I’ve always enjoyed a grocery store trip, especially when I’m not quite sure what I’m getting but have a general idea of what I need. It’s the part of what I want that always is the most fun, along with the hunt of what I can find.
Last summer, Jamey and I started venturing to grocery stores together when I made my way out to Charleston permanently. It was several months before we ever cooked our first meal, and even then it was probably some lame salmon attempt on my part. I like to think that our food knowledge and experience has drastically improved since then.
Clearly, we are a couple who enjoy our kitchen gadgets. Within the past six months we’ve gathered some pretty fantastical objects, from the smoker to the sous vide. (And let’s not forget the meals our handy crockpot has delivered.) Needless to say, we also manage to always have a bit of fun when it comes to discovering new flavors in the grocery store.
This past Sunday when I found myself in possession of pine nuts, basil, penne, parmesan cheese, hummus, celery and Truvia, I knew we were bound to have a varied and delicious meal. (And sure enough, we did, with bowlfuls of homemade pesto, penne and smoked chicken – the latter from leftovers, of course. Not to fret, I will provide you with our recipe and pictures shortly.)
We never really know what to expect when we head to the grocery store, since often we stumble in there without a purpose – but we usually have a vision. This vision takes shape as we stroll up and down the aisles, usually spending an inordinate amount of time in the spices and sauce row. (Seriously, I’m not joking with this by any means: If you ever need to get Jamey and me a gift and can’t rack your brains for what we could possibly need or want, just get us a sampler basket of dry rubs and random ingredients. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve stopped ourselves from purchasing that $13 spice bottle, but oh how close we have come. You buying it for us will just make everything better! [Caroline had the right idea!]) I sometimes find myself laughing at us as we stand in front of specific sections for 15 minutes at a time debating the merits of oregano and thyme PLUS garlic salt versus a sodium-free rub with crushed red pepper – mixes off the top of my head, but you never truly know what you will find until you explore the spice section yourself. And the ethnic food section! Now I am just starting to salivate.
Ultimately, we come away with either one or no bottle to add to our growing collection. (I have to admit, the $13 price tag is often a damper on the whole discovery.) Our poor little spice rack can also only handle so many jars at once, so until then, we strive to get through each ingredient, one meal at a time. Still, reading the labels and exploring recommended recipes in-store usually directs us to another foodie adventure.
Mostly, spending time in the grocery store means more time Jamey and I get to chatter on about nothing, plan meals, and blabber on about what we’re going to share with you all next in this space. It allows us to be creative and feel a little worldly, even though that worldly venture has only taken us to a grocery store across town.
Whether we come away with our intended purchases or not, I always love this time regardless. It’s funny how little grocery store moments can pan out into an evening of entertainment; that’s the way I think it should be.