Friday, July 22, 2011

16 Tips for Proper Grocery Store Etiquette

I believe the two groups that frequent the grocery store the most are those that work in food and women with children. That leaves me in both groups and nearly qualified to receive mail at my local store. Shopping for groceries can be a relaxing, therapeutic experience when all goes well and nothing short of maddening when it doesn’t. If only all shoppers brushed up on their manners before filling up their carts, grocery shopping would be more enjoyable for all of us.

The amazing (and pillar of politeness) Central Market in Dallas, TX

1.  If you want to pass in front of another shopper while she is looking for an item, saying, “excuse me,” is absolutely necessary.
2.  Do not wander the store talking to friends using a cell phone earpiece. Every other shopper thinks you’re talking to her. No one is so important that they can’t make it through the store without communicating with the outside.
3.  When a mother is desperately trying to calm her crying baby, please be extra sweet to her. I promise, she wants the child to calm down just as much as you do.
4.  Control your children in the store. Running kids and moving carts do not go together.
5.  If a woman is shopping with more than one child, be overly courteous. Until you’ve shopped with small children, you don’t understand how much easier it is to buy groceries alone.
6.  Look before pulling out at the end of the aisle. It’s a crash waiting to happen.

7. Do not choose produce and then snack on it as you shop. When you're paying by weight, that's stealing.
8.  Do not begin unloading your cart on the conveyor belt until the person in front of you has completely emptied her cart.
9.  If someone is behind you in line with one or two items, be kind and let them in front of you.
10.  Do not write a check. If you don’t use credit cards, get cash out of the bank. Others behind you would like to check out in a timely manner.
11.  Clip all coupons at home. During check out is not the time to organize, clip, or choose coupons.
12.  For those with massive three ring binders of coupons that impressively turn saving money into a job (whom I have the utmost respect for), please tell those behind you in line that they may want to choose another line. It’s going to be a while.
13.  While in your car, give the right of way to those walking in and out of the store. It’s easy. Just stop your car and wait for shoppers to pass.
14.  As in any other parking lot, turn on your blinker when aiming for a spot. If you see a car waiting with a blinker flashing, that spot is taken.
15.  Put your cart in the designated place in the parking lot. I don’t want to go home with a ding in my door and neither do you.
16.  Offer to take another’s cart in as you pass by in the parking lot.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Last Minute 4th of July

If you're like me and life got in the way for a charcoal filled 4th of July celebration, it's not too late. It's one of my favorite holidays and always has been. No need to fire up the grill when time is short. Have barbecue in the slow-cooker and still have a few minutes to watch the fireworks. With my barbecue and my mama's barbecue sauce, you'll be set for a crowd.

Short-Cut Barbecue

Makes 10 cups
Serves 10

Slow-cooking time: 7 hours

Southern barbecue recipes are endless, with every serious outdoor cook making his or her own version and swearing it’s the best. Preparing a smoker (and learning how to work it) can take quite a lot of time. Save some time by plugging in the slow cooker and letting it do the work. Use the shredded meat to make barbecue sandwiches or combine it with a slice of white bread and slaw for a barbecue plate. If a 6-pound roast is hard to find, use two smaller ones instead.

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (6-pound) bone-in Boston butt roast
1 (12-ounce) pale ale beer
Tangy Barbecue Sauce

Lightly spray a 6-quart slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.
To make the dry rub, combine the sugar, salt, celery seed, chili powder, cayenne, paprika, garlic powder, and pepper in a small bowl. Generously massage the dry rub into all sides of the roast.  Place the roast, fat side up, in the prepared slow cooker. Pour the beer around, not over, the roast and place the cover on the slow cooker. Cook on high for 7 hours, or until the meat falls off the bone.
Transfer the roast to a large mixing bowl, discarding the cooking liquid left in the slow cooker. Discard the bones. Use two forks to shred the meat. Stir in 1 cup Tangy Barbecue Sauce. Serve the remaining sauce on the side.

Tangy Barbecue Sauce

Makes 4 1/2 cups

Mama always made her tangy barbecue sauce to go with my dad’s ribs or chopped barbecue for family get-togethers on the back porch. I’ll never forget the CorningWare saucepan she used with the removable handle. It’s a miracle that pot wasn’t dyed pink after years of holding the red, bubbling sauce.

1/4 cup butter
1 cup finely diced Vidalia onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups ketchup
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

Heat the butter in a stockpot over medium-low heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Stir in the ketchup, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, and brown sugar. Bring to a simmer, stirring often. Cook for 10 minutes.
Keep the sauce in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.

Copyright © 2011 Rebecca Lang Cooks, LLC. All rights reserved. 
Recipes from Quick-Fix Southern.