Mom eats crowMom eats crow

I am an idiot. When will I learn that when my son gives me a gadget I should use it?! Several years ago he gave me a rubber spatula thing designed for scraping out jars that he bought in France (or possibly Amsterdam). It’s shaped like a small crescent attached sort of perpendicularly to the end of a long stem. When I got it I thanked him politely while secretly thinking that I couldn’t imagine this thing could possibly be much better than the rubber spatulas and scrapers of various widths and shapes that I already owned. I stuck it in my gadget jar and had never used it, not even once, until yesterday, when I was making a lasagne and wanted to augment a batch of my home made sauce with a jar of spaghetti sauce. I needed every bit of the sauce out of the jar, so for the first time I grabbed the tool Leland had given me and tried it out. Good gosh almighty!! In four strokes virtually every speck of sauce was cleaned out of that jar, as you can see in the photo.

Sorry, Leland, and a very belated thank you for the gift. I will be using it often from now on!

In other culinary news, I attended the grand opening of the new Pittsburgh Trader Joe’s today and it was pretty exciting to be there. I do share some of your objections to them, Leland, but I replenished my spice rack, bought coffee beans, baking chocolate, a big package of California dried apricots which are hard to find and look delicious, olive oil and vinegar, olives, and orange juice, all at good prices. The lines as you can imagine were long, but everyone was in a good mood and having fun. Since they are located literally five minutes from our house I can see myself going there for certain groceries often once the hoopla dies down.


I’m not crazy about Trader Joe’s either, but I read that flyer they sent and if the chocolate is any good, well, that is an amazing price they advertised. Sounds like fun!

I think I’ll wait until it’s not so full of excitement and people- but I’m glad it’s here. They really can’t be beat on the prepared foods front-nice stuff not full of weird additives- and their prices are reasonable, too, judging by my visit to the Cleveland one.Too bad about the no cheap wine thing.

But I’m really excited for the Costco to hurry up and get built already. The brick and mortar doesn’t seem to be growing very fast over there-it’s looked the same for several weeks now.

Since I don’t drink I don’t care about the wine but I gather that it is a nice feature. One huge advantage that the TJ’s in New York has it a really well-organized queue for the cash register – kind of like at a bank or post office, and they have an employee standing at the end of it with a big lollipop-shaped sign marked “End of Queue” so folks know where to go when they are ready to pay.

Here in Pittsburgh it was total chaos, with clashing carts and lines stretching back from individual cash registers through almost every aisle of the store, making it difficult to shop and hard to figure out which line was the shortest because you couldn’t see the ends of any of them.


They can keep it. I’d choose Whole Foods any day of the week for everything but milk and eggs.

I was very, very excited about Trader Joes’ opening here, but it’s nothing like the one out in Ohio probably because it’s so much smaller and there were no alcoholic beverages. I would also agree with Leland that I prefer Whole Foods. I was frankly disappointed that alot of T.J.‘s frozen entrees had additives and I don’t like having my produce wrapped up…..but still it was a good/interesting shopping experience.

And I also thought they might the sort of place that has fairly non-chemicalish baking mixes.

zp, I saw the baking mixes but didn’t take the time to read the ingredients; are they all full of chemicals? If so, that would be disappointing because you’re right, you would expect them to be the kind of place that would have “premium” mixes fairly free of chemicals, kind of like King Arthur Flour mixes or something.

Leland, queue was my word, not theirs!

Lindy, I went back for a second trip about 10:30 AM on Monday morning and it was just like Whole Foods on an ordinary day, with no lines at the cash register at all. Yes, it will be nice when/if the Costco ever gets built in our vicinity; Robinson is just too far to drive and I really don’t like Sam’s Club.

Leonora, since it was so crowded I didn’t even investigate the frozen foods but did notice that they had a lot of nice frozen fruit, like wild blueberries and bing cherries, which would be nice for baking or desserts. The second time I went I got some of their ice cream which doesn’t have any HFCS in it but haven’t tried it yet.

If anyone reads the cake mixes, let us know!

I take back what I wrote about TJ’s and additives in the frozen foods…..I went back today and had time to read labels and ask ?‘s. All TJ brands are natural – no additives. At the moment though I’m eating TJ’s Vegan Pad Thai with Tofu (from the frozen section and delicious!) and it does say “no preservatives” and “no artificial colors or flavors”…..what though is Magnesium Chloride in the list of ingredients……doesn’t sound too natural to me.

Very big of you to correct yourself, Lea! Magnesium chloride sounds like some kind of salt.

I have to add that I had told people that I had sampled the TJ’s apple pie on opening day and it was delicious. So yesterday when I was looking for a shortcut for my husband’s birthday dinner since we are so frantic packing to leave town, I bought a TJ’s cherry pie (they were out of apple) and it was horrible! It was doughy and tasted underbaked; in fact I took the wrapper out of the trash to double check that it wasn’t some kind of “bake and serve” pie, it tasted so underbaked and the bottom crust was so pale and flabby. Hugely disappointing and no comparison to the pies at Whole Foods, even if they are more expensive.

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