Sunday afternoon I hopped in my seven year-old Ford econo-$@%!box car and drove over to the Whole Foods in Cambridge, Mass. to stock up for the evening meal. "Air chilled" free range chicken, carrots, celery, onions, $4/pound locally-grown mushrooms and two bottles, one Rhone, one Alsace, one for the pot and one for the glass since my dining companion doesn't fancy reds.
Being Cambridge, the store was filled with the entire cross-section of society from bearded plaid-shirt wearing misanthropes who teach Anthropology at the little local college called Harvard to Europeens in their pointy hats and funny wooden shoes and a thirtysomething woman wearing a pair of boots that I'm pretty sure cost more than my car, to working-class people who were, duh working there.
Luckily I had my Amex Platinum on me (no pre-set spending limit, baby!) because this was not the kind of place to shop on a budget, at least not one defined by a maximum rather than a minimum.
After that I hopped in my sled and boogied over to Target in the South Bay center to pick up some kitchen-wares. Tar-jhay
as we call it in the hiz-ood is all about this thing called "Masstige" which is like prestige except that poor non-white people from the rough side of town can afford it too, so now they don't really have any excuse for looking like a bunch of punks all the time. I mean, Isaac Mizrahi placemats for $3.99? What a country! China, that is, since that's where it all comes from. So, what I don't understand is the whole Wal-Mart Bad, Target Good deal. People would rather get caught scratching their butt and then sniffing their hand than be seen shopping at Wal-Mart. As far as I can tell they're both big stores full of cheap crap that came here on a boat, though I will admit there is something more pleasingly perky about the whole red theme. But it's no problem around here in Boston because there are no Wal-Marts, presumably because people here are too smart to shop there.
Anyway, after Tar-Jhay
it was back to my studio apartment in a lovely restored Victorian-era brownstone in a majority-Hispanic neighborhood next to the airport. There's a grocery store here (and it has an amazing waterfront view from the parking lot
) but I dare you try find glace de poulet
there. They do however have a more comprehensive selection of Central American foods than the Shop-Rite in Guadalajara, I bet.
With all that settled I spent a nice afternoon preparing a non-cream of broccoli soup (Recipe: broccoli stalks, water, boil, salt, blender, olive oil, blender, yum!), chocolate mousse, and a big kettle of Coq au Vin
, though unfortunately it's hard to pick up Coq
in the grocery store, even in Cambridge, so I had to stick with th female version which just isn't the same. Apparently there are "special" places where you can buy real (live!) rooster but those are in a different part of town.
Naturally I shared this elegant repast with a certain lady-friend and we had a most convivial evening with the wine and food, and later a viewing of one of my favorite romantic comedies of the past decade, Fight Club
, which she thought was really cute. How did it all turn out? Well, as one of Paris Hilton's ex-boyfriends so memorably put it, "she loves the Coq."
Oh, and please stop your tittering and get your mind out of the gutter. The only sin that got committed that night was gluttony.