Brine, baby, brine: Snow Blog II

It’s winter storm time again in the city, and after the rave reviews (thanks, Mom) for my first storm blog, I’m back to help inform the readership with another storm blog installment.

I hit the Kroger at 9501 Westport Road at about 4 o’clock this afternoon, with what must have been every other resident of the Springhurst area of Louisville.

But this report comes courtesy of the customary second “late-night quick run” to grab that lone thing which I forgot. In this case the one thing was semi-sweet chocolate chips, which might not seem a necessity with a snow emergency looming, but trust me. I have three kids. They are either unable or unwilling to eat any pancake without a chocolate chip smiley face staring back at them. Same goes for waffles. Now, I realize that some parenting “experts” with fancy names like American Academy of Pediatrics, School Nutrition Association, and Child Protective Services, might not approve of this selection. I too, had doubts. When I was a kid, we ate syrup on our waffles and pancakes, like God intended. But a look at the label shows that the Karo and Bob White syrups we were eating have 220 calories per serving, while the chocolate chips have only 70. And far less sugar. So all I could really say was, “Way to be healthy, kids.”

But I digress.

I left the house at 11:45 as the first faint flecks of freezing fury hit my cheeks and froze to the windshield. This was going to be the real thing. I got to Kroger, with exactly 17 cars in the parking lot.

I decided that, in a Tocqueville-esque manner, perhaps, I would tour this market to find out something of our populace.

As you can see by the accompanying photo, at least a portion of the milk section was decimated. Particularly 1% milk, with the 2% and skim also lagging. For those hardy whole milk drinkers, there were no worries. This afternoon, there had been a large puddle of milk on the floor under the coolers, as if shoppers had been so frenzied in their milk mania that they’d fought over the containers. A chug slug, as it were. But the place was clean tonight.

It’s no surprise that the other old storm standby, bread, would be typically hard hit. A couple of entire tables had been empty, smooth as a secondary road before the salt trucks arrive. The shelves showed large gaps, as if hit by some kind of weapon of mass hysteria.

But what else? What else does Louisville turn to in the calm before the storm? What is our collective comfort food?

I’ll tell you.

Shredded cheese. Especially mozzarella. I’m not kidding. The stuff was empty. You had your sharp cheddars and taco mixes still largely intact, but the mozzarella was gone. Perhaps it has some kind of ice-melting quality, since the driveway salt also was gone. Or maybe we like to make our own pizza while snowed in.

We also, apparently, feel like yogurt is an important ice storm food. Doesn’t seem to matter what flavor.

Eggs, you might have guessed, were in short supply. A few Grade A mediums and a bunch of organics were about all you could get on the cusp of the storm.

And then you had your salty snacks. Cool Ranch Doritos, tortilla chips (2 for $6), and many varieties of Lays potato chips, particularly the classic, salt and vinegar and hot and spicy barbeque. Here, I must diverge from my fellow Louisville citizens. The Grippos displays were virtually untouched, until I touched some barbeque chips, which I am eating at this moment, leaving a salty orange residue on the keys. As an added bonus, I can sprinkle the crumbs on the driveway to thaw it out in the morning.

True story.

Saltines and Cheez-Its had been snapped up. And while the beer section was relatively untouched — apparently we like to stay sober in snowstorms, or perhaps prefer the hard stuff — Coors Light and Labatt Blue were nearly gone from the shelves. All I can figure is this. Coors is brewed in Colorado. Labatt is a Canadian beer. Folks from those parts pay no mind to our puny snow, and therefore maintain their drinking routines as usual. I am open to other theories.

And finally, in these mad moments, in this last foray into the market for, who knows how long, maybe 48 hours, what last thing do Louisvillians turn to? Oreos. And apparently we eat them while reading People magazine, which this week features the first couple on the cover, dancing.

So there you go. I’m betting the city is ready for this storm. I can picture us all this time tomorrow, kicked back, making a pizza, wiping the cracker crumbs from our shirts with the yogurt containers on the floor. We’ve got our Doritos and Coors Light and are settling down to learn a little something about the world in People.

And they say we don’t know how to handle a snow storm.

I saw where Fox-41 Television has its own little snow mascot, “Snow Fox.” And I immediately coveted such a marketing gem and set about creating one of our own for the C-J. But my submission of “Snow Wuss,” pictured here, has thus far been rejected. Will keep working.


25 thoughts on “Brine, baby, brine: Snow Blog II

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