“The ramblings and grumblings of author Ad Hudler”

Dear grocery-store manager ...
Monday, January 12, 2009

Sometimes there's a key ingredient you need for some recipe, and the problem is they're sold only in multiple numbers ... and you need only ONE!

Celery comes to mind. How many times do you require just one stalk? Two at the most. And you try to make yourself feel better by saying, "Oh, but this stuff is just so DARN TASTY! My kids'll eat the rest, I'm sure."

Chipotle peppers packed in adobe sauce are another. You NEVER need more than one of these. Hell, two of them could burn your house down. "Oh, I'll freeze the rest," I've told myself. And then I forgot I've frozen them ... and I end up, two years later, with a collection of unrecognizable brown-red lumps that look like someone's frozen stool sample.

There are plenty of other things that need to come packaged in smaller amounts: cardamom pods. Soda pop (whatever happened to a SIX-pack?)

Any others?


Blogger Dan said...

Lemon grass & carrots comes to mind. Also dry vermouth. Alternatively, I would like to see organic milk in a gallon size instead of just 1/2 gallons.

If memory serves, when it comes to produce, can't you just open the package and take as much as you want?

January 12, 2009 at 8:55 AM  
Blogger Ad Hudler said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

January 12, 2009 at 9:25 AM  
Blogger Ad Hudler said...

Very good examples, Papa Zook....and, yes, I think they will "break" a veggie tray that they themselves have packed...but the celery is packed by the grower, and I don't think they allow you to break those because they wouldn't know how to charge for it....although you COULD just snip off a piece and stick it down your pants...and smile sweetly at the cashier who looks your way and raises her eyebrows with a smile.

January 12, 2009 at 9:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey...my aunt in Colorado just told me that Safeway supermarkets out there sell celery pieces by the individual stalk!!

January 12, 2009 at 3:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tomato paste! So many recipes call for only 1 or 2 tablspoons and you are left with a whole can. I cover it with foil and put it in the frig and unearth months later covered in fuzz. I saw a cooking show where they had tomato paste in tube like toothpaste and I thought it was brilliant, but I haven't seen it in the stores here yet.

January 12, 2009 at 6:11 PM  
Blogger Ad Hudler said...

Sharon!! Yes! Tomato paste! But I warn you: I've found the tube, and the tube falls down, into the side compartment of the refrigerator door, hidden by the mustard and horseradish (another TOO BIG condiment)and you forget it's there, until the next hurricane when you have to empty the 'fridge.....Damn! Why can't they sell that stuff by the tablespoon?

January 12, 2009 at 6:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whole nutmeg! It's supposed to only be good for up to one year. One will last you a whole year as you only ever need 1/4 TEASPOON - and yet my package contained 12 whole nutmegs.

January 12, 2009 at 7:35 PM  
Blogger Ad Hudler said...

Yes! Whole nutmeg! Spices in general fall into this category. Damn all of them; it's a conspiracy.

January 12, 2009 at 11:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's called "marketing" -- the art of getting you to buy what you don't need. In this case, 12 items when one would have sufficed. Come to think of it, why don't publishers market our books in twelve packs?

January 13, 2009 at 8:57 AM  
Blogger Kathy Grey said...

Whole cloves.
Baking powder.
I do like Mother Earth's open stock bin, where you can buy these kind of items in bulk (or not).

See posts above.

Last week I was looking for arrow root powder. So, instead of $8 for a container, I bought $1.50 worth. I liked that.

January 13, 2009 at 1:46 PM  

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