I love grocery shopping. I don't know why. Maybe it's because I'm still (yes, after--dear God--seven years now) in the discovery stage of cooking: I can buy these, and turn it into this! I wonder what other combinations would taste good! Maybe it's because I never got over that I'm-a-big-girl-and-I-can-pay-for-it-all-by-myself thing. (Probably not, since I don't like clothes shopping anymore.) Maybe it's because I just like food. I went today, and filled my basket to the brim with bread and vegetables and blueberries for $1.77 a pint and ground beef and raspberry lemonade ($1 each, down from $1.59, and I bought the last four).
Yes, ground beef. I now shop for a meat eater. It's strange. I have a very basic understanding of how to pick beef out--bright red, sirloin is leaner than round is leaner than chuck, big chunks of fat are undesirable--but I haven't gotten feedback on it in...well, I'm not sure I ever got feedback, since Mom never sent me to the meat section to get anything, she got it herself and told me what she was looking for. But if I had it would have been eleven years ago. I've bought sausages and frozen chicken chunks for Eric before, but those are standardized and require no thought. Beef, though, is important to the boy. He still considers meat the main part of his meal, though what we've been doing is having a main vegetarian dish with a side or two that I'll have and another--a little chunk or slice of meat--for him. I'm hoping to someday change this view of things, but I suspect it's going to take a long time.
I may be able to help it along slightly. My schedule, wherein I work from 12:30 to 9 PM most nights, doesn't make it easy for me to do much cooking, and this is starting to drive me crazy. There's only so much canned soup and pasta with canned sauce I can eat. So I'm going to start cooking (or preparing) in the mornings and make food for myself like I'm used to. There are some things that he likes too--cheesy potato casserole, fried rice--but not enough to satisfy me So I've informed him that the kitchen will be producing peanut broccoli pasta and Pad Thai and artichoke-lentil pasta and roasted vegetables and couscous salad, and he says he's okay with it. He's even going to try a bite of all but the most esoteric stuff (or things he already doesn't like, such as peanut sauce). I hope to expand our list of mutually liked foods. Or I'm just going to have to become rich enough to hire a cook.