I’m going to guess that many of you don’t love grocery shopping. Most people don’t particularly enjoy it and I blame two ever-present grocery store features: 1- shopping carts, and 2- automatic doors.
While I accept there are times when a shopping cart is necessary — should one be hosting a large dinner party, picking up dog food, or have a small child or three in tow -– I’ve personally found that my shopping is better done in smaller, more frequent doses. The handheld basket approach accomplishes two specific desirables. Firstly, I’m more thoughtful about what I pick up because, well, I have to freaking carry it. This helps keep me away from impulse buys and food wasted in the fridge. The second pretty great thing accomplished with small and frequent trips to the store is I get to avoid the cart. No wobbly left front wheel. No mid-isle traffic jams. No toppled displays or Urgent Care trips when the obligatory and super-fun cart ride down aisle six goes awry.
Automatic doors generally bum me out because I actually like holding the door for people and I like it when they hold the door for me. There’s something refreshing about acknowledging, smiling at, and saying thank you to a stranger. No matter how crazy your day has been and frantic you may feel, when someone takes a moment to hold the door for you and smile, the Crazy inside falls away a little. Take that pleasantry away by adding automatic doors, and the grocery store seems increasingly like a mad, crowded scramble for food.
And that is why I don’t love carts and automatic doors. I do, however, LOVE planning a meal and (yes) shopping for food. Love. It.
Today I spent an inappropriate amount of 9 to 5 time thinking about what I wanted to make for dinner, Googling what I wanted to make for dinner, and listing ingredients for what I wanted to make for dinner. After all that noodling I went with something super simple, classic, seasonally appropriate, and gluten free — just in case one or two celiac friends decided to come by. I also chose this dish because there are only a handful of ingredients, and the fewer ingredients I’m working with, the easier it is to Know My Food.
So tonight, here’s how I Know My Food.
Kale & White Bean Soup with Polenta Biscuits
Kale – Organic and still available…hooray!
White Beans – Organic and dried. From our winter farm share.
Shallots – Organic and inexpensive at Whole Foods. Nice.
Chicken Stock – Homemade and frozen from roast chickens past.
Andouille – Applegate Farms makes rock star organic sausages. The fire roasted pepper would be yummy here too.
Beef Stock – Organic. It’s not a necessary ingredient, but a splash is super-nice with the kale.
Polenta Biscuits – Organic and oh-so-easy to make: build a firm polenta, drop like batter into muffin tins, and bake. They’ll fall apart perfectly and without mush-factor in your soup.
After going through my ingredient list, I realized that to build this pot of deliciousness all I needed to pick up at the grocery store was the sausage, kale, beef broth, and a smattering of other household items that all fit neatly into my handheld basket. And while automatic doors are unavoidable these days, even at my tiny little Whole Foods, the shopping cart has been skirted yet again! All in all, I’d say it was a success.
To share why you want to Know Your Food from Farm to Fridge and List to Ladle, join us at www.iwillknowmyfood.com