Picture me, ass in the air, head and shoulders buried deep in a display of cereal boxes. Muttering, cursing, “Give it up, you bitch… ah-hah! Got one!” I pass a box of Count Chocula behind me, waving it impatiently and call out, “There’s another one coming!” and barely feel the box lifted from my fingers before I tuck back in, yanking and heaving, ignoring the papercuts and the awful things happening to my hair because by God I won’t be denied. I emerge, triumphant, and hold the last box of cocoa-y goodness aloft, turning around to face… a woman I have never seen before in my entire life.
“They hide it,” I say, perhaps a tad defensively and by way of introduction. My husband is a few feet beyond, trying (unsuccessfully) not to laugh but doing an admirable impression of Man Who Does Not Know Me. The strange woman smiles in that indulgent way adults have when they encounter a particularly slow child, and I flounce off to toss my prize into our grocery cart.
ME: I don’t even know why they have those other ones! I mean, come on. Frankenberry? Booberry? Who are they kidding? Nobody buys that crap!
HIM: I know, honey.
ME: They’re wasting everyone’s time giving all three equal space!
HIM: Yes, you’ve said. Are we done now?
I love grocery shopping, but he doesn’t do it right.
We tried going together again last week, and I almost left without him three times. Honestly, if it hadn’t been for the skunk, we’d have filed for divorce right there in the meat department.
HIM: (gestures at meat case) which ones?
ME: Are you making pork chops or jägerschnitzel?
HIM: That’s a good question… Well, jägerschnitzel is really more your thing.
ME: Why? You’re perfectly capable. It’s not complicated.
HIM: Because… breading and frying is in your blood.
HIM: Deny it.
ME: It’s not only breading and frying.
HIM: (bagging meats) Hmm?
ME: (hissing) There’s also the gravy.
That was all set to get ugly (and the old guy behind us was not helping – I should’ve found his wife and tattled on him for laughing at us) but then I saw this li’l guy:
ME: You see it, don’t you?
HIM: (sighs) No?
ME: If Brindle had one of these, she’d have a friend with a stinkier butt than hers!
HIM: (laughs, shakes head)
We didn’t get the skunk.
But on a more serious note, I need your help. I recently discovered that the chocolate I’ve been buying has been fibbing to me about its cocoa sources (I know, I should’ve expected) so now I’m on the hunt for a reasonable supplier of ethically-sourced chocolate. In bulk. This bit’s important. I don’t buy bars, generally (and when I do, it’s no big deal to grab a fair trade certified bar from just about anywhere in town) but when I’m making my amazeballs Thin Mint super-fudgy brownies… I gotta start with a full pound of chocolate. Then I add the cocoa. So… yeah, I need good stuff, and I’m not willing to salt it with my own tears while I ponder the working conditions of the slaves who harvested it. Have I got any bakers out there? Any readers who have friends who would know? Hook me up!
If you do, I’ll share my brownie recipe.