Sunday, June 7, 2009

Eating & Grocery Shopping For One

I know it's hard to grocery shop for one. When I was in college, we used to fill two grocery carts. One time the cashier ran out of tape while our receipt was printing. And the food would last us only five or six days. Then we were scraping by. Now my life is a different story.

I try to keep my refrigerator as full as I can, but it never seems very full. Today, it is as full as I can get it. So I decided to take a photo for you to get a peek of what a bachelorette's refrigerator looks like. This is one day after the farmer's market and a day after doing some cooking (which isn't that common).

I think it's very hard to grocery shop as a single person. If I buy too much, the food goes bad. If I buy too little, I end up going out to eat a lot and spending money. On the other hand, if I do have a lot of food in the house, being single, I still end up going out to eat a lot. So it's a no win.

My other issue is that I do prefer fresh foods. So I finally decided to just buy things as I need them and this has worked the best. Although I like eggplant, I won't buy it unless I plan on making something with it right away. Otherwise, I buy it and it rots. My other thing is that I have to have company to eat it. I don't see any point in making a whole dish unless someone is going to help me out a bit.

The best places to grocery shop here are the Farmer's Market , Willy Street Coop, Trader Joe's and Whole Foods. I also like the Jennifer Street Market. Just keep in mind that they are cash only. If you appreciate food, these are all super fun places to go to.

Now because there are so many things I can be sharing with you that I am not - (People, I know which posts you like the most - and they aren't about my boring grocery tales....) I will share a funny story. The Willy Street Coop requires a membership. Being a coop, you obviously are a part owner. Well, when I moved closer to the coop, I always intended on joining. My first time there, I decided to just use my sister's member number. I didn't feel like joining. I was probably feeling cheap that day. Unfortunately, seven months later and I am still using it. And I go there more than her and her family. And she is now fearful that if she goes to use it, they will call her an imposture.

The other funny Willy Street Coop story is the day after I met my boyfriend. I was always hesitant to hold, push, carry, or be near my nephew, in the event that someone (specifically a man), might think that he was my child. The day after I met my now boyfriend, I was at the checkout, holding my nephew. I was tired and hungover. My now boyfriend, a group of all now- very-good friends, and I, had been out until about 3 AM. Upon seeing him at checkout, he claims that after saying "Hello," I said to him:

"This is NOT my son. This is my nephew, Sebastian. I am completely single!" (Now, I have a totally different version of this story.) And here is mine:

"Do I know you from somewhere? Oh, we hung out last night, right? What's your name again? This is my nephew, Sebastian."

And he followed up with:

"Sebastian. That's a cute name. His cheeks are adorable."

Back to my cooking and baking tales. As far as my baking goes, I go through phases where I like to bake a lot. (I consider myself a pretty lousy cook.) This weekend, I made a rhubarb crisp (courtesy of my aunt and uncle's rhubarb from the back yard). I also made a key lime pie. My favorite time to bake is when people are over, making themselves comfortable on my couch or at my peninsula and we can chat a little bit while I am baking. I prefer not to cook for people who have certain expectations - such as needing my full attention or trying to tell me a long, personal story. I have to focus a bit.

As I am deciding what to do about my living situation, my friend and I were looking on craigslist at places the other night. When I pointed out that I didn't like the photos of a kitchen in one of the places, my friend said to me, "How much time do you spend in your kitchen?" I need a nice kitchen, though. It makes me look forward to baking. I also like it to look nice and clean, as if nothing happened when I am done. Enough people don't appreciate those kitchens that are spotless when someone has been cooking all day. And I am one of those people who likes to have a spotless kitchen after baking and cooking.

I will share one last tip with you. I find that my cooking, although not great, has improved tremendously. A lot of it has to do with buying the right things. I think it's important to buy the freshest and more expensive ingredients. Don't buy the cheap stuff if you want it to taste good. I will spend a little more to have a good tomato. Remember, folks, I got rid of my cable and unplugged everything. By the way, I got my electric bill down to $29.00!

Best to all of you on your grocery shopping excursions in Madison, Wisconsin. Or wherever you may be.

1 comment:

  1. Janie, I was thinking lately that you were ahead of your time in terms of being an environmentalist and healthy eater. I remember you eating organic long before it was "in" for the majority of people. I even thought you were nuts for paying more for organic, and I wasn't even sure what it was that long ago. Now, I spend all of my money buying the baby an all-organic diet.

    Now I find myself going to the local open-air market in Chagrin Falls. Let me be the first to say, you were right, and I was wrong.