Shopping: Obsession; necessary evil; addiction; stressor; waste of time…….. call it what you wish, we all have to do it, whether it’s for food or clothing, medicine or toys, cars or hookers potbellied pigs.
A few weeks ago, Sir and a couple of buddies were lamenting their wives’ shopping habits, as men tend to do when they get together, and one of them mentioned that his wife has a damn budget for indulgent shopping every month, to which the other replied “You’re lucky she sticks to a budget!! Mine has a TARGET!”. Sir believes that I get jealous when he buys stuff, and that I need to buy something just for the sake of it. Total crap! And how can I help it if his favourite tool shop has a huge collection of stunning kitchen goodies? I got this pestle and mortar at The Tool Shop…… no kidding.
And this is my pestle and mortar collection…….
But, back to the shopping thing. I hate shopping for clothes, but love shopping for perfumes and soaps. I can lose vast amounts of time browsing through bookshops, and inevitably walk out with arms full of beautiful notebooks. There’s no such thing as too many notebooks!! Or pens. I went out to buy Ciabatta this morning. That’s all, just some ciabatta for tonight’s dinner. I bought Ciabatta, and 11 pens. I have already written myself a note with every one of them, and this afternoon I’ll put them in the ‘pen box’ in my bedside drawer with the few dozen other pens I have there. There’s no room for anymore pens in the various pots and boxes in my playroom / office.
Grocery shopping is time consuming. Sir hates doing grocery shopping with me because I refuse to buy anything in dented cans, I look for the best and cleanest veggies and fruit, and dairy and other perishables must be selected from the far back of the very top shelf to avoid getting the stuff that will expire within 3 hours of the purchase. Meat has to have a healthy ‘just-murdered’ colour and texture and cleaning chemical bottles must not have white powdery lines of dried dribble running down the side.
Sir’s mother does not care about expiry dates. She believes you can cut off or hide anything that looks a bit dubious, try a nibble, and if you’re still alive in an hour it’s good to consume. This is the same woman who accidentally mixed purple fabric dye with our morning milk for Italian coffee one Sunday, then tried to convince us that it just looked purple because of the way light filtered into the kitchen that morning. When that failed she tried to convince everybody that a bit of dye has never killed anybody. Bet you that’s one skidmark that won’t wash out!
Grocery shopping with Sir is an ordeal. He gets bored very quickly, and needs to amuse himself. And I will need a left arm transplant soon. I love the TV series ‘The Walking Dead’, love those fucking zombies! I’ll be strolling along pushing our trolley and suddenly hear a guttural ‘zombie’ breath from Sir, and turn around to find him doing that zombie leg-drag-walk thing, head tilted completely to the side baring teeth, which he then digs into my shoulder making the most awful sounds! He doesn’t really care if anybody’s watching, and if there are lots of people they generally find it really amusing….. I don’t. It hurts like a bitch. I always have gob and drool marks on my clothing, and the more I try to fight him off the harder he bites to hang on. This is also why he often prefers that I do the driving when we’re together – he just drops his face onto my shoulder like a lame and tired shark and grunts like a zombie.
Aren’t they pruhhhteee?
I now prefer to do grocery shopping during the week WITHOUT Sir, because he’s also learnt some new evil tricks from another friend, let’s call him Isobrat…. We do the groceries, get to the cashier, I unpack the trolley patiently (grouping things together a little obsessively) with Sir right in my face ‘helping’, bumping and messing up my orderly unpacking….. As I hand over the debit card to pay, Sir says “Desire, no….. please pay for the stuff you put in your pockets…….” Yep. While I’m distracted he loads my pockets with any lightweight shit he can….. There’s another reason I no longer wear clothes with pockets when I spend time with Sir – he puts whatever rubbish he can find in them! Even if it’s just a handful of sand….
Sir generally avoids going to shops and malls, unless he’s on a pluck to get something, even then, he’s swift and efficient and can make up for a year’s worth of MY shopping with one quick buy. His obsessions range from knives to sharpeners for knives to wood-chippers to power washers, it depends on the mood. The latest toy is a quadcopter. Which he cannot fly. Which he chooses to practice flying INSIDE the house. Which is how he shredded my giant lounge plant. I heard what sounded like a weed-eater going wild in the lounge, walked in to find a sheepish looking Sir with his copter controller in his hands, and green shredded leaves all over the place. “Go outside with that infernal fucking thing! Go play under the avocado tree because it’s fucking ugly anyway and can only improve with some shredding! Outside before a TV gets nailed!”
Sir is also the inventor of a game called “Klap-a-Mall”………. After playing this we always rush home on a high, feeling excited and guilty at the same time, like we did something really naughty and sneaky. We played again a couple of weeks ago….. Sir took me to the mall so I could get another top to wear on my daily cycle session. He disappeared for the ten minutes it took me to pick a top and go to the cashier with it. This is what unfolded:
Sir : I was just in Kitchen Passion. Have you seen the new Kitchen Aid Artisan range of appliances?
Me : Have I seen them? Fuck me I’d give my front teeth to own the whole lot! When I see it I imagine vintage sports cars, I mumble “Bugatti”…. Urgh beautiful.
Sir : They have the food processor there. If you buy it you get a free gift worth R1000. The red one is R500 more than the cream one though.
Me : It has to be red. No other colour for my kitchen. We already have the whole Kitchen Aid range, in red. And we have a Kitchen Aid food processor in our kitchen already. (Trying hard to convince both of us that we don’t need anything else).
Sir : But it’s not the Artisan one.
Me : I know! What are you saying?
Sir : Our kitchen should have it. We should have it. The one at home is tired now.
Me : I’m not paying R500 more for the red. Let’s find it at the same price. Plus freebies.
And we did. Same price. R1500 freebies. And we went to Doppio Zero for coffee immediately after we made the purchase.
Sir : Fuck did we just play “Klap-A-Mall” again?
Me : Yes. You are impossible. And this from someone who HATES malls, and HATES shopping! And just so you know, I’m keeping my front teeth. I ONLY came here for a damn sweat-absorbing top!
Sir : Okay we’re not playing again. For at least… a while.
On to this week’s recipe. Last week I made 70 red velvet cupcakes and 9 lemon meringue pies for a wedding. I’m so over the whole red velvet cake wank, really….. isn’t it time to move onto the next fad / phase / flavour-of-the-month?
For the lemon meringue pies, I bought 18 undented tins of condensed milk and I tossed the Tennis biscuits into the trolley with some force, just to get a headstart on crushing the biscuits for the crust.
Here’s the recipe for one large pie……..
LEMON MERINGUE PIE
1 Packet Tennis Biscuits (200g)
- 100g Butter, Melted
- 2 Cans Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 1 Cup Lemon Juice
- Grated Rind of 1 Lemon
- 6 Eggs, Separated
- 1 Cup Castor Sugar
- 1 Tsp Vinegar
- 1 Tbsp Cornflour
Preheat oven to 180⁰ Celsius
- Beat the crap out of the biscuits – put it in a packet and bliksem it senseless with a rolling pin or hammer or whatever you like. You could put it on the floor and jump on it if you’re really good at the five-second rule because the packet will probably explode. You need fine crumbs. Or blitz it in a food processor like the shiny red Kitchen Aid Artisan Food Processor because at that price it had better be used every fucking day.
- Mix in the melted butter, and press it into a large pie dish, or two small ones. I find it easiest to use a glass to press the crumbs with – do the sides first and then the bottom.
- Whisk together the condensed milk, lemon juice, rind and egg yolks, and pour into the biscuit shell/s.
- Beat the egg whites until stiff. Start adding the castor sugar, two tablespoons at a time, once the egg whites form a soft peak. Keep whisking until the egg whites are glossy and stiff. No, there’s no inappropriate innuendo to follow……
- Pile on top of the filling and whack it with the back of a spoon to make cute little peaks all over.
Bake for 15 minutes or until the meringue is lightly browned. Refrigerate once cooled.