Adventures at City Market

by Jonah

I hurried out of the Woodland Park City Market and jumped into the car. “Nobody,” I exclaimed in exasperation, “is in a hurry up here! It took me forever to check out!”

Fast forward nearly 10 years. I think I’m getting accustomed to the slower pace of mountain living.

Berck asked if I had errands to run in town because he needed some Rust-Oleum for the rally car. I had just gotten my monthly envelope of Kroger coupons, and they were proverbially burning a proverbial hole in my proverbial pocket. So off went on the 15 minute drive to City Market.

We were about out of onions, so I found the special big plastic bags in the produce department for corn on the cob, except there’s no corn, but the roll of bags is still there, and I filled up one with sweet onions. Pretty much anything we cook starts with slicing an onion, and we go through a lot of them. I got a bunch of other things on my mental list, as well as forgetting a bunch of things, and tore apart the relevant coupons (40 cents off eggs, 2 dollars off dishwasher detergent, a free o.j.). I also got some chicken because it was on sale. I even managed to get some Horizon whole milk, which has been out of stock the last several times I’ve been shopping, supply-line issues, you know. As I was trying to decide what other kind of milk to buy, I saw a hand behind the cooler door insert a Horizon carton onto the shelf, and then another one! They stock the store on Saturdays, so that’s when you’ve got to go if you want to get what you want.

By the time I got to the check-out, my little buggy was overflowing. I wasn’t in a hurry, so I decided I’d wait in line for a cashier instead of using the self-check-out. And miraculously, there was one manned with no customers. The cashier and I exchanged greetings, and I began loading up the conveyor belt. “What are you going to do with all of those onions?” asked the cashier. “Oh, cook stuff,” I answered.

The bagger chimed in. “I’ve got a place in my house where I keep things like onions. It’s not as cold as the refrigeratah but it’s colder than the rest of the house. It’s like a root cellah. My aunt used to have a root cellah, a real root cellah! She had a real garden, you know, even on her tiny lot on Long Island. And she’d cook this delicious dish. She’d take a chicken and put it in a Dutch oven. You remember Dutch ovens? And she’d cover it with onions and cook it for hours. And the meat would just fall off the chicken.”

And instead of rushing off with my groceries, I said, “That sounds delicious!”

“It was! It was so good. I wish I had the recipe! Well, it was nice talkin’ to ya!”

I thanked the cashier and I thanked the bagger and pushed the buggy out to my car.

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