.

I grab a red pepper and notice the sticker that proclaims it is a product of Spain.

Harrumph, while I understand I live in a climate with a winter season that is approximately 9.75 months long, thus eliminating any chance of a year around supply of local produce, I really don't like the idea that my veggies are more well traveled then I am.

I roll out of the produce aisle and cruise over to the dairy aisle where I hope to find dairy products that don't make me feel inadequate.

I grab a gallon of the finest milk in the cooler-vintage 2010. While it isn't from the dairy state, it also didn't arrive on a Trans Atlantic flight.

Now, I am quite happy with the pasteurized product but lately a contingent of "raw milk" proponents has been touting the health benefits of milk fresh from the cow.

Call me crazy but I think pasteurization is a good thing. I have zero interest in drinking milk that is still warm from the cow. Having grown up on watery skim milk, I can't even drink 2% milk let alone imagine milk straight from the cow.

My shopping experience is enhanced or hindered, it all depends on your point of view, by my three small octopi, I mean children, hanging off the shopping cart. They want to help shop.

By help, I mean they grab breakable items from the shelves, race the cart down the aisles and ask for every non-healthy item in the store.

I swear the sugary or just plain bad for you items have much more attractive packages then the healthy stuff.

Don't believe me? Look at the oatmeal container-snooze. Now, look at the box of triple frosted sugar flakes; much cuter, right. Not to mention how these items find a shelf-home about at child eye level; sneaky, Mr. Grocer.

Finally, we make our escape from the store with what appears to be a month's worth of groceries but is in fact, just enough to get us through the next day and a half.

Maybe next time I will sneak in a side trip to the shoe store.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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