Don’t worry – not both at the same time… when in the course of human events, sometimes you just get the munchies. Cheri and I went shopping at the grocery store three times this weekend. It’s hard to believe the house needed that much in groceries, but I think in part it was to satisfy Cheri’s need to just get out and go shopping. So we did. Now, when I get ready to go to the grocery store, I make up the menu, make up the list of food we need, and get in the car and go. Sounds simple and a workable method, eh? Well, when Cheri comes along, after the list is all written out, shoes are on and ready to go, she always decides to ask the boys if they “need anything” from the store. That little question expands both the items needing to be purchased – and the cash expended to buy said items – by a pretty large percentage. I mean – lots.
You see, I buy the basics. Fixings for tacos, fried chicken, spaghetti – all workable and buyable items. With Cheri’s question, the food list expands to Goldfish crackers, gourmet cookies, and whatever candy or special chips or other fixings that cost lots. We went out three times, as I mentioned, and three times, the request for “juice” came up.
Somehow, in a pseudo healthy stab at eating, on Saturday they asked for apples. Ok, that’s fine. Except, they wanted some kind of fruit dip that they could plunge the apple slices in, just to wipe away any vestige of nutrition. So, we bought the apples, and found some caramel dip to go with it. When we got it all home, to our shock and horror, we were informed that the caramel stuff did not stick to the apples. I know… it was like CoVid exploded again.
It’s about this time, when something like this happens, that Cheri puts on her Supermom cape, and our boys are transformed back into 3 and 5 year olds, trusting that “Mommy” will take care of things. Which she does. She began combing through her church women’s cookbooks, a collection she has amassed across the decades, where you are able to find a recipe for almost anything you would want to serve at a church potluck, or ladies’ gathering. Sure enough, into the third cookbook, she said, “Here it is!” and she read the instructions of how to make Marshmallow fruit dip.
This little wonder of the western world only has two ingredients. You need a jar of whipped up marshmallow cream, and a small container of strawberry cream cheese. These two items are then stirred together, and you dip your apples into it. Given the viscosity of marshmallow cream, you can be certain it would stick to anything, and never let go. It was a grand recipe, for sure, and ever so desperately needed if apples were to be consumed in the house.
Only one – or two problems. I know it sounds shocking, but we don’t really store marshmallow cream in our cupboard, waiting for the chance to make something sticky. Secondly, we don’t have any strawberry cream cheese. Without those two items, it’s a bit of a challenge making the dip.
My first reaction was very simple. “Let them try the caramel dip again.” Remember – we had been grocery shopping twice already. My wife then reminded me that, with all the hundreds of dollars of food just purchased, that we had nothing to eat for supper that night. Really? With a standing freezer and a huge refrigerator, and two separate cupboards crammed full of “stuff,” still nothing could be found… However, if we were to go and buy a small ham, we could then mix up some homemade macaroni and cheese, and thus have a feast to be remembered. Plus, we were out of milk. And there was a new request for Goldfish crackers and cookies.
So, off we went – again – to the grocery store to purchase everything we would need. Now, I will admit I broke down under the pressure, and agreed to have Cheri make me some guacamole as well. She knows how to work her wiles.
We checked everything off the list, and a few other items, like tootsie rolls and such. When we got to the avocadoes, however, once again I was faced with the same feeling I suppose one gets when buying a lottery ticket. Could you win? It’s always possible. Will you win? That’s probably not. Remember that we live in the northland, where buying avocadoes is akin to the purchase hundreds of years ago of exotic spices. We needed three of those green, giant pitted delicacies. It also does no good to buy the avocadoes, and then have to wait a week until they ripen.
So, we picked out the three supposedly ripest green things, bought them with all the other additions to our larder, and headed home. I have to say that it is tough, and disappointing to realize that the fruit of the avocado you purchased is harder, and tougher than the pit of the thing. We did manage to dump the things into the blender, with all the other ingredients. It was at that point that we were reminded that of all the crummy blenders ever built, ours is the crummiest. It simple words, as a blender, it didn’t.
We ended up scraping the preparation out of the inside, and putting it into another mixing machine (we have tons for some reason), and with Cheri adding more and more jalapenos, it tasted pretty good. Basically, it’s not guacamole – it’s jalapeno dip.
So there we had it – two dips, and two hours later, and it should last the better part of the week… until next weekend. I’m just not sure what we are going to have for supper tonight. I suppose another trip to the store…
Remember all the times I have talked about living intentionally? And when we don’t, we end up only living accidentally, careening from here to there, without a clear goal, a good plan, and not much more than hoping it won’t be a total disaster. Once again, I need to remind myself to stop, wait a moment, decide the best route, and then on purpose do what is needed for a successful day. Oh, and get rid of the blender… and call a moratorium on Goldfish crackers and gourmet cookies…
Thoughts for the day (let’s go with two): 1. Your mistakes do not define you, unless all you do is give up. 2. True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence on the future. That means that we don’t throw away the blessings of today, because we are simply waiting for a different tomorrow.
After 43 years of ministry, Randy Cross lived his "fourth life" and shared about retirement, living boldly and intentionally in our world. To be sure, there was some North Dakota thrown in.