Monday, October 25, 2010

An IDIOT in the PRODUCE Section--ME

 I wanted to thank the bloggers who wrote in with their recipes for me...I ended up using a recipe I found online, only because my husband wanted some meat in his soup...but I am planning to use those recipes another time. I did decide to tell you a story that happened to me, after I asked all of you for some recipes...and I had to get to the grocery store by a certain time , to get my day going faster. 
I got my recipe ingredients in hand, scribbled down on a crumpled piece of paper, and rushed out to the the grocery store to get my ingredients. I still had my workout cloths on, tennis shoes, hair back in a ponytail , and looking pretty worse for wear.

I go in, grab my grocery cart...and rummage through the grocery store in search of my healthy vegetables...mainly to the produce section, after I got my stew beef. The grocery store was pretty busy, and I parked my cart in the middle of the produce department...and looked around, found my red potatoes, my sweet onion, my zucchini, my mushrooms ,my garlic , peas and corn and green beans . Then I started looking for a cabbage.
While I was doing this, a man probably in his 50's-60's or so...was near me..also looking, picking up various produce and putting them in his cart.
Here is my confession, and this is beyond DUMB for a gardener. 
Ready ?
I have NO idea what a cabbage looks like , I don't cook them...never have had a cabbage in our house in almost 30 years , I only see the decorative ones with all their leaves on them at Lowe's to plant in a garden...and NOTHING looked like that in the produce section. I just stood there, all these people milling about me, gathering everything...and I looked intently at the produce.
I saw a few things that looked like lettuce, but not least I didn't think so, and I did not have my little reader glasses on to look carefully at the tiny tags beside everything.
So I stood there, not moving.
Looking DUMB.
The man who was near me, turned around a few times to look at me, slightly smile...but I was looking down at my crumpled list in my hand, furrowed brow, and uninterested in being remotely friendly. I gave the vaguest smile I could in return, and moved closer to the vegetables.
He on the other hand, stayed right around me...smiling...watching me , gathering more veggies for his cart. 
At that point, I was getting mad at myself , embarrassed that I kept looking intently at the produce, turning in circles, looking intently at MORE produce. 
I was getting dizzy.
An intent, dizzy, confused woman. 
I was doing this for about 10-15 minutes ! I was waiting for the produce manager to ask me if I wanted to work there.
Then I noticed this man again, he kept shopping and looking up at me, and a light bulb, a very tee-tiny one went off in my head.
He thought I was trying to meet him or he wanted to talk to me or something, you know how men's magazines tell men to try to pick up women in grocery stores or book stores ( yes men, women know this secret )...well I thought that was too, too funny, as I was dressed so poorly, a strange woman in the middle of the produce section, looking confused, turning in circles.
He must have been blind , or dumber that I felt.
At that moment, I decided to go over to the area that looked like lettuce, and squat down to look at the itty-bitty sign that says price and what it is. 

Guess what ? No description, BUT..I did pick up one of the little balls of lettuce, it was heavy, and on the side of the plastic wrapper, it said CABBAGE.

Hooray, the idiot woman , who professes to be a gardener, whose grandmother grew every vegetable known to man...stopped turning in circles, and found her cabbage !!
I was laughing inside , and thinking how embarrassing...and now I have put this on my blog for all to know.
I firmly believe , in life, if you can't laugh at how DUMB you yourself can be at times, then you have no sense of humor...and will end up being too hard on other people who do dumb things.
By the way, I took some pictures of the beginning stage of my healthy soup, and this container had to be split so I had another pot AND this one. 
I could feed an army here. I did  have my dad come over and my daughter, to try some..and I told my dad the story of my not knowing what a cabbage looks like, and he just shook his head . He grew up on a farm, and he concurred I was pretty dumb if I didn't know what a cabbage looked like.
No sympathy.
  I will include the recipe at the bottom I found on line, I think it needed more beef stock, as my pot with so many additional vegetables, started to overflow. I believe it turned out good, but will probably be better today, as soup, stews , etc., get better when they sit overnight in the fridge.

Ingredients for 15 servings:

Beef and Vegetable Soup

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 pounds beef stew meat, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1-1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4-1/2 carrots, diced
  • 6 small red potatoes, diced ( I used 9 )
  • 12 cups beef stock
  • 3/4 pound fresh green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4-1/2 ears fresh corn, kernels cut from cob
  • 3/4 cup frozen petite peas
  • 1-1/2 zucchini, diced
  • 3/4 head cabbage, chopped
  • 3 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning blend
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup uncooked orzo pasta
I added 1 package mushrooms and subbed barley for the orzo. I would have added more beef stock too if I had it.


This recipe's Ingredients were scaled to yield a new amount. The directions below still refer to the original recipe yield of 10 servings.
  1. Heat the olive oil in a stock pot over medium-high heat; cook the beef in the hot oil until completely browned, 7 to 10 minutes. Add the onion and bay leaves, reduce heat to medium, cook until the onion is softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to scrape any bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Stir the carrots, potatoes, and beef stock into the mixture; bring to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are just barely tender, about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir the green beans, corn, peas, zucchini, cabbage, tomatoes, Italian seasoning blend, garlic powder, salt, and pepper into the beef mixture. Cover the stock pot, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer the soup until the beef is cooked through and the vegetables are tender, 45 to 50 minutes.
  3. Stir the orzo pasta into the soup; replace the cover to the stock pot and continue cooking until the pasta is tender, about 5 minutes more.

Nutritional Information open nutritional information

Amount Per Serving  Calories: 389 | Total Fat: 16.5g | Cholesterol: 50mg

hope your day is good,


  1. Oh, Gina, I laughed out loud reading this. You're not an idiot by any means, and how funny about your admirer in the veggie aisle; you're looking for cabbage and he has something very different in mind. The healthy soup looks so delicious, I'm glad it turned out well!

  2. It sounds delicious - and what a story behind it! Good for you.

  3. Gina ~ This is such a cute story. Your soup looks delicious. You are NOT an idiot by any means. I bought a bag of lentils today and look forward to making a healthy soup with them. Also have in mind to make white chili, which is delicious.

    You are so right, soups and stews taste so much better the next day.

    There are lots of great recipes online, and in cookbooks.

    Happy Cooking ~ FlowerLady

  4. I can see you now in the store just pondering. Love the photo of the cabbage. Bet you don't forget what one looks like from now on. The soup looks delish I must try this recipe.

  5. Thanks for sharing the delightful story of your cabbage dilemma. Your stock/soup pot is simply the best! Never come across one like that in South Africa.

  6. The gentleman was simply a bone fide shopper! You said he was putting honest groceries into his cart.

    He probably thought it strange that you did not appear to be putting groceries into yours.

    It would have saved a lot of confusion, and time, if you had simply said: 'Could you tell me what a cabbage looks like?' or 'Do you come here often?' or 'Do you ever read romantic novels?'

  7. What a great story! Thanks for sharing. The soup looks delish too I'll have to try it out!

  8. I was laughing reading this. Reminds me of trying to figure out the same exact thing. They do look alike don't they - lettuce and cabbage. I love cabbage and cook it a lot with a little butter/margarine. Good with cornbread. The soup looks yummy. I love homemade soup this time of year. I grew up using 'soup bone' that we find in the meat section but stew meat is good and meaty.

  9. Hi Gina,
    Sorry, but I have only just got back on here and seen this post as I have been away. The soup looks and sounds delicious, and I have made a note of the recipe to make some myself. Will let you know how it goes. lolol....enough said about the cabbage I think (he grins). As for the man, well, grocery stores do have that reputation you know. (he grins again!)

  10. Oh my goodness, this looks appetizing and healthy.



I love comments , please leave one if you like. I try to respond to comments,but if I'm running behind, please know that I read each one before they are published. Thanks much, Gina