Wild sugar

The good thing about being a not-religious person in the South is that Sunday mornings are great for getting stuff done.

Cart situation. Weird readers will note the time I took a picture at this same locale, before snow was to arrive, and there were zero carts here.


I’d just finished snapping a photo of GROCERY CARTS when I heard my ding-dang name. Ding-dang it. Why everybody gotta catch me doing the weird stuff?

It was TinaDoris’s husband. I’d last seen him on New Year’s Eve.

There he is. Please to ignore you-know-who in the foreground, there.

“Hi! …I’m just, well. I’m just taking pictures of grocery carts,” I said to him, and by the way I’ve typed “grocery cars” every goddamn time today.

“See, it’s for my blog,” I continued, while Mr. TD looked fairly pained. “I was thinking about how no one is out on Sundays. Because of God.”

Mr. TD looked at his watch. Or, since he’s a millennial, he probably looked at his phone. “Well, it’s 12:16. They’ll all be out of church any minute. TinaDoris is in the car,” he said, desperately looking for an escape and using his wife to do so.

So as he went into the store like a normal person, I stampeded to the parking lot to see TinaDoris.

“I’m here getting stuff for meal prep,” I announced to TinaDoris, who is still unconscious.

“That’s so…adult of you,” she said, stunned, and I can’t tell you how many times my millennial friends have said this to me, with some shock, the four times a year I do something grown up.

My days at the beach last week turned me into a bit of a fat ass, and I am sick and tired of it, so this weekend I Googled “healthy meal plans” and found some recipes I liked and screenshot them and headed to the–well, first I had to head to Target for meal prep containers. Then I headed to the grocer, to see Mr. Hooper, and that is where I found TinaDoris and spouse and now we’re back where we were in this riveting story.

Dude, that’s not butter. Fake news.

I got chicken and $700 white balsamic vinegar and all sorts of other things I never get, such as olive oil.

Wild Sugar. How come you dance so good.

I also got new deodorant. I am riveted by all the dumb-ass scents Secret is coming up with, and I try to buy a different scent every time, and this is what has replaced sex in my life.

Sit on it, Ralph.

This grocery store excursion–which apparently I’m going to get a whole blog post out of and I hope this blog isn’t replacing sex for you because you just had bad sex. But anyway, this grocery store excursion was not at my Ghetto Lion but back in my old, normal neighborhood.

Recently I was headed to the movies in my old ‘hood. I left my house, where rap music was screaming out of the speakers of someone driving by, and I saw what looked like a drug deal on the next block, with my intricate knowledge of what drug deals look like, and anyway then I drove through my old ‘hood and there were people walking their dogs and reading on their porches and I got serious regretsies. This neigborhood better gentrify tout suite.

Anyway, I went to my old grocery store because I knew I’d need things like $700 white balsamic vinegar and figured Ghetto Lion would be all, You’ll get white distilled vinegar in a jug and you’ll like it.

The point is, for years now at my grocery store, fmr., I’ve wanted those Adirondack chairs they sell out front, but I never wanted to part with the $19.99 and besides, I didn’t know how to buy one when it was out front like that. But yesterday I asked at customer service, gave them that $19.99 and got me a chair.

Then I got to my car and said how da fuq Ima get this in there.

But I did it! I got it in there! Now we’re back to this blog being your sex.

While you were douching after our hot sex, I made chicken breasts (well. I COOKED them. God made them. A fact I’d know if I weren’t photographing carts on Sunday mornings.) and sweet potatoes and broccoli and lemon-garlic salmon and salad dressing made of olive oil, $700 white balsamic vinegar, honey and a little salt.

Then I put it in my new containers from the Target.

Who even am I, even?

After, I put everything away, although I did clean as I went, which is one priceless piece of info my friend Renee back in LA taught me. Clean as you go.

But there was still cleanup afterward, so I did that, and I fed the kitten (NOW EATING SOLID FOOD YAY!) and when everything was done, I took me some white grape juice into the yard and enjoyed my new chair.

As I headed back into the house, I felt so accomplished. I felt so adult. I felt so…

what’s that smell?

Why does it smell like Easter up in here?

The $700 bottle of white balsamic vinegar had been too tall for the cupboard, so I’d laid it on its side, but apparently I hadn’t screwed it tight enough (shut up), and it had dripped in the cupboard, down the microwave, and into a puddle on the stove.

Then I didn’t have to ask who even am I anymore, because there I was.


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At one point, I was sort of hot, in a "she's 27 and probably a 7" kind of a way. Now I'm old and have to develop a charming personality. Guess how that's going.

80 thoughts on “Wild sugar”

  1. Lisa “I’m not Lisa” not THAT Lisa, know else is hard to clean up? Honey that’s dripped to the bottom of the church refrigerator that’s cleaned once a year. Inch-deep chilled honey.


  2. I can never meal prep because there are too many people in my house who would eat what I prepped and tell me they thought it was leftovers.

    I have no intricate knowledge of what drug deals look like, living in cow country as I do. Cows aren’t much for drug deals.

    My Aunt Mary, though, rest her cranky soul, used to have neighbors up the street playing let’s make a deal, if you know what I mean. She’d say about her neighbor “he’s up there just sellin’ that Pop.” My husband and I still laugh about all that pop he was selling.


  3. I love this post! Everything. Mr. Hooper! I got that and I never even watched that show. I’m gonna say something like my grandma would say and tell you what a delight you are. A delight! Quite lovely post June. And quite laborious of you as well. Another favorite word of Grandma’s. This Reply is brought to you by Frances Cowan Beddow.


  4. I enjoy meal prepping. It’s nice to grab a container and bring it to work. Saves a lot of money too.

    I have dinners on had for the evening as well which is nice. If I have to work late or whatever I don’t have to prepare a meal on top of everything else.


  5. All I can think now about are Wild Sugar armpits, and wondering if there’s a Wild Salt variety so I can mix and match them when I’m PMSing.


  6. My son is starting a new job in a town near you. I helped him drive his car across the country this past weekend & move into his new apartment today. And I bought him that very chair, except grey, from the fancy grocery and crammed it into his tiny car. And I feel so “Stars, they’re just like us!”


  7. I used to meal prep and then got out of the habit. This weekend I planned to start again and I went to the store on Friday to get the stuff. I had to go somewhere all day Saturday. Saturday night my neighbor came over and wanted to order a pizza so we did. I ate leftover pizza as my combo lunch/dinner around 4:30 yesterday and never cooked anything I bought on Friday night.


  8. Well, I never noticed the apostrophe thing.

    I am envious of your meal planning skillz. I have none. I will buy stuff and then it just sits in my fridge until I throw it away. That’s no way to be.


    1. I do the same thing, so you are not alone. Then I beat myself up when I am throwing the now-moldy baby cucumbers and specialty mushrooms in the trash!


  9. I love this whole post. Love that you were spotted photographing carts. Love the Adirondack chair fitting in your tiny car (am picturing choir singing and trumpets trumpeting at that amazing moment). Love that the specially bought Target meal prep containers aren’t like secret super special tiffens or whatnot. Whole post I’m waiting to see what a Target meal prep container is and then… photo reveal… and I’m in hysterics. You are so funny.

    Also do you think folks called it meal prep in the 60s? I’m trying to picture my midwestern grandma at the telephone niche making the weekly grocery list and her writing the words meal prep just doesn’t make the cut. How the heck was her cooking fabulous every time while essentially winging it at the A&P?


  10. I think that meal prep is so great! I always have good intentions and sometimes do follow through. But then, I only work from home so it is harder than hard. Still…good for you o healthy one! 🙂


  11. Now that I’ve lived in the UK for 8 years, to me that smell would immediately conjure up a fish and chip shop.


  12. #. Love the new look of your not blog! So serene.
    4. Words from past experience…do not use balsamic vinegar when dyeing Easter eggs. My husband did. They were the nastiest looking muddy eggs. Ugh.
    Z. My sons went to a big university where there was Kroger grocery nearby in a bad area. They called it the “Kro-ghetto.” Always an adventure there.


        1. Must be the one at University of Cincinnati. I think they tore that down and rebuilt it recently. It was Kroghetto back in 1979 when I attended UC.


  13. You are amazing. I just CANNOT meal plan. I go to the grocery store almost daily–and I guess I like it that way, because it is the way I do it. If I do a big planning/shopping thing, things don’t get eaten. I have to feel the vibe or something.

    Lovely post, lovely June!


    1. Very European of you! Grocery shopping there is a nearly daily occurance. You are just being sophisticated, my dear. Carry on!


    2. Was there any left in the bottle? Now I’m sad for you. I did a bodybuilding competition years ago and got my lifetime’s worth of meal prep. Never again. But that looks like great food you picked to prep.


      1. This wasn’t supposed to be a reply to you Mrs. Gumby, just a comment. Although your reply was so cute. So sorry. Keyboard slipped.


  14. I just recently started making chicken with peppers and onions and balsamic vinegar, and I was so surprised with the crazy price. What the heck?

    I do not know who the guy is in the foreground, dare I ask and out myself as a fairly new reader?

    Good job on the food prep! I have the dreaded celiac disease- thus using balsamic in my cooking because gluten is in just about EVERYTHING except pricey shit. Anyway, I workout daily and I still cannot shed a few pounds because anytime I eat fun food (like icecream with no cookies in it) I pack on the pounds. Sigh.


      1. This was in response to Shannon Silver’s comment about the trollies in the UK. How did the comment get way down here? My lack of technical skills.


      2. Tee,
        Without even thinking about it, I called it a buggy when grocery shopping last week. Sometimes I do call carts so maybe I’m influenced by the “Cart Return” signs in the parking lot.
        Easily influenced,


      1. I don’t even know if I still have categories anywhere on this blog, but if I do, look at… Friend/Ned. If you’re all that curious I mean.



  15. Wow, really proud of you! You bought the food, and COOKED IT ALL, and cleaned up all in the same day! I only got so far as the grocery shopping yesterday for my meal prep start. Then I had enough. Thanks for this post. It was the shaming I sorely needed to get me up and cooking! Let’s hope this meal prep stuff helps with the “too-tight” everything. Ding dang vacation eating.


  16. Hilarious post! …ignore you-know-who in the foreground, there… Plunk.

    Early service people are out and about by 9:30 a.m., just so you will know in the future. We walked yesterday after church, there are no people on the walking path, but lots of people on the golf course. We found three golf balls (it’s like Easter eggs) along the path, maybe we can start a recycled golf ball business.

    Those meals look delish. Now I’m ready for lunch, but we are having burgers on the grill rather than the healthy salmon. That expression on Edsel’s face, he loves his mom. Baby kitten eating solid food is great, did Milhouse teach him?


    1. I had been tempted by it and decided I’d be sick of the scent by lunchtime. Which is good, because otherwise I’d be required to start referring to myself as a cupcake-smuggler now.


  17. I cannot recall a time I’ve run into someone I know at the grocery store. That might just be the saddest statement ever. On the bright side, I don’t ever have to think, “I should put on a clean shirt, in case I run into someone I know.”

    Lovely post, June.


  18. Applause on the meal prep.
    I’m trying to re-start my eat clean effort this week because I’ve been eating like I’m one of those people who doesn’t gain weight, yet I’m one of those people who ALWAYS gains weight. So I looked at your boxes of healthyness and thought ” I hope there’s a vending machine at her work.” That’s just how I think and why am I chubby again?


  19. Now wondering what Wild Sugar smells like and if it would just make me want to eat something sweet. Thank you for the lovely post this morning June. I used to have a ghetto Pig (Piggly Wiggly which is still the funniest name for a grocery to me). Now we are all up in the neighborhood with a Publix which I love. They have such beautiful produce. The ghetto Pig always looked like it was the last produce off the turnip truck.


  20. I love everything about this post. I have never in all my born days run into people I know when I’m out of my house the way you do ALL.THE.TIME. I mean, I basically dread running into people I know, so it’s a good thing for me. But your life is like a sit-com the way the Guest Stars just pop into the scene. And who else could write a whole post about grocery shopping and make it riveting and worth the read?

    My grandmas both taught me to be a clean-as-you-go cook. My mom was a get-all-the-things-dirty kind of cook. That’s no way to live. They also taught me to gather all your ingredients before you start making anything to be sure you have what you need. Then put them away as you use them so you never have to wonder “wait. Did I put the baking soda in already or not?”

    Last week I put a carton of half and half in the refrigerator on it’s side. It’s one of those with the little screw off top, so it should have been fine. Except I didn’t screw on the screw off top all the way so it was drippety drip drip dripping for hours. You know what’s hard to clean up?

    Lovely post June!


  21. I had to laugh about the Adirondack chair. I’ve been doing the same thing, and then I look at my tiny 2-door car and sigh. Only time I’ve had SUV envy.


  22. See, here’s why I can’t cook. I probably would have used the white vinegar in the big jug and thought it would be the same. Because I am cooking illiterate.

    I used to date a guy who got a different deodorant every time he bought a new one. He said for the first few days he would catch a whiff and think “hey! What’s that nice smell? Oh! It’s me!” At the time I thought it was quirky and endearing.

    Eventually I found he was only quirky. One big ball of quirks.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Your food looks wonderful. I hope it do be delish. Is Eds laughing because of the vinegar spillage?


  24. Lovely post and meals. I currently have a bacon addiction. Up until a few months ago I’d eat bacon ooh maybe 2 times a year. I go to Whole Foods in the morning for coffee and they have bacon at their food bar. Bacon, when cooked hardly weighs anything. I can get a whole mess of bacon for like a dollar. Everyday I walk in and think no more bacon and I. Any help myself. I don’t know who I am anymore. Help meeee


    1. Pigs have the intelligence of a three-year-old person. Does that help? I try to tell myself that when I indulge in eating a delicious pig.


    2. Ooooh! I made bacon this weekend using a Whole New Method from one of those cooking videos that pop up everywhere. But it really worked! You put the bacon in the pan and add enough WATER to cover the bacon. I know! It was crazy! Then you cook it on high until the water all boils off and then turn the heat down and finish as usual. It was perfect! Not all dried out and crumbly like my bacon usually gets.

      Although you know what’s even better? Buying it already cooked for you!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I heard someone on my favorite radio show talking about this!!! I thought it sounded odd, but you say it works.

        Does it cut down on the Smokey smell that cooking bacon causes?


  25. I was so exhausted after my day and my grocery trip that I am eating a protein bar for lunch today while all my fresh and good stuff sits in the fridge. Good job June on the meal prep. Every day I lug my prepped and healthy stuff to work I complain about how much time and effort is put into eating healthy. You know whats easy? Having someone else in the office place your lunch delivery order.


  26. That sucks, I hope all of it didn’t spill. Also meal prepping makes so much sense but I’m lazy.


  27. Way to go on the meal prep!!! I’m so proud of you!!!! I hope you enjoy the results all week. I just realized that May 1st is this week … and I’ve been saying I’d do whole30 in May … and now I’m thinking shhhiiiittt. Why does sugar and dairy have to taste so damn good???? Gah.

    Also, I am committed to getting up at 5 am to start working out. I tell myself this every damn day … for the next day. Why does sleep have to be so damn amazing and working out painful???


  28. Taking pictures of carts isn’t so bad. I had a stranger take my picture with a fancy cone on my head to send to my friend. Lovely post, June


  29. Then I didn’t have to ask who even am I anymore, because there I was.

    Dying. Well, I would be dying if this didn’t sound so familiar. Maybe you and I are the same person although I typed it as asme person. Maybe you and I are the asme person.


  30. You did good. Losing $350 worth of balsamic vinegar is just a small setback. I have no patience with people who don’t clean up as they go. Why, why, why do you want to end up with a whole kitchen full of dirty dishes and messy counters when you’re done? WHY?


  31. I want anyone who notices this to note that when I’m typing, I can’t see which direction the apostrophes are pointing. So when I write things like “hood,” which needs an apostrophe at the beginning of it, and it should be pointing left, I try to do things like write myhood and then jam an apostrophe before hood and then add a space, hoping the apostrophe will curve the right way, but again I can’t SEE it till I’ve hit publish, and in the end it’s almost always curving the wrong way and I TRY I REALLY DO.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I never even noticed the apostrophe as I was too busy reading your delightful story.


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