it's okay to play with your food

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Thin Mints or Brussels Sprouts?

Approaching the register at Reading Terminal Market, grocery basket in hand, my mind ran down the list of meals for the coming week... black bean whiskey soup with red peppers, roasted green squash and brussel sprouts... Life felt good, full of realized potential. My shopping list was complete and yet there had been surprises... such as Thin Mints, my all-time favorite Girl Scout cookie,* and the brussels sprouts that had been conspicuously absent from the market over the past month.

It was only after placing my basket on the counter that I realized I had left my wallet at home. The woman was sweet, "It happens all the time..." Not to me, it doesn't... "You can come back tomorrow." But the market is out of my way...

As I started to leave, and she began putting my produce (and cookies) back on the shelves, I remembered the random $10 bill I had in my pocket from the past weekend. Oh happy day!

I retrieved my box of cookies and found the woman as she was unloading my red forelle pears. Triumphantly, I displayed my money. Huzzah!

"You can't get the cookies and all this. The cookies are $4.00." $3.50, actually. "The cookies are $4.00..." She kept repeating that over and over. I held onto them, because, well, I love these cookies. I plan on making my first foray into competitive eating over these cookies (check yourself, Christopher Hu...). I need to start training. Oh woe is me!

I calculated the baskets contents. I mentally removed the mushrooms and ginger (stir-fry could wait till next week). Still too much money. I would have to make a choice: Thin Mints or brussels sprouts?

I walked away from the market this morning, shopping bag in hand, feeling good about my choice. I chose the much maligned and sadly misunderstood sprout. Because if there is one thing in this world that I can rely on, it is that Girl Scout cookie season is upon us and I will have possession of a box of Thin Mints in my future. What I can't gamble on is when I will next enjoy roasted brussels sprouts, tender and slightly caramelized. It's just not worth it.

Up this week: Recipes for black bean whiskey soup and roasted vegetables

*yes, I like them much more than Samoas, or caramel delights, or whatever they are called these days.