Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Supermarket Sadists and an Emerging Theme ...

I believe I've made myself clear on the subject of grocery shopping in Manhattan. Its a nightmare on a good day and on a bad one it more closely resembles the third ring of hell. No Divine Comedy here, its tragic ... and getting worse by the minute.

Eyelashes adorned and lipstick applied - off, set I, for Fairway yesterday afternoon. Apart from the fresh veggies, my cupboards were pretty bare and in serious need of restocking. List in hand, I felt ready for the challenge ahead. I mean, I'm an expert at this combat shopping deal, right? Wrong.

Unbeknownst to me, the supermarket sadists had unleashed their particular brand of malevolence on my already irritating little market ... they changed the location of everything. Everything. What the?! Why is the toilet paper section full of bottled water? Who moved the juice? Where on earth are my beloved Morningstar Farms breakfast patties?

Bitterness ensues as I stand dumbfounded before an aisle of Kosher products that replaces what used to be ... something ... I can't even remember what, because at this point I'm close to hyperventilating. Is this some kind of joke? Because its *not* funny. Not even a little bit. I wonder if this is how the supermarket managers amuse themselves? Are they watching on hidden cameras and laughing at my distress? Evil minions!

I finally found the toilet paper - relegated to a tiny little scrap of space by the elevator ... because nobody needs tp, right? Good thing, because you'd be hard pressed to fit two people in the space now allotted for paper goods. And, by hard pressed I mean that some freak will likely be rubbing up against you as you search in vain for the elusive Bounty Select-a-Size paper towels. Oh joy.

Call me crazy, you wouldn't be the first, but stuff like this throws me for a loop. I don't like change and I lothe retracing my steps in the supermarket. I write my list in order of the aisles and shop accordingly. Its the only way to survive the Fairway maze ... start at one end and progress to the finish, no left turns, no going back. Period. Yeah, I know, its not *really* tragic ... but I'm going to have to relearn the maze and that means a midnight rendezvous with my shopping cart and a compass. I kid you not. There's a late night trip to Fairway in my future and I'll be taking my GPS.

Phew, now that I've gotten that out of my system - let's talk chicken. Barbecued chicken has always been a summer staple, chez Diva, and I've been craving it for months now. But let's face it, BBQ sauce is typically full of sugar. Yummy delicious brown sugar to be exact. Sigh. Normally, I use Zabar's spicy bbq sauce and I've been pretty happy with it - but its definitely not SB approved, so its off the table so to speak. I opted to try the barbecue sauce recipe from The South Beach Quick and Easy Cookbook and I attempted to improve it with a few changes here and there.

The results? I'm sorry to say that for the first time here on Beach Eats, I won't be ending this post with: "I hope you'll try it!" Quite the opposite in fact. I've saved you the trouble on this one because I'm giving it a bad review. Its not a disaster, mind you, but its misses the mark by a mile. I didn't even bother serving it to the husband when he came home. I made him some tasty chicken instead. Sad.

I will post my adapted version of the recipe ... along with a challenge ...

SB Friendly BBQ sauce:

  • one 15 oz. can of tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp. vinegar (I used red wine)
  • 1 tbsp. grated onion
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp. prepared mustard (I used Spicy Brown)
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard (such as Coleman's)
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. agave nectar for sweetness
  • dash of Chipotle Chili powder for smokiness
Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan, whisk to incorporate the spices and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes or until flavors have combined.

The italicized ingredients are my additions and, flavor-wise, I think they're fine - except for maybe the tomato paste. The problem is that the sauce feels incomplete and tastes too strongly of tomato sauce. I baked the chicken, as per the recipe instructions, and even the caramelization from the oven didn't improve it. Sad.

The Emerging Theme: I'm searching ... for products in my now unfamiliar market ... for a new look for the blog ... and now, rather desperately, for an acceptable sugar-free BBQ sauce. Help!

The Challenge: Can you do better? Have you made a satisfactory SB friendly BBQ sauce? If so, please do share. I can only handle so many quests at a time!


Tracy said...

Hi Diva,

I feel your grocery shopping in Manhattan pain. I've given up and I now use Fresh Direct for most items and supplement at the corner store when necessary. I actually can not even stand to go in Fairway anymore... the little old ladies are ruthless with their carts... it's like they think it's the roller derby!

Good luck re-learning Fairway and also with the BBQ sauce recipe.

The Diva on a Diet said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one with respect to Fairway. Ugh. It IS like the roller derby!

I wish I were organized enough to really make use of Fresh Direct ... but I always seem to forget something and it never quite works out for me. I've done it for parties and holidays, but have yet to adapt for the weekly shopping. Sigh.


Sass said...

Oh my goodness...I'm so thankful for good ol' Springfield, IL. :-)
(and the seven people who shop here). hee hee.

I will say, I did intend to write the mayor, though, when three different stores stopped carrying French Toast Sticks. I don't eat them, but my kids sure do. I think it was some sort of movement to make my life miserable.

Sidebar...Your mom has Attention Deficit Disorder?!?!?!?! (ADD???)hee hee.

Just kidding.


The Diva on a Diet said...

"Sidebar...Your mom has Attention Deficit Disorder?!?!?!?! (ADD???)hee hee."

Only when it comes to cleaning ... your post could have been written by her. I know she'll back me up on this when she reads these comments!

p.s. - Love you BIG pixelgal ... for the record I was just joking with Sass about getting distracted while cleaning ... and, well, you know! LOL and mwah! (Don't kill me!)

Deb said...

Who would completely rearrange a whole grocery store - that is just sick. I'm with you on the organized list - I live by it. I have whole stores memorized and any changes throw off the rythym of my universe. Good luck on the midnight run to Fairway to reorient.


do you think you have it? said...

i think you were more upset about your grocery store being rearranged than i was when i found out Ken was married... i'm thinking that's a bad sign for both of us, but definitely for me.

on another note, how are you liking the diet? have you stayed on it? i promise i won't tell if you cheated ;) i'm just curious.


Yeah, it's called buying it ready-made lol!! Heh heh, seriously I'd be hard pushed to make BBQ chicken myself. Just pop down to Asda (which is run by WalMart) and buy a chicken there!

But what's with no toilet paper? Relegated to the corner? Obviously we're reverting back to the dark ages when we had to use our old newspapers to do the business - or maybe these Manhattan stores are thinking eco-friendly and must try and tempt people away from destroying too many trees...

Scarlet x

The Diva on a Diet said...

Deb - so glad to hear Fay left you alone! And, I'm glad I'm not the only retentive shopper out there! ;)

Having it girl - The Diva doesn't cheat ... she "enhances". ~wink~

Kidding aside, I love, LOVE the SB diet. Its amazing and it works. I'm down 23 pounds in a little over 2 months. Sweet!

Scarlet - LOL about the newspapers and enviro-friendly comment! I'd like to just buy the BBQ chicken already ... but then what would I write about? ;)


pixelgal said...

Your Mom has BIGTIME ADD!!! And she's not ashamed of it. Only of the fact that her house shows it most of the time...but she always cleans up when she knows the DIVA is coming....aka the 'white glove' for those of you old enough to remember what that means. Love you back, kiddo, and you can expose me anytime. And for all you fans out there...she looks wonderful and her clothes are hanging off her!

The Diva on a Diet said...

See, I told you mom would back me up! LOL

And many thanks for the kind words, pixelgal!!!