Bananas and ice cream are missing from the grocery store shelves in the Greater Seattle area because we are experiencing an extremely rare, but “catastrophic” snow event that has turned nearly everyone stark raving mad. And I am one of them. Without bananas and ice cream, Nate, Alex, and I are left alone in this world to survive the storm blast with nary a banana split in sight. We are begging for your help. We are desperate. Send us pictures of banana splits. We miss them.
Now: Nate, Alex, and I are from Ohio and two out of the three of us have survived the Blizzard of 1978. Not once did our parents call a family meeting and say, “Okay, this is the plan: We need to gather flashlights, snow shovels, and banana splits. Then, we’ll be fine. Only then, will we be able to survive.”
No. Banana splits are never in the emergency plan, but now that I do not have access to bananas or ice cream, I want these things and I’m wondering whose leg I need to break in order to get a banana split around here. I obviously did not prepare well for this storm and I’ve been forced to make decisions I never thought I’d have to make, such as this one: Do I just scoop up some snow and improvise a banana split with the last Tangelo from the grocery run we did a week ago? Will anyone notice? My dear readers, I don’t want you to ever have to make this kind of a decision. To spare you from this hardship, here are some handy grocery and prep tips ahead of a snowstorm:
First, a grocery list, in this situation, is only a wish list. Go into the grocery store with a healthy sense of humor and defeat in mind. You will not get everything on your list, but you can still make do and have a laugh or two along the way. Here’s how Nate and I shopped at around 9 p.m. on Thursday night at our neighborhood Safeway:
–Ground beef was on the list, but I only saw ground bison and filet mignon, which under any other circumstance, would have prompted me to say, “Hey, we’re in luck!” but when I saw the prices, I just looked for stray bits of pepperoni or hot dogs. I would have settled for beef jerky or some kind of tinned meat in gravy. Instead, I told Nate, “We’ll be going vegetarian this week for sure.” He just shrugged his shoulders and agreed. What else could he do?
–Pasta was on the list and, if it hadn’t been for a stray box of farfalle, we would have settled for whole-wheat macaroni. I’ve tried whole-wheat macaroni before and not even my worst enemy deserves that kind of a fiber boost. A snowstorm is no time to experiment with fiber-enriched products.
–I had a hankering for already-prepared-store-bought-guacamole-in-a-tub, but it was gone. Just gone. But there were plenty of avocados, so “yay,” I guess. I get to dig pits out of avocados and throw the skins into the composting bin outside in the snow. Ugh.
–Next, I looked for tomato sauce, but only tomato paste was available. Lots of tomato paste. Giant cans of tomato paste. I’ll thin it out with water. That’s the plan now.
–There was still plenty of beer, thank goodness—and Lean Cuisines. No one wants diet food during an emergency, so go for the Lean Cuisines and Weight Watcher’s packs. Varieties abound.
–No eggs were left on the shelves. None. There were two cartons of egg whites, so like animals we grabbed them before anyone else could.
–Whole-wheat bread, interestingly enough, is very difficult to find. If you like something called “45 grain” bread, you’re in luck. Just don’t eat it on the same day as the whole-wheat pasta if you’re forced to buy it.
Then, there’s the checkout line. Everyone will be there, including some jerk who is bragging about the size of his truck and how much food you DON’T need during a snowstorm. He will look condescendingly at your grocery cart while he makes this remark. And that’s when you’ll want to throw avocados at his truck. You’ll follow him into the parking lot and you’ll hide behind a snow bank and turn the flat bed of his truck into a giant guacamole-serving tray.
Finally, you’ll get home and you’ll put your groceries away and snuggle into the couch only to hear the siren call of love: The screeching tires of teens with front-wheel-drive cars pulling into the neighborhood late at night for a cuddle with a date—only to find out that they can’t get out of the neighborhood when the cuddling is done. They also don’t like to be told that their best bet is to just park their cars at your house and call their parents for a lift. So, they band together to find rope to string the cars together and pull them up to the top of the hill and you’ll wish you had a camera. You’ll really wish you had a camera and a banana split.
Your Turn: Your storm story or plans. Discuss belowJ Or, feel free to post pictures of banana splits.