As the fog rolls in and because of my eyesight I cannot drive to the grocery store. For years in different towns my butchers ask me what I’m up to with whatever I ask for from the walk-in whether it be a leg of lamb or a crown roast of pork. Most know me by name.

I give them recipes and am probably the only patron who brings food in bought from them back into the grocery store. Texas chili, marinated pork loin, beef carbonnade et al. I believe my husband started this blog for me over Thanksgiving in Texas in 2008. It was a scary gift to write but my first piece, How To Eat a Concord Grape, is everyone’s favorite. I wanted to quit at 10,000 blogs but have changed it to 100,000. Dear readers, I have appreciated and do love your support over the years.

Cooking school teaches one to shop the outer side of the store, produce, fish, meat, dairy. Only go inside for the dog’s chicken broth (yeah, she’s not spoiled), rice, pappardelle or other pasta. If in a winter climate, canned San Marzano tomatoes.

Check out Food Network’s Tyler Florence for his pork loin marinated in hard cider, and cornbread-stuffed Gala apples. I served it to my husband’s family for Christmas ten years ago. Oh, with a root veg puree, do not use a ricer for rutabaga unless you wish to be muscularly injured for days or have a nurse-MIL to finish the job!

The produce people are kind and don’t know me but my butchers (husband deathly allergic to fish) know me well and so do most of the “front of house” personnel. Get to know your grocer. Dee



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