lift the couch cushion – maybe there’s some Cheetos under there.

Today’s featured recipe: Asparagus Gruyere Tart. Um, this could NOT be easier and is very full-fat and tasty (kids eat up asparagus when it’s got cheese and olive oil applied!)

When I think about the fact that on Tuesday I planned our entire week’s meals out, shopped for the food (stopping at three grocery stores) – cooked for my family and entertained my brother – I feel a sense of accomplishment. In the interest of total transparency I’m posting our entire menu, grocery list and dollar amounts. Keep in mind we have company for dinner at least twice a week.

So here is this week’s menu:

On to the grocery list. Bought at Jay’s Fruit Stand in Aberdeen:
1 bunch kale
3 lbs. jalapeños
3 lbs. rhubarb
1 english cucumber
5 lbs. yukon gold potatoes
1 bunch romaine
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
12 oz. cherry tomatoes
2 bunches asparagus
3 lbs. granny smith apples
1 lb. carrots
2 lb. zucchini
2 lemons

Total: $22. Yeah, I know. I shit you not.

Then, on to Top Food to purchase the remainder of the week’s fare. When I can, I stop at Jay’s first. They have great produce deals but sometimes the produce is a little iffy. Keep in mind there have NEVER BEEN BUGS like I encountered frequently at the PT Food Co-op. I said it once and I’ll say it again: dirty, filthy neo-hippies. Bug-free may be – nevertheless, at Jay’s I once purchased two pounds of carrots there that were… so unbelievably gnarled and woodier than I thought carrots possible.

At Top Food I knew I’d be facing a large bill – we were out of household sundries (toilet paper, laundry soap, etc) and I was going to get coffee and a rare “processed” item – my beloved Annie’s dressing. Dear Lord. P.S. next installment of “grocery opus” shall include a lecture on condiments. I bought:

1 can petite dice tomatoes
1 can vegetarian refried beans
1 can garbanzo beans
1 can medium black olives
1 can baby corn
1 1/2 qt. canola oil
tostada shells
1 bottle Annie’s Goddess Dressing
1 1/2 lb. Tully’s coffee
dozen eggs, Wilcox brown
1 lb. whole milk plain yogurt
2 lb. organic butter (one to use, one to freeze – they were on sale)
1 qt. organic half & half
1/2 gal. wilcox organic milk
24 oz. sour cream
1/2 lb. gruyère
6 pack Red Hook ESB
1 package Pepperidge Farm puff pastry
Spic N Span (for the bathtub, itself told me this was the correct product)
new scrub brush (“Quickie!”TM)
Dawn dish soap
24 roll toilet paper
12 lbs. laundry soap
300 ct. Q-tips

Total: $114. Not too bad.

Now we’re on to the not-so-necessary purchase pleasures. Namely, cosmetics and soaps. I stopped at our “naturals / health food” store in Aberdeen – The Marketplace – and picked up these items:

2 bath soaps
16 oz. Dr. Bronner’s castille soap (tea tree)
1 lb. coconut oil
carton chocolate rice milk (chosen by the kids, natch)
fruit enzyme cleanser
calendula skin renewal lotion

Total: $45. Keep in mind – this was fully 25% of my grocery bill. It gives pause to frequenting these sort of stores. And using soap. But you really do have to do that, if you want to be accepted by society.

Sophie has informed me she is now “full vegetarian” – no more bacon for her. This is impressive given she is a creature who often has no way to provide her own food needs. Today at Los Arcos restaurant during lunch I briefly considered getting the fresh-halibut fish tacos. “Mom, fish is meat!” she accusingly sounded. I couldn’t really argue of course. I had a cheese enchilada, rice, and beans.

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