Chips and Pickles and Stuff

We have not had to go out much, since we stocked up well before the order came to stay at home. But still, things will run out eventually. We have plenty of staples–flour, rice, beans, potatoes. We have Popsicles in the freezer along with frozen fruits and vegetables. I have more time to cook these days, so those staples come in handy. We are waiting for the right time to bust into the Popsicles.

But we are stuck at home. Right now we are eating more chips than usual and our tastes are flip-flopping all over. One day we want plain chips and one day we want dilly chips. We are snacking more and trying not to snack too much on the chips, but one must find pleasure in simple things, no? Those chips do us a world of good when the stir craziness starts to tingle. And we ran out of popcorn the other day. We eat a lot of popcorn.

We also drink a lot of coffee. Typically I make myself a double shot of espresso to sip on in the morning. I get coffee at the office and sip on that the rest of the morning. But now I make all the coffee I drink, and there are two coffee drinkers in the house, all day. So we put that on the list for this morning’s run to the market.

Some things you need and some things you want. We are fortunate that we can run out and get both. We definitely used to make many more trips to the market. It is kind of nice to have so much to choose from when making dinner. Or when snacking. Now we are making fewer trips, for sure, and we are much more deliberate about it–not just about what we get but about how to be as efficient as possible. We want to get in and get out.

So you can see from this morning’s list that some things might be classified as needs and some things definitely fall into the want category. The pickles? Well, I’m still deciding on that one.

Holiday Shopping Zaniness

Yesterday afternoon I had the bright idea to go get some food so we are ready for all our holiday baking and cooking and general whipping-up of foodstuffs, and to pick up some stocking stuffers while I was out.  I could head to Dorset Street and get everything done in one shot since so many stores are so densely packed.  It would a quick and efficient trip.  Good idea.  Didn’t happen.

I crossed the Maginot line of Kennedy Drive and was soon battling traffic.  Cars were packed in every lane, both ways.  I was stuck.  Even if I could turn around, I would be inching along.  So I kept going.  I listened to a variety of odd holiday songs (Hanukkah in Santa Monica, Steven Colbert’s new holiday tribute) and laughed and jotted down some songs to download on i-Tunes.  Eventually I made it to the supermarket.

Of course, I had to navigate the parking lot (I parked far away so I wouldn’t have to jostle for a spot) then walk across the slush, then elbow through the other food shoppers, then wait in line to pay.  It was holiday zaniness at its best.  The young woman at the register told me it was actually kind of calm compared to earlier.  Like I said, zaniness.

Then I had the idea to go to the mall.  The ice cream would stay frozen in the car.  It was about six degrees.  Hopeully the spinach wouldn’t get too cold.  Normally I spurn the mall–too many people, too much commercialism, too much stuff no one needs in there.  So what was I thinking?  I knew what I was seeking so how hard could it be?

The mall, of course, was jammed.  It was, as always this time of year, overwhelming.  I made only two stops, the first a dud, the second a success.  At Vermont Toy and Hobby I found the two small toys I wanted.  OK, I was looking for three, but I thought it was a pretty good success rate anyway.  I had to wait in line, of course, and their credit card machines were down.  I paid with cash.  Overall, it wasn’t difficult, just mentally taxing.

Two stops to go.  I purchased a slew of stocking stuffers at Healthy Living, then went to Barnes and Noble.  I got a couple of books for the kids, ran into some friends, and hightailed it.  I had most certainly had enough.  Spending time at one of the busiest spots in the state was probably not the best idea.  I did manage to make some gift purchases, but whoa.  As I said a few years ago, never again.

I was gone for four hours.  Normally that would have meant about 40 minutes of driving out and back.  Most of my time was spent in traffic or in line.  Nuts.  But hey, now I can stay in and make the lasagna for which I purchased the fontina that was so hard to find.  I bet it tastes pretty dang yummy.