And here I thought I was open-minded

Since my first cooking lesson for Operation: Recipe Swap, something strange has happened.

I see food.


How have I not seen food before?!  It’s in magazines, online, in books, on TV, in people’s mouths!

I’m not just seeing it, I’m hearing about it too, like what’s in itwhat it looks like, where it comes from and how it’s made

WATCH: How McDonald’s Hamburger Patties Are Made

FOOD is coming at me from all directions and I’m struggling to process it.  Having opened the floodgates by paying attention, I’m shocked that the information doesn’t trickle in bit by bit.

You might be tempted to think I’m exaggerating, but I assure you I’m not. (This time.)  I am experiencing a massive shift in perception, which means I obviously had the blinders on and the ear plugs in for many years.  When you guys were trading recipes I didn’t just shut down that part of the conversation, I shut down the whole thing.

Having said that, of course I have thought about food before, just… differently.  Up till now I’ve thought about it:

  • when I eat it;
  • when people go without it; and
  • when I watched Food, Inc.  And if I’m honest I thought it didn’t totally apply to me other than suggesting to J-M to shop local.

But Operation: Recipe Swap has achieved its first goal of changing how I view food.  I’m in the game.

Today I went to the grocery store today WITH game face on.  I had to buy certain ingredients because tomorrow I will be preparing the dish Becky taught me last week, beef barley stew.  I’ve heard from a few friends that they were inspired to cook it after I posted the recipe and loved it. I will also cook it again and love it, but first had to fill our cupboards with onions, stewing beef (don’t worry, I put this in the fridge), celery, carrots and pearl barley.

I had to check with friends on Facebook to see if I had to make a special trip to a fancy store to buy pearl barley.  No, it’s at my local grocer.  Mom (new to Facebook and adapting well – a story to tell another time!) showed me what her package looked like and told me what aisle to find it in.  “I’d lend you a cup, but you want to learn, right?”

Here’s a question. We have a lot of grocery stores near us.  Even two of the same kind equidistant from where we live.  How do you choose where to shop?  Does one become your favourite?  I ask this of those of you who do not “shop the sales” like J-M or “price match” like my super-woman of a sister-in-law; those blinders shall remain on for the time being.  Otherwise, I presume you would base it on consistent overall prices, friendly service, selection, cleanliness…  Let me know which is your favourite and why.  Please.

In the past I have detested grocery shopping, tagging along behind J-M like a cantankerous child, just wanting to go home already.  Other times I’ve done spot-groceries, just a quick visit for one or two items, like when J-M was sick or if I had to buy a veggie tray for a potluck I unwittingly agreed to.  Those visits always got me frustrated because I’d walk the entire store without finding the item(s) and always end up calling on a clerk to help me find what I was looking for. Obviously this was because because I was blind to food.

Today, I am awake to food!  I went in to the store with anticipation and even discovered some interesting things I might like to try in the future.  The colours in the produce section seemed tantalizing.  Smells in the bulk section made me curious.  I thought, you know, I could get to know this store and try stuff.  I made friends with the grocery store today.

I do not like the freezer section and will remember to bring a sweater next time.

There is a world of potential for FOOD.  I see it now.

8 thoughts on “And here I thought I was open-minded

  1. I like the No Frills on Blake. It’s cheaper than Zehrs, the produce is still generally quite good, the aisles are clear and the check out ladies are friendly. You need to choose one to go to consistently because that’s how you figure out where things are (or are likely to be). I don’t know a single person who likes shopping in a grocery store other than ‘theirs’ because we’re all lost then!

    • I don’t think I’ve ever been to that No Frills. I think you’re right. I felt the need to get to know the grocery store I was in (Metro) in order to navigate it well for the future.

  2. Love it! Though it does make me wonder how many other blinders we have on. (Cringes just a little.)

    It’s so much fun to see how you are approaching this challenge and I love that your mom totally got the point of YOU buying the barley. What a wise woman!

    I look forward to hearing how your Beef Barley Stew turns out. Enjoy the process!

    • Chelsea, I agree, this has me on a whole other thought process about what blinders we put up and we don’t even realize it! Yes, my mom is wise and I’m sure it hurt her not to give me a cup because she is a naturally helpful person.

  3. I shop at Zehrs and any Zehrs will do. I prefer Zehrs because President’s Choice is my favorite brand, particularly the organics line. Zehrs also has Rowe Fram eggs in the natural food aisle (free run, antibiotic free), and Organic Meadows whole milk, and PC’s “Free From” meat which is also antibiotic free (I’ve seen Food Inc, too [cringe] ). They also have a large selection of brown rice pastas (my favorite), and organic produce. Yes, they are more expensive than No Frills but I can’t handle crowds. :)

    • Ah, so you go for the brands and organic stuff. Interesting! Do you ever get frustrated when one Zehrs layout is different from another? I agree with you about the crowds. That’s a deterrent.

      • I don’t mind the differing layouts too much but it can be frustrating if I miss the natural foods aisle and have to back track the full length of the store. haha

  4. Zehrs on Cundles usually for me. Its home for me :) and not too big, like the others, where I end up spending more time :/ Then No Frills on Wellington from time to time – like if the flyer is just too darn full of great deals! But I am a PC Freak. Got. to. have. it.

    SO true about taking off the blinders. I am seeing eaves troughs everywhere these days :) who knew?!

    Also- more importantly, some one I had the awesome [proper use] privledge of leading to Christ years ago, told me so excitedly a few days later that she couldn’t believe how widely her perspective had changed! What she saw, heard and experienced had shifted overnight! and she was amazed, “those song lyrics haven’t changed- but I hear them differently now! was it all really like this before Tuesday?! I never saw it”

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