Saturday, January 17, 2009
After what will forever be called The Leaf Incident, Carlos returned from the recycling center. I asked why he didn't wait for me and he says, 'I thought you were mad when you went back in the house.'
'I wasn't mad,' I said, 'I was wearing flannel pants and slippers. I went in to change!'
Case closed. Move on. Build a bridge and get over it.
We decided to make our weekly trek to Kroger's for some groceries. It's about a fifty-mile round-trip, but all we have here in Smallville is a PigglyWiggly--and it has a funny smell--a Food Lion--looks like they display the food in a lion cage--and a Bi-Lo--which I think is only for Bisexuals on the DownLow, but I could be wrong. So, with no other option we drive to Kroger's.
It wasn't going to be a big basket of food this week. For some reason or other we didn't need a lot of things. I'm in charge of making the list, checking it twice blah blah blah and it didn't seem like a lot.
Carlos stands in a corner and says anything to annoy me, like, 'Don't forget milk.'
I could really use that woodchipper I talked about earlier.
We bundle up because it's about 25-degrees when we head out, and drive to Kroger's, after stopping at the veterinarian to get HeartGard for Ozzo. The receptionist knows me from around town and says, 'Hi Bob.' And I feel Carlos looking at me.
Back in the car, 'Who's that?'
'I forget her name.'
'What uh huh?'
Woodchipper. Woodchipper, where are you?
We hit Kroger's, finally, and Carlos says he wants to make Wassail. We had bought a package of a dried Wassail mix from the Biltmore Estate last year and loved it in winter; it's like a warm citrus punch. Carlos searched the web and found a Wassail recipe, and brought it with him to get the ingredients.
Our usual Kroger's routine is he goes to the deli to get some sliced cheese and turkey, and I get everything else. Carlos, for some unknown reason, has a special affinity for the Deli Women--I don't know if it's the hairnets or the big shoes. And yet he gives me grief about a receptionist at an animal hospital, when he's having some kind of deli catered affair with BigShoes?
Anyway. I'm finishing up as he comes back with his deli supplies and his Wassail fixin's--I'm becoming more Southern with each passing day--and we proceed to the checkout. The cashier is ringing us up and I'm watching the screen as the prices go up up up like it's a stock ticker in a bull market, or a bear market, whichever one is the good one. And suddenly I see "Garlic................$43.75"
Now, I loves me some garlic, but I have never spent almost fifty bucks on the stuff. It's not like I'm an addict, hanging around the farmer's markets or loitering in the produce aisle, looking for a fix. So, he sees me looking at the screen, and he says, 'That's not right.'
He changes it and keeps ringing. And the prices still go up up up. To $182.23! W.T.F?
When Carlos sees the total he shrieks like a schoolgirl who just got a text from a cute boy. 'What did you buy?'
What did I buy? 'Um, groceries.'
'Why so much.'
I mutter something about laundry soap, dried cranberries, paper towels. But on the way to the car, I think to myself that we didn't need that much. Why was it so high? What was unusual about this trip. Then it hits me! At home I sit down with the receipt. The Wassail recipe at hand.
Oranges, lemons, cheesecloth. Check. Apple juice, apple cider. Uh huh. Mace, which is apparently a spice as well as a medieval weapon, who knew? All-Spice berries. Cinnamon sticks. Add it up...carry the one, and.....What?
Thirty dollars for Wassail.
Better be damned good Wassail is all I'm sayin'.