Sometime during the holidays I’d returned from my eighth trip to the grocery store. I put water on to boil, and unpacked the groceries.
I needed coffee.
As I put away the pasta, bottled marinara (don’t judge) and the sugary cereal, I discovered a bag of …
I wasn’t sure, but I thought they were yams or sweet potatoes or something in that category.
My initial reaction – based on years of tightly pinching** pennies – was, “Gasp, I hope I didn’t get charged for those root vegies!” I grabbed the receipt and verified that there wasn’t a charge, which was a bit unfortunate because, had there been a charge, I’d have been able to more accurately identify the tubers.
Next thought was, “How did those get in my cart? What kind of sicko wanders the produce section looking for unsuspecting victims and then launches a tuber attack?”
I made sure the kids knew I was incensed. I wondered aloud. A lot. “What am I supposed to do with these? Do I take them back? Like I don’t have enough to do?! I still have to finish the baking! This isn’t fair!”
I looked over at the kids to see if they were as worked up as I was. They’d moved to the other room by then.
I sat down with coffee and iPad to search – “yam vs sweet potato.” What do I even do with these things? I’m not gonna go to a whole lot of fuss if my kids aren’t gonna eat them.
The voice in my head said, “Throw them away! You don’t have time for this.” But that prompted the other voice to say, “You can’t waste perfectly good root vegies. They might be chock-full of vitamins and minerals!”
I got lost down the rabbit hole of tubers; recipes; holiday prep; best holiday cocktail and How to Simplify Christmas.
Undecided, I put the three in a bowl. It occurred to me that perhaps they belonged to the folks that had been ahead of me in the check out line.
The voices in my head had a hay day with this new line of thinking. “Oh no! They got home without their tubers! Now they can’t make grandma’s favorite recipe. Christmas will be ruined!”
I even considered how I might track them down and get their vegies back to them, you know, in the spirit of Christmas.
The tubers sat in the bowl, untouched, until after the holiday, all the way into the New Year. I’d occasionally glance at them and consider Googling more recipes, but walk away in disgust. Incidentally, yams have an exceedingly long shelf life, making it virtually impossible for them to grow moldy so that I could throw them away without guilt.
One day, I found myself without kids.
I was alone.
In the kitchen.
With the yams.
Inspiration struck in the form of Sweet Potato Soup. Even if I was the only one who liked it, I deserved it, dammit. Besides, the pictures on the internet made it look so tasty. Thanks to the multiple trips to the store, driven by the mania of the holidays, all the ingredients were found in the pantry.
This would be fun!
As I gathered the ingredients and found the seldom-used potato peeler, I thought back on the couple from the grocery store. I wondered how they were doing. How was their holiday? Did they ever end up making grandma’s recipe?
With sweet potato in hand, I dragged the peeler across the rough skin to discover that this vegie – one of three that had been waiting in a bowl in my kitchen for going on four weeks – was not the kind needed to make Sweet Potato Soup.
I gathered up the other two roots, ceremoniously walked them out to the dumpster, and came in to put some water on to boil.
* I’d considered buying three more so that I might include a photo with this post, but I’m not going there.
**You may be thinking that I don’t really pinch pennies if I buy bottled sauce and sugared cereal. The fact that I thought about what you might be thinking, about my lack of pinching pennies, is another example of the varied thoughts running through my over-active INFJ brain.