Friday, December 9, 2011

A Trip to the Store

I have come to Chicago to finish my manuscript. I got a month extension, but with the holidays it’s easy to get distracted. In L.A. the outdoors beckons, but in Chicago the coziness of being inside makes it easy to sit at my computer.

Since I come here sporadically, I notice the change of seasons much more than if I was here all of the time. When I was here in October, I watched the golden leaves fall from the trees and litter the ground with their crunchiness. Even with the dropping leaves, still some hung on the trees.

Not now. When I looked out the window, the same tree was naked, just a bunch of brown twigs pointing toward the sky. On my trip to the grocery store, I passed front yards and thought about the yellow forsythia blossoms that had once clung to the bare branches. Everything is brown.

When I was a kid, my father and I would go to the grocery store supposedly to get things my mother wanted, but we’d always come home with oddball items we wanted to try. The one I remember the most was the can of tuna weenies. They looked like hot dogs and I assume were made out a tuna fish. I’m not sure what actually happened to that can. Maybe my father tied the tuna weenies, I know I never did.

In the spirit of trying things, I bought some unusual things at the market, though nowhere close to tuna weenies. I bought kale salad that comes from a soul food vegan restaurant. I always buy some of their barbecue. It’s made out of seitan, and makes a great sandwich. I couldn’t resist the green tangerines. That’s what they’re called, though they were kind of a mottled orange. I tasted one already and they are delicious.

I have pretty much given up drinking soda. I don’t like the sugared variety and I don’t like artificial sweeteners. But every now and then I like a bottle of pop, as it is referred to here. So I got a four pack of real cola sweetened with stevia. Now if it just tastes good, it could be the perfect alternative. Stevia comes from a leaf and adds sweetness with no downside.

I like to drink tea at night. I just read that hibiscus tea is supposed to be great for you and delicious, too. So, I got a tin of the superflower tea. It steeps to a deep crimson and has sort of a fruity taste. I got some Constant Comment tea, as well. The fragrance alone is worth it. The orange spicy flavor is perfect for a cold winter’s night.

The only thing I looked at, but didn’t get was the ugly fruit from Haiti. That’s really the name of it - it has stickers on the fruit that say ugly in big letters. I didn’t think it was that unattractive - just kind of a green ball. Maybe it’s the inside that looks weird. When I go back to the store, I’m definitely going to get one of those.

Do you like to try unusual food items


Linda O. Johnston said...

I thought it was "ugli fruit," Betty--at least that's how it's spelled in crossword puzzles! I've been watching Chicago weather and there have been days it's been chillier in L.A.--although that's likely to change soon. Real winter is beginning there. Stay warm!

Linda O. Johnston said...
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Betty Hechtman said...

You could be right, Linda. I was reading it upside down. Either way, I still want to try it.

The weather turned cold in Chicago and it snowed a little last night. But it's supposed to be in the 40s by Sunday.

Planner said...

I had never heard of ugli fruit, but I looked it up, and it's a hybrid of grapefruit, orange, and tangerine. Wikipedia says, "It has an unsightly appearance with rough, wrinkled, greenish-yellow skin, wrapped loosely around the orange pulpy citrus inside."

I would probably try that. The name itself makes it tempting. How can you ignore a fruit that has such great self-esteem that it calls itself "ugli"?

I do like to try new foods, but I have high standards. The food has to be highly nutritious and not processed or only lightly processed before I'll even consider it. It needs to be appealing, and I have to believe that I will probably like the taste. Otherwise, I'll just stick with my favorite foods.

I hope you make lots of progress on your manuscript.

Judy said...

My favorite tea is Passion tea made by Tazo. If you just want to try it go to Starbucks but you can buy the tea bags there or at the regular grocery store. It is good hot or cold sweetened or unsweetened.

Betty Hechtman said...

Planner, thanks for the info on ugli fruit. I haven't been back to the store yet, but after hearing what it is, I'm definitely in for trying it.

So far everything I have tried has been a winner.

Right now I am bleary eyed from working all day on my manuscript. When I took a break, I worked on the crochet things for the book.

Now just tired.

Betty Hechtman said...

Judy; passion fruit tea sounds great. I love the flavor of passion fruit.