Sunday, October 29, 2006

Ass Whuppin' on the Produce Aisle


I dunno, maybe it’s because I owned a retail bakery for years, that I have developed a serious need to always know what’s in our fridge, I mean the one in our kitchen, and the freezer part too. And in the fridge in the basement. And the freezer part too. And the small but free standing freezer in the basement.

Like say, you wanna try some of Marie’s corn chowder from last spring, just ask. I know exactly where it is. It’s on the second shelf in the free standing freezer, about two-thirds of the way down, buried under some boysenberries and raspberries and blueberries and some pastry I baked a few weeks ago to accomodate my son’s jones for sweets. Or maybe you need to know if there might be a leg of lamb left from that Costco trip where we bought 4, for summer barbecues. Nope, none left. Used’em all. They were on the third shelf, way down deep, but don’t go there, they’re gone.

Marie and I take turns cooking for our family, trading places every two weeks. I enjoy my time in the kitchen, and even feel a little sense of loss when it’s Marie’s turn to take over. When it’s my turn, I am sure that there are plenty of ziplock bags at my disposal, and paper towels, and foods for all occasions. And I know where every frickin’ thing is, the mayo, the yogurt, the cheese, Blaine’s pastry, hot dog buns, whatever. And how much is left.

Today it’s Marie turn to take over. We are having guests for dinner, and early this morning, I found her making up her menu and grocery list for the week. Marie likes to take ownership of the kitchen during her stay, keeps the counters neat and sparse, where I tend to load up the counter with bowls of apples and chestnuts, candles, post-it notes, other stuff. She’s a great cook too, and I must say that I love it when I can find a sec to do a chore, instead of cook, or just watch TV, and wait to be presented a plate of some killer dish, prepared by my spousal gastronome.

Sometimes I will go shopping with her when it’s her turn, at our favourite grocery store, “New Season’s” which is basically like “Whole Foods” but local. They stock all manner of organic foods, which we prefer, in all departments, especially organic fresh fruit and vegetables. Today, when we were there, I spied not one, but two different varieties of organic persimmons.

Though I consider myself to be something of a God when it comes to my knowledge of just exactly what we have in our cupboards and retarders, Marie is not so impressed. I have noticed on past excursions with her, to the grocery store, that as she places something in the basket, which I know full well we already have plenty of at home, and I tell her so, a look of disgust and know it allness spite rises in her, which at first, I didn’’t get. I mean, why buy yet another pack of cheese bagels, if there are still 3 in the freezer? Or more of those small yogurts, when there are still 5 or so, almost past pull date, languishing on the top rear of the salad drawer? I finally realized that, even though I was thinking I was being helpful, my presentation was belittling and terse, which of course, I have never heard before. So I have vowed to actually hand the kitchen over to Marie without my bossy interference, and I think my sweet wife is glad about it.

Today, as we left for the store, I announced with full bravado that I was going to be pleased to supply her with all the information she would need to know as we shopped. She immediately objected with her eyes and body language, which only encouraged me to continue. So I promised that, to make things easier, I would just remove anything from her cart that I knew we didn’t need. Simple! Marie turned my way with a bit of a grin, as she announced, “Sure mister, go ahead. I mean, if you want your ass whupped on the produce aisle.”

There is definitely a surfeit of hot dogs in our home, at this time, which our son loves, but I am not all that worried about it. Even unfrozen, hot dogs last like, 9 years, so, when Marie placed those Hebrew National Kosher dogs in the cart, I spoke not. Besides, an occasional hot dog sandwich is a guilty pleasure of mine. Plus, my wife still loves me. And I can cheerfully report that my ass, well, it’s unwhupped.

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