One last trip to the grocery store

BlogHer Original Post

In three short days I'll be celebrating Christmas with TW and five of our six children. This will involve a lot of noise. A lot of paper. A lot of angsty kids and adults. And an awful lot of laughing. It will also involve more food than TW and I have in a week without children. Seriously.

I'm not the cook, thank goodness. I am, however, the person who most often runs to the store when TW discovers we are out of X, Y and Z. This has happened every year, sometimes several times.

When I mentioned she do a post about pantry (and bar) staples to make sure you have on hand for holiday emergencies, Kalyn Denny had almost no idea about what those items might be. I was not surprised. Kalyn obviously has a well stocked pantry and plans well enough in advance that last minute emergencies just don't happen to her. We should all be so lucky.

I think part of the reason why TW and I have so many last minute cooking emergencies is because I do not cook but I do the majority of the grocery shopping. TW makes lists for me but several things happen with these lists....

1) I have no idea what an item is that she's asked for.
2) I cannot find the item in the grocery store because I have no idea what it is or where it might be stocked and grocery store employees are either as clueless as I am or too darn busy to figure out where things are.
3) I second guess the list and am SURE we still have X, Y and Z in a cabinet that TW has not looked in. (TW is not known for being able to find things quickly.)
4) TW leaves things off of the list because she forgets that she needs them or assumes that I will just know that if we're having Eggs Benedict for breakfast, (and we are because to do otherwise would cause such a serious problem that our lives would be in danger from angry children), then we need whole milk and lemons. (No 2% will not work.)

I don't want you to get the idea that I'm in any way complaining about being the person who has to run out and pick up last minute items from the grocery store. I like it. In fact I might subconsciously leave things off the list because I know doing so will give me the opportunity to escape from the household madness the holidays always bring. Shhhh don't tell TW I said this (I'm sure she is too busy to read this post and will never know.)

You, on the other hand, may feel more holiday stress because of that extra trip to the grocery store on Christmas Eve. So... let's discuss your holiday food needs in depth and see if we can come up with some items to make VERY sure you have on hand.

First, the items I am invariably sent to the store to purchase:

1) Another can of Eagle Brand Milk. (I wish Liz was here because she calls it something else that always cracks me up but it has been a year and I cannot remember what the heck it is. Trust me, it's funny.)
2) Graham cracker crumbs.
3) Lemons (see eggs Benedict above.)
4) Two dozen eggs (see eggs Benedict above.)
5) Red hots.
6) More AA batteries (I know, this is not a food item but it's still something TW tells me to get as I'm running out the door.)
7) Large trash bags.
8) Another package of Reeses Peanut Butter Trees (because we bought enough of them on Thanksgiving Day but we have eaten them and do not have enough for Santa to fill all of the stockings.)
9) A loaf of bread. (I have no idea why we need this, nobody is eating any bread during the holidays but still, I'm told to buy one.)
10) Coke and/or Dr Pepper - usually both. Plus 1 20oz bottle of Coke to leave for Santa.
11) One more bag of chocolate chips, just in case.

I'm guessing your list doesn't look exactly like mine. I'm guessing some of you would suggest another bottle of wine and a bottle of vodka or some such thing. We live in a dry house so I'm a little clueless about your alcohol needs. I suggest you discuss it with your drinking family members and whatever they think you're going to need, increase it by 25%.

And remember, last minute grocery store trips lead to unhealthy food purchases... or so they say. All of my grocery trips are pretty unhealthy (fried cherry pie, anyone?) Also, last minute grocery shopping means you're in the grocery store with grouchy people, you want to avoid that and stay home with grouchy people you really love (like 13 year old girls and 15 year old boys.)

This year, I'm a little nervous about the last minute shopping needs. As I type this, it's -4 degrees (Fahrenheit) and my car has so much ice on the windshield that I'm not sure it can be de-iced. Also, the price of groceries at local grocery stores is significantly higher than I like - which means I'll be grouchy if I'm sent out to buy something that I could have purchased at the commissary on Friday.

In fact, now that I'm thinking about it, I'm already grouchy because there are "forgotten" items already populating the kitchen whiteboard and TW hasn't even begun to cook yet. Bah Humbug! We don't really NEED any side dishes with our holiday ham, do we? The vegetarian 21 year old can just eat twice as much for breakfast and he'll be fine, right? He likes eggs Benedict (sans Canadian bacon.) I should have written this post before I made my commissary run on Friday. Darn it.

Oh well, there's still time for you. What do you need? Make a list, check it twice - and then share it with the rest of us. Your emergency shopping list may save the sanity of another BlogHer.

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