Shopping For Valentine’s Day Flowers, Chatting With A Fellow Shopper

Feeling the blues? Click on image above to go elsewhere to see and hear Little Milton & Bonnie Raitt sing Grits Ain’t Groceries.

A glimpse into my daily life demonstrating that random people talk to me– sometimes making me laugh out loud and to myself.

I’m in the floral department of the grocery store on Wednesday, late afternoon.

I’m shopping for a bouquet of flowers as one does when Valentine’s Day is on the horizon.

A random person, Observant Dude, a 40-something man walks into the floral department where I’m pushing my cart.  He looks at the displays and spies something I hadn’t noticed, being focused as I was on the price of mixed flower bouquets more than anything else.

Observant Dude stops in his tracks, looks amazed, then forsaking all other shoppers in the floral department he says to me: There’s cabbage in the floral department. Cabbage doesn’t belong with the flowers.

I look across the way to where he is pointing and see, nestled amongst the red roses, what appears to be bouquets of purple cabbage leaves wrapped in brown paper in a cone shape.

I start smiling because Observant Dude is correct. It looks like there’s cabbage in the Valentine’s Day flower display in the floral department in the grocery store.

Kind of quirky, but fun. On the surface of it.

• • •

At which point Observant Dude looks at me, totally baffled, and says in the most earnest voice I’ve heard in years: Who would get their loved ones a bouquet of cabbage? That wouldn’t be right.

I started laughing at Observant Dude’s sincere observation because you have to admit he had an excellent point.  Unless you’re a rabbit, bouquets of cabbage don’t generally express everlasting love.

True dat.

But here’s the thing, the kicker: what Observant Dude was looking at wasn’t cabbage at all.  Nope, it was a bouquet of hydrangeas, dark purple ones that he’d mistaken for cabbage, and while I could see what they really were, I didn’t feel it was my place to correct him.

Having just met and all.

So I nodded my head at Observant Dude and went on my way, smiling, because when you get down to it, who doesn’t like to hear an unsolicited heart-felt Valentine’s Day rant about something as mundane as cabbage, that wasn’t cabbage?

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY, KIDS

~ ~ ❤️ ~ ~

All The Fruit In The Bowl Is Orange, But Do You Know What You’re Seeing?

It’s Friday and despite wanting to have something profound to say about this week, about my experiences in said, my goals accomplished, my relationships strengthened, et cetera, et cetera— I got nothing.

It’s been a long *blah* week for me.  I have a sore throat with post nasal drip that won’t go away, but other than that I’m the picture of health so I shall be grateful.

And not at all cranky.

Not muttering about a thing here.

I’ve started about a gazillion and one blog posts this week but ended up deleting each one.  Sometimes the words came to me and looked all pretty on the page, but the import of the words meant nothing worth talking about, or talking about kindly, so I deleted what I wrote.

Other times, like this one, I kept what I wrote and have decided to publish it [obviously] because I feel that for me there’s value in showing up, even if what I have to say ain’t all that and a bag of chips.

Or to re-phrase, all that and a bowl of orange fruit.  While my saying doesn’t have the same timeless ring as the original saying, it does fit the photo so I’m going with it.

And that might be the real message of this blog post, a clue into how I think. Sometimes you gotta go with what you’ve got, knowing that you’ve done better… you’ve done worse… but right now, today, this is what you have to work with.

So do it, Ms. Bean.

~ ~ ~ ~

HAPPY WEEKEND EVERYONE.

MAY YOU BE PROFOUNDLY HAPPY DOING WHATEVER IT IS THAT YOU’LL BE DOING.

~ ~ ~ ~

[Spoiler Alert: The answer to the question posed in title is in the comments below.]

At The Grocery Store: You Say Potato, I Say Bosc Pear

A conversation in the checkout lane in which I once again educate the youth of today, a boy child, about the produce one finds in ye olde Kroger…

Cashier Kid: What are these?

Me: Pears.

Cashier Kid: They don’t look like pears.

Me: They’re pears. Bosc pears.

Cashier Kid: What’s that?

Me: Pears.

Cashier Kid: Really?

Me: Yes. Look them up on your list.

Cashier Kid: How do you spell it?

Me: Bosc with a B.

Cashier Kid: Huh, they’re here, BUT THEY DON’T LOOK LIKE THE PEARS MY MOM BUYS.

Me: Uh huh.

Cashier Kid: What do they taste like?

Me: Pears.

Cashier Kid: Why are they so brown like potatoes?

Me: Because, like apples, there are different types of pears. There are golden delicious apples and red gala apples and green granny smith apples, right? Well, there are different kinds of pears.

[Long pause while cashier kid glares at my bag of Bosc pears, presumably thinking about what I said. A learning experience?]

Cashier Kid: Hmmm…

[Second long pause while Cashier Kid stares at me as if he thinks I’m pulling some kind of con on him and the entire Kroger chain of grocery stores.]

Me: These are Bosc pears.

[Finally accepting my explanation of the pears in question, Cashier Kid weighs them so that I might be permitted to buy them.]

Cashier Kid: Bet my mom wouldn’t like these pears. She likes the green ones, THE REAL PEARS.

And so endeth the conversation about pears…

The Great Cobbler Debacle Of 2018 + 12 Fruit-Based Desserts Explained

In the aftermath of the debacle there were questions, reasonable ones.

How could this have happened? What recipe did you use?

I used a recipe I found online from what I thought was from a reliable source.  Fake news, meet fake recipes.  But here’s the thing, I didn’t double-check the recipe, comparing it with other recipes, like a smart person would do.

After the debacle, when I found a wonderful recipe by the Barefoot Contessa, I realized that I had used a recipe with the wrong batter to fruit ratio.

Did you set the oven to the correct temperature?

I did, but after the debacle I checked the oven temperature with a thermometer to confirm that the oven was heating like it should.  It is not.

In fact it’s heating about 25º below where it should be so the cobbler baked at the wrong temperature.  Hence, the cobbler remained a soggy mess even when it’d been in the oven for twice the suggested time.

 How much money did you waste on this debacle?

Oh, the shame.  I hang my head as I tell you that I bought raspberries and blackberries and blueberries for this untested recipe, assuming it’d be a wonderful desert.  But it wasn’t, it never even made it to the table– thus my $12.00 worth of berries were lost.

And from a good friend trying to distract me: what are the differences among the various fruit-based desserts? Do you know?

I didn’t know the answer to her question, so I did some research, which was a good way for me, an egghead, to get over the debacle.  This is what I learned.

• • •

BROWN BETTY – fresh fruit [often apples], spiced, then baked under buttered bread crumbs

BUCKLE – single layer cake that rises up around the fruit that is in the middle, making fruit buckle down, while cake forms circle above it

CLAFOUTI – fresh fruit [often cherries] covered with a flan-like batter and baked, usually in a cast iron skillet

COBBLER – fruit sweetened in a way that creates a thick syrup, with dough plopped on top like individual biscuits that when baked looks like a cobblestone street

CRISP – fresh fruit, spiced with cinnamon [+ other spices sometimes], baked with streusel topping

CRUMBLE – buttery crumbs that include oats with sweetened fruit baked between two layers of crumbs

GRUNT – fruit base with sweetened biscuits or dumplings on top, cooked in covered skillet on the stove top, named for the sound the fruit makes while it cooks

PANDOWDY – a baked pie [usually apple] that has a thick crust on top with slits that allow the juices to bubble up onto the top of the pie, then using a spoon one pushes the crust down as it bakes so that the dessert looks dowdy when taken from the oven

PIE – sweetened and thickened fruit as the filling, baked, usually in a round pan, between lower pastry and top pastry or crumb topping

PING – fruit [usually cherries], covered in a sweet sauce, with spoonfuls of dough that form a crust on top that when tapped makes a hollow pinging sound that indicates it’s finished baking

SHORTCAKE – I’m not going down this road again… click here & read what we discussed earlier this year

SLUMP – fruit base with sweetened biscuits or dumplings on top, cooked in covered skillet on the stove top wherein the topping slumps into the fruit

• • •

Sources of general information + a few specific recipes: Serious Eats, Huffington Post, the spruce Eats, FLOURISH, kitchn, Cook’s Country, COOKS.COM.

• • •

I’ve eaten 9 of the 12 desserts defined above.  I’ve not had Brown Betty, nor have I had Grunt or Slump– which some sources say are the same thing.  🤨

Let Us Talk Lettuce: Roaming For Romaine

Walking into the grocery store, my list in hand, looking for first item on my list, green leaf lettuce.

Am about to grab some green leaf lettuce when I’m approached by young woman, early 20s, cute in a confused but earnest way, who asks me if she can ask me a question.

And so the conversation began…

~ 🥗 ~ 💚 ~ 🥗 ~

HER: I’m supposed to buy my dad some romaine lettuce.

{pause}

ME: Yes…

{pause}

HER: I don’t understand where the romaine lettuce is…

ME: It’s down the way to our–

HER: This isn’t romaine lettuce, is it?

[She has a plastic bag filled with something green and leafy.  She puts the plastic bag directly in front of my face, about 6″ in front of my eyes… because I’m old, I guess, and she wants to make sure that I can see what is in the bag.]

ME: No, that’s Napa cabbage.  It’s not romaine lettuce.

HER: This is CABBAGE?  In the lettuce department?

ME: Yes, it’s leafy and looks sort of like romaine lettuce, but it’s cabbage… and won’t work if you’re looking for lettuce.

{pause}

HER: What does it taste like?

ME: Cabbage.

{pause}

HER: Is that lettuce?  It’s red.

ME: Yes, that’s red leaf lettuce.  It’s lettuce… as is the green leaf lettuce beside it that I’m going to buy.

HER: Lettuce can be RED?

ME: Yes.

{pause}

HER: I don’t understand lettuce.  How do you know which one is which?

ME: There are little tags on the shelves below each kind of lettuce that tell you what it is.

[She takes the opportunity to turn her head sideways and notice the little tags, reading a few of them.]

HER: Huh. That’s helpful.

ME: Yes it is.  Now if you go down the way to our right–

HER: LOOK AT THAT! The tag says Napa cabbage.  That’s what I picked up.

ME: Uh huh.  Down the way, to our right, there are bags of–

HER: What am I going to do with this Napa cabbage that I don’t want?

ME: Put it back. On the shelf. With all the other Napa cabbages.

{pause}

HER: I can do that?

ME: Yes, and down the way, to our right, there are bags of romaine lettuce that have three–

HER: THREE!!! Yes, that’s what my dad said.  Bags of three. Where are they?

ME: Down the way. To our right, where the big sign talks about–

HER: Yes, yes.  I see it.  How did I miss it?  Thanks.

[She scampers off to buy a bag of romaine lettuce, leaving me to finish my sentence, unheard and definitely unheeded.]

ME: — where the big sign talks about the current dangers surrounding consumption of romaine lettuce.

~ The End ~

Orange Sky At Night, Tomatoes Take Fright

A SHORT STORY

One day the Lady of the House carefully planted a few pots of herbs + one pot of small patio tomatoes.  There was joy in the land.

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The sky was blue above, forsooth.

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Cardinals, sitting in trees, shooketh their tail feathers.

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Cute garden tags proclaimed what was in each herb pot.

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However, one evening a magical thunderstorm rolled through the land turning the sky to a weird shade of orange, creating a beautiful unexpected rainbow.  Things had changed.

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At first, the Lady of the House was charmed by the rainbow, until she saw that the storm winds had snapped her tomato plant in two.  She was sad.

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But the Lady of the House, being ever hopeful and raised on fairy tales, put the little green tomatoes in a dish on the kitchen table near a sunny window.

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Where, alas & alack, despite the Lady of the House’s tender care, the little tomatoes remain green and inedible to this day.

THE END

T Is For Turnip, Like Totally

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 11.02.08 AMJust Fell off the Turnip Truck

…  is an idiom meaning that someone is naive or gullible.  It refers to the idea that someone riding on top of the produce in the back of a flatbed truck is a country bumpkin who will be taken advantage of in the city by the smooth-talking folk.

I’ve never seen a truckload of turnips, which probably comes as no surprise to you.

What will also come as no surprise to you, my gentle readers, is the fact that I’ve got nothing to talk about on the topic of turnips.

Well, that’s not entirely true.

I could tell you that I have a t-shirt that has a turnip printed on the front of it with the words “turnip the volume.”  It’s a dumb pun, but the shirt is comfy.

But do you care about that t-shirt?

Probably not.

So instead of pretending I’ve something to say, allow me to suggest that we once again agree that I showed up here, in good faith, and posted something as per the challenge guidelines.

Thus I hereby declare that I have written about the letter “T.”

And the A To Z Challenge continues on Monday…

• • •

{ SOMETHING TO DO FOR FUN }

Here’s a link to a lovely downloadable “fabric swatch” that features, among many vegetables, ye olde turnip.  Very cute.

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