Five Reasons Why Grocery Shopping for Guests is Like Development Work. . .

The first time I spent extended time with my brother and his wife to be, we went out to eat a lot. The second time, she cooked in my kitchen and I didn’t care because I didn’t even know how to use it. The third time, she cooked in her kitchen but she showed me her Ziploc bag full of recipes and when I returned home I mailed her personalized recipe cards with family recipes written on them. She couldn't read them. The English was too confusing and the ingredients too foreign. The fourth time she brought her Ziploc bag of recipes. We never looked at them, but we cooked together a little. More importantly, we sat together afterwards and I copied down the recipes I had seen in the words she said. My goal is to do keep doing better by working together. To use the spices in recipes I wrote down and ones I make up on my own. I still believe we can blend habits and attitudes, if only for 30 minutes at 400 degrees. That is why below I have listed the missteps that make grocery shopping for your guests the same as those in development work. Both can be hard to stomach.

  1. You take the time to buy the extras, things that are special, that even you do not normally eat. You want them to have the best of everything, better than you. My dad bought cherries. No one touched them, not even us. Nice intent and effort, but really makes no sense. It’s not researched.

  2. Even when "they" eat the standard food, it’s not right. Not the correct brand or it tastes off. Often, "they" eat something they like better as a snack ahead of time.

  3. Someone gets sick and the search begins for who is to blame. Is it the spices? The oil? No, must be germs.

  4. Leftovers are left as unopened presents. Instead of being put in a closet, they are left in the trash.

  5. The items provided to be used are bought or “donated” but you aren’t in control of what happens to them. The ingredients become something you had never intended to put in your mouth.

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