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Thursday, March 30, 2023
ArlingtonOpinion'Old School': Food for thought

‘Old School’: Food for thought

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by CAROL McEWEN, for the Sun Gazette

Now that we can visit the grocery store without dressing like crime-scene investigators, food shopping is fun again. Or fun most of the time, when we don’t encounter empty shelves where the toilet paper or the laundry soap used to be.

I should say I enjoy the fresh produce section the best, since that’s where all the healthy food lives. But, for it to make me healthy, I must EAT it first.

Actually my favorite browsing area is the Baking Needs aisle. The thought of all those cakes and pies and desserts waiting to happen gives me a sugar rush on the spot. A birthday cake for a grandkid? No problem. Dessert for the next ladies club meeting? Easy-peasy. And the best part: THINKING about all the delicious treats is calorie-free!


I even like the gadget wall there. Who knew that muffins could be made in so many sizes?

The birthday items always entertain me, too. One year I bought candles that wouldn’t blow out for my husband’s birthday cake. Another year it was a musical candle holder for a grandkid’s birthday cake. The only hard part was getting the thing to SHUT UP once the joke had worn thin. I mean how many times can you listen to “Happy Birthday to you?”

Another section I love is the foreign-food aisle. That’s like taking a trip to Mexico or India or China without the risk or the cost of a ticket. Hmmm . . . I wonder if that jar of Chicken Tikka sauce is authentic. I wouldn’t know since I’ve never been to India, but it’ll have to do until I get there. And those Chinese noodles which explode in my cooking pot are like a magic trick.

I’ve bought more gadgets at the grocery store over the years than at any Target. I’ve found elasticized bowl covers (think little shower caps), a gizmo to open uncooperative jars and a press to smush smiley faces onto bread slices. I recently saw an intriguing avocado tool that cuts the thing open, pits it and slices it – if only I ate avocados.

At the end of almost any shopping trip, I stagger home with twice the things I’d meant to get. Some of those exotic purchases will sit on my Old School shelves, whittling away at their “Best By” dates so that my kids have something to fuss at me about when they come to visit.

Reach Carol McEwen at carolwrites4fun@gmail.com.

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