Every week, I scope out the bargain bin during our grocery run. I don’t always score any finds, but I regularly find discounted buttermilk for Lee’s favorite breakfast: biscuits and gravy. Buttermilk seems to last forever and a day beyond its expiration date, so I feel a thrifty thrill when I pick up a jug for 75 cents. As medical bills pile up, the need to be frugal has intensified. Mustacheian May has turned into the Year of Mustaches.
As with any bargain bin, the one with fruits and vegetables is more often a miss than a hit. The cauliflower looks like a mangled mass of brownish brains; the solitary flaccid celery on the shelf is picked up and quickly discarded. Sometimes, though, the vegetables look perfectly edible, or a package of questionable apples would make a great crockpot full of apple sauce.
This weekend was different; we hit the bargain-bin jackpot of fruits and vegetables.
In this $13 jackpot, we bought: 7 nearly perfect peppers, 5 nearly perfect yellow onions, 2 plums, 5 pears, and 16 pounds of apples that ranged in quality from nearly perfect to a teeny bit questionable. When God gives you lemons, you make lemonade. When opportunity knocks—16 pounds of it—make apple sauce.
Because apples are a traditional food for Rosh Hashanah, it’s fitting that I spent my first day of Rosh Hashanah peeling apple after apple. I listened to my new audiobook, too enthralled by the story line to realize I had missed lunch, as I tried to perfect the art of peeling an entire apple without breaking the peel. I tasted the applesauce for sweetness, pleased by the sweet yet tart flavor, and then ladled it into jars for canning.
Yesterday, we had dipped the traditional apple slices in honey while wishing for a year of sweetness. Today was a pleasantly sweet start.