Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Things that I Learned this Week

  • That Whole Foods is the Tiffany's of vegetables. Maybe I'm the last one to realize, but, wow, their produce is expensive. Has it been making an inverse increase in relation to failures of sub-prime mortgages?
  • I tried to make it out of the store with just the ingredients for a pasta dish from The Greens Cookbook: French lentils, red or green chard, carrots, celery, leek (why do recipes call for the white parts only? no, I refuse to make vegetable stock, and need to find another use for the green parts - maybe roasted?), and buckwheat or soba noodles. But the guilt, the sticker shock. Yes, organic. Yes, beautiful and tasty. But who can afford cauliflower at $2.99 a pound or buckwheat pasta at $3.99 a package? I had a momentary and quickly-squelched thought that maybe Walmart could do organic better. Then I came back to my senses and tried to remember the cost of taking a share in Angelic Organics, then tried to amortize the price per week as I drove from Whole Foods to Nature's Best.
  • Much better. No need to describe this great little grocery store again, except to say that the prices were within reach of the average shopper and the quality just as pretty as Whole Foods. And I love a store where I can't read the ingredients on at least half the packaging: it's a little United Nations of food.
  • You need long, uninterrupted, quietisish blocks of time to read Jane Austen. Especially Persuasion, which has snarky moments about Anne Eliot's family right up against great, restrained, nuanced scenes of love renewing, and it's tough to get her funny, observational, sarcastic tone in a few sentences, and these books are made for lying on the couch, in front of the fire, in the winter. On to Mansfield Park next. And I happened to wander into a screening of The Jane Austen Book Club last week, and I liked it, especially the bike-riding, independently wealthy, scruffy, only-guy-in-the-group, who decorates his house as a haunted house to host the meeting on Northanger Abbey.
  • Navel oranges are better than tangerines.
  • A great latte with lots of foam is better in a big china cup, almost a bowl, than a paper or Styrofoam cup. Especially with an almond croissant.
  • I can knit all the pieces of a sweater - except the back - on the right size knitting needle to get gauge (which is a tough word to spell, too). Especially the upper back, where I somehow seem to pull the yarn tighter and tighter with each row. What does this mean?
  • I have an unusually low voice for a woman when chanting Sanskrit, which is odd, because my speaking voice is in an average range. And my teacher has a higher range than is usual for a man chanting. It's the Goldilocks Principle of Chanting at work: this makes us just right as chanting partners. And I reviewed my notes from sutra class with my mentor, and I'm starting to get this Sanskrit stuff down.
  • Carrie Ann and Bruno are just a bit scary on Dance Wars, and there's no one left in the finals to The Amazing Race that I really want to see win. Could we vote Kynt and Vixen back in?

2 comments:

FairyGodKnitter said...

Whole Foods, I'm glad we don't have them here. way too expensive. Jane Austen, yes, very long stretches of quiet time. I love Mansfield Park.
And I love Navel Oranges and anything almond and is it the shaping with the sleeve backs? I taped the dance show but I think they should get rid of the ones on Amazing Race and have Kynt & Vixen and TK & Rachel compete for the win.
And thank you for the package, it was forwarded to me today from the old address and I'm going to go run a warm tub and start the book.
I'll be in touch soon.

Hannah said...

You need a co-op! (I don't actually know that the produce at the nearest co-op to me is any cheaper, but the warm-and-fuzzy feelings help dull the pain.

(Meanwhile, I've discovered the best place to buy meat this side of the Charles. I am in love.

(And! That scuzzy grocery store down the street from my place? Is apparently where Julia Child used to shop.)