Wednesday, November 26, 2008

hamming it up

This year, Greg and I took part in a sacred Thanksgiving tradition: spending enough money at the grocery store to get a free turkey.  Although we chose the ham.  I have to give Greg the credit--now that it's cold out and the Farmer's Market down the street isn't open, he has been doing most of the shopping.  He's the one with the car, after all.  He signed us up for the ShopRite card and monitored how much we needed to spend to get the free turkey.  Yesterday, I joined him for the final purchase.

Or final three purchases, as it turned out.  We needed to spend $100.  We went through the aisles, stocking up on pantry essentials.  Of course, when your pantry essentials are cans of beans, it takes a while to get to $100.  After filling our cart with what we needed, we estimated we had about $60 worth of food.  "We need to buy meat," I said.  This was tough, because I don't cook meat often, and when I do it's fish from Trader Joe's.  But then I remembered bacon! Oh how I love bacon.  It is delicious and greasy and easy and versatile.  I grabbed some bacon, and a thing of breakfast sausage to make with biscuit mix my sister sent me for my birthday. Greg picked up some Woolite and detergent (he also does the laundry) and we headed for the line.  We had spent $82.

I dispatched Greg to load the groceries in the car and promised I could find $18 worth of groceries.  Broccoli, brussell sprouts, spaghetti squash, apple cider.  At the last minute, I switched out the squash (we had bought acorn squash the first time through) for some parmesan cheese.  I met Greg in the free ham section and we carefully picked out the most expensive one, deciding on shank rather than butt.  (hehe).  As we walked toward the register, Greg longingly eyed the double-dipped peanut butter candy cakes from Tastykakes, but I told him he would be having plenty of pie in the days to come.

And then, as the lady behind the register rang us up, everything fell apart.  I had only spent $16! My math is terrible.  But I knew just what to do: I made a mad dash for the Tastykakes, figuring I could show my husband my appreciation for the fact that he does the grocery shopping and the laundry.  

So now there is a giant ham in our freezer.  I have never cooked a ham, I have generally only eaten ham at Easter, and I vaguely resent it for taking up so much space and for forcing me to buy Tastykakes.*  But it was free.  That's all that matters.

*They are very tasty, but WHY is it spelled with a K?  There is nothing clever or amusing about that!

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