A Consumer's Condundrum

The other night, I made some sweet red bean paste and little red bean paste pancakes. Now, the recipes call for you to use a blender or food processor to get the paste, well, pastey, and you're supposed to whisk the pancake batter, too. The end goal of both of these processes is to get uniform, smooth mixtures of paste and batter.

I, of course, have almost no kitchen supplies. I used a fork to mush the red beans and a fork to beat the batter. I looked at it as a workout, and the food turned out excellently.

But... I got my promotion back pay today (lots of moolah, four months overdue), so I said to myself, "Alright, let's go shopping!" as one is wont to do upon receiving a lot of money. I paid my $410 for my vegetable share at Bull Run Mountain Farm and my $260 for supplies from Logan Hardware; I needed 19 2x4s ($5.99 each), 2 4x4s ($11 each, apparently), 2 50-pound bags of gravel, 7 40-pound bags of soil, and some nails (as well as cutting and delivery fees). That's only about $60 or $70 more than it would have been at Home Despot (intentionally misspelled), but I'm sorry, I'd rather give my money to smaller chains than large chains that employ people who don't greet, don't care, and don't help.

Despite the cost of wood (I think that's pricy, but I'm not worried about it--the amount of veggies I'll be growing will, by the end, far outweigh $300 in supplies and seed), Logan Hardware was a pretty good experience; I just gave the manager my list of needed supplies, and he did all the work for me. Simple! Awesome! I will definitely visit there again (not only because it's close to work).

But after that, I decided "Hey, let's go buy a blender, maybe some other kitchen supplies as well!" I thought about Williams-Sonoma, but I decided against it, y'know, 'cause I'm not rich. I went to Bed Bath & Beyond. I even had a list. I was looking for an espresso machine, a food dehydrator, a pressure cooker, a blender, a hand mixer, a colander, and a bread machine. I was just checking things out, right?

I walked in and was immediately overwhelmed by some sort of scented something-or-other. The aisles tower over you, and you can't see what's at the top, because they're easily 15 feet off the ground. Everything is crammed on shelves in aisles that you can barely walk down, let alone pass someone in. A little frantic by the sheer volume of crap to buy (literally, crap), I spent 45 minutes in there just trying to find half of the items on my list just to see the options and prices. I didn't find most of them, but there were a lot of plastic egg microwaver things and ultra-high-tech spatulas.

I ended up walking out of there with a stainless steel colander (which I desperately needed) and some cabinet liner (which I should have bought a year and a half ago when I moved in).

Then I went to Target.

That store makes me want to shoot myself.

And no, they don't sell display models of espresso makers, but they don't have any in the back and they're not getting any more. So what do they do with the display models? Who knows, because the guy I flagged down after 10 minutes sure didn't.

Despite that, Target is a bit better laid out than Bed Bath & Beyond, I will give it that. But I still never found the Men's Clothing section. Or the other half of the items on my list. I ended up purchasing a picture frame for a Christmas present I had received from one of my best friends, BeeBritch; a 1/2-price blender; a bamboo cutting board; and a set of bowls (I only have one left, thought I should get more).

In total, I spent about $400 today. The only part about that that feels good is that the hour or so I spent in consumeristic hell of department stores will allow me to make my own pesto, chutney, and other sauces for canning and storing. I just wish there was a better way to get the machinery at an affordable rate! I like to physically go to a store and look at things, I can't buy this online. But I can't afford the specialty shops... Where's a homemaker's market when you need one?

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One Response to A Consumer's Condundrum

  1. Are there any secondhand shops near you?
    We buy old chests of drawers and use the drawers as seed boxes. Old stainless steel sinkunits are great for growing stuff in as well. Good drainage :-)
    We even have a bright yellow corner bath for some shrubs, very cheery, and a rusty Z-bed as a rose trellis. Those sort of things (on a smaller scale) ought to be quirky enough even for you :-)



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