« I guess restaurant critics aren't as important as they think they are | Main | Dessert for breakfast »

January 16, 2009

I blame the weather for what's in my grocery bags

SnowInEvanston.jpgThe worst thing about Gailor's living in Evanston, Ill. is that I can't get any sympathy from her when I complain about the weather.

For instance, I called her yesterday and when I told her how cold it was, she laughed at me. She pointed out that it was minus 7 degrees where she was. That's the actual temperature, not the wind chill.

The liquid in her eyeballs freezes when she goes out.

And she keeps sending me photos of snow.

Anyway, I wanted to expand on an earlier post about how this weather is affecting my grocery shopping habits. Is this true of everyone? ...

I go to the store with my usual mental shopping list, which is really specific:

1) something for dinner

2) bananas

3) milk

In the summer I might come home with, oh, I don't know, chicken breasts that were on sale, organic carrots, green beans, bananas, milk and, as a special treat, Bing cherries.

In weather like this I open my ecologically correct reusable market bags when I get home, and it's like an alien has taken over my body in the store. Did I actually buy this stuff? Surely that mental shopping list didn't result in my actually buying:

* A jar of Major Grey's chutney

* A can of Baugher's locally canned peaches

* High-fat vanilla ice cream

* A jar of melba sauce that will be used once and then languish in the fridge for six months before it's thrown away

* Gourmet red-skin peanuts from Virginia

* Half-gallon of 2 percent milk

* Half-pound of already cooked and peeled shrimp because peeling and cooking shrimp would take too much effort

* Crosse & Blackwell seafood sauce, which won't be used even once because that's not how I'll serve the shrimp, but was bought because I fleetingly contemplated serving shrimp with cocktail sauce and then discarded the idea

* Severely out-of-season asparagus

* Multi-grain loaf from Bonaparte costing a mind-blowing $7.79

* Jasmati rice, because you can't have too many carbs

* Foil-wrapped milk chocolate Valentine hearts

And, oh yes, I forgot to buy the bananas.

(Photo of snow by Gailor)

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 7:32 AM | | Comments (20)


Something's wrong with your winter weather shopping list, EL. I see several references to milk, and one mention of bread (the multi-grain loaf) -- but where's the toilet paper? ;-)

This may not be a well-know medical fact back there, because it doesn't get really cold where you live, but sub-freezing temperatures slow the circulation. That reduced blood flow to the brain primarily reduces the ability to reason and secondarily causes confusion. (It's the medical reason people spend hundreds of dollars a day to ski.)

As it relates to this topic, the reduced ability to reason causes you to buy high fat ice vanilla cream and the confusion results in forgetting chocolate sauce to put on it.

When my brother was at college in Buffalo, he wrote home one day "Had a good day today - we only got two inches.

Unfortunately, for me there can be too many carbs.

By the way, EL -- yesterday came and went without a Funtastic Thursdays post, and Owl Meat hasn't been seen in these parts of late. Has he been out of sorts (well, more than usual)?

I think he has retreated to his Nest of Solitude for a few days. EL

Melba Sauce? Never heard of it. Maybe that goes on the ice cream Bucky?

You are probably right, Rob. I assumed that Melba sauce went on Melba toast. Like jam.

mmmm - melba sauce would be great on real fattening buttery pound cake - with ice cream...

I just came back from our winter evening shopping trip to Santonis in Glyndon. Sandwiches, chicken chili (it looks good - I'm trying it), Italian bread, 2 qts of Turkey Hill blueberry acai tea and 1 bag of asian rice snacks. The most expensive item is those asian rice snacks but they're so addicting!!!

My house is so warm now...:)

Is Melba Sauce what turns peaches into Peach Melba?

I assume the Melba sauce is used on Peach Melba.
From Wikipedia: "The Peach Melba is a classic dessert, invented in 1892 or 1893 by the French chef Auguste Escoffier at the Savoy Hotel, London to honour the Australian soprano, Dame Nellie Melba (1861 - 1931). It combines two favourite summer fruits: peaches and raspberry sauce accompanying vanilla ice cream.

He had heard Nellie Melba perform at Covent Garden one night and was inspired to create a dessert just for her. Rumour had it she loved ice cream, but did not dare eat it often, believing it would affect her vocal cords. Escoffier created a sauce of raspberries, redcurrant jelly, sugar and cornstarch. In Peach Melba, the ice cream, being only one element in a whole, would not be as cold and thus not harm her vocal cords. He served it at a dinner she was hosting, presented in an ice sculpture of a swan inspired by the performance of Lohengrin he had seen."

Melba sauce? Learn something new every day around here. Sounds good. I bet it would be tasty on pound cake.

I'm thinking out of the jar might not be horrible, either...

At first, I thought the same thing. Melba sauce must be needed to flavor the cardboard-like Melba toast.

heres TFN definition of melba sauces (for what it's worth)

" Created by the famous French chef Auguste Escoffier for Australian opera singer Dame Nellie Melba, this sauce is a combination of pureed and strained fresh raspberries, red currant jelly, sugar and cornstarch. It's classically used to adorn the dessert peach Melba but can also top ice cream, fruit, pound cakes and puddings. "

Now I must make a trip to Wegman's and get some!

It turns out Melba toast was also named after Nellie Melba. What do you suppose it was about the woman that made people want to name food after her?

Mmm - pound cake! But as a choco-holic, I might have to get some fudge sauce to put on top.

Your cold weather shopping still sounds healthier than mine, which tends to involve cans of cream of ? soup to make an old-school, nasty, creamy casserole. Warms me to the bones! And I'll need it tonight, as I plan to head to War Memorial Plaza (or as close as I can get in the mob) before I head to the Mall on Tues. (See you there, Lissa!)

Yes, definitely pound cake. But don't squeeze the Charmin.

Along the lines of the WWII exhortation to "Save rags and waste paper."

You bet, KristinB. I'll be the one screaming, "C'est froid! J'ai besoin du fois!"

Foie, not fois. Sheesh. I don't know which is worse - my French or my puns.

Thanks for that correction, Lissa--the first one left me scratching my head.

I was puzzled by the first one, too, Lissa, but it's been so many years since my French minor (which was already old enough to do me little good on my trip through Quebec in 2001) that I'm lucky I was able to "get" it in the end at all. But I suspect you will be the only one yelling that on Tuesday!

Post a comment

Verification (needed to reduce spam):

About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

Top Ten Tuesdays
Most Recent Comments
Baltimore Sun coverage
Restaurant news and reviews Recently reviewed
Browse photos and information of restaurants recently reviewed by The Baltimore Sun

Sign up for FREE text alerts
Get free Sun alerts sent to your mobile phone.*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for dining text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Food & Drink newsletter
Need ideas for dinner tonight? A recommendation for the perfect red wine?'s Food & Drink newsletter is there to help.
See a sample | Sign up

Stay connected