In the past month, my family and I moved out of the house I grew up in and into a new place in the same city, new neighborhood. In fact, I'm convinced it's a better neighborhood as the house feels tucked-away, yet much closer to good food, grocery stores and general shopping. I never knew exactly how handy Target could be until we started (and still continue) moving. It's not two minutes away, they really do have loads of stuff, and it's not painful like Bed Bath & Beyond.
As long as I've lived here and come back for holidays (and extended stays, like now), my favorite grocery store has been and remains The Fresh Market, a self-tagged "fine neighborhood specialty store". It's a pretentious title, but it ain't no lie. Plus the "neighborhood" part is now more real than ever. Three, four minute drive tops.The produce and prepackaged items are generally more expensive than at the mass chain grocer, also nearby. However, they carry a number of imported and/or scarcely-found food items not easily found elsewhere. And you can't find Asian pears, pomegranites and an endless variety of tomatoes as good as the ones at TFM, unless you trek out to Greensboro's real farmers' market in Sandy Ridge.
(That shit's the truth, but I'll save it for another day. Besides, the farmer's market has an entire category to itself.)
The other day I treated myself to a good visit to TFM, grabbing whatever looked good, including a couple of cod fillets that I plan to do country-simple: dredged in seasoned flour and pan-fried til tender and crispy. I also managed to find some good quality butter, clean winter squash and a variety of pastas. There's a spinach lasagna in the works.
With the new kitchen, bringing groceries home no longer seems like a chore. I may be crazy, but it's fun, like hide and seek, except I know exactly where everything is and should be for maximum convenience and longest storage life. Besides the storage space, the new kitchen is, generally speaking, splurgy-vacation-house excellent. Professional six-burner stovetop, massive fridge, double ovens, endless counter space and a mean, mean Viking grill in the backyard. Frankly I'm a little intimidated, more by the grill than anything else, but I'm getting to know the kitchen as the days go on.
I'm sorry to stop here, but speaking of new kitchens, I have some cod to fry and biscuits to bake. Haven't made biscuits in a while but I have a feeling they'll turn out OK. More as the world turns.