The Engineer and I just got home last night from another weekend down in Nebraska. Mostly we went to see his family and so I could get some practice in shooting my broad head tipped arrows. It’s easy to find places to practice shooting in town, but broad head practice is essential….however hard to do when you live in town. Enter…..The Engineer’s Dad’s house and land outta town. Plus, there were plenty of pumpkins for target practice.
Anyway, Saturday was cold and rainy, so we filled the day with shopping!!!! It doesn’t do much for practicing “being comfortable being uncomfortable” while hunting, but when fun shopping is so close it’s hard to want to stand out in the blowing rain shooting pumpkins. The Engineer had never been to Trader Joe’s before, so I decided he needed to experience it all, and I needed to refill on some snackies!
Remember that one time I went to Trader Joe’s and accidentally bought the unsalted peanut butter filled pretzels and they were sorta sad?! Well, I fixed that, actually paid attention to what I was doing, and got 2 bags of the blue, salted pretzels! We had to get 2 bags this time because The Engineer really likes peanut butter, and it was the only snack that he actually admitted that he wanted from the store. It took him a couple minutes to warm up to the whole excitement that is Trader Joe’s…….he felt out of place amongst the hipsters and health mommas.
I snagged a bag of trail mix, and I’m having severe regrets about not grabbing a couple more bags. It must be their fall seasonal variety. Actually, most of the store aisles were slightly over run with pumpkin spice-esk things. Soups, sauces, pasta, spice mix, beer, pop tarts…..if you want it pumpkin spice flavored Trader Joe’s currently has it. Don’t get me wrong, I like pumpkin spice just fine, but I don’t necessarily need it to overrun everything in my life. I did make an exception for Harvest Spice. If you don’t know what that is, it’s apparently just candied pecans and cashews…..so basically…..deliciousness. The trail mix is rounded out with almonds, dried apples, and candied ginger chunks. The bag is basically gone after we munched on it during our running around Omaha and on the drive home. I probably won’t make it back to Trader Joe’s before fall is over, so fingers crossed Harvest Spice sticks around into early winter!
The Engineer really perked up when we got to the frozen section. I had actually never seriously shopped the frozen section because I had always just been to a Trader Joe’s on vacation, but this time we came prepared! We hauled down a cooler, mostly so we could bring back another haul of elk meat. Couple that with the fact that instead of a hotel, we stay with him parents, and it meant that I could shop the frozen section for the first time ever!
Our frozen food finds are the orange chicken and steak and ale pies. Orange chicken is one of The Engineer’s favorite Chinese entrees, so we snagged two bags. He decided he wants to pair the bags with fried rice from Hy-Vee…or so I thought. When he texted earlier and said he’d pick up rice on the way home I assumed he’d arrive with takeout boxes of rice. Instead, he brought home a bag of rice and we had to quick whip up some fried rice….which we apparently did wrong. It tasted alright, but got a little overcooked because we didn’t fry cold rice…….Google tells me that makes it better. I had only had Trader Joe’s orange chicken once before, and I wasn’t a huge fan. We whipped some up tonight with our rice and it still wasn’t my favorite. I liked it more than I remembered, but I wouldn’t rank it as my all time favorite Chinese food. It will probably get some jazzing up, but I think it will become a staple purchase item whenever we wind up at Trader Joe’s.
The steak and ale pies I decided to try. They just looked so warm and wintery, and the box weighs about a ton so I’m assuming each pie is very well stuffed. Also, my mild to moderate obsession with The Great British Baking Show, Marry Berry, and Paul Hollywood has me convinced that savory pies are a thing I need in my life. They are always making these great King Henry VIII sized meat pie towers of delicious….I need that in my life. I don’t even bake and I feel suddenly compelled to turn my kitchen into a prep center for some sort of great hall feast al la history books and Harry Potter!
So……we shall start with frozen Trader Joe’s and move upward from there. Frankly, I’m not even sure I like meat pies, and it’s much easier to find that out at this stage than halfway through feast prep! Plus, they seem like they would go excellent with some mashed potatoes….and I’m currently rocking a slight surplus of potatoes.
The last of my fall/winter snackies is a jug of apple cider. Some nights it’s just nice to come home and mull up some cider, maybe throw in some rum, and curl up with a good book and a blanket. I’m hopeful that this won’t be too sweet, I like my cider a bit on the tangy side, so we will try it out and see how it goes. Worse comes to worse, just add more rum I guess!
I rounded out the Trader Joe’s haul with a jar of my favorite salsa, the english toffee bars, and a few RX Bars. All in all, a very successful shopping trip, and I think I converted The Engineer to the glories held within Trader Joe’s.
After Trader Joe’s, we scampered over to Cabela’s to scope out some turkey hunting supplies. We did find a couple calls in the bargain cave, and I picked up a small multi-tool for my bow case. I’m pretty sure I just annoyed him all the way back to Fremont trying to learn how to use my mouth call. I’m not sure I sound very turkey-esk, but dying duck is a sound I’m pretty sure I have down. There’s a couple weeks left of practice time, so maybe I’ll get my gobbling skills up to par.