Friday, May 28, 2010

Grocery Shopping in the Pantry

I don't know if this is a phenomenon restricted to my mother alone - but I'm curious - what do your parents' pantries & refrigerators look like?

My mom - woman who lives alone - is stocked. She has a walk-in pantry, two refrigerators, and two freezers. And all are full. And surprisingly, nothing seems to be really old or in need of disposal. When I say "stocked," too, I mean it: multiple different shapes/varieties of dry pasta, 4 different kinds of rice, 5 different varieties of beans, peanut butter/almond butter/cashew butter, large variety of canned soups/broths/stocks, jams/jellies/chutneys, various frozen meats (all with freezer date on them), lots of sauces, large variety of different cheeses, different types of bread (some in the freezer), etc. And some things make sense (for example, 5 cans of chopped tomatoes or tomato paste [obviously purchased on sale]). And some things are funny - like bulk sized bags of M&Ms, Hershey's Kisses, or candy from Trader Joes (since my mom is 5'7 and probably 115).

But basically, I would imagine that at any given time, even without a special trip to the store, my mom could put together an awesome meal that would taste as if it'd been planned for a week. But also, what makes it such a crazy phenomenon is that every time I'm there, it's always as stocked as it was last time - it's as if her supply never dies down.

Now I don't know how you guys operate in your food supply, but mine's pretty different than this. I basically plan our meals for the week, go to the store once or twice, and we consume what I've bought. (And gosh, when I was single, it was absurd how little I would have when I ran out of my supply from the store.)

As you all know, last weekend was LB's wedding (I swear - post coming soon on that!). So we got back to Memphis at circa 5pm on Sunday (after flying & then driving home from the Little Rock airport); going to the grocery store was low to non-existent on my to-do list. It was go-time with our food supply.

I actually didn't go to the store until yesterday - so we had quite an interesting array of meals. (And note, Jonathan was sick with a cold - so this actually aided the whole project a little because he couldn't taste anyway.)

Sunday Night: pasta for Jonathan (with butter & parmesan & an egg on top); an apple and almond butter with some cheese for me (I was all bloated & nast feeling from the weekend).

Monday Night: Chicken noodle soup for Jonathan (the worst day of his sickness); cheese toast and cereal for me. And a few spoonfuls of peanut butter.

Tuesday Night: Pasta for both of us (same as above), and an open-faced sandwich thin with marinara & cheese (a mini pizza, if you will).

Wednesday Night: Tomato/Pepper soup (that has been sitting in the pantry forever!). And it was supposed to be grilled cheese...but the bread had gone bad, ha.

Thursday Night: A Lean Cuisine for Jonathan; almond butter toast & cheese for me - and TCBY for both of us.

Totally uninspired. Not really healthy. Not really well balanced. Fail.

What do you guys think? If you didn't go to the store for a week - what would your meals look like?


Claire said...

Hmm. My pantry is usually stocked with dried pasta (penne or fusilli) and canned tuna. In the fridge, I almost always have lemons and some sort of green (arugula or spinach). I like to toss pasta with a lemony vinaigrette (no mustard necessary here), and the greens and flaked tuna. If I'm out of greens, I almost always have frozen peas, so I'll throw in a handful of those. But when I really have no food, it's PB&J on toast or delivery.

Claire said...

I also meant to say that my dear grandmother keeps a fully stocked fridge in her kitchen. In her basement, she has a pantry for dried goods, another mostly full fridge, and a massive freezer. And she keeps a fully stocked pantry on the sun porch off of her kitchen. I think it's generational!