Treasure hunting in the grocery store

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For the past couple years, trying to find a particular item in the grocery store is like hunting for gold.

Not only might it be hard to find, but if you can find it, the price tag is so high it’s like discovering hidden treasure.

As we wander each aisle in the store, looking at the empty shelves, I carry our shopping list. Usually the items on the list are my choices since I do most of the chores in the kitchen.

Susie was the oldest growing up and had to do the household jobs, such as cleaning and cooking.

Her parents both worked, and her three younger brothers depended on her to take care of them.

She did all the cooking for her family, and when we got married, she realized I knew my way around the kitchen, so she let me handle that job.

When she found out I could clean house and do laundry, she knew she had found the husband she wanted.

Before we leave home, I arrange the grocery list according to the aisles in the first store we are visiting. I mark off the items as we place them in the cart.

If our choice is not available, I write it on the back of the page so we know what we need to look for at the next store. We pay close attention to the price of the food item, even if the shelf is empty.

After a while, we know the cost of most of the groceries we buy.

When finished shopping, if we have any cold or frozen items, we head home and unpack the groceries.

Later that day or the next, we drive to our next choice with our new list. Usually our next stop is somewhere close to the pharmacy, gym, restaurant or other destination already planned.

We skip most aisles, going down only those that normally have those choices missed at the last stop.

By now, we should have most of the items on our list. We will only worry about remaining foods that are missing if they are things I use often on my baking list.

Most of those choices I buy several at a time when I do find them. Cream cheese, butter, eggs, sugar, flour, Cool Whip and similar items I keep well stocked at home.

Graham cracker pie crusts have been a staple recently because of many requests for me to make Biscoff Cookie Butter Pie.

Biscoff Cookie Butter Pie

1-8 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 cup Biscoff creamy cookie spread

3/4 cup powdered sugar

2-8 oz. carton Cool Whip, thawed

2 graham cracker pie crust, 9 inches

1/4 cup caramel sundae syrup

Directions: In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, cookie spread and powdered sugar until mixed. Blend in 1 carton of Cool Whip. Divide between two crusts. Cover each with remaining container of Cool Whip. Drizzle with syrup. Freeze, covered, until firm, at least four hours. Serve frozen.

Tip: Biscoff can be found on shelf with peanut butter. It looks like peanut butter, but contains no peanuts. It’s made with Biscoff cookies, which can be found in the cookie aisle.

If you like Almond Joy candy bars, try making your own with the following recipe.

Coconut Almond Chocolate

1-7 oz. jar Marshmallow crème (about 2 & 1/2 cups)

3 cups sweetened shredded coconut

1 tsp vanilla extract

1- 16 oz. pkg candy coating, chocolate or vanilla (also called bark)

1 bag of whole almonds

Directions: In a large bowl, mix marshmallow crème, coconut and vanilla. Refrigerate, covered, at least an hour. Shape contents into balls with 1 almond inside each one (will be sticky!) Place on wax paper covered cookie sheet. Refrigerate, covered, again for 3 or more hours. In a microwave bowl, melt chocolate coating for about 1 minute. Stir and return to microwave. Continue melting 15 seconds, stir, microwave 15 seconds, stir, and continue until melted and smooth. Dip coconut balls in chocolate and let excess drip off. Place on waxed paper until firm.

Since I always share my treats, I usually double (or triple) these recipes when making them. Hopefully in the near futurewe will find the store shelves full again with prices coming down.

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