Perhaps you know my feelings about Sam's Club. If you're like my friend Lydia, who upon reading my food book, said about my Walmart screed, "why don't you tell us how you really feel?" I've only been inside a Walmart once and that was in Hawaii and I just went in to pee. I would have peed on the floor but I'm a lady. Or something.
But also. If you know anything about my feelings about the impending global food shortages, you know how I feel about Costco. Costco is one of our few weapons against the apocalypse. How will you survive the End of Days? With 24 boxes of Macaroni and Cheese. With one full pound of Parmesan. With a case of canned tomatoes.
(Two side stories. Once, for Renn Fayre, the final party of the year after theses were turned in at Reed College, I was an assistant to the makers of the hummus. Or the tabouli. Not, sadly, the meat smoke. Still, I promised the hummus makers that Costco carried a 32 ounce tub of peeled garlic. When we arrived at Costco (my mom sent me to college with a membership), they had no tubs of garlic. We had to peel our own. That is one problem with the Costco. It doesn't always have on the shelves this week what it had on the shelves last week. The second story is also about college and my mother. She sent me to Reed with a case of pencils. I ran out of those pencils just a year ago. That's like 18 years worth of pencils.)
Here's the problem. Flagstaff has no Costco. I emailed Costco the first thing when we moved here. "Will you be moving here soon?", I asked. "There is no "public" information about that," I was told. I took it to mean I just had to wait a couple of weeks. But now, two years later, there is still no Costco.
I was out of parm. I was out of contact cleaning solution. Out of Benadryl and shitake mushrooms. At some point, and, after I had to pointedly boycott Target for their particularly anti-gay attitude lately, I could not go on without. Is Sam's Club worse for the world than Costco? Is there more packaging, more stuff made in China, more jobs lost, more small businesses put out by Sam's Club than Costco. Probably not. And, these are dire times. The food. It is short.
So I went. I paid the $40 for the membership and bought organic nectarines, two pounds of shitakes, grapes, chicken thighs, 24 Sierra Nevadas for $18, six boxes of spaghetti, 5 avocados, pine nuts (oh how I've been holding out for the full pound of pine nuts), two bottles of wine (the Sam's Club in Arizona has benefits over the Sam's Club or the Costco in teetotaling Utah), bread, tortillas (more than we'll ever eat), cold cuts, and Greek yogurt, laundry and dishwasher soap.
The packaging was no more disturbing than at the regular grocery. And, the bonus is, I didn't have to go to the regular grocery store all week. Which is the main goal. Besides providing provisions for the end times. Also, now I can invite you over for dinner. For tortillas. with butter.
p.s. Erik went back two days later and got tissues, paper towels, milk and butter. So do come for the butter.