Yesterday I completed what I hope is the last of my Thanksgiving shopping. While we did the bulk of our shopping at a big (though locally-owned) grocery store, I decided to do the end of it at a couple of our old haunts in Noe Valley: Church Street Produce, and of course Drewes, my favorite butcher in town.
While it's a bit easier in some ways to shop at the Whole Foods-type places (after all, who wants to make five stops? well, sometimes I do), the husband and I try to stick to the trendy but also deeply-held belief we share that supporting local businesses is important. But of course it's not enough to just say it's important. If you want a place to survive, you have to buy things there. A lot.
With this in mind, although we no longer live in Noe Valley, we do make semi-frequent trips over there to shop at Church Street and Drewes. And we always order our turkey there.
I had arranged to pick ours up yesterday afternoon. The place was humming but not crammed, and there were coffee and warm pastries to distract me while I waited briefly for my number to be called.
Having shopped at Drewes for many years, we know many of the employees. They know us too and they always remember Frances. Everyone from Drewes is indelibly marked in her brain, of course, as each visit culminates in a hot dog or slice of roast beef for her.
This time Jerry waited on me. After a brief catch-up on his recent trip to Spain, he went to find my turkey and some other items on my list for the big day. Meanwhile, I mulled over dinner options for that night. I wanted something quick to make that would produce no leftovers. Refrigerator space is at a premium now.
I decided on pork chops.
"How many?" Jerry asked
"Three," I found myself saying, thinking of a certain someone who is very fond of pork chops.
I guess it's come to that. No longer does Frances "just" get a hamburger, or the scrappy bits of roast chicken. Now I'm literally shopping for dinner for three?
That night I threw together the chops, using a chicken recipe I wrote about here, with apples and sage. I finished the chops in the oven though, since they were double-cut and I figured that might work best for even cooking. While they roasted, I sauteed chard and carrots to form a little bed for the pork chops to sit on.
We ate them, drinking wine and watching something silly on the TV, while the other Hungry Dog gazed at me in anticipation with loving, shiny pork chop eyes. Moments like these, as mundane as they sound, make my heart sing.
This year, I am thankful for the husband, the dog, my family, my friends, my health, my warm home, my work, and that I have the luxury and freedom to enjoy them all, every single day. Happy Thanksgiving!