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Location: Upstate, South Carolina, United States

I think that the Meredith Brooks' song, "Bitch," summarizes me rather nicely. Or, if you prefer, X. dell says I'm a life-smart literary scholar with a low BS tolerance...that also works!

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Food, Or What I Buy

I love saving money with coupons and sales. I cook at home a lot, and I know that saves money (we eat out maybe twice a month, period). But the fact of the matter is, I'll never ever be one of those women who consistently every week buys $200 worth of groceries for $20. Let me tell you why.

1) I won't buy stuff like Hamburger Helper or any other pre-made, convenience stuff. Have you seen the chemicals list in that crap???? No. Just...no.

2) I like to use fresh, local ingredients. So, this means I actually buy produce, often from a farmer's market or whatnot.

3) In addition to number 2, we also in this family get in our daily requirement of fruits and veggies, and only some of them come from frozen packs/boxes.

4) Milk isn't free. I can get really cheap other dairy products, but milk is at best on sale. There are four of us. I also cook with milk.

5) Part of how I don't get bored with cooking is by trying new recipes, and I am not limited to one or two ethnic cuisines. So, this means I have to buy spices sometimes that I do not have on hand. Thank goodness for World Market.

6) Meat can be on sale--and I only buy meat when it's on sale--but it's rarely free with coupons, too.

But when I look at how much I buy compared to what I spend, I know I am saving a buttload of money. We eat like kings in this house. We stay within our budget. And, additionally, the meals I prepare are typically totally from scratch. So, we have this "minimal crap in our food" effect that makes me happy. I'm quite content with the results, and I leave the true coupon ladies with their tables full of "LOOK what I BOUGHT for this amount of money!!!" to themselves. When I stare at what they've brought home, I often realize...ew. I wouldn't eat that Hamburger Helper for all the money in the world. Yup, very happy with where we're at right now!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

What Makes Me Laugh

I had a woman ask me while I was at work, "Can you recommend to me a nice White Zinfandel?"

That's the sort of thing that makes a wine professional try very, very hard not to laugh when she hears it.

Now please don't get me wrong--I am content that White Zin exists. I'm more of a wine geek rather than a wine snob; I don't feel the need to bash people's tastes. If they like it, good on them. When you have folks intimidated by wine or who first try a very dry red wine, they would likely never return to sipping on wine without the sweet, easy-drinking qualities of a White Zin. That's its purpose. Great.

But a nice White Zin? Here's a cherry Kool-Aid. I threw in some vodka for ya. There you go! White Zin was an accident, a trauma accomplished by a stuck fermentation of a Red Zin. It's not going to be the top recommendation I would give to anybody at any time. The wine wasn't built to be a fine, long-finish, well-balanced, complex glass of beauty to savor. It's to swill, laugh, and enjoy. A bottle of White Zin you'd enjoy, ma'am? Yes, I can recommend that. But a NICE bottle of White Zin? Well, only if I redefine the word.

Now, if she had just asked me for a nice sweet wine, my list would have been endless....