Trader Joe's. Big news these days, especially since a branch just opened in Manhattan.
My take on Trader Joe's is: Nice, but big whoop.
Because I can get all the fresh produce I want almost anywhere around here (I live in California; it's not a hangin' crime). Because organic and healthy are bylaws at so many of the places where I already shop for food (I live in California; it's not a hangin' crime). Because, frankly, a lot of the produce sold at Trader Joe's is imported from south of the Equator, and I'd rather eat local food — and I can. (I live in California; it's not a hangin' crime).
But I do like Trader Joe's. A branch just opened in the town of Novato, in Marin County — and Novatoans are very happy about it. I drove by it yesterday, and the parking lot is not as zooed out as the lot in the strip mall of the TJ closer to my house. I might pay a visit.
I like the olive oils at TJ's. I haven't bought the pre-made pizza dough, but I hear it's a good deal (about a dollar, right?). Of course, there's Two-buck Chuck, the cheap rather-palatable wine. Occasional bargains on butter, soy milk, cheese.
So I'm in there once in a while.
Like today. I needed a bottle of white wine to make a risotto from thawed chicken. It's all part of the Clean Out the Freezer project (which all of a sudden, is going better than I expected, but more about that tomorrow — and thanks to Cranky).
There I am in Trader Joe's, and I'm not allowed to buy anything (except the wine). Because I have a moratorium on buying food, until the fridge and freezer are at least manageably trimmed down.
Hard to describe my feelings about not being "allowed" to buy food.
Suddenly, I spot a pyramid of matzo boxes. Matzo made in Israel! Under the supervision of the chief rabbinate of Jerusalem! For $1.69! ("Name" brand matzos are about $4 in the chain supermarkets.)
Well. It's not exactly breaking one of my rules, if the matzos are going to help me clean out the fridge and freezer, is it? I gotta use up those eggs... And I'm really good at making matzo brei, although in my goyish way, I prefer it un-sweet (no jelly or cinnamon; I prefer salt).
Brought to you by your Ice Harvest correspondent, Amana Freezerburn.