For Heaven’s Sake, Stop Squeezing the Avacados

And for that matter, stop throwing the apples around and dropping grapes on the floor, it’s making a terrible mess!

Tis the season to be jolly, fa-la-la-la-la la-la la la!

Yes, it’s me again.  Your friendly neighborhood sarcastic produce man.  I’m here today with your holiday produce tips.  Let me start off with a few that will be helpful to both you and I:

#1) Stay home!  It’s a mad house here!  There is no reason to be buying all this food for one day of gluttony.  You’re going to eat too much and explode.

#2) If you don’t heed my advice in tip #1, then be nice to the people around you while you’re out and about.  I had a hell of a time today trying to keep up with all you grabby grabs out there let alone getting to the holes on the line you left me.  If you see an empty spot on the produce line, that is not an invitation for you to park your keister there and block me from filling that spot back up.  And if I so happen to beat you to that spot to fill it back up, don’t be jamming your cart up my butt to try and make me move. I’m not going to.

I had this lady do exactly that today and after I took her third shot to the achilles she said she will try and be patient.  She actually said that out loud!  You’re damn right you’ll be patient.  I am much larger than you and I have access to your produce in the back room…..where you can’t see what I do…… 😉

Not 5 minutes later I had a really nice lady that just started talking with me.  She asked how my patience was doing today.  I said it was fine, how is yours?  She said it was at max capacity or she wouldn’t be out today.  If you don’t have any, you shouldn’t be out.  I told her if she showed me 1 other person with patience I would show her 50 without!  She laughed and wished me luck with the rest of my day.  I was joking but not really….

#3) If for some reason after tip #1 and #2 you still decide to come out and fill your basket up with tons of unnecessary amounts of food, follow this one please!!!!!!!  Don’t bring your damn kids with you!  But if you do, put them on a leash or tie them to something and keep them away from the apples and grapes!  Oh, and wash their freakin hands too, they’re filthy!  Last words of advice about your children……I push a large heavy cart around, while in the store I view children like squirrels and cats like when I’m driving a car, I don’t slow down for them!

#4)  For those of you that come in all holly jolly and singing your fancy holiday songs……STOP IT!  I am stuck in a building that plays that ish 24 hours a day and I’m already sick of hearing it.  Just like the question of, “Where’s the cranberry sauce?” right after you passed 3 large displays of that crap along with the two 2 pallets of it that you ran your cart into.  It’s in isle 12, good luck finding it in the dog food isle you crap happy holiday caroler!

#5)  Ok, now on to the serious stuff.  My advice to you is to make stuff from scratch.  Yes it will take longer but that gives you an excuse to not make 20 dishes of crap that Uncle Joe can’t have cause it either has too much salt in it or the pepper in it will give him gas.  No one needs that!

Keep it simple this year:

  • A nice sliced yam casserole
  • fresh steamed green beans or roasted brussel sprouts, skip the canned soup and greasy fried onions
  • homemade dressing made from toasted french bread/rosemary/thyme/sage/parsley/yellow onion/celery/and chicken broth. I plan on adding cranberries and orange zest to mine this year as well.
  • Start your meal off with either a nice light salad or a cup of butternut squash soup. This should eliminate that turkey hibernation factor at the end of the meal.  Less turkey=less hibernation…..or something like that.
  • And who says you need a whole turkey?  Mix it up this year, try just turkey legs or a turkey breast.  Why waste hours standing watch over a whole bird?  You know no one is gonna help you cook….make it easy on yourself.  It also leaves more time to enjoy more vino!
  • For desert make a nice fresh fruit salad.  This time of year citrus is the MacDaddy.  It not only keeps the troops lively for conversation after the meal but they won’t fall into a turkey coma watching football from the food, it will be the poor play of the teams that will do that!  Plus you get some vitamin C to ward off that flu and cold bug/virus thingy.
  • If the fam is crying cause of my desert menu, give them what they crave but without the crust.  Make a sweet potato or pumpkin custard.  Control their serving size by doing it in  individual ramekans.  That will teach them!!!
  • Last thing here.  For those snack attacks before the family meal, do a veggie tray.  If you don’t want to cut up your own veggies let the store do it.  We make them fresh to order.  They are pretty darn good when I make them.  But everything I do is pretty awesome anyway….

Well that should hold ya till I get the typing bug again.  If I don’t get to typing by next Thursday, I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with your families.  Remember to give thanks for all the cool stuff you already possess and to make a shopping list of all the groovy things you want to be additionally thankful for next year.

Writing Disclaimer: I am not responsible for anything I type, ever!  The voices in my head made me do it…..But please feel free to share with all your friends and family cause some of what I type is funny as hell!  Well, at least worthy of a good giggle….

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Bananas!

Welcome to the next instalment of The Commissary Diaries. 

There are so many things I have been learing since becoming the Produce Man.  Not only have I learned some interesting things about produce but I have learned a lot about “you” the customer.  Let’s attack both topics at the same time.

If I didn’t get the same nerve killing questions about some of the produce that I thought was common knowledge, I wouldn’t have done some research.   My research consisted of me doing hands on taste testing of some items and then some actual knowledge search on the interwebz.

Have you ever gone to the grocery store and had a list of ingredients for a recipe you have never tried before and realize once you skower the entire store they don’t have that specific item your recipe calls for?  Yeah, me neither…..

The other day I happened to be the only one on the floor stocking product and had this sweet young lady come up to me.  “May I ask you a question about apples?”  Sure, what is it?  “What is a Braeburn and do you have any?”  Well unfortunately; or fortunately, depending on your opinion on Braeburn apples, we didn’t have any.  I don’t like them and that is my opinion.  They are dirty looking and there usually isn’t a lot of sweetness to the ones I have tried.  I’m hooked on the Jazz apple.  Sweet and has a great “bite” to them.  Plus they are not so huge that they could be considered a meal in themselves.  The lady was hesitant in trying the Jazz in her recipe but I had tried what she was making (pork chops/sauerkraut/apples).  In that meal any apple would work. But I don’t think she even knew she was looking for apples.  She was like, oh it’s an apple with pork?!?

OK so I broke out into a story there instead of telling you about my research.  Do you know how many different kinds of apples there are?  I don’t either!  There are so many.  How about what is the difference between chives and the green ends to green onions?  Can you substitute one for the other?  Whats the difference between table grapes and wine grapes?  How do you pick a good melon, avocado, grapefruit, or tomatillo?  I did the research, now it’s your turn!  Or you could ask your local produce man, me.

So many questions to prep for and so little time.  It’s a good thing I cook and eat most of this stuff. 

So I have a question for you all…..What in the world do you guys do with all those bananas you buy?  Seriously!  I put out 10 cases of bananas the other day, each case consisting of  16 bunches with an average of 6 bananas per bunch and I go in the back to crush the boxes and I need more bananas 10 minutes later!  And that was on top of the other 16 cases that were already out there.  Seriously, stop buying bananas!  I’m just kiding….go ahead and get your bananas on. 

Did you know that bananas are at one of the top-selling items at grocery stores and they happen to be the #1 seller at Wal-Mart?  I know, I know!  I just blew your mind.  It’s one of the few things Wal-Mart sells that doesn’t come from China.  Oh and here is another mind blower….most of our garlic…comes from China.  I know!  Ka-Pow goes your mind! 

OK, one more thing here.  If you ever get a chance to try Japanese yams….do it!  They are awesome.  I have a great recipe for ya if you ever get some.  Here is a pic of one beside a regular yam….

 

On the left is the Japanese Yam

 

I leave you here with this Last thing, a produce tip: always pick from the back of the pile! That’s where the fresh items are or should be. Another clue to whether or not it is fresh, is if it feels colder compared to the other items, that means it just came from the back.  The refrigeration in the back warehouse is cooler than the produce line units.

Until next time…..Don’t squeeze the avocados!