Wednesday, October 26, 2011

In the 'hood

Ravings: I went grocery shopping last night at the Whole Foods in Beachwood. I only shop there periodically, but decided to go since I had been unable to make it to the West Side Market on Monday. I am very committed to eating primarily organic produce and there is very little available at the Giant Eagle in Garfield Heights. As some of you may be aware, Garfield Heights has not fared well in the recent economic downturn. That’s putting it mildly, by the way! When I purchased this home 11 years ago, it was a nice blue collar, family neighborhood. It is now just a ‘hood. We are trying to escape, but the housing market is such a mess. Never fear, we have a plan.

However, I digress. Normally, I come home pretty irritated and stressed out after my Giant Eagle shopping trip. I am that crazy coupon lady (I have a binder and everything) and sometimes I do not get lucky with the checkout person. Most of them are just flat out rude! And I’m very organized about the coupons. But they are just pissed that they have to scan them through. Once I thought the checkout lady might actually attack me because I had two free coupons and she had to look for the cost of the item, even though I ran them through first and told her that! Then there is the bagging. I can’t be the only person who brings in my own bags, but you would think I was asking them to drive me home, unload and put away my groceries for me! I have gotten anything from an eye roll to slamming and throwing the bags around to muttering “I hate these damn things.” I mean really, you don’t get paid by the customer. You have to be there even if I’m not checking out. I don’t even want to think about how they treat the elderly customers who shop there!

The other customers are just as bad. I have gotten my cart slammed into and then told to watch out, even though I wasn’t moving. I have gotten the exaggerated huff because we both turned the corner into each other, and clearly it was my fault for not just magically knowing a cart would be rounding the aisle at the same time as mine. Then there’s the parking lot. Carts are never put where they belong. Cars always have the right of way, even if they have to run you over to prove it. And the last time I was there, I came out of the store to a cop car pulled behind my car because the woman who had parked next to me had left her three children (they all looked under school age) in the car alone. Do I really live here???

Back to my point. The experience at Whole Foods was like a parallel universe. People stopped their cars to allow pedestrians to cross. A woman in the produce section politely asked me to help her pick out potatoes. (She was foreign and didn’t understand the pricing.) I walked by the meat dept and was asked if I needed any help. The checkout lady chatted and commented on my bags. (And you get a discount for bringing in your own bags.) She even estimated the weight of my mesh produce bags and deducted it from the weight of the produce! As I was walking my cart back up to the store after unloading the groceries into my car, a woman asked if I would like her to take the cart in because she was on her way in! I almost looked around for a camera!!

As I drove home, I wondered if this was the difference between Giant Eagle shoppers and Whole Foods shoppers, or if this was attributable to the neighborhood. I think I know the answer, but I have to live her for a little while longer! Denial can be a friend.\

Cravings: I don’t recall if I mentioned that I had ordered some gluten free pizza dough. Well, I did, and it came in, and since I had gone to the grocery store right after work I was starting dinner late. I thought that was a good time to try out the new dough. Either I did something wrong or these non-gluten eaters can fool themselves into thinking anything tastes good. Jason and CJ tried to be polite about it, but there was absolutely no resemblance to pizza dough! It was like a really dry, dense biscuit. Yuck! I have 3 more bags so I will be trying to improve it, so we’ll see, but I’m not looking forward to eating that again. Had it been regular dough, it would have been good. I love homemade pizza because there are endless possibilities, and Jason is so open to trying new foods. I really did get lucky! Anyway, for last night’s pizza, I spread the “dough” with bottled olive tapenade (you can make your own, but it’s so much easier to just buy it!), sundried tomatoes, and feta cheese. Would have been yummy with real pizza dough! I served it with a side salad of greens, red peppers, feta, and Annies Goddess dressing. That was the last of it, so I’ll have to make some one of these days and pass along the recipe.

Oh, and I put some yumminess in the crockpot last night and it smelled so delicious when I woke up this morning that I almost ate it for breakfast! I'll try to remember to take a picture.

1 comment:

Sheila said...

It's not the neighborhood. It's grocery shopping in general. (Your experience at Whole Foods excepted). I've found that if you go to Giant Eagle on Saturday at around 8:00 p.m., it's a much better experience overall. (And yes, I'm aware that this piece of advice also doubles as a sad commentary on the current state of my social life :)