This is a long one. I'm never going to live it down, either. It is why my sides still hurt, two days later. I'm not the best story teller, but if you need to feel better about yourself or your pantry, read on...
* * * * *
For years, my dear friend Liz has been part of a food co-op group. They buy direct from the distributor and save lots of money on all sorts of grocery items. A lot of it is bulk food and that's ok when you're buying staples and such. Beans, cheese, cereal, whatever. The stuff she gets is pretty much all organic and good quality. This year we thought I'd join in and start saving money, building a well stocked pantry and generally being a bit more economical about our food expenses. Yay for planning!
You can order online. Sweet. Pretty simple. All I have to do is drive 3 hours to pick it up and hang out with Liz every two months. Easy-peasy. Done.
Shopping online is a little cumbersome. Item costs don't show up until you view your cart (probably because each buying club has a different discount rate, but I'm just guessing here). The first visit is about like walking into Costco and not seeing prices, but wanting to buy, say, bulk flour. So you have to put four different 25# bags of flour in your basket and view your cart before you can compare costs. Ok, fine. A little clunky, but totally manageable.
Three days out, I get an email from Liz to the whole group saying she is going to put the order through on Friday, so make sure you have everything in your basket by then.
Unfortunately, my life starts to spin out of control for a couple days. Weather is crappy. Kids need to do schoolwork online. Baby is extra-needy. Bookclub. Laundry. You know. I know you know.
So I never finish my cart. I had gone back and found the cheapest flour, but I had moved on to different 'aisles' and never really gone back to finish the order. I was bummed that my first coop opportunity was already a dud.
You think you know where this is going, don't you?
Fast Forward two weeks to last Saturday morning. Liz calls, on her way to the coop food pick-up.
"Hi Chris! Um, I guess this answers my question."
"You're at home, and you're not going to meet me for the food pick-up."
"Which means you probably didn't want the 125 pounds of flour you ordered."
"You just had to put things in your basket.... "
"I feel sick."
"And whatever is in your basket gets ordered..."
"I totally thought I'd have to Confirm or something!!! Accckkk!"
"Um, I can probably split some of it with the other girls when I get there. Let's see."
"Ok... what... what ELSE did I ORDER???"
"Oh, let's see, cheese... brown sugar...chocolate chips...that's about it... not too bad, really. Let me see what I can do."
What do I owe?
"Um, about $450, and I can cover you, but we'll see after I get there...."
* crickets *
"Ok, yes, yes.... of course... "
So hubs agrees to abandon his plans to visit the Nordstrom's Mens Sale and, instead, spend the next 4 hours in the car to meet Liz halfway ... and get my flour and cheese and miscellany at the Dairy Queen in Chillicothe, MO. I love that man. I really do.
Of course, I know I will never live this down.
I'm thinking, how much space does all that flour take??? Where the heck am I going to put it? Can I just donate it to a kitchen and take a write-off? Will my local bread-making friends help me out and take some of it off my hands???
And let's be honest. I'm totally sweating because that's a lot of money. For flour and whatever else. Will hubs ever forgive me? And it's a whole afternoon, gone. Sheesh.
After a while, I get a text on my phone:
Get ready for 20 lbs of dark chocolate chips.
$130 worth. It was 25 lbs but Liz sold some. Flour was not as bad as you thought. 50 lbs.
I can't even imagine what 20 lbs of chocolate chips looks like-- wait, 130 for chocolate chips? (see how 50 lbs of flour no longer seems like a lot? to either of us??)
Well, you get to see it. Yes, for chocolate chips.
What is the cheese situation like?
There is a lot. It looks good.
And so. That explains why and how it is that I can take this picture:
Yes, that is a garbage bag of dark chocolate chips on the sofa.
We estimated (after a long discussion as to the best way of doing so) that we have 18,225 chocolate chips in our basement fridge.
Which is to say that we have
enough dark chocolate chips for both of us to eat
for the next
Time to start making some cookies.