A Basket of Goodies

It’s a sweet karmic coincidence that the Kroger, where I did most of my grocery shopping prior to the Wu Food Project,  has been undergoing extensive renovations.

Today I went grocery shopping for the first time in a couple of months. Talk about establishing a new path or tao –everything in the store has  been uprooted and  transplanted into  new areas, and even better,  now I can choose from many new products and items.

It’s pretty unbelievable.  The decision to go grocery shopping was totally spontaneous. Much like a loon aware  of approaching winter, I suppose  I just decided it was time for me to migrate back to my old habitat and feeding fields.

This would not be everyone’s idea of a fabulous Saturday night, but it had that sense of warm satisfaction that comes cloaked in a soft sweater, a fleece jacket, and a comfortable pair of jeans–when you do what you want to do, and take care of your own untended business. It was a very very weekend moment.

So after picking up some photos for our company scrapbook, I drifted downhill (it’s a very slopey parking lot)  to forage for healthy vittles.

I like veggies, and because of my limited budget for Wu Food, I think that I might be missing out on as many veggies–both in terms of variety, and quantity, as I might like. So the first things that went in the basket were carrots,  asparagus, and red, yellow and orange peppers. Mr. Wu is big on snow peas, broccoli, spinach and green beans, so I am okay on those.

I’ve often wished I had  a goodly amount of lettuce to accompany some of Mr. Wu’s delicious cold noodle salads, so a lovely head of butter lettuce joined the entourage. And good fortune! Organic chives, basil leaves, and cilantro were marked down to 99 cents! Yum, I loves me some of those flavors!

The strawberries looked groovily red and juicy. Now that I almost never experience the taste overload of sugar, they register as  unbelievably sweet. Strawberries are like the “short story” of fruit, where as  delving into a melon or carving up a pineapple  is more like getting into an entire novel. I am a short story kind of person, which may be why Fredric Koeppel, in his infinite wisdom, only asked me to review books of short stories. Ah, time gone by, and along with it, the book pages, too.

Then off to find my new best friend, brown rice. I not only found some brown rice that was microwavable for time crunch emergencies (let’s see, like everyday?) but found out my rustic friend hanging out with an interesting posse that included the more exotic grain, quinoa.  Next, I examined their new collection of Indian pre-packaged foods that the composer of our operapella had recommended to me when we last  had lunch at Mr. Wu’s.

One pouch of this fragrant and spicy sauce packs enough wallop for at least two meals.

I selected several vegetarian dishes–and for supper I tried the one that featured a spicy pureed vegetable and  tomato sauce over some brown rice and a handful of  shrimp I found in the seafood department. The dinners  all look good. I wanted to buy tofu–but they did not have what I was looking for–and it may be that there was more of a selection in  another department.

When I got to the meat department, well, I just couldn’t do it. I looked at all those chickens  in their naked,  shiny cellophaned  glory, and all I could think about was their miserable little lives. Not their death mind you–but their pathetically chaotic and nasty existence.  Same with the beef.

If you want to know why I feel this way, you should go back and read one of my earlier entries when I explained how bothersome I find the current state of our meat production system, which is very far afield from the Charlotte’s Web lives of the animals we ate when I when I was growing up in Alabama. They lived well.

At any rate, I splurged on some sea bass for tomorrow, and some already cooked shrimp for a quick meal tonight.  Hard to tell if the lobsters were relieved or not, observing me from their watery, sensory deprived confinement.  I do believe  that I heard at least one of them screaming the words of Patrick Henry, “Give me liberty, or give me death.”  Indeed, how one lives is the only variable for each of us. Death comes with certainty.

But canoodling along here on a brighter note, I bought some rice noodles and some Japanese buckwheat soba noodles.

The noodles bring to mind the entire point of the Wu Food Project, which is to use my noodle and to retrain my palate to enjoy a healthier diet. Next week I ‘ll be preparing some of my own dinners, and we will see how that goes.

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