Even now I should be pounding out pages for submission of book number three. Agent Susan is waiting, and I just have a very few paragraphs to go. But I’ve been neglectful of the Handbasket for weeks–and while I have a long list of things I want/need to write about, today’s subject jumped to the head of the line when it came up.
I’ve been neglecting our pantry and fridge recently, too. So, after P and I had a very fun lunch at the local Buffalo Wild Wings, we went to Wal-Mart to stock up. (It’s true. I’m not a Wal-Mart hater. Many of my friends are, but fortunately they’re mostly live-and-let-live types and don’t shun me for it. I prefer Target, but not enough to drive to the one in Marion. They don’t have groceries, anyway. This is, after all, Southern Illinois. I anticipate that the Blockbuster will close a few weeks after the Saturn dealership shutters. But I digress…). The Wal-Mart’s produce isn’t quite up to snuff, but they have pretty much everything else. The people-watching opportunities are good, too, because Wal-Mart shoppers bridge all class/race/gender categories. We are all deliciously united at Wal-Mart.
I will confess to puzzling over the food choices of the family in line behind us: two two-liter bottles of Dr. Thunder, a giant bag of Lays (which confused me because the woman buying it was wearing a faux-Lays tshirt that said something I’m too embarrassed to repeat), cheese curls, and the biggest tub of margarine I’ve ever seen in my life. So, call me a food snob. Whatever. I just wondered what they were going to do with all that margarine. Many folks would make fun of my Yo-Gos, Pop-Tarts, Mini-Wheats, and Organic Cage-Free Eggs. My family will be chock full of bad dyes, etc, but I hate the idea of those vast egg farms where caged chickens are force-fed faux-food and aren’t allowed out to chase bugs or other chickens. And the single man in line in front of us just bought one thing: Colon Cleanz. I felt kind of bad for him. I think I would’ve bought a couple more things just for cover–vitamins, paper plates, shampoo, dog food–the way I used to when I had to buy tampons as a teenager.
Overall, the five reusable shopping bags (plus 4 plastic ones because I hadn’t brought enough in) in our cart probably contained a reasonably typical middle-class American selection of food. I hadn’t made a major trip to the store in weeks. I won’t list everything here. How dull would that be?! But appearances can be deceiving. The real weirdness awaited at home.
Before I write out this list, I have to tell you that the rest of my family bears VERY little responsibility for it. I’m the person who fills the fridge, plans dinners, etc. And I probably wouldn’t have noticed this at all if Pom hadn’t said–as we were putting groceries away–“Do you know how many packages of Mozzarella you have in the fridge?”
Here is a list of all of the cheese (in no particular order) that currently lives in our refrigerator:
8 oz Feta
2 lbs. Sharp Cheddar (2 pkgs)
12 oz Shredded Colby/Monterey Jack
5 oz Shredded Colby/Monterey Jack (open)
1 lb. American Slices
4 oz Goat Cheese
6 lbs. Mozzarella (Yes,6 pounds/3 pkgs!)
12 oz Shredded Parmesan
5-4oz cups of Cottage Cheese
1.5 lbs Slice Provolone (3 pkgs–all open!)
8 oz Neufchatel Cream Cheese
4 oz Neufchatel Cream Cheese (open)
8 oz Shredded Mozzarella
12 oz Mozzarella Cheese Sticks
4 oz Mozzarella Cheese Sticks (open)
15 or so 3/4 oz Wedges of Laughing Cow Cheese (various types)
5 oz Colby/Monterey Jack (chunk, open)
Is this a grisly collection, or what? Thank goodness I ate that 1/2 oz of Brie before I made this list. It would’ve put me over the top, I’m sure.
Feel free to make any judgment you care to. I’m sure it’s a classic example of American greed, prosperity, and general thoughtlessness. I’ve always equated a full fridge and pantry with security. For me, it says I’ve been paying more attention to my work than I have to grocery shopping (which I generally do once a week because of the distance to the store) and right now that’s a good thing.
It’s also a handy reminder to check out the beam in my own eye before I laugh at the mote in someone else’s. If those people were going to dip their chips in the margarine, or the woman was going to slather herself with it and roll around the grass in her own backyard, who am I to criticize?
(Photo courtesy of PDPhoto.org)