Standing in the supermarket...

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Weeks

Senior Cook
Joined
Oct 7, 2004
Messages
143
Location
Hattiesburg, MS
...with nothing but a blank slate, surrounded by fresh produce, premium fresh-butchered meats, fruits and grains to die for...

I find myself in Fresh Market about twice a pay period with nothing resembling a shopping list, planning a 3-4 course meal off of the top of my head, wandering from aisle to aisle thinking, "DUDE, that spice would kick a veal marsala out of this world! Ok, veal cutlets and what else? I need a starch, some veggies and a dessert..."

Does anyone else do this, or am I alone in this strange habit? I find I can only afford to do it once or twice a paycheck, as I tend to spend around $50 total when you add in the wine for the meal. This is completely aside from the trips (about once a week) to pick up fresh veal bones from their butchers' department for veal stock. I go in there so often they know me by name. ;)
 

Juliev

Washing Up
Joined
Sep 3, 2004
Messages
2,394
Location
USA
LOL.. I buy a lot of general things when I go shopping that can be used in a lot of different meals.. but keep in mind..I'm on my own.. so, my shopping will differ from yours. I end up going in for one thing to make a certain recipe and come out with 15. So, I know how you feel, Weeks! :D

One place I like is this little italian deli, they also have a nice plant/flower nursery........that is very popular in the spring, summer. I buy a lot of my cheeses and meats from there.
 

Weeks

Senior Cook
Joined
Oct 7, 2004
Messages
143
Location
Hattiesburg, MS
Heh, I tend to plan meals for 2, myself and my girlfriend, and I end up thinking like 4 meals ahead. So much to attempt, so little money. ;)
 

Audeo

Head Chef
Joined
Sep 1, 2004
Messages
1,871
Location
USA,Texas
Weeks, while I usually loose a small fortune shopping without something of a list, this is a lot of fun. Not something to do when you're pressed for time, though.

There are a couple of stores in DFW called "Central Market" that are absolutely LOADED with every imagineable food, wine and spice known to mankind. Their fish counter alone is probably about 50 feet long! I can get lost in these places for days...
 

GB

Chief Eating Officer
Joined
Jul 14, 2004
Messages
25,510
Location
USA,Massachusetts
I tend to shop day to day. I will figure out what I want to make for dinner while I am at work and then stop at the store on the ride home. I do occasionally see something while I am in the store and that will give me ideas of things to try, but usually I have a list and stick pretty close to it.
 

Weeks

Senior Cook
Joined
Oct 7, 2004
Messages
143
Location
Hattiesburg, MS
I also have a "bad" habit, learned from my bachelor and college years, of standing in front of the pantry and devising wild combinations of tastes and flavors in my head using the stuff I have on hand. Some examples: Kraft Macaroni & Cheese + Hormel Chili + Pace Picante Sauce = spicy cheesy-chili dinner. The bizzare stuff never ceased.

Now that I have a source of fresh produce and meats nearby, I'm like a kid lost in a candystore everytime I go in there. First stop? Butchery department for some entree ideas. Then it's on to collect spices and veggies and think about the second course.
 

mudbug

Chef Extraordinaire
Joined
Sep 9, 2004
Messages
11,166
Location
NoVA, beyond the Beltway
If I don't keep to the list, I end up spending waay more money. Handy Husband used to do all the shopping on Sunday mornings, but I took over because he would end up buying the same things over and over, plus a lot of sugary cereals for him and the kid, and none of those little extras a cook likes to keep handy, such as green onions or lemons.

The new Safeway is a mere 5 minutes away now, so I tend to go more often and buy fewer things per trip. Unfortunately, we don't have any of those wonderful places you all have been describing (Whole Foods, TJs, etc.) within a reasonable driving distance, so I don't patronize them. I figure it challenges my creativity to work with what's readily at hand (there - that sounds better than lazy, doesn't it?)
 

Juliev

Washing Up
Joined
Sep 3, 2004
Messages
2,394
Location
USA
Weeks said:
I also have a "bad" habit, learned from my bachelor and college years, of standing in front of the pantry and devising wild combinations of tastes and flavors in my head using the stuff I have on hand. Some examples: Kraft Macaroni & Cheese + Hormel Chili + Pace Picante Sauce = spicy cheesy-chili dinner. The bizzare stuff never ceased.

Now that I have a source of fresh produce and meats nearby, I'm like a kid lost in a candystore everytime I go in there. First stop? Butchery department for some entree ideas. Then it's on to collect spices and veggies and think about the second course.

I have used Hormel Chili for "quick throw-together" nachos... I totally hear ya!
 

choclatechef

Washing Up
Joined
Sep 1, 2004
Messages
1,680
Location
USA
I generally take the time to plan and make detailed lists of what I will buy. Then, I buy what is on the list, and if there is a good bargain in the store.....get that too! :(
 

tweedee

Head Chef
Joined
Aug 25, 2004
Messages
1,148
Location
Southeast, Kansas
I don't usually write out a list for groceries unless it is for something in perticular that I don't buy very often and we are out of. Otherwise I just go through every isle of the grocery store and if I see something that appeals to me I pick it up and the meal planning turns out ok.

As for household supplies, that is a whole different ball game. I usually shop at Walmart for that stuff and I have to have a list made out because as soon as I get into the store I have a tendency to get side tracked, looking around at other things and forget what I went there for.
 

Bangbang

Executive Chef
Joined
Jul 17, 2004
Messages
3,150
Location
USA,Michigan
Weeks said:
...with nothing but a blank slate, surrounded by fresh produce, premium fresh-butchered meats, fruits and grains to die for...

I find myself in Fresh Market about twice a pay period with nothing resembling a shopping list, planning a 3-4 course meal off of the top of my head, wandering from aisle to aisle thinking, "DUDE, that spice would kick a veal marsala out of this world! Ok, veal cutlets and what else? I need a starch, some veggies and a dessert..."

Does anyone else do this, or am I alone in this strange habit? I find I can only afford to do it once or twice a paycheck, as I tend to spend around $50 total when you add in the wine for the meal. This is completely aside from the trips (about once a week) to pick up fresh veal bones from their butchers' department for veal stock. I go in there so often they know me by name. ;)

I have been asked to leave the store becuse I would pick up some stuff and then change my mind and put it back...then do it again.while I am "cooking in my head". I have a lot of trouble selecting my meat products. I am always looking for the best I can get at the lowest price. This can be very time consuming. I hate it when I find everything exceot that one must have ingreient. When that happens I just leave my basket and walk out. :LOL:
 

mudbug

Chef Extraordinaire
Joined
Sep 9, 2004
Messages
11,166
Location
NoVA, beyond the Beltway
Bang, don't come into Tarjay, please. I have to put away all that stuff that you leave in your basket. That particular activity is quaintly called "re-shop" in Tarjay-ese. We all hate it.
 

luvs

Master Chef
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
9,671
Location
da 'burgh
i browse and browse, mull over which brand is better, search for the best steak with the most marbling...
 

Weeks

Senior Cook
Joined
Oct 7, 2004
Messages
143
Location
Hattiesburg, MS
Heh, I window-shop until I've visually verified all the ingredients I need, then I go on a wild spree picking them up and grinning to myself.

I'm so wierd.
 

Bangbang

Executive Chef
Joined
Jul 17, 2004
Messages
3,150
Location
USA,Michigan
mudbug said:
Bang, don't come into Tarjay, please. I have to put away all that stuff that you leave in your basket. That particular activity is quaintly called "re-shop" in Tarjay-ese. We all hate it.

I don't do it very often but when I am in a major grocery store and they don't have something like peppercorns or fresh lemons or Gala Apples...I get pissed off. I have been vey disappointed recently because I can not find whole dried peas. Ughhhhh :!:
 

Barbara L

Traveling Welcome Wagon
Joined
Apr 4, 2004
Messages
15,716
Location
Somewhere, US
Bangbang said:
mudbug said:
Bang, don't come into Tarjay, please. I have to put away all that stuff that you leave in your basket. That particular activity is quaintly called "re-shop" in Tarjay-ese. We all hate it.

I don't do it very often but when I am in a major grocery store and they don't have something like peppercorns or fresh lemons or Gala Apples...I get pissed off. I have been vey disappointed recently because I can not find whole dried peas. Ughhhhh :!:
Then complain to the manager. Don't make some poor underpaid stock person have to put it away!

:) Barbara
 

Barbara L

Traveling Welcome Wagon
Joined
Apr 4, 2004
Messages
15,716
Location
Somewhere, US
Any time mudbug! I don't have a problem with someone being justifiably angry, but we need to watch who we take it out on!

:) Barbara
 

norgeskog

Washing Up
Joined
Aug 28, 2004
Messages
3,615
Location
Eugene, Oregon
I am a mood cooker meaning I decide at around 4 in the afternoon what I want for dinner and take it out of the freezer and then decide what to do with it. I shop about once a month for meat and buy steaks (I grind my own burger), chops, chicken breasts, fish and what ever other meats look good that day. I buy fresh produce usually twice a week and match with the protein I am making. If I make a shopping list, it is on the fridge door when I am at the store. THe only stuff I really put on the shopping list is staples that I am low on or out of completely. I have never liked meal planning, I guess when it is a last minute decision I am pretending I am dining out, and I am the greeter, server, diner, chef and cashier.
 

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