Wednesday, March 4, 2009

$266.14 Later...

We've been suspended at the Coop for a couple weeks now, and I've been slowly going crazy. I can't shop at other stores.

When I am suspended, I go to Fairway, which is a huge, gourmet-ish grocery store that started out in Manhattan years ago and recently came to Brooklyn. It has a parking lot, a great fish counter, incredible cheese selection, and also these particular lemony olives that have no weird sodium derivatives, just plain sea salt and are perfect for martinis, but more about those another time. So it is not all bad at Fairway. The biggest problem: it's more expensive, has more tempting crap (like chocolate-covered ice cream bon bons and other things with my name scrawled all over them and screaming out to me) and has boring, blah-ish produce. The arugula wilts by the time you get to the cashier, maybe because it is so far away (the store is vast), and everything seems so industrial and unanppealing.

Okay, really, there's nothing wrong with it, I'm just spoiled by the Coop, which is a produce lover's dream. The Coop has organic and conventionally grown produce, and it's all completely beautiful and robust and lovely. The best part is they mark everything's origin, so you can make an effort to be local. And it's cheap. And when you make those impulsive grabs for stuff you never bought before, it is more likely to be green tea chocolate bars or pomelos (sweet grapefruit) or chocolate covered almonds, things you don't regret when you get home.

Anyway, now it turns out we have another grace period -- the two weeks after a suspension, in which you are able to shop. So, wooooo hoooo, I shopped today.

And shopped, and shopped, and shopped.

I was like a starving person just back from Siberia. I bought so much food, mostly produce, that I almost couldn't pack it into the cart. The cashier said skeptically, "So, it this a week's worth of food?" God, I hope so.

As soon as I got home I sat down and ate soba noodle salad with TVP, and a roll of avocado sushi. Then I put all the food away, and made a Coq au Vin for dinner, which is simmering away right now. Tomorrow we're having clams with spinach and chickpeas. Friday, burgers. Somewhere along the way: yellow lentil soup, spaghetti with turkey meatballs, chocolate covered almonds, raspberry sorbet, lemon grass soup with rice noodles, honeycrisp apples, roasted yukon potatoes, hearts of palm, fennel and radish salad, black beans and rice, pecans and cashews, almond butter and bilberry jam sandwiches, humboldt fog goat cheese, oh yeah -- SHEEPS MILK YOGURT, and, okay, thick-cut fatty salty incredible no-nitrates bacon.

And some martinis, if I still have some of those olives leftover from Fairway.

Dammit, why doesn't the Coop sell those?


Lindellica said...

why did they suspend you?

You know, I do not like the PS Co-op, despite never having been there. I do not like it at all. It frightens me. It seems like the smuggest food shopping experience in the universe. It seems like the kind of place that encourages food ocd. I don't care how wonderful the produce is -- how wonderful, after all, does a head of broccoli need to be?

When I was a kid we belonged to the Mariposa food co-op in West Philly. What that meant was, once a month I went there and cut cheese blocks and put them in bags. It was that kind of place -- you put your order in, and the next week you got your food in a bag. The effect was perhaps closer to Fresh Direct than Acme. They never suspended anyone, although they did have one crazy hippie who worked there named Sunshine, who did not wear shoes.

I guess what I am saying is, all of this yammering about buying locally has made me snap and be proud of Urban Organic and their oranges from Chile. If everyone bought local, we would have no world economy -- and probably scurvey.

/Sorry, end rant.

Booker said...

Well, we should go there sometime! I'm taking you! It's not smug -- some people might be, but that is not the vibe I get there-- and the food is amazing and cheap, and they did not boycott Israeli products.

We're suspended because Chris forgot to work his shift, and so you get two weeks to make it up (?) and then you get a two week grace period that you can start anytime you want, and then after that you're suspended.

It sounds so harsh, but everytime I've been suspended, but been desperate to shop, I've gone up to the office and found someone to give me an extension. I find it totally human.

We belonged to a coop like the Mariposa one, too, only more church-basement-y. Guess what, it didn't survive. The suspension thing can be annoying, but it's not that big of a deal, and I think it's partly why the coop survived.

But whatever, it's not for everyone. I love it. But we should go there. I'm totally taking you.

Larissa Phillips said...

dammit, that's me that just posted, not booker!