Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Beef Tenderloin

I love Ryan and Ryan loves food, so this morning I got the notion in my head to make him a delicious and meaty man meal to show him how much I love him. As you may know, I am not much of a whiz in the kitchen... so planning, shopping for and making a meal is kinda a big deal for me.

I decided to get my "One-Armed Cook" book off the shelf because it says "Quick and easy recipes, smart meal plans and savvy advice for new (and not-so-new) moms." I can't think of any cook book that would suit me better, eh?

I turn to the "Main Dishes" chapter in search of the first really meaty meal.
"Beef Tenderloin - There is no finer main dish for a celebration, serving a crowd, or serving an important guest." I think to myself, "This will be perfect for Ryan! He is a very important guest!" So I write down all of the ingredients on my shopping list, pack Ruby into her car seat and head to the grocery.

I have mentioned before here, here and here I do not love going to the grocery, mostly because I'm not good at it. You know those women who love the grocery? The ones who are aware of sales and knowledgeable about how much a gallon of milk usually costs compared to the price they are looking at. They have fancy ingredients in their carts, they buy fresh vegetables that I don't know the names of. They are amazing to me. I want to be like them... but I'm not.

Honestly, I do not know how much a loaf of bread costs. I have bought bread every time I've ever been to the grocery in the last decade, but I could not tell you right now how much a loaf should cost. The same goes for a gallon of milk, or a bag of apples. I know - it's embarrassing! You'd think a gal with honors grades in college could retain such useful information, but instead my brain is full of the first and last names of all the students in my 2nd grade class. I could even tell you some of their phone numbers from memory! RIDICULOUS!

Back to the grocery. Most of the items on my grocery list are in my cart and get to the one that says "3.5 to 5-pound beef tenderloin, trimmed by the butcher" (I wrote it on my list EXACTLY like the One-Armed Cook book had it listed.) I go up to the counter and calmly place my order as if I've ordered this particular cut of meat a thousand times before. The butcher walks over, grabs a HUMONGOUS beef thing and begins slicing around and around until there is a beautiful chunk of meat. He puts it on the scale, wraps it up in white paper, sticks the sticker on it and hands it to me with a smile. I say thanks and turn to put it into my cart. That's when my eyes caught the price tag. $83.27!! WHAT? How could the One-Armed-Cook book people think that new moms would have such incredibly deep wallets?!?! The butcher must have noticed the look on my face and probably could tell that maybe I wasn't the brilliant chef I wanted him to think I was. He asked me what I was going to make and unfortunately I had not written the title of the recipe on my grocery list, so I said to him "Beef Tenderloin... like a roast type of thing?" He said I could try to do it with a cut of steak instead, so I took his advice and got 2 $8 cuts and thanked him for not forcing me to purchase the huge slab of meat that had been specifically cut to my request.

I swiftly rolled my cart a final time down every aisle (because that's just how good I am at grocery shopping) and headed for the check-out. That's when I looked down and noticed that the navy blue t-shirt I was wearing had a huge dried smear of white chunky spit up from my shoulder down to my belly button. Nice touch.

As the check-out girl is ringing up my order and putting everything in bags I notice that she is really filling them up to the brim. I think to myself, "She must think I'm really strong. Doesn't she see that I have an infant in a car seat that I'm also carrying? I am not sure that I can pack-mule bags that heavy... I am going to have to make a million trips back and forth from the car to unload these bags! I better say something!"

Apparently my hint, "I'd rather have more lighter bags than a couple really heavy ones" wasn't clear. Just for kicks I put a couple of my grocery bags on the bathroom scale when I got home. 13.4 and 14.6 pounds each!!

Other than expensive beef, spit-up on my shirt, and the heaviest grocery bags I've ever had to carry, I'd say it was a successful trip! I'll let you know how the Beef Tenderloin recipe goes when I try to use steaks instead. I'm guessing it's going to be a disaster!
Here's the rest of the story


Julia said...

Amber-hilarious post! I am one of those ladies who loves the grocery, but I have never talked to the butcher to get a particular cut--too intimidating for me!
I took Abby out for groceries today, and it is a lot harder when you have to tote her around as well. I really hope that your recipe went well!!

Mo said...

haha! I pictured the entire string of events in my head and it's even hillarious the second time around. ur funny :)

Kerri said...

I love you Amber! You made my morning. I had to share with the family here at vox. Yes, I'm the girl who know how much things cost and enjoys it when something is on sale AND I have a coupon. Double bonus. You crack me up. Don't ever stop writing.

Sarah Schraw said...

This is HILARIOUS. I am so glad you didn't have to buy the $80 meat! I can't wait to hear how cooking it went.

J Aquila said...

I'm right there with Mo.

I can see you explaining yourself to the butcher, as well as the interaction with the check out girl.

The best mental picture is you hauling the heavy bags to the scale and weighting them.

Mark Beeson said...

One of the funniest posts ever written! I loved it.

Corrie and Phil said...

GREAT story! As a grocery girl, I've noticed that beef tenderloin only goes on sale once a month or so. If you happen to catch that rare time, take advantage. As the price indicates, there's nothing else like it. BUT, you don't want to take out a second mortgage in order to pay for your dinner.

How did the steaks turn out??? :)

Sarah said...

When I read this I laughed so hard! Thank you so much for sharing this story!