Ever since COVID-19 hit Canada, I’ve felt a little weird when I buy groceries. I suspect it looks a lot like hoarding when my grocery list includes four loaves of bread, eight litres of milk, four dozen eggs, four or five packages of sliced cheese, and four pounds of strawberries, among all the other produce and random stuff we buy.
Here’s the thing, though: if you do the math, it quickly becomes clear why my cart usually resembles nothing more than those heaps of clothes in my childhood closet that threatened to spill out as soon as anyone opened the door. Let’s start with breakfast: If all six of us want eggs and toast, that’s a dozen eggs (two each) and pretty much a whole loaf of bread (which usually has fifteen slices, if I recall correctly.) If the kids want grilled cheese for lunch, we’ll need another loaf of bread and a package and a half of sliced cheese (11 slices in a pack, two slices per sandwich, some of the kids eat two sandwiches.)
This week we ran out of milk two days after buying a 4 litre bag (yep, all of you foreign folks, our milk comes in bags.) We’re not big milk drinkers, but the kids have milk with their cereal—and lately cereal has been a staple for breakfasts and bedtime snacks. It’s dumb, but I feel really annoyed that I have to shop again so soon. Seriously, guys? It’s almost as bad as when I buy strawberries: a 454 gram (one pound) box of strawberries means maybe five strawberries each (if they’re not huge), so they don’t last very long. And have I mentioned that strawberries and bananas are the only fruits N will eat?
Sometimes I stand in the dairy section and look at those little half-cartons of eggs (six to a pack) and wonder what good those are. Six eggs is the exact right number for my challah recipe, which I make every Friday. I suppose there will come a time when my children have left home and it’s just me and Mr. December, and we’ll buy six eggs and have them last a week.
(Who am I kidding? With real estate in Toronto being as pricey as it is, it’s likely that at least some of our children will be living with us well into the adult years.)
In the meantime, I think I’ll encourage independence in my kids by sending them to the grocery store for more milk. It’s like they say at camp, “You kill it, you fill it.”