And, for the first time since we moved to West Duluth, I realized I was trapped. I'd just come from my grueling six minute commute from downtown, a route on the highway that includes like three weird merging scenarios. Was I going to have to double back through that 55 mph traffic-less and tedious menace? Weave and bob through the streets and avenues, and later scrape shards of the zombie foot traffic from 4th St. off my bumper. Then it got worse: I realized the next-closest grocery store is actually in Superior, Wisconsin. Wisconsin? Wisconsin.
In our old neighborhood, we were triangulated by supermercados: Whole Foods to the west, The Mold Factory to the South, and Mount Royal Fine Foods to the Northeast. Or, bulk couscous and BO, meat art resembling the Shamrock Shake, and $18 cheddar sold beneath flattering light in a store where everyone looks like they stepped out of a Pier One commercial, respectively. Two of these stores are within walking distance of our old place; The latter should have valet parking.
"Why, this is like living in Lakeside," I thought between claustrophobic gasps.
White cooking wine is not the same thing as white vinegar, I learned after a desperation Google. I was hoping this answer had changed since the last time I Googled this same question. Like food scientists had stumbled onto a new bit of key information linking the two liquids, and maybe I'd missed the breaking news.
It occurred to me that I could make something else. Our neighborhood supermarket is rich in other foods. They have a produce section. They even have an area marked "Ethnic Food," although I am assuming the exotic supplies in that section lean toward lefse and bowtie pasta. I checked the shelf again. Nada.
Okay, I admit, it took me just this long to realize that a good substitute for dry white cooking wine would probably be dry white drinking wine. And if I'm going to be sans crucial ingredient, an alcohol-based one is probably for the best. This neighborhood is rich is liquor stores. I can think of three that I could walk to without building up a sweat. So I did that. Chardonnay with a screw top.
There is something sexy about bringing home groceries and a bottle of real wine. It suggests that tonight is going to be a good night. Soft music, an apron, the clack of heels on a hard wood floor. These are always my favorite scenes in the movies I hate. Unfortunately, I knew I wouldn't be taking pulls off the bottle when I cook. It was a Wednesday, and I didn't want to wake up with a Sharpie mustache and regret. My liver and kidneys cawing about who carried the brunt of the pain.
The great irony in all of this is that I was making a Tuna Noodle Casserole for dinner.