The Missus needs her groceries to whip up those delicious Thanksgiving dishes. The Missus needs her devoted husband to gather the raw material for her art. I get a list. I go to the store one or two days before Thanksgiving.
Most of the things are common…onions…brown sugar, milk, butter, and eggs. But she always manages to include something that will send me on a store-wide scavenger hunt– something like dried cherry stems, or gnu flank extract. There have been times when I was so frustrated, I wanted to sit down in the middle of the grocery store aisle, wet my pants, and cry.
So.. as a public service, I submit my list, my rules of engagement for combat shopping, so you can get in-and-out of the store without losing your festive spirit. You are festive, aren’t you?
- This is not the time for creative store selection. If you are familiar with a store, or can drag along someone who might know where things are located… make plans to use the one with familiar terrain.
- Make a list. Make a list on your telephone’s app, on paper, on the bald head of a small child you will have to bring with you (I suggest washable blue ink for the kid’s head)
- When you make the list…start your organization. If you know how the store is laid out, make your list in the order of your walk through the store. Otherwise- organize your list as to type..such a produce, canned, condiments, paper products, etc. On that list…leave a spot for a check mark, and bring a pen so you can keep track.
- Forget coupons. They will slow you down. On a day like this, you don’t need to slow yourself searching to save on things you probably can do without until the weekend, anyway.
- Forget health. If people were gathering at your place for a healthy meal, they would come to your yard and eat the leaves you have not rakes. Go for the things that make recipes delicious such as real butter, whole milk, the big stuffed olives
- Resist impulse shopping for the recipe that just popped into your head. You probably won’t have time to make it.
- For holiday cooking, let the stores do some of the time-consuming work. Just this time, buy the pre chopped onions. And you can buy tubs of mashed potatoes, and add a little of your own seasoning to customize them. Spend your stove time on making the good stuff.
- Call home before you get in the checkout line. Make sure there are no “Oh, yeah…and you need to get… ” moments after you check out and get in the car to come home.
- Shop like a pilot .. do your check list, check your “do” list.
- And remember, you are not judged on your recipes–this is not the State Fair. Nobody will arrest you if you forget the half stick of butter.
- And finally —the most important thing of all… Chill. Enjoy the day.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.