that's why it hardly bothers me at all that i -- in the loosest, most passive sense of the word -- stole a package of steel cut oats them tonight.
duluth, today, feels like you are singing the national anthem at center ice. when whiskey marie mentioned frozen spittal, she was only mildly exaggerating. i'm an active spitter and what leaves my mouth is pure, unadultured saliva. what hits the sidewalk sounds like a dollop of yogurt. i haven't bent my knees in hours because at 20 below, when your bare flesh brushes against denim, it feels like you've wrapped your thighs in a headache.
in honor of this very special weekend where it is maybe going to clear 2 degrees on monday, i decided to make a very complicated version of oatmeal. none of that "just add water" stuff of ninnies. the sort of thing that could wipe away that smug smile of a highly fiberified quaker.
this calls for dried cherries, maple syrup, vanilla soy milk and the aforementioned oats. a few hours in a crock pot. and as i load my basket i'm thinking this has to break some sort of record for the ratio of total price of groceries to amount of items in this basket. especially in this neighborhood, where on monday nights you can rent like five movies for 99 cents, but three of those movies have to be from the "problem child" trilogy.
at the checkout there is some confusion over a bunch of parsley -- which is for a different recipe -- and i solve the cashier's mystery by saying, "it's parsley." then come the steel cut oats, ominous and rolling down the conveyor belt. the cashier looks at the bag from about two different angles, then asks: "do you remember how much these cost?"
[sorry you missed out. today was "name your price" day at super one].
i gave him a blank look while $5.99? and $6.99? battled for tongue-time. i can't remember, i just know that i was surprised and that it seemed like a lot. but i have no frame of reference, i've never bought steel cut oats before. just as i said: "five? --" he cut me off and said: "a dollar? okay."
oats are kind of a disposable food, the kind of food that is always available in your pantry. 90 percent of you could probably make oatmeal cookies RIGHT NOW! the sort of thing that is so expendable that it has uses well-beyond the realms of food: itchy chicken pox? oats! want to jazz up a hum drum bath? add oats! need to give your skin a little extra attention? oatmeal facial! running late and need a dry shampoo? finely grated oats!
but a dollar? nothing costs a dollar. i didn't try to right this error. maybe i would have if they carried fanta.
what i saw was a cashier who paid me to not make him run to the steel oats aisle and look up the price. as long as we were old-school bartering, i should have held out for another fifty cents.