Thursday, May 14, 2009

Sweet Potatoes: The Escape Artists of the Produce Aisle

I’ll be the first to admit it- when I’m at the grocery store I get a little intimidated by those more experienced professional looking shoppers. I always get the feeling that they laugh at me on the inside when I spend ten minutes in front of a shelf trying to figure out why some brands of toilet paper are broken down into cost per sheet, and others are in cost per roll.

Today I was in front of the laundry soap trying to figure out why liquid detergent was so much cheaper than the grainy kind. I ventured to ask a woman pulling a ginormous bottle of the liquid kind off the shelf if she thought it worked better. Her response was in encrypted broken English, then she turned to her husband and said something in a language I couldn’t recognize. He turned to me and shrugged his shoulders. I decided to give liquid a shot.

Cameron’s birthday is on Sunday, and on the list of things he wants for dinner that night are sweet potatoes. So there I was in the produce aisle buying sweet potatoes for the first time in my life. I opened my little plastic produce bag and started loading sweet potatoes one at a time. I had two in when the bag burst open and the potatoes dropped to the floor and broke. The old man picking out onions behind me laughed as I looked stunned at the broken potato pieces. He bent down and picked them up for me as his wife consoled me for my loss, “you just have to turn the bag…oh well there is a hole in each end isn’t there?” The man held the more intact of the two sweet potatoes in front of me and said, “You have to be careful, sometimes these ends are sharp.”

A little dejected I wandered around picking out the rest of my produce. I was in front of the mushrooms when that same old man came back holding out a piece of corn, “ you have to watch out for these too, sometimes those ends are sharp… but you don’t have to worry about that today since this is the last one.” I smiled in gratitude, as he walked away towards the deli.


Just one more thought, does anyone know how one would cook two broken but still probably safe sweet potatoes?