Grocery shopping [ramble]

meldy_nva(z6b VA)October 13, 2011

DH went on a trip last week, left the grocery list for me. It took three grocery stores, the warehouse store, and the local farmer's market to get everything on that list! OTOH, there were enough BOGO items and store coupons to bring the total cost down almost 40%.

One store -for the third time- didn't have items on hand to fulfill their store's coupons. I did get rain checks, but think that's the last time I shop there; the company has another about a mile farther in a different direction so I'll try that one next time.

Best price anywhere for a head of cabbage was .79 lb and none were very fresh; picked up a great big crispy head at the farmer's market for $3 [about .50 lb). btw, slice thinly, saute or braise, cool and pack into bags or containers ~ it freezes just fine and it's handy to have a ready-to-eat base for quick dinners or side dishes.

Noticed a "new" item in a dairy case: a one-cup container of mixed 50% butter/50% canola oil for $4.89... I've been doing that for years, even with the high-priced organic butter it's only about .80 a cup. It's a bit messy to mix, but I do a full pound of butter at a time, pack into 8 oz containers and freeze. It keeps fresh at least 6 months.

If you are wondering why I did the shopping (didn't scream about it either), it's because the choice was shop or work on that quilt. I've promised myself the next quilt will NOT have 1600 pieces.

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1600 pieces? Are you quilt crazy or what? :)

My ramble?

Took the day off from work yesterday. I had to take mommy to the doctor. As you may or may not remember, I often get this duty as I speak "medical" and can explain it in simpler terms to her. For instance, he was pointing at this and that on the xray, telling her the medical term for what was going on, and after 5 minutes of her puzzled gaze I simply said, "your disesae is progressing, but now it is affecting a different area". She finally asked a question. Sheesh, doctors! I have just finished using the walking boot with my broken leg and have mucho experience in the appliance arena. They gave her an appliance to use in order to put off surgery for quite some time. I know how the Queen of One-Must-Suffer-to-be-Beautiful (she asked the tech if she could wear it under her clothes!) feels about a back brace, but I also realize she's been feeling pretty awful for quite sometime. She'd already decided she wants surgery so she can quit feeling this way. As we walked out the door, me hobbling on my bad ankle (still swollen) and she dressed to the nines with a huge back brace swallowing her upper portion, she went straightaway into the bathroom and took it off! I told her she obviously didn't hurt like I did with my leg, because I would've eaten glass in order to feel better. Later, she called me and asked me how the brace was supposed to be adjusted, but that if it didn't get better she was going to use it as a planter for the pansies she just bought. Actually, she said petunias, but I know she meant pansies since it's getting cold. Glad she's going to give it a try and not plant plants in it.

However, before I met up with her I picked up a handful of things. Socks, a pair of mittens my baby wanted (very very specific ones. He's gonna be a fashion plate!), a new purse (I only get one every other year or so and carry it until it falls apart completely. My last one was glued at least three times before I quit carrying it), a comb, applesauce, and cherries. Absolutely amazing how much odds and ends cost! And tore the house apart looking for my keys. I found the prescription sunglasses I haven't been able to find.

It was good to be off, not because my mom's health is failing more, but to get caught up and have lunch with her.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 1:09PM
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Rob...just a note that might help your mother with her clothes. I was in a brace for over six months. The one thing that helped with "dressing up" was a great maternity top with a knit turtle neck under it. I wore the knit tops under the brace with the maternity top over it. There are some snazzy tops that she might like to wear with slacks or straight skirts.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 1:38PM
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My ramble: DH and I went grocery shopping this morning, and since I didn't have too many things on my list, thought the bill might not be as high as usual. Using Rob's term "Sheesh", we were shocked when it was more than it usually is. And since most of the stuff we bought wasn't for *main* meals, I was bummed. Every week, it seems as if prices are higher than the week before. Meldy, like you, I'm trying to take advantage of BOGO and store coupons/discounts, but sometimes stuff has to be bought that doesn't fall into those categories.

Today is DD's birthday; she said today she has permission to be depressed, down in the dumps, and feel sorry for herself. (She's had a tough time, lately.) Tomorrow, she'll get up and start the next year of her life, knowing/hoping/praying that better times are ahead. DH and I hope that, too.

Granddaughter emailed 70 pictures of her two darling children: almost four and four and one-half months. What fun! New treats for our desktop.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 1:56PM
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Thanks Aggie! I'll pass it along.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 2:01PM
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We had plans to go shopping today, but after reading this thread I decided to postpone it until tomorrow.
We did go out and bought 8 gallons of Reverse Osmosis water.
Meldy, I've been mixing butter and oil for years. But I mix it right in the pan, one dab of butter and a splash of oil. Sometimes I use canola oil, but most of the time use Olive Oil. For me it's the best of two worlds, the taste of butter and healthy oil.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 7:47PM
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jazmynsmom(Z5 Madison-ish)

Long ramble:
I spent my Wednesday in the hospital waiting room while Steve got his right rotator cuff repaired. He had his left one done in February, so we both thought we knew what to expect. The surgery was mechanically successful, but an anesthesiological nightmare in that the nerve block didn't work and he came to after the surgery with complete feeling in his shoulder. They quickly gave him some pain meds and another nerve block, but they made him nauseous and paralyzed that nerve that helps with breathing.

After I drove him home, the nausea won and he "lost" the oral pain meds they gave him. We didn't know how much he'd absorbed, so didn't dare double dose him. He's been medicinally unable to catch up with the pain, but at least it's subsiding. It's been a yucky couple of days, and he's not really good at allowing me to help or at keeping his limitations in mind.

I used the down time to communicate with the abattoir/butcher who's processing a pig for a neighbor and me this week. We'll get it next week and begin making pancetta, bacon, guanciale and sausage together again. It's become a fun fall ritual. We should be getting a whole lamb at the same time. Thank goodness for an abundance of freezer space!

I bought a mac daddy pressure canner a while back and will be canning venison, rabbits, chicken and pheasants to free up some of this freezer space. With the exception of quality local bacon (because there's no way one pig can produce enough bacon to last a year) and occasional fish, I've stopped buying meat at the grocery store entirely in the last few years. I realized that I know enough people who raise meat in a way I'm comfortable with to stop supporting practices that I find unpalatable. It definitely changes the way I shop and plan menus. The flavor and quality of the meat we get from both small scale producers and hunting is noticeably better... and it ends up being much less expensive than buying a little at a time (from an unknown producer) at the grocery store.

Time to plan a menu for the next few days. Looking for dishes that don't need a lot of cutting, and can easily be eaten with the left hand of a right handed person. :o)

    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 10:02AM
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Jaz, hope Steve's pain has begun to lessen; I can't even imagine how awful it must have been--and maybe still is. Healing thoughts coming in his direction.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 2:52PM
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Lol, we did manage to get some shopping done. Got some water from the water store, paper products from a box store, 1/2 gal. of milk from a grocery store and ordered a birthday cake from another box store.That's all the shopping we could manage in one day.
The last of my homegrown tomatoes, Italian sweet long peppers, Sweet long banana peppers will be picked tomorrow and joined with some of my homegrown herbs and poured over some noodles that I have in the cuppord.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 7:49PM
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Grocery shopping might be get done today, depending on how my patient is doing, don't like to leave the house if he feels poorly.
Jazmynsmom, I admire your culinary arts. While I have canned my share of meat and made canned lunchmeats and bacon way back when, I opted out when I got married. Military life is not ideal for long term food storage and you get out of the habit. Hope Steve is feeling better by now and heals soon, so I can use him as good example for my husband, who should see that his shoulder gets fixed.
Would'nt you know it, now that it got cooler, my tomatoes are blooming and the ones which hung like large marbles and green on the plants through August and September started to grow and are turning color now.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2011 at 7:32AM
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The substantial rainfall in early October was a blessing, generally we are limited as to planting and cleaning/weeding, because the well is low and the water situation doesn't allow it. So I was able to make a lot of progress in cleaning up and getting ready for next season. Sun was shining, it was warm and a total pleasure to work outside.
Before I got hurt, I had planted a row of cistus along the garden-fence with the thought of making a hedge, well, no watering and lots of weeds choked it all out, but I had cuttings potted up and yesterday planted my hedge to be. The soil was nice and fluffy until one got down about 1/2 foot, then it was still dry clay/hardpan, but I prevailed, Cistus is always nice looking, has such lovely abundant blooms and is tough.
There is another week of balmy weather promised, so I think I shall get quite a bit done.
The rain spoiled the abundant crop of grapes, bees and birds are gorging on the fermenting grapes, getting buzzed. There are still butterflies fluttering by, but the frogs on the waterlily pads gave gone, so have most of the lizards.
Today I need to devote some time to my house and laundry and such, next week back to the garden.
Michele, I am sending healing vibes to Steve, may he heal fast.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2011 at 9:29AM
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Jaz, I hope Steve feels a lot better.
What an ordeal.
Re the grocery shopping part. I've been down your path with preserving food.We did not have commersal refrigiration at all.
Our family had a small smoke house next to the family home where all kinds of meat and fish were smoked. The pork was smoked to perfection and sliced into paper thin slices,probably a Norwegian version of pancetta.
There were also beautiful Norwegian Salmon smoked along with the meat.
We would "preserve" smaller fish in oil cloth and hang it from the banks of the frozen rivers. We also used "salt" and "lye" to preserve food, such as cod. A mainstay in Norway. Lutefisk comes to mind.
Your post brings back memories.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2011 at 8:02PM
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