Category Archives: Shopping

In which Nichole may or may not have stolen a salad

This is the third or fourth or fifth week that I’ve planned to have a rotisserie chicken and a salad for dinner one night, and after many hours of ferrying the children hither and yon, today I finally took my free-chicken-and-a-family-salad coupon over to Whole Foods.

The chicken part was pretty straightforward. I picked up a rotisserie chicken, and I put it in the cart. Done and done. The salad, though, I wasn’t sure about. Whole Foods has a vast array of salads and salad bars, and I wasn’t entirely sure what the coupon meant when it said “a free family salad.” So I asked one of the cute millennial people on staff.

“Hi,” I said. “When this coupon says ‘family salad,’ what exactly does it mean?”

“One of those in the cooler under the ‘Good Stuff to Eat’ sign,” the Cute Millennial Gelato Girl said, gesturing in the general direction of the coolers. She didn’t say “Good Stuff to Eat,” exactly, because that isn’t what the sign said. But when I was there I remembered what she said and I found it.

Pixabay didn’t give me any results when I asked it for a free stock photo of a cute millennial, but it did give me this when I asked for a picture of gelato. // photo by Daria Yakovleva
So those directions narrowed it down from the 16,870 salads available at Whole Foods to about 3,457 salads. And I still wasn’t sure exactly which one the coupon was talking about. But I figured the Cute Millennial Gelato Girl wouldn’t steer me wrong, so I grabbed a pasta salad in a larger box instead of a pasta salad in a smaller box — because the “family salad” oughta be the bigger one, right? — and I went to the checkout.

“Are these vegan brownies good?” I asked the Cute Millennial Checkout Girl.

“They are so good,” said the Cute Millennial Vegan Checkout Girl. “That’ll be $10.79.”

I did have a box of 99-cent macaroni and cheese and, suddenly, a vegan brownie, so I wasn’t surprised that the whole order wasn’t free. But I was surprised that a vegan brownie and a 99-cent box of macaroni and cheese came to $10.79.

“Didn’t the coupon cover the chicken and the salad?” I asked.

“Oh no, not that salad,” she said. “It has to be a green salad. You can go ahead and check out and then just grab one of the green salads.”

This is what Pixabay offers up when you ask it for “vegan.” I’m going to go ahead and assume she doesn’t know much about brownies, either. // photo by Croisy.
A green salad. OK. I finished checking out with my free chicken, my 99-cent macaroni and cheese and my vegan brownie, and I went back to the Good Stuff to Eat cooler. Armed with the new knowledge the Cute Millennial Vegan Checkout Girl had imparted unto me, I discovered that I now had only 145 salads from which to choose.

So I chose one, and I went to the express line.

“Hello,” I said to the Cute Millennial Checkout Guy. “I’ve already checked out, but I got the wrong salad for my coupon and I want to make sure I have the right salad because I don’t want to accidentally steal a salad.”

“Oh no,” he said, “not that salad. The one you want is about the same size, but it’s not round.”

Downtrodden but not yet defeated, I went back to the Good Things to Eat cooler. I was now faced with only two options: A green salad in a square container, and a green salad in a rectangular container.

And I — I took the one in the square plastic, and I don’t know if it made all the difference or any difference because I did not stop to ask.

But there are two things I do know:

  • I need the Cute Millennials of Whole Foods to understand that I am an old dotard who needs very specific instructions. Like maybe you could just hand me the right salad? Thanks.
  • That vegan brownie was not so good. I’m sorry to say it, Cute Millennial Vegan Checkout Girl, but I think you’ve forgotten what a brownie should taste like.
  • This was the first result Pixabay offered when I asked for ‘cash register.’ I’m beginning to think Ashton Kutcher is running Pixabay. // photo by annca

    Anywho, here’s what we’re having for dinner this week:

    Monday: Rotisserie chicken and a salad
    This’ll be some combination of cheese, bread, ham and a saute pan.

    Tuesday: Cracker Barrel chicken
    This is a ridiculously easy recipe. It’s meant to be a copycat recipe for Cracker Barrel’s “grilled” chicken tenders, which are delicious and you can’t tell me different.

    Wednesday: Korean BBQ tacos
    I found a Korean BBQ slow cooker sauce at Aldi’s a few weeks ago. It sounded promising.

    Thursday: BLAs
    That’s a Bacon Lettuce and Avocado sandwich, because tomatoes are gross.

    Friday: Grandma’s choice
    Rockford and I will be embarking on our annual Weekend of 1,000 Films — in which we try to watch as many of the Best Picture nominees as we can squeeze in — so Grandma is in charge of dinner.

    Hungry for more? Check out the Menu Plan Monday linkup at OrgJunkie.

    Arts & crafts & menu plans

    We had a busy but very nice weekend here at Butterscotch Sundae headquarters. We spent some time on Saturday at an indie art and craft fair, and I saw these lovely things:

    Octopi and other sea-life inspired pottery from Anja Bartels. She also had a line of dogwood pottery that was gorgeous.

    Sweet and often simultaneously profane artwork by my friend Robin Plemmons.

    Mind-bogglingly beautiful concert posters from Status Serigraph.

    Stunning tiny sculpture from Funlola’s Workshop. Most of it was in the form of jewelry; I couldn’t believe the detail in her succulents in particular.

    The “wire taxidermy” by Alison Brynn Ross blew me away. They were all delicate and lifelike and so quirky. I’d love to put this shark on my wall.

    And my favorite thing from the whole show, Julia Claire’s pottery. Her designs feature geometric mountain scenes, and I’ve been admiring them on instagram for about a year. I was so excited to round the corner and see her work!

    We got a lot of Christmas shopping done there, which is (in my opinion) great news for our gift recipients. Including myself, because I may have bought something from Julia Claire and stuck it under the tree To: Me; From: Me.

    With zero segue, that brings us to this week’s menu plan. Here ’tis:

    Monday: Oven-Baked Chicken
    “Oven-Baked Chicken” is just another way of saying we’re having Shake ‘N’ Bake. I need to use up some potatoes, so I’m making mashed potatoes, too.

    Tuesday: Tacos
    Just your standard ol’ ground beef tacos, ft. black beans and avocado.

    Wednesday: Frozen pizza
    I’m embarking on what I’m certain will turn out to be a lifelong tap-dancing career on Wednesday evening, and I’m leaving my family to eat frozen pizza while I do it. Hopefully I don’t injure myself.

    Thursday: Breakfast for Dinner
    The question I face every week when I plan BFD: Will the veggie sausages make it until BFD night? Historical precedent says probably not.

    Friday: Pizza
    I know, I know! It’s a two-pizza-night week. Sometimes these things happen, and we have to learn to live with that.

    Hungry for more? Check out the Menu Plan Monday linkup at OrgJunkie.

    Nichole goes Small Business Saturday shopping

    If a trio of ladies goes Christmas shopping and doesn’t take a selfie, did they really go shopping? Are they really ladies? Is it really Christmastime at all?

    I sure hope so on all counts, because today my dear friends Kelley and Rachel went Christmas shopping with me and we neglected to take a selfie to prove it, but I know I bought some things and I know it is Christmastime at all because my husband was perched on the roof hanging icicle lights this afternoon.

    Anywho. Today is Small Business Saturday, which is an American Express marketing ploy but also a rather nice idea. There are some wonderful small businesses in West Asheville,1)it’s the best Asheville, but don’t tell the tourists and today we went to a couple of them and I wanted to tell you about them.

    Harvest Records
    One nice thing about West Asheville is that it’s a little bit like stepping back in time, because there’s a record store and a video store. Harvest Records sells new and used vinyl and also CDs, hosts the occasional in-store concert — I was pretty sad to miss Sylvan Esso there in September — and even has its own label. It’s a weird, quirky little corner shop, and with Pete’s burgeoning interest in records I feel like we may be spending a lot more time there in the future.

    Once upon a time, in a land before streaming video, Orbit was just a video rental store. And it’s still an excellent video rental place — you can find just about anything there, and they have categories like “Movies That Will Make You Sad” — but it’s evolved into a video-rental-and-place-to-buy-geeky-stuff store. The people there are nice and know everything about movies, too. The only thing I don’t like about it is that they took the picture of Jeff Goldblum out of the bathroom.

    Where else can you find feline finery, comic books and Steven Universe pins all under one roof?

    And then there’s Whist, which is practically across the street from Harvest Records and packs in the most whimsy per square foot of perhaps any store in all of Asheville, which is saying a lot because this town is pretty dad-gum whimsical. I have to pace myself when I’m in Whist because I love just about everything in there. Just look at this stuff:

    They have puzzles and games for the fun-loving folk on your Christmas list…

    Beautiful wallets for the fiscally but fashionable set…

    Tiny frogs for everyone

    Vintage Blogs and other notebooks, sketchpads and activity books for the writers and artists in your life…

    A ton of beautiful and/or fun planners for your organized auntie…

    A decorative and useful cat tray for the crazy cat lady in your life…

    An array of gorgeous calendars suitable for anyone who needs to know what day it is…

    Beautiful gift wrap to make your Christmas tree pop…

    And thank you notes and other lovely stationary for after the holidays!

    Looking back at the pictures I took there, I’m thinking I might be able to do all of my Christmas shopping at Whist. Maybe I should take that on as a challenge next year. For this year, I’m going to stick with trying to get everything I need at locally owned shops. It’s good for the people in my neighborhood, and when your neighborhood is chock-full of places like this I’m not sure why you’d shop anywhere else anyway.

    Footnotes   [ + ]

    1. it’s the best Asheville, but don’t tell the tourists