Sunday, May 14, 2006

Parsley. We've Got Your Back.

I've finally procured a large cooking pot. I had a frustrating afternoon of running around Barcelona trying to find a pot, thwarted in my efforts first by the stunningly high prices at El Corte Ingles, a department store, and then by the closing of all possible cooking-pot shops for siesta. I had a less-than-enamoured-with-Spain moment. But I finally found a pot in a home-accoutrements store near our apartment, for a reasonable price. The pot is not glamourous, not nearly as nice as my heavy, heirloom-quality pot I have packed up in a box in Connellsville. "Are you sure this pot is okay?" Andrew asked, dubiously pinging the bottom with his knuckles. "Are you sure it won't catch on fire?" I was pretty sure. So we bought it.

Yesterday afternoon, we went to the grocery store to buy some things to cook in the pot, including some vegetables. Buying vegetables in a Spanish grocery store is a fairly daunting task, since after putting the chosen vegetable in a plastic bag you have to go to an electronic scale, find the vegetable on a long list, and type in the accompanying number. The price sticker pops out from a little slot, and you put it on the bag. Fortunately, at our grocery store, the number is right there on the sign next to the vegetable--you have to remember the number, but you don't have to know the Spanish word. Everything is clearly marked.

Except the parsley. Near the lettuce, on top of a stack of plastic-wrapped water bottles, was a huge hank of parsley, as large as my two wrists put together. There was no sign identifying it, and no number. It looked like it had been left there by mistake. I didn't want that much parsley, so Andrew asked a salesperson if there were any smaller bunches. "Just take out as much as you want," the salesperson said. "What's the number?" Andrew asked. "There is no number," the salesperson said. "Just take as much as you want."

Confused, we took out some parsley from the bunch and put it in a plastic bag. We brought it to the register with our other purchases, and Andrew told the cashier, "There was no number for the parsley." The cashier shook his head and waved the parsley through. "There is no number," he said. "You just take as much as you want."

Apparently, at our grocery store, Condis, parsley is provided free of charge. That should be the store's motto: Parsley. We've Got Your Back.


auntiejo said...

Free parsley? You are sure to return!!! :-)

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