Thursday, November 3, 2011

New Bread

     With every move comes the task of finding a new grocer.  My mother claims to understand this, but she doesn't truly--she has lived in the same town for twenty-four years.  She is pretty settled into her grocery store needs.  Sure, sometimes she wafts between Meijer or Kroger, but in general, if she wants to buy Hillbilly Bread, she can, with no trouble.
     When I moved to DC, the grocery store situation put me in a tailspin.  In the district, the stores are tiny.  Very narrow aisles and a lot of people.  I tried to research online when the best time to go would be, but the reviews were all the same: don't go on the weekends, it's terrible.  So I was relegated to awful grocery shopping for the duration of my stay in the district.
     The first visit or two to a new grocery store is typically filled with disappointment and dismay.  The fact is, all stores are not created equal, and they do not all carry the same items.  So when you've finally gotten used to the new bread you were using in Boston, you stand in front of the district's bread selection and whimper a little.  The cycle has to start over.  Grocery shopping should be one of the things that can stay constant when everything else is in flux.  But it is quite the opposite.
     While in the district, I developed a system.  I split my grocery trips between Safeway and Trader Joes.  I was a Trader Joes novice at the time; I've grown to love it, but face it, there are a few things you just can't get at TJs.  And that's where Safeway came in.  And then every once in a while I would supplement getting exotic meats at the farmers' market.  It wasn't a perfect system, but I had it down.  I also had the contingency plan that I would only go grocery shopping before 10am.  It wasn't an easy contingent to keep up with, and there were some weeks I had to skip grocery shopping.
     Over time, I apparently fell in love with Trader Joes.  I didn't realize this had happened until I was standing in FoodStore last weekend.  At first, the idea of a normal sized grocery store was intriguing.  I had dreams of my previous Boston grocery shopping glory. But then I was standing in the aisles, desperately searching for fire roasted tomatoes, and I knew it just wasn't the same.  I missed Trader Joes.  It surprised me, the way feelings can sneak up on you like they do.
     Today, I am going on an adventure.  I'm going to find the Trader Joes in Brooklyn, and I'm going to get those fire roasted tomatoes.  And apparently something called Brownies-in-a-bag.  It's several subway stops away, and there's a good chance all my frozen foods will melt, but at least it will help me maintain a small piece of consistency.  It's the first step in developing a new grocery system.  And I won't have to switch bread again. 

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