More Than 10 Items Or Less... - Swampy's Kitchen Blog at - 298181

Swampy's Kitchen

More than 10 items or less... 
Feb. 25, 2013 10:44 am 
Updated: Mar. 3, 2013 6:08 pm
I think this was the first weekend in I don’t know how long, not including weekend trips out of town, that I didn’t go to my local ShopRite for anything. A weekend without a trip to the grocery store felt a lot like Anita Bryant without her orange juice. I didn’t even realize it until late last night while we were watching the Oscars. Not sure what on the show made us think about it but it did make me think that maybe it was time for me to make another quick trip through the express lane in my culinary mind instead. So get your coupons out and your checkbook ready - although I am pretty sure we will get delayed by a couple of price checks along the way.

I’m pretty open to trying all kinds of food. My sister says she can pick what I am going to order in any restaurant by looking for the most bizarre item on the menu. She may be right but if Kale is anywhere in the dish I am not ordering it. I just don’t understand this fascination for a plant that looks & tastes like something in my lawnmower bag.

And maybe it’s just me but whenever I see field greens on a menu, I think of grazing in my backyard like all of the neighborhood groundhogs & deer do.

Speaking of deer, I had to brake for one in MY DRIVEWAY last Friday night. My driveway really isn’t all that long - we just have that many deer.

I think I am also over the Greek Yogurt wave of love. Yes it’s thick & creamy and the plain works in some recipes instead of sour cream but you have to be a masochist to eat plain Greek Yogurt in my book so that’s not for me. I like fruit in my yogurt but the sugar levels are so high for almost every kind of flavored Greek Yogurt out there that I am switching back to my regular old ShopRite Light Yogurt.

Paul McIlhenny, the sixth member of the McIlhenny family to run the Tabasco Empire, passed away over the weekend. I put little black armbands on all of my bottles of hot sauce. I had the pleasure to meet him through business fifteen years ago and after my board room presentation, he gave me a personal tour of the Avery Island Plantation. Walking into the room with barrels upon barrels upon barrels of mash will always be one of the highlights of my life.

I have a favorite cutting board at home and it bugs me just a little every time I see it being used under the crock pot. I thought that was why we kept the crappy cutting board that lives under the sink.

Every time I fry an egg I am convinced I am going to break the yolk when I flip it. I can’t remember the last time I broke a yolk but writing about it pretty much guarantees that I will break the yolk the next time I try.

To a vast majority of the world, a mixture of lemonade & ice tea is called an “Arnold Palmer”. I call it “swampwater”. I think the rest of the world should be listening to me on this one.

The internet sure makes it easy to kill a recipe or restaurant anonymously. Keyboards & touch screens are getting smaller by the day but people can still hide behind them.

I went and scratched around in the one inch of thawed topsoil in my garden yesterday. I even started planning & plotting what is going to go where. I am thinking simplicity this year will be the key. Of course I will most likely lose that key when I start to see all the cool seedlings at the garden center too.

Rainbow Swiss Chard is so much better than Kale.

Ryan Newman finished 5th in the Daytona 500 on Sunday which means FREE BLOOMIN’ ONIONS at Outback Steakhouse on Monday with every purchase. That will be true for every NASCAR race this year I believe.

I think the soup place in my building just spins the wheel of random ingredients on Mondays because some of the combinations on the board screamed “LEFTOVERS”.

Not that there is anything wrong with re-purposing leftovers. Half of my culinary genius comes from what’s behind the lid in Tupperware #3.

The table is not the Kitchen counter, the Kitchen counter is not the sink and the sink is not the dishwasher.

And finally, I want to quote Vicki Hyman of the Star Ledger from her article about foods that could relate to the Oscar nominated best films last night when she talked about ZERO DARK THIRTY – “What is the culinary equivalent of waterboarding ? Fondue ?”.

Having grown up in the 60’s & 70’s, the answer to that questions is “YES”.

I think I wound up with too many items for the express lane but if you won’t say anything, neither will I. Have a great day.
Feb. 25, 2013 11:09 am
The counter above the dishwasher is not the dishwasher especially when the dishwasher door is OPEN!
Feb. 25, 2013 11:11 am
Love kale and plain Greek yogurt...someone needs to. I am so tired of bacon being used in sweet dishes. I would love to see that trend end. How do you keep the deer out of your garden. After 4 weeks in your area I now understand my friends dislike of the animal. What is in Deer Off anyway?
Feb. 25, 2013 11:18 am
The counter above the trash compactor is not the trash can. If you are in the express lane you should have a debit card in your hand, not a check book.
Feb. 25, 2013 11:25 am
You got that right It's A New Day. I really think my wife & I need to have a meet & greet for our kids with the dishwasher. I promise it won't bite. Have a great day.
Feb. 25, 2013 11:45 am
Hi Marie C. - trust me, you can keep all of my kale & plain greek yogurt - I don't think my deer will even eat them. I have an 8 foot fence around my garden that so far has kept the deer out. I had to wrap the bottowm with chicken wire to keep the groundhogs out. And Deer OFF ? It's a scam. I haven't found anything yet that you can spray on anything to keep the deer out. Have a great day.
Feb. 25, 2013 11:45 am
Marie C. there is 2006 Chevy Tahoe in my Deer Off (tm). I try to apply it vigorously, but the little vermin move too fast. Doug, NEVER brake for deer. Remember that for tomorrow morning. It's also a darned good way to bag wild turkeys, geese and black bear. No hunting license required, just a puzzled, vaguely lost look. The trooper will not ticket you. Thank you so much for a really funny blog post. It had me chuckling through the whole thing. I still like Greek yogurt and kale, though not together. Bacon should be in everything, especially vegan food.
Feb. 25, 2013 11:47 am
Hi BN - you would be surprised how many people I get stuck behind in the express lane that actually still use a checkbook at the grocery store. Swipe, tap & Go. It's not that hard and the bank won't cheat you....grrrr....and the only time my kids throw stuff into the trash can is when the bag isn't in the can. Have a great day.
Feb. 25, 2013 11:54 am
Good afternoon Doc - I still brake for deer but nothing smaller. I have the Ted Nugent cookbook, Kill It & Grill It, for when I do run something over. I wonder if there is any fat on a piece of Vegan Bacon ? Have a great one Doc.
Feb. 25, 2013 11:55 am
I haven't used a checkbook at the grocery store in years, but I've got my debit card handy, so here I am in the checkout lane. I have to say my grocery cart ALWAYS contains kale especially if they have the lacinato kale. I buy bunches of that stuff every week and eat them all. I even use it on my pizza...microwave it, squeeze out the liquid and toss with a little garlic and olive oil. :) I like field greens, too. Actually, I can't really think of a single green that I don't like, but kale is definitely my fave. And greek yogurt..yep like that one, too. But it has to be the right kind...I'm very picky about brands. I like to add my own fruit mixture so I can control the sugar. I can't even eat regular yogurt anymore. Definitely an empire at Tabasco, although I have to admit I do not like Tabasco. I really think it's the aged mash that gives it such a funny flavor to me, but I would love to see the operation they have there at any rate! Alas, the only dishwasher we have at my house is hands, so it all goes in the sink. And we have such limited counter space that most of my prep has to be done at the kitchen table. One day I'll have my dream kitchen, I just know I will! Fried eggs definitely not my specialty but since I don't really like them, I don't get much practice. I can usualy manage to flip one and make it over easy for the hubby, but I stick to scrambled. I will agree with you wholeheartedly on the tea/lemonade. I love both, but they do not belong together. I can't wait to start gardening here. I've already earmarked pages in my seed catalogs and will begin ordering soon! And since I've got too many items for the express lane, I'll wrap it up with fondue. I remember those fondue sets. My mom had one she received as a gift. If I remember correctly, we used it maybe once..that was enough. :)
Feb. 25, 2013 11:56 am
Loved your post,Doug,we also have alot of deer around here,i find them very calming to watch them.I like kale in soup.Have a great day.
Feb. 25, 2013 12:08 pm
Hi Pam - maybe I should try some of those devil powders you sent on the kale & greek yogurt. They will be so hot I won't even notice how much I can't stand the kale & greek yogurt. I found a fondue set in our basement this weekend when I was cleaning out some boxes. I think we got it as a wedding gift 18+ years ago. It was still sealed shut. Have a great day.
Feb. 25, 2013 12:10 pm
Hi manella - deer are peaceful to watch until they start munching on everything growing in my yard and turning my grass into a mine field. I almost want the canadian geese to come back. Have a great day.
Feb. 25, 2013 12:27 pm
Deer aren't a problem around where I live. However those pesty squirrels are. My husband bought a pellet gun recently thinking he was going to thin them out. No luck so far.We have rabbits that love to have there young under our hedges and also opossums. Our mini dachshund took care of them before we knew what happened. They are badger hunters and they can snap a neck on a small animal in a heart beat.
Feb. 25, 2013 12:34 pm
Oh BTW - No Baking Papa said, Field Greens are weeds and sticks with a fancy price tag attached.
Feb. 25, 2013 12:38 pm
Kale, mustard greens and collards all fall in the same category - blech! I do love my Greek yogurt and I too buy the plain and add my own fruit. I even made some this weekend, very easy. My culinary water boarding would be lima beans or the above named greens.
Feb. 25, 2013 1:05 pm
Doug, I never thought about it before, but you are right about the TRASH CAN!
Feb. 25, 2013 1:14 pm
Great blog! Kept me chuckling the whole way thru. I don't even care if you had more items than allowed in the express lane! I'm with you on the swampwater thing. :)
Feb. 25, 2013 2:01 pm
Hi Char - we had a pellet gun for the squirrels at our first house (pre-kids) and with the first shot, I put a hole in the feeder. I don't think I ever did hit one. Haven't been much better with my slingshot and bag full of black jelly beans at this house. Rabbits I find in the pool and in the tall weeds by the woodpile. Possums I can do without but I know they are around. Have a great day.
Feb. 25, 2013 2:25 pm
hi doug. great blog...better watch those anita bryant comments :) i'm the idiot in the 10 items or less aisle at the grocery store with a full cart, forgot to get that 1 thing..."please watch my cart" and trying to cash a 3rd party check and i forgot my glasses. oops, i gotta use the bathroom..."will you watch..." ya do take lottery tickets...right?
Feb. 25, 2013 2:37 pm
Hi BN - I tried to tell my wife that I was cultivating a micro-green garden in the backyard. She told me to make sure I used the lawnmower at harvest time every week.
Feb. 25, 2013 2:44 pm
Doug, those powders would definitely kill the taste of whatever you use them on if you use enough of them (which doesn't take much!). Let me know how you feel about them once you try them. :)
Feb. 25, 2013 3:27 pm
Hi BigShotsMom - believe it not, I am actually allergic to Lima Beans. Isn't that great ? I am sure I would have tested positive to kale too if they had thought that people might actually eat Kale back in the 70s. Have a great night.
Feb. 25, 2013 4:26 pm
Hi Bibi - the other day I went to get a trash bag and by the time I turned around, there was a banana peel at the bottom of the empty can and not a sole in sight. Have a great night.
Feb. 25, 2013 4:28 pm
Good evening Mother Ann - I'm glad that I could make you smile a little bit. Have a great night.
Feb. 25, 2013 4:30 pm
Good evening gderr - I am definitely that guy stuck behind that has already emptied his basket so I can't be called over to the courtesy desk to checkout so I am sighing loudly and staring at the candy rack with my arms folded and the scowl on my face.
Feb. 25, 2013 4:34 pm
Pam - I am going to write about each of those peppers when I try them. If my eyes have stopped watering enough to see the screen that is.
Feb. 25, 2013 4:36 pm
unexpected item in bagging area
Feb. 25, 2013 4:38 pm
but seriously i get, the table is not the counter, the counter is not the sink, yada yada yada.... i will put my dishes in the washer....
Feb. 25, 2013 4:42 pm
Expected wiseguy response from my daughter in the comment area
Feb. 25, 2013 4:43 pm
and we should have had you read the blog BEFORE dinner since your dish didn't make it to the dishwasher tonight either
Feb. 25, 2013 5:35 pm
Your blog cracked me up :) I like kale, can live without Greek yogurt. And putting your trash on the floor next to the trash can does not count as throwing something away :/
Feb. 25, 2013 8:08 pm
I will never enter an express lane with more than the stated number of items(which is the only restriction), I will complete my check to the extent possible prior to the total, and I will NEVER use a debit card. Good blog, Doug! I do not comment if I don't feel strongly, but I do read them all. :)
Feb. 25, 2013 8:41 pm
LOL! Unexpected daughter in the comment area! :)
Feb. 25, 2013 9:03 pm
Just read an article that Pizza Hut is the #1 purchaser of kale. They use it to decorate their salad bar every day. They don't serve it, just decorate with it. this afternoon I was behind a person at the grocery today who stood there,,, until the clerk told her the total....THEN she proceeded to clean out her purse and find her checkbook,,,ask the date,,,verify the amount, oh, wait, there are COUPONS, get the NEW total and carefully (i.e.slowly)print all the info on her check. I was the one who was silently screaming as my BP rose. Debit card... credit card... seriously!! I was in a sorority in college, but my Greek roots must not run deep as I was over the Greek yogurt after a try or 2 of it. Great blog!! So what did you think of Seth MacFarlane as the Oscar host last evening??
Feb. 26, 2013 4:57 am
Good morning & thanks - I would gladly take trash in the general direction of the can rather than left on the counter or tabletop. Have a great day
Feb. 26, 2013 4:59 am
Good morning linda2d and thank you - I have to admit, I never use a debit card either. In fact, I don't even own an active debit card and I used to write checks all the time. Now with the advent of Frequent Flier Miles, I charge almost every purchase. I kid that I am impatient but I'm really not. Thanks again for stopping by with your comment. Have a great day.
Feb. 26, 2013 5:05 am
Good morning chris k - I always thought that green stuff at Pizza Hut was plastic...I enjoyed Seth but thought that he was uneven. The Shatner bit would have been funnier if it had been slightly shorter. I loved his shot at Chris Brown & Rihanna and also his jab at Kim Kartrashian through Ben Affleck's beard. The highlight of the night for me though was Goldfinger. She can still wail. Have a great day.
Feb. 26, 2013 5:07 am
I have a blog post in the offing about those self check out lanes. A couple of your thoughts are in it, too. ... The health benefits of kale are not to be overlooked, so I look at them and eat something else. I even tried using it in broth but it made the broth bitter and very wierd tasting. ... Deer. I won't even photgraph them unless they are part of a meal. They are the bovine equivalent to a rat. Tea is a stand alone refreshment. Should never have "enhancements". ... Tupperware? The singlemost cause of inefficient use of cupboard space and dollars.
Feb. 26, 2013 5:52 am
Good morning Mike - I love the self checkout lanes because I know what I am doing but God help me if I get caught behind some clueless dad or teenager trying to do some quicking shopping and having no idea how to scan or what a price code is...looking forward to that blog. Have a great day.
Feb. 26, 2013 9:42 pm
Not a fan of Greek yogurt either, though I keep trying so I can be part of the in crowd. Absolutely love your site though. Love the random thoughts. It's like being in my own head....but funnier.
Feb. 27, 2013 5:32 am
Good morning AZ93 & thanks - from what I am told, there is plenty of room in my empty head so feel free to come visit any time. Have a great day
Feb. 27, 2013 8:13 am
LOL! I loved this installment of "Doug's Random Thoughts." You've touched on many things I wonder about. Like why would anybody ruin a perfectly good glass of tea OR lemon aid by mixing them together? And, don't get me started on those who cannot count getting in the express lane at the market. Drives me nuts. Yesterday I was thinking "why do I find the chip bag all nicely rolled up and clipped with a few crumbs in the bottom of the bag or the juice bottle in the fridge with a tablespoon of juice left?" It's just so puzzling! Who's doing this?
Feb. 27, 2013 9:59 am
Loved the random musings! I nearly opened my big mouth just last week when some jerk decided he was entitled to check out his full cart in the express lane. I bit my tongue but it was not easy. The checkers say nothing but you can't blame them; they are there to make nice and not off the customers. That seems to be the job of a select few other customers who are too rude to wait in the regular checkout line. To top it off, this a-h didn't even try to help bag when it was obvious there was no bagger because--well, IT'S THE EXPRESS LANE. There; I am done with that rant and apologize to all who suffered through it. I won't address kale although I love it in soup and I do agree about chard--just cooked two bunches yesterday, in fact. Delish with some good olive oil and toasted pine nuts--Italian, not those crappy things from China that leave a weird taste in your mouth. But on the subject of Greek yogurt, I found my own solution. Try the whole milk variety, if you can find it. It is so much better and still lower in fat than sour cream (or my personal weakness, creme fraiche.) I figure subbing yogurt is virtuous enough; no need to suffer unnecessarily. Sad to hear of Mr. McIlhenny's passing--too young. We recently fell in love with the new Garlic Tabasco and are now on our third bottle in as many months. I'm sure he had more good flavors in mind and hope those remaining will continue to carry the torch--absolutely no pun intended! As for what doesn't belong on the kitchen I bite my tongue again. It could get ugly. Great stuff, Doug--made me smile once again :-)
Feb. 27, 2013 10:02 am
Good afternoon Candice & thanks - Random thoughts are my favorite type of blogs to write. I have way too much going on in my head all the time so it's nice to let a few items rattle out every now & then. And don't get me started on cereal boxes that have crumbs in the bottom under the bag inside and nothing in the bag ! Have a great day.
Feb. 27, 2013 12:15 pm
Good afternoon Kat - I always love your comments because they are almost as long as my blog. I haven't seen the whole milk greek yogurt, I'll have to give it a try. The Garlic Tabasco is good but I LOVE the Chipotle Tabasco. I have a bottle here at work in my desk. Have a great day !
Feb. 27, 2013 2:49 pm
linda2d You said it all for me. I try and do the same thing and don't hold up line. At my age a debit card is out of the question, don't use one. :)
Feb. 27, 2013 4:46 pm
Good evening ginger2 - I used to write checks for everything back when I first started out. Always made sure it was filled out (except for the amount) and already signed too. And no debit card for me either. Thanks for stopping by and have a nice night.
Feb. 28, 2013 11:10 am
I'll see if I can get hubby to try the Chipotle...he is an admitted wimp when it comes to heat but I'm not so I'll pick some up. I chuckle about you keeping yours at your desk--we travel with our own condiments, even when we're just going out to eat locally. I always have a small container of Fleur de Sel, his favorite Garlic Pepper Grinder and when I can get my hands on one, a mini bottle of hot sauce. He also keeps duplicates in his glove box. It used to be we were considered weird. Now that we are old, we're just lovably eccentric and if the server doesn't see the lineup on the table, we're asked if we forgot our seasonings! I'd like to promise to write shorter posts but I know me too well. I think I must have a frustrated writer's gene in there somewhere...thanks for being so kind about it! You have a great day too and I'll let you know how the Chipotle adventure fares :-)
Feb. 28, 2013 1:01 pm
Hi Kat - there is a french restaurant a few blocks from my office here in nyc that only serves steak & fries and they have no ketchup. Whenever we go for lunch, we bring our own bottle of ketchup with us. The waiter always shakes his head in that looking down their nose at you french way. Let me know what you think of the chipotle and I too grab every mini hot sauce bottle I can find. I am sure I have one in my briefcase right now.
Mar. 1, 2013 11:05 am
Just an hour ago, I was in the "10 Items or Less" lane and the lady in back of me told me I had 12 items. I told her to count again and to use her fingers this time. I had only eight! ... Wannabe shopping cart cops, now! DANG!
Mar. 1, 2013 11:08 am
Nice Mike - I don't think I would have been even that nice. Looking forward to your blog on checkout lanes.
Mar. 3, 2013 1:23 pm
And extreme couponers should have their own lanes... had a bad experience with that recently!!
Mar. 3, 2013 6:08 pm
Hi Thisni Caza - I can handle a couple of coupons but the people they show on TV just take it to a ridiculous level. How many bottles of soy sauce & ketchup can a person realistically use ? Have a great night.
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Doug Matthews

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Princeton, New Jersey, USA
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Mendham, New Jersey, USA

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Mar. 2000

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About Me
My mother decided early on that her sons would never have to rely on someone to feed them so we all learned to cook at an early age. I really started to branch out when I moved out west to Denver, SF & Dallas. Combine that with extended business travel to Louisiana & my growing love of spices and you get a real mix of flavors.
My favorite things to cook
Love to make cajun food with my favorites being crawfish pie, alligator stew & alligator chili - I go nuts on Super Bowl Sunday
My favorite family cooking traditions
We didn't have a lot of traditions per se but you could count on pancakes or waffles on sundays - dad making scrambled eggs twice a year on christmas morning & mother's day - veal parmagiana on christmas eve, Thanksgiving with Grandma Matthews and any menu of your choice on your birthday. We weren't a spicy family so I learned a lot of good strong basics in the kitchen from Mom that I have carried over into my cooking today.
My cooking triumphs
I love to experiment with variations of dishes I try around the country. My biggest success is here on allrecipes where I had 2 recipes published in the same cookbook - Southwestern Turkey Soup & Curried Carrot Soup. I think my corn muffins are a great starting point and my alligator chili has become a much requested Super Bowl favorite.
My cooking tragedies
There have been a few times in the past where I tossed everything and took everyone to a restaurant instead. I'm not too proud to say my cooking is awful when it really is.
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