[This is post #025 towards #100DaysOfFoodBlogging, our goal to do 100 posts in 100 days as part of The 100 Day Project.]
It always starts with milk. ALWAYS.
Every grocery trip ever conceived has always begun with an empty milk carton. This trip is no different…
And the timing isn’t great, as you were about to have a late afternoon snack. Nothing fancy, just a quick bowl of cereal. However, you notice the empty milk carton. Judging you. Taunting you. Milky laughter echoes throughout your kitchen.
So, instead of having your snack, you decide to dare to go grocery shopping…while hungry.
As you enter the store, you’re full of optimism. But a salad is going to take forever. There’s the washing and cutting and more washing. And then you have to shake the salad dressing… Just thinking about all that work is exhausting. Your armpits are even sweating through your shirt.
So, you enter the frozen food section with a stomach already roaring like the MGM Lion. Maybe you could grab a frozen meal for lunch. It’d be cheap and quick. Save the salad for dinner.
Then you remembered you already have dinner plans, so the salad will have to wait for tomorrow’s lunch. As you look at the lettuce you realize that it’s a tiny bit brown on one leaf…
You decide that it’s better not to risk lettuce spoilage, so you decide to put all the salad ingredients back. But since you’re hungry and in a hurry, rather than walking back to each section, you dump them all in the frozen case with the ice cream. It’s a freezer, so it’s not like anything will spoil. The lettuce might even last longer in the freezer. You’re helping the store out. Very good.
After you hide a tomato behind a tub of Chunky Monkey, your eye catches the box of what appears to be the most delicious turkey dinner in the world. (It’s clearly not, but keep in mind your vision is slightly obscured by your hunger.)
You take a closer look…
Your mouth waters, as you inspect the package. There’s a picture of Thanksgiving dinner on the back–It looks just like grandma’s house! The table is set and WOW, look at that turkey. You start to believe that this meal will be delicious and you even convince yourself that you could buy this frozen box of turkey and carbs in lieu of an actual Thanksgiving dinner next year. Your grandmother will be sad, but you’ll send a card. It will be fine.
You toss the freezer turkey dinner into your basket and notice that there’s a sale: 10 for $25 (regularly priced at $2.51 each). You’re too hungry to do the math, so you grab 9 more frozen meals. Meatloaf. Swedish Meatballs. Mac ‘n’ Cheese. Boxes fill your basket; good thing you ditched all that salad produce. Smart.
You avoid eye contact at the check-out counter, for fear of being judged by the cashier at your sole purchase of ten cheap, generic TV dinners. You wish this grocery store had self-checkout. For a second you wish you had simply shoplifted the frozen food, but hiding all the frozen meals in your pants would be problematic. You pay with cash. No need to have this purchase linked to your credit card…
Once you’re home you’re so hungry that you carelessly rip the box open. The sharp corner gives you a paper cut. There’s blood on the counter, but you ignore it for now…
With the frozen turkey dinner removed from it’s packaging, you notice that the frozen version looks a lot like a giant brown ice cube. You can only assume the microwave will “make it all better.”
Turns out your turkey dinner’s directions require an advanced engineering degree from MIT: “Cook on 50% for 3 minutes, then rotate 75 degrees, remove plastic wrap, stir potatoes counter-clockwise, cook on high for 11 seconds, then cook for 12 minutes at 60% power, recover with plastic wrap and let sit for 10 minutes in direct moonlight.” Unfortunately you removed the plastic wrap before reading the instructions and there is a lack of moonlight since it is 2:30 in the afternoon, so you’re already screwed.
You end up just cooking it on high, uncovered for five minutes, or until the inside of your microwave is covered in gravy.
You’ve basically waited for what feels like a fortnight to take the first bite, which both burns your mouth and is also still partially frozen. To even things up, you stir everything around. Hot + Frozen = Warm, right?
The temperature is now lukewarm, which is fine, but unfortunately the stirring resulted in blood dripping into the food from your paper cut.
You’re so hungry now that you’re not above eating your own blood. You own the first season of TrueBlood on DVD and although you never finished it, you start to wonder what it would be like to be a vampire. Would’ve been helpful cooking this meal since you would have naturally been awake during the night, so you could have let the meal sit in moonlight as directed. But if you’re a vampire, why are you eating a frozen turkey dinner? Potentially, you could be trying to wean yourself off of blood, but–
The vampire fantasy is interrupted by the fact that you finally found a piece of turkey in hidden in the brown mush. Yay! Meat! You consider rationing this piece, for there is no guarantee that there will be others. It’s small, but you could probably get three bites from it. You then realize it’s too tough to actually cut, so you just eat it whole.
So, this is what Turkey chewing gum tastes like. You try to blow a bubble. No bubbles.
Once you feel like you’ve gotten as much turkey flavor out of the “meat” as possible you spit it out. But not onto the floor, into your cloth napkin. Yes, cloth. Even when eating a TV dinner you like to keep it classy.
You take another bite from the brown mush and…
Hard to say how long you’re out. Could be seconds, could be years.
When you awake, you realize you’ve not only finished your turkey dinner, but you’ve eaten ALL of the frozen meals you purchased.
You’re no longer hungry, but you are terribly thirsty. Likely because you just consumed your monthly allowance of sodium.
Hoping to find a cold beverage, you open the refrigerator and notice…
You are out of milk.