I'm currently reading a book about French parenting and their very sophisticated food culture, so when Sully and I went to the grocery store yesterday and I caved and let him pick the gargantuan hideous plastic car cart, I couldn't help but giggle a little to myself. Our American freak flag was flying.
In our defense, the cart was scattered with "real" food and a reusable grocery bag, and it must be admitted that when the French ask where the actual food is in our American supermarkets, it's not too hard to agree with them. In most of our grocery stores, usually one small space is dedicated to fresh food, real food. Not so great.
Halfway through the aisles we
turned up I crashed into the baking aisle. Have you ever tried maneuvering one of those car carts? (Please don't say no.) Anyway, Sully hopped out of the car and starting piling those little blue and white boxes of Jiffy baking mixes in our cart. I couldn't help but pause, remembering my own early childhood and love of the Jiffy yellow cake mix. I was probably six, seven...and I would get something like 39 cents from my coin jar to buy a mix for my Easy Bake oven every time I'd go to the grocery store with my mom. My memories of actually mixing the batter are fuzzy, but I vividly recall pouring the creamy yellow goodness into two little, thin baking pans and slipping them into the hot oven with a tattered yet beautiful pot holder my grandma made for me. With Lip Smacker smacked lips, I'd sit and wait until the cakes were ready, the air growing a blanket of sweet vanilla and, well, if yellow ever smelled like something, then it was surely that cake.
Oh, I could hardly believe I said no to Sully and made him help me put the little blue and white boxes back on the shelf.
Real food? No. The stuff real life is made of? Absolutely. By the way, they cost 89 cents a box now, and some things do still cost just one penny.