Hey y’all! Happy 2018. How is everyone? I thought about this blog when I was at the grocery store the other day (further explanation to come). I know I know, it’s been a minute since I’ve blogged. I got hit with a little life, the stomach flu, and some good ol’ fashioned lack-of-motivation. But here I am! Back on WordPress and excited to catch up on all my favorite blogs.
I have a story to share. WARNING: It contains one bad word but don’t worry, I’ll * a vowel so that it’s like I didn’t really write the bad word and technically, I didn’t say the bad word so you can’t get mad at me if you’re offended by the word.
And no, the title really doesn’t relate to the story at all. I won’t be talking about Eminem or my mother’s cooking, I just had no idea what to call this post. I’m willing to edit my title if anyone has any suggestions!
Okay, story time. Picture this:
I’m at the grocery store in the canned food aisle, I am systematically working my way through the shelves looking for roasted corn kernels. Whole kernels, sweet corn, store brand corn… “Now that is the most boring cart I have ever seen.” I pause my progress and peel my eyes away from the sea of canned corn and turn towards the unexpected voice.
A teeny, tiny black woman, probably pushing 70 years old, was peering into my shopping cart. She was rotating cans, flicking open produce bags, sifting through my selections with a look of sheer disappointment plastered across her face.
I took a fresh look at my groceries- Chicken breast, ground turkey, bell peppers, eggs, canned kidney beans, etc. You know, the basics. I somewhat sheepishly shrugged off her displeasure and offered up the explanation that I was attempting to follow The Zone diet. I know, I didn’t owe her any sort of explanation but I’m that person who shamefully sneaks a candy bar onto the conveyer belt when waiting for my turn to pay, praying the people behind me in line don’t see and judge me for grabbing chocolate and hiding it under my brussel sprouts bag. I care, far too much, about what other people think *shrugs*
The woman clicked her tongue at me and asked if she could speak frankly but didn’t wait even half a second before proceeding.
“Sugar, you look white but I can tell you got a little n*gga in you and it’s time you started cooking like it.”
“Let’s go honey, I’m gonna teach you a thing or two.”
She hip-checked me away from my shopping cart and started pushing it out of the canned vegetable aisle, leaving me behind, slack-jawed and confused. I watched her sashay away with my cart for a few seconds before determining that I was not on a hidden camera show and that my cart really was being commandeered by an old lady. I quickly grabbed a can of store brand corn, that will have to do, and scuttled off after my groceries.
I caught the woman just as she turned into the “ethic food” aisle. (Yes, that’s actually the name of an aisle in my grocery store.) “Come on baby, catch up. You’re going to be making slow cooker chicken with rice and empanadas this week.” Right. She started piling herbs and spices and those little jars of something-or-other that always cost like $12.95 each into my cart while rattling off measurements, when to put which spice into the slow cooker, and the secret to making the perfect empanada shell.
As the shock of the situation started to wear off, I realized that I had a real opportunity on my hands. You see folks, I am a horrible cook. Truly atrocious. I try, I really do try, but I just have no skillz in the kitchen. This woman, however, was clearly a culinary genius. The ease with which she rattled off food pairings and seasoning combinations and different cooking techniques was incredible. So, I whipped out my phone and took notes. She ate.that.up. She was so excited to be helping me- A captive, eager, (hungry) student.
I now have a cabinet chock full of interesting herbs and spices with which, I know how to make a whopping two different meals. Womp womp.