Monday, May 16, 2011

You're retired, so why don't you do it?

Jamaican Ackee and Salt Fish uses dried pollock or cod.

When you're retired, everyone expects you to do the food shopping, the cooking and who knows what else.

Nobody says any of this, but it's something you come to understand from all the excuses thrown your way. 

That's how I found myself back at Costco Wholesale in Hackensack today, a day after going there for the prawns and clams we had for dinner on Sunday.

We were out of salted Alaska pollock, the wild fish we've been using in place of the more expensive salted cod. And the doctor had prescribed mega-doses of Vitamin D for my 14-year-old son, so I wanted to register at the pharmacy.

Hands off the dates

Costco customers can return any item for a full refund, yet some of them insist on handling, smelling, even tasting the fruit -- grapes, strawberries and so forth.

I saw a man open a container of Mejdool dates and squeeze one.

"Don't do that," I said. He mumbled something about the soft ones not being any good. But they're dried dates; of course they're soft.

I continued, "Do you want other people to touch the food you buy?" He didn't answer. I moved on.

Dried fish from China

When Costco first started carrying salted pollock late last year, it came from China. 

But the 2-pound packages I picked up on Monday said they were produced in Canada ($6.39 each). With China's spotty food-safety record, that's an improvement.

Seedless watermelon has dropped another dollar, to $5.99. Granulated California garlic was $4.49 for 18 ounces. Three pounds of pistachio nuts in the shell were $14.99.

Coleman spinach-and-feta-cheese sausage are fully cooked and the only ones I saw made with antibiotic-free chicken ($13.79 for 3 pounds).

I've been buying Sunset-brand, hothouse-grown Campari tomatoes at $5.49 for 2 pounds, but today I picked up Sunset's beefsteak tomatoes at $5.99 for 5 pounds.

Two 96-ounce bottles of Tropicana 100% orange juice from concentrate were $7.99.

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