Last Month With No Joe
Have I told you yet that I’m going to miss the Grand Opening of the Capital Region’s long awaited Trader Joe’s? I already broke the news to AOA Greg. He’s the one who generally sends me into the swarming masses of humanity on the days when a long-awaited market opens its doors in our region.
But on arguably the biggest day in the last decade for Capital Region grocery shoppers, I will be in Pennsylvania. And part of me is a little bit relieved. Because while it’s fun to have an excuse to brave the crowds on opening day, I really wasn’t looking forward to the prospect of spending the wee early hours of the morning in a parking lot on Wolf Road.
Mark my words. People will be sleeping out.
I just hope everyone stays calm, and there aren’t too many fender benders on day one. Still, I will get in there just as soon as I can, even if it’s mobbed. While there are a lot of things at TJs that I love, there is only one that I REALLY NEED RIGHT NOW!
That would be a regular source of tasty and inexpensive olive oil in glass bottles.
Holy cow, I go through olive oil in the summertime like nobody’s business. It dresses all of those salad greens, it gets brushed on vegetables that go on the grill, it carries the flavor of all my favorite raw pureed sauces (like pesto and salsa verde), it emulsifies my cold bean dips, and it also fills its normal role of sauteeing my vegetables.
The good olive oil is mostly reserved for bread dipping, topping popcorn, or otherwise finishing a dish. The good stuff doesn’t get heated. Actually, I hope to experiment with some on vanilla ice cream with a bit of sea salt.
Yes, a lot of my food would probably be a lot better if I used better oil. Especially the raw dishes, like the bean spreads and salad dressings. The killer part is the difference in cost. Using exclusively good olive oil would break the bank. But the stuff we get at the supermarket in large multi-liter tins is decidedly not delicious. With some careful picking, it can be fine. However, sometimes it’s unpleasantly bitter. And other times, it doesn’t taste like anything. And for sautéing foods where lots of other flavors get added, that’s fine.
But inferior oil makes green salads that much more unpalatable.
Trader Joe’s does have a few varieties of olive oil that fill this middle ground nicely. It’s been a while since I’ve been, and they have a way of changing up their product line. But I recall a Spanish extra-virgin olive oil that was cold pressed. If I remember correctly it came in glass liter bottles for about $7. Its taste was decidedly decent. No, it’s not as good as the more precious oils I used to buy from Honest Weight Food Co-op and now get at Adventure in Food Trading.
But it’s so much better than anything else I’ve found at that price point, it’s not even funny.
So we are on hopefully our last tin ever of the cheap supermarket olive oil. Our stockpile of Trader Joe’s olive oil that we brought in from out of state dwindled months ago. And with the anticipation of our own local store opening “soon” we never made another trip to restock. As a result, the last couple of months have been all about subpar oil.
We may have to nurse this last tin. As it runs low, we’ll reduce our consumption, lest it run dry before the Trader Joe’s opens. But we’re also lucky in that we’ll be leaving for Pennsylvania a few weeks prior. So we don’t have that much longer to hold out.
Speaking of which, I’m going to have to abandon my CSA shares on July 24 and July 31. If you are interested in seeing what Roxbury is like for a week, I’d rather give these shares away to a couple of readers than have them go to the food bank. The pickup location is in Albany.
If you would like to be considered for this giveaway, please email me which date you would like along with a few words on why I should choose you from all the entries. The winner will be determined at my discretion, and you may not find it fair (although I will try to be). If you are going to whine should you not be selected for the prize, please don’t play.