Saturday morning. In the kitchen.
Foodie: Well, good morning. I can’t believe I slept in this late! Oh look, you’ve already made the coffee.
Beast: And I’m making breakfast, too. Do you want some?
Foodie: Nice kimono. And that’s my belt.
Beast: I’m just borrowing it.
Foodie: What are you making?
Beast: Toasted white bread with peanut butter and jam.
Foodie: Where did you get that store-bought jam?
Beast: I bought it.
Foodie: Why don’t you use all the homemade jam we have?
Beast: It’s all got mold on it. It’s disgusting.
Foodie: It does not! Look at this (rummaging through the fridge). Let’s see. This is a plum one I made in 2008. Oh shit.
Beast: MOLD! You’re trying to kill me.
Foodie: Just scrape it off a bit.
Beast: Do you want any breakfast?
Foodie: Just coffee. And I promised your mother that we’d get our Shoppers lists to her before noon so let’s get to work.
Every Christmas the Beast’s mother, bless her heart, prepares giant stockings for her four sons, plus their girlfriends/wives, stuffed with wonderful necessities from Shoppers Drug Mart, like tooth brushes, deodorant and soap, plus other little treats that she picks up during sales throughout the year, like fancy packages of paper napkins. Occasionally, there are product samples from the hospital where she works. I remember one year getting a box of scalpel blades. You know, for making crafts.
I still remember the year I opened up my first Marg Gadke stocking. First of all, I didn’t come from a family big on stockings so I was just happy to get one. Second of all, I think the Beast’s mother was thrilled to finally be filling a stocking for a girl so there were some choice products in there. As the boys pulled out Chapsticks, bottles of shampoo and sports socks without batting an eyelash, I delighted over every singular object in my stocking: “Oh great! BOBBY PINS! I totally needed these! OH. MY. GOD. Will you look at these napkins with the teddy bears wearing Santa hats on them? Too cute! And lookie here! A pad of paper from a medical conference in China! I love it! And three gallons of peach-scented body wash with special oatmeal elixirs mixed in for softer skin! BONUS!!!!!!!!”
Every year, the Beast’s mother hounds us for our Shoppers list. I learned last year, thanks to Beast’s sister-in-law, Laura, that doing a little research pays off. Last year Laura scored fancy mascara, lipsticks, body creams and maybe even a nail polish! But I just didn’t get around to scanning the aisles of my local Shoppers. To be honest, I rarely go into Shoppers any longer because I’m still using up the shit from last year’s stocking.
Foodie: Okay, I’ll write down your list if you dictate it to me. And then I’ll do mine.
Beast: Fine. Condoms, the morning after pill…
Foodie: Okay, c-o-n-d—Hey wait a second!
Beast: Just write it down! My mom will love it!
Foodie: Please be serious. We need to get her these lists.
- Advil liquid gels
- New tooth brush
- Tooth paste (Crest paste advanced whitening)
- Crest glide floss
- Conditioner (John frieda if they have it)
- Q tips
- Zest soap
- Baby powder (Secret) deodorant
- Ojon brand mousse (with a comb on top)
- Odour destroyers
- Cushioned insoles
- Denture tabs for night guard
- Shaving cream
- Venus razor replacement blades
- Body wash (Dove original smell)
- Dove deodorant (original smell)
- Karastase shampoo (orange top if they have it–might not. It’s high end Loreal)
- Advil liquid gels
- Hair spray (evolve brand or something else but nothing too scented)
- Maybelline brown mascara (that really popular one with pink body and green top!)
- Tanning cream for body!
- Anything cool that Laura asks for but not the St. Ives apricot face wash because it’s got cammomile in it. And I’m allergic to cammomile.
Foodie: Okay, great work. Now I have a really good idea. Let’s go to the No-Frills today and go grocery shopping!
Foodie: Think about how you’re always so upset that there are no snacks in the house! Think about how I came home last night starving and there was nothing to eat. We haven’t done a big shopping trip for months and if we go together we can make it into a fun activity. We can make a list. Okay. I’m ready for dictation.
Beast: Fine. Hotdogs, hotdog buns, chips, Chef Boyardee ravioli, cookies, cheese slices…
Foodie: We have cheese slices.
Beast: No we don’t. You bought no-name ones and they’re disgusting. Also, pepperoni pizzas. I like to call that the Kevin McAllister.
Foodie: Is that the kid from Home Alone?
Beast: Yes. Fine. I’ll go with you but can I play a little music first?
Foodie: That works out perfectly. I need to put in a couple of hours of work, plus make a list of holiday chores we need to do.
I managed to get a lot done. Until the Beast came downstairs from his music room.
Foodie: I could hear you playing up there. You sounded great.
Beast: Thanks. Do you want me to go get my saxophone and play for you down here?
Foodie: Um, I’m going to say no, only because I’m really getting a lot of work done and the sound of live saxophone music playing right beside me could be distracting. But thank you. Do you want to see the chore list so far? I also came up with a list of possible meals we can make this month. That way, we can buy the dry ingredients at No-Frills. But we’ll pick up the fresh ingredients from the green grocer as we see fit.
I turned around and the Beast was gone. He reappeared moments later.
Foodie: That sounds great but I need you to stop that right now thank you. Please stop.
Beast: Playing smooth jams
Foodie: Fine, I’ll just shout out the the list of chores that need to get done and you can look at the winter meal list later. (Note: lists below written on decorative paper found in a Marg Gadke stocking circa 2009.)
Eventually, we did go grocery shopping. And it was slightly more fun than going on my own, which I’m quite accustomed to doing, all the time, on my bike. When I go, I’m limited by the size of the milk crate that’s affixed to the back of my bike. Still, I can get a lot of groceries in there. Every time the Beast put stuff in our shopping cart, I couldn’t imagine walking home with it.
But we did it.
We also got fixings for a fast and easy Saturday night dinner: a little dinner I like to call, “fancy sandwich night”. You buy some highly processed cold cuts (in this case, Genoa salami), fry up some onions and peppers, scrape the mold off some jarred corn relish, slice up an avocado and slap down some arugola into a crusty kaiser roll. We also had some haloumi that we fried up for a side dish, plus some Lay’s regular potato chips.
It was a fine meal. And we made it together.
Foodie: ** 1/2