Monday, March 11, 2013

Calling All Shoppers

The running joke in my family is that I have a shopping problem.  But not the kind that you may be thinking. You see, some people are born shoppers. Well... I was not.  When I was younger I would just get so overwhelmed by the mall.  Too many choices, too many stores.  I would hit my limit after two or three stores.  But not the women in my family... oh no, they would shop and shop and shop some more.

They always found the best deals and the most beautiful looking clothes.
Apparently, they had all gotten the shopping gene that I was lacking.

When I got to college, the only shopping I did was at the grocery store.  At first it seemed like a chore, leaving campus to get food.  But I started to notice that my grocery shopping trips were taking longer and longer each time.  And I realized, it was because I truly enjoyed it.

My imagination would run wild as I slowly walked down the aisles.  I would take inventory of products I wanted to try and recipes I wanted to make.  I would admire all the beautiful fruits and vegetables in the produce section, all glistening under the fluorescent lights.  I would literally stop to smell the rotisserie chicken that just came out of the oven.

Wait... could it be? Did I have the shopping gene?

No way.  I couldn't believe it.  So I did what any normal college student would do... I called my mom.  I remember the conversation.  "Ma, I think I love grocery shopping."  And she laughed and laughed.  "But you don't like shopping," she said.  I tried to explain to her that grocery shopping was different than shopping for clothes.  It wasn't overwhelming at all.  For me, it just came naturally.

And that was the beginning of my love for shopping... for food, that is. And ever since then, my love for it has grown.  One of my favorite things in the world is to grab a cup of coffee and slowly walk through a local farmer's market.  I love to see all the beautiful produce that is in season. Sometimes I challenge myself by making dinner that night simply from what looked the best that day.

This time of year, I love going to Bearss Groves, where they sell oranges that were grown in the orange grove right behind their outdoor stand, as well as other fresh fruits and vegetables.  They display their oranges in big crates and you fill up a paper bag with as many as you want. And since this is one of the best times all year to enjoy citrus, I get a big bag of oranges and keep them in a big fruit bowl in the kitchen.

Then, every morning I make fresh orange juice for breakfast.  Its so refreshing and so sweet.  I just love it!  And when I run out, I get to go shopping again!  And I will have you know, that my love for food shopping has helped me not be so overwhelmed when shopping at the mall.  Something my family is still in shock about!

So, it seems that the shopping gene really does run in my family.  And while I may never be a mall rat, I can be confident that I will always be up for feeding my family a fantastic, gluten free meal after a long day of shopping.

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