"This would be a good follow-up article," my husband said with a grin. I pondered his suggestion as I grabbed a grocery cart. A while back, I wrote about a grocery shopping trip I took with our son. I was providing a "kitchen warming" gift for him after he moved into his own place. I stocked his cupboards, refrigerator and freezer with a variety of foods that he chose during our shopping trip. I was amazed at the healthful choices he made. I should have had him be my guest writer that week, or perhaps our personal chef.
"I'm more German than you are Norwegian!" my husband exclaimed, grinning at me. He sounded a little too triumphant, I thought to myself. We were reviewing the results of our DNA testing. I looked at his ethnicity pie charts, and he was correct. He was 82 percent German to my 72 percent Norwegian. He was zero percent Scandinavian, poor guy. How had we survived more than 25 years of marriage? I could understand why he likes sauerkraut and sausages, I thought to myself.
"Hi, I'm Julie. What's your name?" I asked the woman sitting at the table at a food safety conference. She responded with her name and place of work, and asked me where I work. "I work at North Dakota State University," I replied. "I went to college there," she said enthusiastically. "What was your major?" I asked. "I majored in food science and minored in food safety almost 20 years ago," she said. "I must have been your instructor," I replied as I held up my name badge.
The woman looked in my cart, glanced up at me and smiled. "I know how you feel," she said. I didn't look sad or dejected, by the way. I laughed and kept adding more items to my cart. What was I loading in my cart? I'll give you a hint: I was in a hardware and home goods store. I didn't have my cart filled with candy, chips and soda, which you might find in that type of retail store. I was picking out packets of flower and vegetable seeds and seed-starting media. I want to grow things.
When I arrived at work, the temperature was 57 F. At this temperature, the students on campus have packed away their winter coats, scarves, hats, mittens and boots. They are wearing shorts and flip-flops. Unfortunately, 57 degrees was the temperature in my office. The outdoor temperature was at least 60 degrees colder, so my office was balmy, compared with sitting outside on a snowbank. After a call to maintenance, I sat down to begin my work. I tried not to focus on being cold as I sat and shivered.
I glanced at my alarm clock one morning. I was expecting the alarm would be going off any minute. I usually get up at 6 a.m. The clock said 7:24 a.m. I blinked hard and looked again. The time hadn't changed. We had overslept. I jumped out of bed and knocked on my school-age daughter's door. She was still in bed and mumbled something about being tired. She was due at school in about 10 minutes. I let her know she needed to be ready to leave in five minutes, and then I went looking for my husband.
"Wow, score!" I thought to myself as I reached for a cookbook with more than 1,600 recipes from 17 countries. Better yet, the book was marked $3 at the antique store, and all books had an additional 25 percent markdown that day. They were practically giving the book away. I retrieved my phone and noted the cookbook being sold online for prices ranging from $5 to $40, with positive reviews. The copyright date was 1981. That stung a little. I don't exactly consider the 1980s as antique-worthy, but my kids would.
"What should I make for dinner?" I asked my older daughter when we were at the grocery store on a very cold February day. "Let's have wild rice soup," she said. "OK, I will find a recipe to try," I noted. I pulled out my phone and began checking some recipe sites for a soup recipe to adapt. "No, I want the kind in a package," she said. "That's high in sodium," my husband chimed in as he glanced in my direction.
Can you find your pulse? Try placing your index and third finger on the side of your neck to the side of your windpipe. You also can check your pulse on your wrist. Once you find your pulse, count the number of beats you feel in 15 seconds and multiply by four to determine your heart rate. Lots of factors can influence your heart rate, including your age, emotional state, smoking status, fitness level, body position and medications. On average, a pulse rate between 60 and 100 beats per minute is considered "normal," but check with your health-care provider for advice.
As I pushed a cart through a retail store, my husband motioned for me to join him. He was looking at something and grinning. When I reached the kitchen towel display, I laughed. I perused the funny sayings printed on the towels. He pointed at a towel that said, "Many have eaten here. Few have died." I think he would have bought the towel for me. However, I am not sure that would send the right message about our cooking to our guests. They probably suddenly would feel too full to eat anything.