No More Frozen Foods For Me!

I may NEVER go to the grocery store again.

Did you know that for $4.95, the Harris Teeter will allow you to pick out your grocifery needs ONLINE, and they will do the shopping for you?  Hallelujah!  Praise to the gods of innovation and technology.  Why would any of us ever, ever, ever, ever step foot back in frozen foods?

The grocery store is cold!

One can never find cornstarch!

My basket always has a bum wheel that clacks throughout the store!  And people glare at me as if I am responsible for grocery cart maintenance.

When I run into friends at the store, they always seem a bit judgy about my choice of foods – I can see it in their eyes.  YES WE DO eat sugary cereals and Cheese Nips.  You got a problem with that Miss Organic Produce, Boxed Wine Drinker?  I see what’s in your cart too…

I sat in my bed in boxers, no shirt, last weekend and clicked my way through canned goods, fresh fruit and the store bakery.  And on Tuesday, at 5, I pulled up to the HT, not exiting my car, and pressed a little button:

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This is your personal shopper, can I get your name please?

 Tanner, Danny Tanner.

 I’ll be right out with your order.

Why thank you.

I then checked email on my phone while my PS retrieved my goods from the walk in fridge.

As I sat there, I scoffed at the pitiful folks passing by my car headed to and fro parking spots afar.

College dude making a beer run…

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You should be studying!!!

Hee-hee-hee.

Soccer player, clearly exhausted after practice…

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You should be resting!!!

Ba ha!

Older folks who shouldn’t have to be hauling out these heavy bags…

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Shouldn’t you be a Happy Hour?

Tisk, tisk, tisk…

And you?  There are criminals at large!

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Man, oh man…

When my PS brought out the goods, she thoughtfully explained that they were out of chicken flavored Rice O Roni so she made the decision to substitute with Uncle Bens.

“Excellent choice!  I would have done the same.”  It’s as if we are twins from a different mother.

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When I shared my new found glory, some friends questioned if I selected produce.  As if I didn’t trust PS with those sorts of decisions.

CHECK OUT THESE PEPPERS… I couldn’t have chosen better myself.

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Alcohol?  No problem.  She swiped my credit card on a handheld device and checked my I.D. in the parking lot.

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Now, if I can figure out a way to get someone to put these items in my cabinets, I’ll be golden.

Roast or My Boots?

Best thing on the menu, provided by the guests

Posted by Danny

I simply can’t cook.

I woke up this morning knowing that the family was coming over for dinner – 13 and a baby. I was planning on cooking up some Mexican fare but my sister-in-law called and said they were bringing a tomato pie. She then informed me that tomato pie went with ANYTHING. Have you ever seen tomato pie on a menu at Dos Taquitos? I don’t think so…

I knew I could cook a pot roast but I sort of felt like mine was too crock pot and cream of mushroom soupy. My mother-in-law is such a good cook, I sort of thought I should put in a little more effort – less onion soup from a box and more clove of real garlic. By the way, took me twenty minutes and two children to find a clove of garlic in the fresh food section at the Kroger. It was hidden behind the avocado – another thing I’ve never purchased.

I found a recipe on-line – someone’s grandma’s oven baked pot roast. It looked simple.

I got home at 1:30 in a panic. Grandma called for her chuck roast to cook for four to five hours – she must have been retired. Who has time to cook a five-hour meal? That should have been my first clue.

The second should have been a dish that required alcohol. Frozen burritos do require alcohol, but in a glass while you’re eating them. This chuck roast called for searing (had to Google that) followed by a bath in red wine. It killed me to waste a good pino noir like that.

It first called for me to rub salt and pepper all over Chuck.  I found it difficult to believe that I was giving a dead cow a rub down.  I closed my eyes and pictured Meg Ryan.  Didn’t work.  I’m sure her skin would have been softer and warmer.

After searing, chopping, poking, daydreaming, basking and simmering, I finally tossed my new friend into the oven in a big silver pot with an enormous silver lid.  This large kitchen item has not been used since my wife died. And I’m not sure it has ever been used, although it has taken up an entire cabinet since 1995. 

It was 2:15 when I tossed him in the oven – we’d be pushing it, but Stephanie had several new constipation jokes that could entertain the guests for a good 20 minutes.

I set the timer for 5 pm just to check in on Chuck. I pulled him out of the oven and hour before the guest arrived and opened the lid. As I jabbed him with my knife, I realized he was the consistency of myboots. When I took a bite, thoughts of my summer lawn shoes filled my head.

Crap! I’ve ruined yet another meal. I called my mom, as if this woman could tenderize pounds of meat from 90 miles away.  “Is there anything that can be done for a piece of meat that taste like a bike tire?”

She didn’t flinch, “Honey, they have these great chickens in the deli at the Harris Teeter. Why don’t you go buy a couple of those?”

She used to talk me through my cooking failures.  Now she just suggests alternate arrangements. 

As we sat at the table, my oldest daughter critiqued the corn. She then explained to the family how I’d run into the house at 5:30 with a new meat. That was unfortunate since I’d already accepted the compliment of my brother-in-law’s sister who told me the chicken was delicious. I simply said, “Thank you.” Sometimes I’m prone to lying through omission my grief counselor tells me.

So – I ruined another meal. The corn was too creamy. The meat was in the outdoor trash can. The potatoes were mushy. Thank the lord the guests brought a really good salad – and several bottles of wine.

And next time, I’m sticking with Mexican – tomato pie or not.

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