Saturday, January 4, 2014

Grocery store fortune

Today, I had this moment. I was in the grocery. The produce shelves were empty. What was left, I determined, would not touch my lips. Had today not been a Saturday after the city of Boston had been shut for 2 days, this may have been odd. However, there have been Facebook tales of people 'stocking up' to make their favorite snowed-in meals. Basically, I wasn't willing to go all the way (all two blocks) to the grocery in the snow when I still had plenty of food at home and an open pizza place next door. Let the pizza guys do the shopping AND the cooking!

Well, back to that moment...the produce shelves were bare, but the rest of the place was brimming with supplies of food and food-like substances. And empty of people. Lucky me! Strolling down the aisles, I tried to remember all the pieces and parts I needed for the meal I wanted to make. I needed chicken. Thighs, to be specific. Not only did they have plenty of chicken, but there were many choices for just thighs! Bone in, boneless, attached to the rest of the bird, skinless, several brands...a dizzying array of chicken choices. Next, I strolled down the frozen veggie aisle. An entire aisle devoted to JUST frozen veggies! Well, it happened there as I was staring blankly at door upon chilly door of options...not only choice of veggies, but of medleys, of package sizes, of included sauce packs, of steamable bags...Again. Dizzying.

At that moment, I remembered what I learned about Communism in school. It can be summed up in one image:

Yup. Big modern facilities for all and food for none. Oh yeah, and old ladies wearing scarves.

Anyway, before going to the store, I read a headline about someone who decided to become an American citizen after living here with as a permanent resident for 10 years. What I thought about as I lugged my gi-normous bags home through the snow and cold was how fortunate I am to be an American citizen. Sure, the fresh produce left much to be desired, but the fact that it was empty when all other shelves were full speaks to the wealth of a nation. I (usually) have insanely out of season fresh veggies and fruits at my disposal year round. All I have to do is walk down the street. I'd hate to try to count the multitudes of other products available to me. How crazy is that? And, in the middle of a two day snow storm, the folks in my neighborhood are choosing fresh produce over processed garbage. Fortune.

And still, I forgot one crucial ingredient to make the meal of my choice. I guess I'll have to venture back out tomorrow. I'd say it's a safe bet that at least some of the produce will be restocked. Big juicy fresh berries, melons, mangos, peaches, and some stuff that I don't even know the names for! All available to me in the middle of January in Boston. Hmm. That's just one of the many things that makes me fortunate. Well, that, and the fact that I don't even need to wonder if all those fruits and veggies will be available for me to buy.


hot cereal, apples, and almonds
 flank steak, carrots, rice, and 'oriental' mix veggies
Mmm, nachos

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