Tuesday, May 24, 2011
a peaceable Tuesday
Yesterday was a statutory holiday in the True North Strong and Free -- no, not a case of us jumping in and getting Memorial Day out of the way early -- Victoria Day, commemorating the Queen Empress, whose birthday was May 24th. So now it's the Monday-before, and makes a long weekend holiday in May, everybody happy. The signal in some places to "open the cottage" for the summer, or to "put the garden in" -- although hereabouts it's safer to wait until the first of June (for fear of late frosts).
Yesterday here, in this year of grace, however, was teeming rain nearly all day, not suitable for either of the classic activities, so the Rambler COOKED. All day long. I have been having a kind of crisis about food this week. Or an epiphany. Or one of those hey-wait-a-minute things.
Last week I spent a day -- Friday -- grocery shopping. I started with a warm-up run to the dry-cleaner to pick up a couple of garments, and then went, in turn, to a semi-wholesale outlet for one of the major supermarket chains; then to the bakery outlet; finally to a produce market of great repute.
The produce market is a joy -- good quality fruit and vegetables (if quality is not good, or price is exorbitant, they don't stock whatever-it-is) at spectacularly low prices, clean premises, knowledgeable staff. The bakery outlet is no problem -- I pick up a 'flat' of 10 loaves of bread, some sesame-white, some 'brown' of one sort or another, sometimes some English muffins or bagels; staff are friendly and conversable, prices make the trip worth it, especially on Wednesdays when Old Coots get a 10% discount.
But the Wholesale Club got to me, this time around, aisles and aisles of super-sizes of "fodder" -- I can't call it food. Candy, candy, candy, candy; chips, chips, chips, and soda-pop... but I think it was the four-liter jars of salad dressing that set off my gag reflex. Granted, this outlet supplies a lot of small restaurants. These aren't for "home consumption." But it oppressed me -- having just read the article on Pepsico in the New Yorker -- I couldn't help but think, "THEY'RE TRYING TO KILL US"... they do have fine big 3 lb. bags of baby spinach...but the proportion of real food to GLOP is way too low.
And when my shopping was done, I looked for a restaurant lunch for a treat...wound up in one of those buffet-carvery places, and alas everything on the hot table and most of what was on the cold table looked as if it had come straight from the wholesalers. GLOP predominated. Grease and sugar and salt. I wound up with a plate of undressed salad and a spoonful of cottage cheese! As I ate it, I looked at the clientele. And every single soul who came in, EVERY ONE, was morbidly obese.
Not only are they TRYING TO KILL US...I think they're succeeding... "Why," I ask, "will you spend your money for that which is not bread?" And answer comes there none.
So all this cooking, I think, was some kind of Protective Ritual. Momma don't 'low no GLOP around here. Not this week.