In today's entry, you will not find a recipe, but rather a vignette of a Whole Foods Market trip from our family vacation. While it seemed like chaos at the time, I knew I would write about it later. Ill pick up with more recipes next week.
August 1, 2012
Stopped at a gas station 100 miles out of Seattle, seven Trudelles are faced with the common dilemma of how to fuel ourselves for the evening meal. Gone are the days when the parents would choose a place and we were happy as long as we could both eat and play. The morning cereal had minimal staying power after wake boarding and hours of traveling so stomachs are nearing empty. The clock reads 4:30 PM and the gas station subway looks mediocre at best. Dad, thinking in his usual terms of practicality, announces "okay guys if you wanna eat, now is the time." We quickly come up with the idea of asking Mom and Dad if we can take them out to dinner for their anniversary instead. Their anniversary was 10 days ago, but it falls conveniently close to summer vacations.
Mom replies, "guys, Johnny's medical" (as in medically hungry) to which Marie replies, "Mom he can handle it, he's not the only one who's hungry" Laura, being her usual statistical and diplomatic self, takes a hunger level survey. In the waiting period Pete makes an executive decision to press on. By the time we arrive at the Seattle Whole Foods Market, the family is chomping at the bit to get started with dinner.
In the parking lot, we tumble out of the car like, well, tall people stuffed in a car for a few hours. The two cars unknowingly have different intentions for this whole foods trip. The consensus from the silver car is that they are picking up grilling foods for Steve to grill for us. Apparently grilling is a stress release for the soon to be father. The consensus of the black car? Get whatever you want for yourself, but you hold responsibility of preparation.
The double doors slide open and we enter like a heard of lost canadian caddle. A bit dishoveled, mostly in active clothes with lake hair, tall and blondish, and not making any effort to be inconspicuous. Instinctively, everyone grabs some cherries to sample. When one person does this, it goes unnoticed, but seven can be a little obvious. We spread out, mostly with the assumption that someone else is taking care of the important items. In a few minutes there's a reunion at the salad bar. Mom's on the phone with Dad who's in the meat isle. "Guys, Dad is getting burgers, do you want some or do you want to grill something else for yourself?"
"WHAT?!" Johnny looks incredulous. "I thought Steve was grilling for us, Now we have to get our own?"
"Yeah I'm a little unclear" I say "should I just get something here?" I'm already nibbbling on a piece of falafel as I converse. Before Mom answers, she gets side tracked as Marie strolls up deciding the type and price of protien powder to purchase for volleyball training camp. Johnny figures the grilled meal is a lost cause and is already at the burrito line, customizing his double meat special. Laura walks around the corner and decides to follow her my lead and get a small salad to go with the barbecue meal.
As I'm midway through creating my salad, Pete approaches me with a serious look similar to his Peter Gibbons impression. He puts a hand on my shoulder, looks down at me and says, "so Couse, what are you doing for a carbohydrate source on this one?" I hadn't really considered this yet as I know I would be fed in someway or another. " well I was just planning on having a burger bun or piece of toast with my meal. Just whatever everyone else is getting" I reply. Then pete says,"Okay, well I can't have gluten so I thought you could look at some of the udi's gluten free breads with me." We head over to the freezer together and stare at some of the gluten free alternatives. With big bold movements Pete grabs a loaf, freezes in silence as he reads the ingredients, and 80 percent of the time stuffs in back in the freezer again. Frustrated with the artificial breads, he decides to go with rice. Laura comes around the corner with a guacamole and hands it to Pete. He gives her the same serious and contemplative look and says "Laura I buy about $200 worth of guacamole a month at whole foods, we can do better. Let me show you where it's at" As they search through guacamole, Mom asks me about a box of chocolate treats for Steve. I check out the box, but decide it to be much too "milk chocolate" for the dark chocolate loving family.
I look over at the checkout stand and see Dad sporting his aviator sunglasses and the "come on guys Im ready" look. The people lined up behind him are clearly fooled by his modest amount of items in the shopping cart, and do not know what's coming. When the family hears time is up, each person starts darting between the isles and the checkout line throwing in forgotten items and impulse buys. 3 bags of Kettle chips are purchased in order to prevent chip hoarding and rationing, marie gets snacks for school, Mom throws in tilamook cheddar, Johhny decides the burrito will not be enough and finds ribs, and Pete decides on a gluten free cinnamon raisin bread that suites him. Before we even start checking out, the burritos and chips are ripped open. Mom asks Dad "Do you think we should get steve some treats or something?" Dad seems a bit exasperated by the general lack of organization from the family's eating style. "Shine, Steve said he wanted cliff bars, so I got him cliff bars. Simple and done." Mom replies, "Well I know, but I'm his Mom" she ponders.
Soon enough we ring up the bill and pile back into the car and head to Steve and Rachel's house.We have yet to start to cook the meal, but the difficult part of the preparation is complete.