Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Was that salad or greens?

With my foot mending, my DH is cooking all the meals. He's starting to get into it. He actually likes to go grocery shopping. His family used to own a gourmet grocery store in Ocean City New Jersey. It still is a summer resort kind of town, and 80% of their annual business was conducted in those summer months. It was a small, family-run business, originally part of DH's mother's side of the family, then for about 18 years his parents owned it and the name was changed to Thurston's Market. So, growing up in the late 40's and early 50's, DH helped out in the store all summer long. The wealthy customers would phone in an order, and he or others would box up the order and he'd ride shotgun in the delivery truck since he was too young to drive. Anyway, he learned some about butchering, about cheese, a lot about produce, stocked shelves, helped bag the 1-pound private label coffee (in special bags marked "Thurston's Market Coffee") and in the winter (slower) he was a checker sometimes. He swept floors and the most hated job was sorting out potatoes from the huge bin to wipe it out with a wet rag. (We all know what rotting potatoes smell like, don't we?) He loved going with his father on rare occasions to the daily wholesale market (that opened at 1:00 am) in Philadelphia.

Grocery shopping is in his blood, I think. Therefore, going to the market these days is an almost everyday occurrence. He loves to go. He hops into his 11-year old teal blue convertible, with the top down, of course, and zips off. Give him a shopping list and he's a happy camper. He's learned over the years that I normally buy name brands, not the grocery generic brands of cottage cheese, sour cream, etc. Our cell phones are busy when Dave goes shopping as he still has questions now and then. Yesterday he phoned me twice. Often he has to go to at least 2 markets - Trader Joe's and Whole Foods. Neither market carries everything we like. About every 10 days we buy a loaf of grainy Harvest bread from the Corner Bakery, so that's another stop in a different direction. That gets repackaged at home in small foil wraps and frozen. And about once a week he has to go to our regular grocery store as well. Some meats come from a small, independent market in another direction, where they also make sensational fresh tomato salsa. Then there's the occasional Costco run too.

But, we're talking about salads here, weren't we? When I make green salads I fill them with all kinds of vegies (carrots, celery, fennel, radishes, tomatoes, sugar snap peas, etc.). And a variety of lettuces, of course. And usually some Greek feta cheese too. Then it gets tossed with one of my home made dressings.

A couple of days ago DH and I discussed that we needed salad makings. These days his M.O. for dinner is a protein and maybe a salad. We eat low carb anyway, but he tends to not want to fix a vegetable. But he doesn't really like chopping up the salad vegies either. Too much trouble. I keep encouraging him, though. He did saute some zucchini and yellow squash the other night, along with some red onion. It was mostly edible. He forgot to stir it, so about 25% of it was burned black. We ate it anyway. :-)

So yesterday, on his grocery list was salad greens. I usually buy Romaine and head lettuce and supplement with some of the fancy greens. He prefers to buy bagged salad. He also was to buy a few other vegies. Dinner time arrived. As usual, he doesn't even think about dinner until about 6:30 or 7:00. I kept quiet; didn't want to nag. :-) Last night he rooted around in the refrigerator and found two Italian sausages. He thought we'd have a sausage and a salad. He began taking things out of the refrigerator to make the salad, arranging stuff, opened the bag and read out loud what he'd bought - mixed greens. Oops. Those are the greens like kale, chard, red chard, collards etc. Oh ----, he said. I piped up. No problem, honey, just saute them. He actually loves all those kinds of things.
So, with me coaching him all the way through, he managed just fine - he cooked the onion in olive oil, added garlic at the end, then cut up all the greens and added them. He popped a lid on top and let it simmer for awhile. I wheeled around and poured in a little bit of red wine vinegar toward the end. I suggested he add about 2-3 tablespoons of water - he was going to put in more oil. It worked out fine with water. He forgot the salt and pepper, but that was easily added at the table. Meanwhile, he fried up the two sausages and nearly burned them completely, but they were edible. He was too busy working on the greens to watch the sausages on the burner one inch away. :-) He made a salad with what he could rummage out of the vegie bin and tossed it with a very inedible fat-free dressing I'd bought some time ago that I'd tried once and never used again. I never learn - I keep hoping I'm going to find some bottled salad dressings that I really like. (He threw it out later. He says he's going to make some home made salad dressing today if I'll tell him how.) But overall, the dinner was fine. Just not very much of it, that's all.

Therefore, DH was hungry after dinner was finished. Hmmm. I kept quiet. :-) So he found the last of the home made apricot ice cream and scooped out rather large bowls. Smiles all around.

No comments: