This weekend, Chad and I took the minion shopping at Costco. This is a fairly time-honored tradition in our little family: the baby gets to stare at something more exciting than the four walls of our house, and Chad and I get to stare at some things we likely could have afforded if we hadn’t had the baby. Most importantly, Costco has been the shopping destination of choice for some of our favorite bulk organic produce: bananas, avocados, berries, spinach. Don’t forget about those Costco exclusives, either – we’re fans of the the occasional chicken bake, and there are some magical foods lurking on those shelves that it is impossible to buy too many of (Aussie Bites, anyone?).
However, this trip was not about buying our usual foods. As I reminded Chad (partially in order to remind myself), we couldn’t buy any food that would take longer than two weeks to eat, since we’d be having to eat 100% local after that point. Amazingly enough, we actually made it out of the store without violating that rule – but it wasn’t without regret. The sample stands were in full force on Sunday, and by some miracle of timing, we happened to pass by each one just as they set out a fresh tray. Crackers with extra sharp Tillamook cheese from Wisconsin? My favorite. Quarters of wild-caught Alaskan salmon burgers? Yes please. And then, for dessert, some bites of Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches. Admittedly, these were the least impressive of the samples, but that probably had something to do with their display being located right next to Julie’s Organic Ice Cream Sandwiches, which are so amazing they will make you reevaluate your childhood relationship with Nestle and find it severely lacking.
Stalwart in our dedication, we passed by all these goodies and more, and arrived at the checkout line with a very empty, 90% non-edible cart of items. I eyed the Costco food court longingly, then asked Chad how he felt about chicken bakes for lunch. He asked the cashier for cash back, and we got two chicken bakes wrapped in foil. If you’ve never had a chicken bake, allow me to describe one for you: pizza dough, wrapped into a tube around a blend of chicken chunks and bacon slices, all mixed up in a gooey, creamy, very likely cheese-based sauced. If a chicken pot pie and a bacon calzone had a child, there’s a very good chance the result would look something like a chicken bake, provided that their offspring inherited none of the vegetable content and was far less concerned about its appearance.
We ate our chicken bakes basking in the afterglow of a successful shopping trip, with one very asleep baby quietly napping in her carseat. They were exactly the easy, delicious junk food I had been looking for, and I savored each bite feeling like it would be a long time before we’d enjoy such convenience again.
Parting is such sweet sorrow.
Kate documents her adventures with eating 100% locally sourced food for thirty days (and her preparations for it) on the Local Girl Goes Local tumblr, where you can find daily vlogs, random thoughts, relevant articles and recipes, and useful tips, tricks and advice she comes across along the way. You can also keep up with her posts by liking Local Girl Goes Local on Facebook, and catch her on the Edible Baja Arizona Instagram and Edible Baja Arizona Twitter under the hashtag #localgirlgoeslocal.