Friday, April 17, 2009

Too Many Green Beans

I'm pretty sure that just about a year ago, I wrote about buying too many plums at the produce market. If I remember correctly (I could just go back and check the blog, but I'm too lazy), I bought a basket full for $3. I didn't need 30 plums, of course, but for $3, I certainly got my money's worth.

Today, I went back to Pete's and bought a big basket of green beans. I don't really like green beans that much, but the whole basket was only $1. Yes, you read that correctly. It filled an entire plastic grocery bag (the kind they bag your groceries into, not the kind you put your cucumbers in while you're shopping). I also bought a basket of bananas for $1 and 11 multi-colored peppers for $3 (four green, four orange, three yellow). The beans and bananas looked like they should be cooked sometime before Monday, and the peppers I think would last a week.

Yes, I could buy the same vegetables for more money that I wouldn't have to use this weekend, but why? We can eat whatever I cook with them for the week, right?

Last week, I bought baskets of peppers, eggplant and onions. Thankfully, a friend of mine could use the overflow. This week, I need to start thinking creatively about the green beans. I roasted some, marinated others, and I still have a gallon size baggie full left.

The only problem with Pete's is that you never know what they're going to have, in or out of baskets. Last week they had nice looking asparagus (not in a basket). This week, I didn't see a stalk. They have mushrooms, but they're expensive. And no matter the season, they always seem to have watermelon.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Dilemmas of Shopping

I decided that I wanted to make fish for dinner. The closest, nicer fish can be found at Whole Foods and since it's usually an interesting store to walk around, that's where I went.

The store was actually pretty empty (because really, who can afford to shop there!) and there was one guy doing double duty behind the meat and fish counters. So before he could help me on the fish side of the counter, he had to finish weighing and packaging something on the meat side.

I told him I wanted salmon, and as he reached for the fillet, I asked if he had changed gloves. He looked at me a little strangely. I told him (politely) that I'd like him to change gloves, and then mentioned that it was good that I wasn't from the health department.

Since he did change gloves, I continued with my purchase.

And then I had to decide if I should say something to anyone else about my experience. I decided that I wouldn't mention it to the guy behind the customer service counter. I'm sure he would pretend to care, and maybe even would for a minute, but I wasn't confident that my concerns would be passed to anyone who could make sure that the guy behind the counter got some "safe meat and fish handling re-education".

I decided that I would write a comment on the comment card. Most of the comments that they post are of the "I love Whole Foods" variety. I was pretty sure that my comment wasn't going to be posted, so I didn't bother with the "I love Whole Foods" line. Plus, I enjoy looking around, but I don't actually love Whole Foods.

So I wrote up my experience, and then had two more decisions to make. Should I include the offender's name? And should I include my name and contact information. On the first question, I decided that since I was hopeful that this was an isolated incident, I would include the name of the counter guy and hope that someone would make him re-read the safety practices.

The second question took a little more thought (which is not a problem, since I have a lot of them). Their comment board asks you to leave their name and contact information if you want a reply to your comment. I certainly didn't need a reply, but I wasn't sure if it was okay to include his name and not mine. I decided that since two witnesses are required in Jewish law, and I had been alone at the counter, that it was not a question of being a witness. I wasn't sure that relaying an experience was actually accusing him of something, so it wasn't about him knowing his accuser. And I didn't require a personal call back. So I didn't leave my name.

Of course, I probably won't buy fish again at Whole Foods.... Next time I'll make the drive back out to Costco.