So my husband, Anthony, says to me this morning, "Let's go shopping." By shopping, Anthony means the grocery store. With a list.
(I just got back from seeing "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" - an unfortunate name for a musical, just one woman's opinion - in New York. The Friday night late show. Not my usual cup of tea, but it was pretty good. I'm a little tired, you know?)
"Good idea," I say. "Sunday is Easter."
"Sunday is Easter? Are you sure?"
"Isn't Easter at the end of April?"
"It varies. Look, call up one of your buddies and ask him if Sunday is Easter. You know, somebody you can trust."
(This, from a man who has to ask - every year - when Thanksgiving is. Though, to be fair, he does pretty well with New Year's Day and the 4th of July.)
Shopping? No problem. I walk over to my computer, dredge up the "Easter Shopping List" out of My Documents, and print it. Okay, honey, let's go.
And here's a one for you.
If you're going to do my menu, just copy and paste:
Easter Shopping List
8 baking potatoes
2 large onions
3 bunches of asparagus
2 large jars of maraschino cherries
1 large can of mandarin orange segments
2 large cans of pineapple chunks
2-3 dozen eggs
3 large packages of shredded cheddar cheese
1 gallon of milk
1 large half-and-half
3 small cartons of heavy whipping cream
1 small container of sour cream
2 lbs of butter
3 loaves of cheap, sliced white bread
Easter candy (for baskets)
3 large disposable aluminum roaster pans
Some of this is overkill, I know, but better than having half the strata done and running out of cheese. We bought everything on the list except for the fresh fruits and vegetables (we'll get those on Good Friday) and the lamb cake (my girlfriend will bring that, along with more wine, bless her). The rest will keep just fine until Sunday. Cheap, packaged white bread is indestructible, and ham lasts forever. In fact, I'm surprised that no archaeologist has ever dug up an ancient ham.
Now, if you're NOT going to go with my menu, here are two approaches to making a shopping list:
The Scientific Method
This is where you take out all your recipes, write down the ingredients, and add them up. For example: 2 loaves of white bread + 2 sticks of butter + 3 packages of cheese + 1/2 tsp of dry mustard + 5 cups of milk + 8 eggs = Egg & Cheese Strata. Add 12 eggs for hard boiling/dyeing = 20 eggs, etc. This is tedious, but accurate, and there's less of a chance you'll make a mistake. Unless you're like me, who can go into a store with detailed written instructions, and come out with only half the stuff. My mind wanders. That's why why I don't drive.
The Zen Method
Find a quiet place where you won't be disturbed. Pour yourself a glass of wine. Now, visualize yourself making Easter dinner, writing down the ingredients as you go along. Needless to say, this is much more hit-or-miss than the previous method. But a lot more fun.
Either way, save a copy and you only have to do this once.
One and done. I'm all about that.