Food Funk

CW_Blog_33016I am in a Food Funk. Any foodie will be able to relate. You come home from work mid-afternoon and open the fridge. There is plenty of stuff wrapped in tinfoil or sealed up in Tupperware, but nothing looks ‘good’. You close the fridge and open the freezer: frozen salmon or turkey burgers, various frozen vegetables, a few frozen burritos in the door and a pizza that would be better served as a Frisbee for the dogs. There is also something in a zip-lock freezer bag way in the back that I am sure the folks at the International Arctic Research Center would even think twice before thawing. Back to the fridge: a head of lettuce… some cheese…

I grab a couple carrots and feed them to the dogs.

There is always cereal. Browsing through the cabinets I realize all I have is shredded wheat. Back to the fridge: no milk. I open and close cabinets a few more times. There are some fancy crackers (which is code for flavorless). I could have cheese and crackers… Nah. I offer a cracker to Mazzy, who turns her nose up and walks away to wait by her bowl for dry kibble. Zorro gobbles up the cracker without chewing and waits to see if I will give him another.

Well… I Might as well swap my fuzzy socks for sneakers and head to the store. I need cat litter anyway.CW_Blog_33016Here is the problem: I am still in that Food Funk. The smart people tell you not to go grocery shopping when you are hungry because you will buy too much food. I need to avoid shopping when I in a funk because I won’t buy anything. I will walk up and down the aisles looking at labels and prices and picking things up and putting them back. I made 3 laps around the first super market with a loaf of bread (yes, I said ‘first supermarket’). I looked at the meat… poked at a whole turkey, glanced at the deli counter… On lap 2.5 I actually made it all the way to the frozen food section and stood holding a freezer door open looking at pints and quarts of ice cream until I had fogged up the other doors so badly people were wiping away the condensation to find their Klondike Bars. I put the bread back and walked out to my car without making eye contact with anyone.

Nuts!

No, I didn’t want peanuts. I forgot the cat litter. I can’t go back into the store; someone will think I am making shoplifting laps to my car. Well… It’s still early: 4:30 or so. I can make it to another store up the street before traffic gets too bad. They have a decent fish department. I will splurge and get myself a single lobster to cheer myself up! I will even have them steam it for me! In my mind things are looking up. A bit.

A few minutes later, I navigate the stray pushcarts wheeling themselves across another parking lot in the wind and march inside. I grab a basket at head to the fish department. The man at the counter is helping a woman pick out shrimp, which gives me time to do some quick math in my head… It’s then I see the smudge marker sign… THEY WANT HOW MUCH FOR A LOBSTER?!?! (Sigh.) Never mind.

I take another breath and wonder over to the prepared meals section. There are four of us leaning over the refrigerated bins and shelves. It’s clear we are all in Food Funks (except for the body-builder who stacked up 3 mac n’ cheeses and a full turkey dinner). The meals don’t look bad, but nothing looks good. I take a turn and shuffle past the meat section. Pork chops look good, but are only packaged for people serving an entire basketball team. I do few more laps glancing at aisles and shelves and endcaps. I left with a 20lbs bag of cat litter and nothing else. I am officially the crazy cat lady.

This isn’t normal. I am now talking out loud to myself about what I could do. Those frozen burritos are starting to sound like a reality. There is another grocery store on the other side of the rotary. Maybe… MAYBE something will speak to me besides the channeled voice of my mother telling me a can of soup will be ‘just fine’. Last night I made a yummy baked potato stuffed with jalapeño bacon (thank you BBC!), cheddar cheese and sour cream… Of course, I don’t have any more bacon and I don’t feel like having a plain potato.

I park. I walk. I do fake weightlifting curls with an empty basket. PEEPS are on sale for $.79… (No I didn’t). Lobster prices are less, but not enough. Eggs? I could make an omelet. Nah. I end up in the produce section. I could sauté some veggies for a stir fry. There are Brussel sprouts on sale… I start thinking about the time one of my dogs helped himself to some leftovers the last time I made Brussel sprouts. Never Again!

I walk to the front of the store and add my empty basket to the growing stack at the self-check-out. It’s well past 5 o’clock and there are lines of people rushing to grab something for dinner on their way home from work.

I am not only in a completely devastating Food Funk; I am now in total Food Failure. The frozen cardboard pizza is also looking like a sad reality.CW_Blog_33016Home is 5 miles away… There isn’t even a good song on the radio. I am now doing a mental inventory of my kitchen. Looping images of the fridge, the freezer, the cabinet, the fridge, the freezer, the cabinet … I mindlessly drive past my road with the flow of after work traffic.

At the next set of lights I could just turn around, but there is a box truck at the front of a parking lot to my left with a local fish market logo… There is also a convenience store in the same plaza. I pull in and as I walk across the parking lot I mumble –out loud, “If there isn’t anything interesting at the fish market, I am going to get a box of Little Debbie’s and have oatmeal cream sandwiches for dinner”.

Two and a half hours later, a quarter tank of gas gone, a tweaked back from the giant bag of cat litter and I am finally heading home. Next to me on the seat, wrapped in white waxed paper, is a beautiful piece of swordfish. There is also a lemon rolling around somewhere the floor of my car. And a box of Little Debbie’s – just in case.

About Cat Wilson

Cat Wilson is "That Girl" on Cape Country 104 – a Cape Cod native and longtime Cape radio personality. She is a passionate supporter of Military and Veteran causes on the Cape and also hosts local music spotlight program, “The Cheap Seats” on Ocean 104.7.

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