hiding the goods before things go bad

In ALL, ENTERTAINING by Stephanie Klein

I’m no expert when it comes to cocktails. This girl likes her wine (especially a Pinot Noir from Oregon’s Willamette Valley, where the climate is similar to Burgundy:   Yum!). But I can say that freshly squeezed juices make just about all the difference there is.

For our recent New Year’s Hair Of The Dog Brunch (we had 43 people, including the 18 children running about), I put out the Cuisinart food processor with the citrus attachments. I love the thing and use it often enough, but guests seemed to need instructions, so it wasn’t ideal. And by ideal I mean, it was a juicy bitch. Next time, I’d buy freshly squeezed juice from the gourmet market, and by the time we ran out, people would be soused to the gills, ready to get a juicin’, bitch or not.

I’ve had my eye out for a hardcore chrome manual juicer. No ceramic, no hand-held number, but the old school one you somehow see in catalogs, even though they don’t actually sell them, “No, no, Mam, that’s just for merchandising.” Ew.

So, I’m at Sur La Table the other day to buy a long-overdue wedding gift (what, we have a year!) and I couldn’t quite help myself. I bought it on the spot. $128. Then I brought it home and stashed it in the laundry room.

I am not in the habit of hiding purchases, though I’ll allow that I sometimes “economize” on my baggage from car to house, moving all the contents from several bags and condensing everything into a single tote. This way it appears I’ve done less damage. Not just spending money, but spending time (All those stores, really? Couldn’t you just go to one and be done with it?). But after December birthdays, Hanukkah and Christmas, might be best to tread lightly. Still, it was shiny.

The next day I receive a message from my step-mother Carol, saying she saw a mechanical juicer on sale at Rue La La for $49! The same brand, slightly different model than the one in my trunk. I race to my computer (despite having the Rue La La app on my phone—wait, do I have a problem?), log-in, scroll, and… SOLD OUT.

I hate you. But, I also love you. Know why? It’s because of you, that I’m now motivated to scour the web for the best price, and if I find it cheaper, I can simply return the one I purchased as Good Sur, because Sur La Table is awesome like that. They have the best return policy ever.

“Whenever, however,” the sales associate told me. “You don’t even need the receipt.” It’s smart because it makes me want to shop there, knowing if I end up not really loving something, not really even using something, I can simply return it. “Yeah, no questions asked. We’ll never make you feel bad about it or give you a dirty look.” Love to love them. Also, I know I’ve said it before, but I used to HATE baking like I hated slow people. But ever since this came into my life, I now only hate slow people. No more goddamn measuring and leveling. I DUMP the flour in, and voila! It tells me when I have the exact amount of flour/sugar/water/milk, etc. that the recipe requires. It’s my most favorite thing.

I digress, I know. THE POINT: I now have a shiny new toy HIDING in my laundry room with over a dozen oranges on my kitchen counter (did you know the uglier the orange, the sweeter and juicier it is? I swear, it’s like Puerto Rican women believing the louder she screams while giving birth, the more beautiful the baby will be).

“You’re going to be mad,” I say to Phil. He says nothing. “I bought something.” I wait. He stands there. He shakes his head.
“Just, don’t tell me,” he says, then leaves the room. Awesome.

But wait, is “don’t tell me” the same as “don’t show me?” Like, what you do, when you’re not around me, is your business, so as long as I don’t know? That’s right, I’ll take ignorance and keep the bliss. With this logic, I’d have to continually hide my juicing. Can you imagine? I’d hand over some oranges to Abigail and have her hide them up her shirt. “Today, kids, we’re going to have boobies, like mama. Now, let’s go do laundry!” Then we’d secretively get our juices flowing. A bit much, no?

Instead, I took a long hot shower, then sat in our sauna (because my sister Lea, who’s studying acupuncture and Chinese herbs, says I have “too much damp”). Put on my robe, hit up the laundry room, and hauled the sucker out.

Juiced those citrus pockets like nobody’s business. Ah. Then, I scurried to our office to type this, and now, I’m hiding out. See, told you. I don’t hide purchases, just my purchasing shame.