Friday, November 17, 2006

Countdown to Thanksgiving Day 4: The Big Shopping Trip

I am doing the Thanksgiving dinner shopping tonight and I can't wait. Seriously. I love to go holiday grocery shopping. During the holidays, all sorts of foods like Panettone and Turkish Delight start to make appearances at the World's Worst Grocery Store (W^2). There is this hustle to the store and everyone has cart not those wimpy hand baskets. I like to look at what other people are getting for their holiday meals. You can tell a lot about how someone celebrates the holiday by what they have in their carts. There are the people who have prepared deli platters, fruit baskets, and a fully prepared holiday meal in their cart (I'm not going to THEIR house). Then there will be the people who have two or three carts with one cart filled with two or three turkeys and another cart completely dedicated to baking supplies (I'm following them home). Last year, while doing the Thanksgiving grocery shopping, I was in line behind three people doing some shopping for a local food pantry. They were counting up cans of corn, green beans, etc. and realised they were several cans short of condensed milk. As one of the volunteers waded through the line to go back and get the errant cans of condensed milk, several shoppers reached into their carts and pulled out their cans of condensed milk and gave them to the gentleman so the volunteer wouldn't have to go back to the baking section. It was a gesture of the season, one I wish we paid more attention to other times of the year.

MBH isn't going shopping with me tonight. Last night he declared that this weekend would be the last time until January 2007 that he would step foot in a store of any kind. On a good week, he will acquiesce and go grocery shopping with me but I am running solo the rest of the year. MBH has a very set way he likes to grocery shop and absolutely WILL NOT grace the W^2 with his presence unless it is the only option for shopping. So, when he tags along with me, we go down the block to a newer version of the W^2 (same company, newer store). He likes this store because all the aisles are laid out in a right to left vertical fashion making it perfect for the way he likes to shop; up one aisle and down the next until we have gone down every single aisle; regardless of whether we have anything on the list in that aisle. He also likes this version of the W^2 because it is a straight shot from where the carts are to the cat food aisle. MBH has one job during our shopping trips, to pick out the flavours of tinned catfood that will be served to LB during the upcoming week. I'm not sure LB can taste the difference between the Friskies Sliced Turkey and Gravy and the Fancy Feast Wild Tuna in Egg Florentine but it amuses MBH to make sure LB has variety. MBH also gets to put three things that aren't on the grocery list into the cart. As a result, he has gotten very good at putting stuff on the list during the week so he can have three "bonus" items he finds during our shopping. I created the "three things" rule after realising that every shopping trip with MBH resulted in a blowing the grocery budget for the month. He thinks the rule is grand and I keep to my budget! I will miss shopping with MBH the rest of the year, he makes me laugh with running commentary and his antics in the aisles.

My Thanksgiving Grocery Shopping List

1 - box elbow macaroni
2 - Granny Smith apples
3 - Navel oranges
2 - green bananas (to ripen at home)
1 - head Iceberg lettuce
2 - Roma tomatoes
1 - 1lb bag carrots
1 - package celery
1 - medium purple top turnip
1 - 5lb bag Yukon Gold potatoes
1 - 5lb bag yellow onions
1 - 2lb bag cranberries
4 - lemons
2 - limes
1 pkg fresh thyme
1 head garlic
7 lbs fresh green beans (picked up Monday evening)
1lb salt pork
1 - 13-16lb Kosher turkey (FREE with my Turkey Points!)
1 - 5lb bag King Arthur bread flour
2 - 5lb bags King Arthur all-purpose flour
2 - bags chocolate chips
2 cans evaporated milk
1 can condensed milk
2 cans pumpkin
1lb Kosher salt
mixed olives from olive cart
1 jar Vlasic Sweet Gherkins
1 bag shell-on pistachios (not dyed funky green or red)
1 - 4lb bag of walnuts
2lbs sharp cheddar cheese
1 - 4 cup bag shredded mild chedder cheese
1 - large tub sour cream
2 dozen large eggs (brown in New England)
4lbs unsalted butter
1 lb salted butter
2 bottles of wine (one red, one white)
six pack beer (for MBH)
case of seltzer water
1 liter tonic water (G&Ts while I cook)
1 - 50ft roll of heavy duty aluminum foil
1 - 25ft roll plastic wrap
1 - XL brining bag

Update @ 8:28pm - It took me a little over an hour to finish the shopping with the exception of the green beans and the fresh thyme; which I will pick up on Monday evening. And this is what $155.72 buys you:

Thirteen grocery bags full of festive foods!