You’ll be in the baking aisle, staring at ten different kinds of flour when suddenly another customer, a woman, will ask, Is there any difference between bread flour and regular flour?
I happen to know the difference. When I was a homemaker and made my own pizza I knew to buy bread flour because it had more gluten and produced a chewier crust with more air holes. That was before Lucifer was reincarnated as gluten.
Bread flour has more gluten in it, I said. I buy it for making pizza dough.
You make pizza? she asked astounded. (Even though Elmore Leonard implores writers never to qualify dialogue, this lady was too astonished to let it go unnoticed
Once a year, I said.
Cooking is nothing to be proud of, I said. Watching all those cooking shows has leached all desire to actually do it myself. My particular favorite is Wolfgang Puck selling his line of cookware.
She looked as if she had been searching for me for several years. I was her long-lost emotional twin sent to validate her secret beliefs.
Then it all came tumbling out as if we had the same script.
Why cook a chicken when you can get one already rotisseried?
Tastes better than anything you can make.
You save money in the long run.
You don’t buy food that never gets eaten.
Nothing to throw away.
We continued down the aisles making fun of all the stuff being pedaled to the Stepfford wives. What the heck is a skirt steak? I asked.
It looks nothing like my skirt, she said, and it’s expensive.
Look at this milk, I said, the sale by date is a month away. They must think we’re stupid.
We are stupid, she said, for falling for all this stuff.Well, nice to meet you, I said, and made a u-turn at the pasta aisle. Feeling a bit guilty I threw a Mama Mia jar of tomato and basil spaghetti sauce into my basket and some Barilla fettucini. I hope she didn’t see me.