Tag Archives: organic

i just noticed i’m a paper bag hoarder.

in my quest to be environmentally friendly and lower my carbon footprint, i save all the paper bags from all the environmentally friendly supermarkets we shop at, namely whole foods and mom’s organic market.

i get so excited about these bags thinking YES. YES I WILL MAKE PAPER BAG FALL FOLIAGE AND MACRAMÉ OUT OF THESE. then i immediately think: no, no i won’t. i’ll buy fake fall foliage from michael’s that’s probably made in china, and macramé, which i just looked up, is actually knitting with knots, which sounds kind of cool, but has nothing to do with paper bags.

no, what i actually think will happen is that i’ll reuse these bags, responsibly and carefully bringing them back to these supermarkets, casually telling the moderately friendly cashier, oh! i actually brought my own bags today so i won’t be needing new ones. i will pretend not to care that she forgets to give me 5 to 10 cents off (depending on the supermarket) for each bag that i brought, because in the end, i’m doing my part to save the environment, right? who needs 1o cents off my bill for each bag i bring? (I DO DAMMIT. LADY GIVE ME MY DISCOUNT.) ahem.

anyway, here’s what actually happens: i forget to bring back the damn bags. and instead bring back MORE paper bags each time i shop. and they pile up in our laundry area until the extra-large non-supermarket paper bag that’s holding them all is actually about to burst. and then, when i can’t possibly fit another one in, i think: oh. i’m actually a paper bag hoarder. and i won’t be satisfied until every last inch of our home is filled with paper bags, so many that i won’t even be able to find my own spouse.

HOLLY! i’ll shout, when this day inevitably arrives, panicked, swimming through the paper bags like it’s a giant, adult-sized, environmentally friendly ball pit. HONEY WHERE ARE YOU. GIVE ME A SIGN THAT YOU CAN HEAR ME.

and i’ll hear a small, soft voice–and crinkling–from somewhere in the house (i won’t know where because the sound is so muffled from all the paper) saying, out of breath from the effort of shouting through piles and piles of densely packed paper bags–honey! over here! i told you. to start. bringing. the bags. back. 

i’ll hang my head in shame. except for i can’t even hang it. there’s too many bags. so i’ll just place my chin on a pile and weep. i won’t even have to wipe my eyes because my tears will flow directly into the highly absorbent bags made from 80% post-consumer waste.

OK NO. what actually happens is that i use these bags as recycling receptacles and to bring snacks on long car rides. but unless we start running some sort of after school program, there will never be enough recycling to fill all these bags. and there’s just not enough long car rides. so what’s happened is that i’ve now accumulated (i counted them yesterday)…43 paper bags. FORTY-THREE. PAPER BAGS. who needs that many paper bags? no one! only supermarkets!

my favorite part is that i actually save all these small paper bags. you know, the cute ones? thinking: i’ll pack my lunch in this! yes! i’ll reuse it and pack my organic lunch in it! but no! DUH, i work from home! so i’ll carry something in it, i think. YES! something artisanal. and i will hand whatever it is (dark chocolate, probably, or some kind of sheep’s milk cheese or an annoying IPA beer) to a hipster guy with a beard, who will reuse this little bag until holes begin to form in it and then he and his bearded friends will compost it while wearing fitted plaid shirts to grow, i don’t know, lima beans or pumpkins or something and make aioli out of them.

NO. you know what happens with these little artisanal paper bags? THEY GO IN THE RECYCLING. in fact, i recycle them in the large bags that i fill with all the other recyclables each week. so now i actually have paper bags within paper bags within paper bags (if they’re double bagged, which about half of them are).

PLEASE TELL ME I’M NOT THE ONLY PAPER BAG HOARDER OUT THERE. PLEASE GIVE ME IDEAS OF THINGS TO DO WITH THEM SO I DON’T WIND UP ON THAT TLC SHOW. I DON’T WANT AN INTERVENTION. I’M JUST A FORGETFUL PERSON THAT WANTS TO HELP SAVE THE EARTH. AND DON’T TELL ME TO GET THOSE REUSABLE BAGS. I FORGET TO BRING THEM, TOO. I HAVE LIKE 10 OF THEM, SOME OF WHICH ARE NOW HOLDING PAPER BAGS.

A photo of lots of paper bags.

an actual photo of my paper bag collection. there’s more but they couldn’t fit in the shot. do you want some? i’ll send them to you. maybe we should just get a fire pit and use them as kindling. we could turn off our heat and stay warm by the fire. we could also cook meat over the fire. reduce. reuse. recycle.

a note to manufacturers: not everyone likes rosemary so stop putting it in everything.

rosemary

WHY WHY WHY.

apropos of nothing (mental note: learn how to spell “apropos” so google can stop correcting you. also learn: synagogue, initiative, occasional. oh and aesthetic, which, hello, practically impossible.) — ANYWAY, apropos of nothing, i’m going to rant about rosemary, which, in my book, is long overdue.

first of all, if you have an intense love of rosemary, i strongly suggest you stop reading right now. just click the X and close out of this page. then run to your local produce department. once you get there, grab armloads of rosemary. throw it up in the air like you just don’t care. squeeze it between your fingers so the rosemary oil gets on your skin and then smell your fingers. that way holly and i can easily identify you. you, with the smell. sniffing your fingers in the supermarket. you ought to be ashamed of yourself.

so yeah, go ahead and buy all the rosemary in the world, we don’t even care. wanna know why? IT’S IN EVERYTHING ANYWAY. we can’t get away from it.

let me tell you a story. the story goes like this:

in my continuing effort to eat less grains in order to keep my blood-sugar steady, which therefore prevents me from getting hangry (i.e. so hungry you’re actually angry) while simultaneously helping me ward off type 2 diabetes, an affliction of the jews (the hiatal hernia i actually already have – OY. mental note: learn how to spell “hiatal” ), not to be confused with the bread of afflictionHEY OH! passover joke! (passover starts soon, biznatches! overeat pizza now so you don’t miss it. wait don’t. wait…nothing. forget i even said that.)

…so yes, in my continuing efforts to limit grains (SERIOUSLY I DON’T EVEN EAT PIZZA THAT OFTEN SHUT UP), i often purchase mary’s gone crackers, which, despite their odd name, are actually pretty good. they’re gluten-free and made of a variety of seeds, which, i don’t actually understand? regardless, they’re actually quite delicious. i usually buy the “original” crackers. they have served me well despite the fact that i continue to be confused about how they’re made.

at some point over the past two years, i decided to, you know, spice things up and picked up a box of the “herb” variety. BIG MISTAKE. listing “herbs” on an organic product (these crackers are organic like everything else we eat–yes, as i said years ago, we have truly become one of those households with nothing to eat, where you have to make everything. like a hippie. or a colonial person.) is not only vague but it’s also dangerous for those of us that don’t like rosemary. i feel like if an organic food lists “herbs” in its ingredient list, it probably contains enough rosemary to kill or at least choke a small to medium-sized mammal. oh and forget about salad bars. (YEAH WHOLE FOODS, I’M LOOKIN AT YOU. PEOPLE THAT DON’T LIKE ROSEMARY EXIST.) i’ll get to that in a minute.

anyway, as you can probably guess, the predominant flavor in these crackers was rosemary. it was like munching on a pine tree. ON A PINE. TREE. mary, (as in: of Mary’s Gone Crackers) would it be so hard to list ROSEMARY as an ingredient in your herb crackers? WOULD IT BE. SO HARD. no! i don’t think it would be!

i was recently reminded of this debacle yesterday when i delightedly opened a box of mary’s gone ALL NEW super seed crackers. which, hello, i was totally excited for! i mean, pumpkin seeds AND sunflower seeds AND poppy seeds in ADDITION to all the OTHER SEEDS. it was too much.

i bit into a cracker and at first i thought: oh my gosh. it’s almost like: an everything bagel! but then: NO. no no no NO. the familiar and unwelcome flavor of rosemary–of pine and soil itself–bloomed in my mouth. i shook the crackers at the sky. WHYYYYYYY. i shouted. WHYYYYYY.

no, i didn’t do that. who even shakes anything at the sky anymore? only people in biblical movies. i’d be more likely to throw the damn box across the room but i didn’t want to clean it up. anyway, it made me want to rant. so here i am.

why my intense dislike for rosemary? (oh hooo, this is going to get me in major trouble with some of you but whatever. it was bound to come out sooner or later.) first of all, if you break it up and toss it in things before you cook them–say, red-skinned potatoes, for example–it dries out and becomes these pokey little needles that can not only stab you in the throat, but choke you if they flip sideways in your esophagus! (go figure, i can spell esophagus.)

this very thing happened to me years ago. luckily, i was able to push the offending needle or needles down with a gulp of water or a slice of bread but it was touch and go there for a minute. it was touch and go. and it probably irritated my hiatal hernia.

and yes, if i wanted to gnaw on a pine needle, i’d gnaw on a pine needle. if i wanted to taste the earth’s rich, bountiful soil, i’d just eat a handful of rich bountiful soil.

and now for the kicker: THE WHOLE FOODS SALAD BAR. guys. c’mon. is it necessary to put rosemary in every single dish?? IS IT? i’ll tell you what: it’s not. because i don’t do it at home. this is the universe telling me to avoid the whole foods salad bar. it’s too damn expensive anyway. i already had words with the sushi guy. i should forget their prepared foods altogether.

so. in closing, does rosemary have its place? yes. but in small doses. (and YES, it can be good in a roasted chicken dish, so please don’t mention roasted chicken to me. i already know.)

if you are a manufacturer of something PLEASE list it on your ingredient list as not all of us want to eat pine sol. and chop the damn stuff up dammit! you want a lawsuit or something?? i should not have to review a heimlich maneuver chart before i eat your food.

heimlich maneuver

“help…i have rosemary…stuck…in my throat.” “i gotcha, buddy. i gotcha.”

next up:  my recent-ish 30-minute flight from pittsburgh to baltimore, also known as I Took Too Much Xanax & Held a (Kind) Stranger’s Hand. until then, please don’t choke on rosemary. or at least avoid it if you’re with me because you know my ass isn’t gonna know how the hell to save you and before i can do anything, i’ll have to google “heimlich maneuver” and you know i’ll spell it wrong.