Vermont is so quirky. It has these strange norms, ways of life that would seem crazy in another state, but work perfectly here. One of the phenomenons I had to get in on was a food buying club although if you are in the know, it is cooler to refer to it as co-op or food co-op. Let's call it co-op from now on.
Co-op in it's most basic form is like a BJs or Sam's Club, but Vermont style. A group of people join together to form one large club with one giant order. This order makes it worthwhile for a food company (in my specific case, UNFI which also serves places like Whole Foods) to add your club to it's route of deliveries. Co-op members place their order on a monthly basis and then a bunch of us get together for the "divide". This is where it gets kind of laughable: imagine a tractor trailer truck stopping along a dirt road and unloading it's wares of: a 5lb bag of oats, 24 boxes of salmon filets, 1lb oolong loose tea, 2 pairs of Maggie's tights, a 12 pack case of Tom's of Maine peppermint toothpaste... to some assorted, eager Vermonters who then sort out the items on a tarp and eventually send them on their proper way home. I couldn't help but laugh the first time I participated in all of this. It is outlandish, difficult to explain, and so very cool. I mean, a group of folks who see a need in their (rural) community and take action to solve the problem? How is that not cool?
All the ordering is done online, so while I hit it right 90% of the time, occasionally what I think I ordered and what is delivered are two decidedly different things. Like the case of Annie's Mac 'N Cheese. It arrived as small pots that could be microwaved. I do not have a microwave and tried to wish those cup packages back into the rectangular boxes I thought I had ordered. It didn't work.
Next up, I boiled some water and poured it into the cup to the fill line. Waited a few moments until the noodles became edible, poured out a little of the excess water, and stirred in the cheese packet. My kids were none the wiser. PHEW.
This post could have alternatively been titled "How I fixed my mac 'n cheese ordering blunder". Also "Get creative so you don't lose money on what you now have in your pantry." But really it was a little jaunt to take a break from my holiday happenings. How are all of your holiday preparations going?
Other enjoyable break activities include playing in the snowy woods and drinking hot cocoa.