December 01, 2006

Cranberries Are Not Cherries (Or Oranges)

Tonight I thought that I'd pull out a time-honored (all of eight years!) recipe for chocolate-cherry bread and make a loaf to bring along to a party tomorrow. Chocolate bread squares + Nutella spread = desserty item. However, I ran into a problem.

Last time I made this recipe, even the meanest and most puny Albertsons in our neighborhood sold dried cherries, usually in a bulk bin where you could scoop out as much as you wanted. It seems, however, that all bulk bins have been replaced by commercially packaged dried fruit. (This must have been about the same time that they replaced all of the sprigs of spices wrapped into twist-tied bundles with the neatly plastic-boxed alternative, where you get a fraction of what you used to for three times the price.) About 90% of the selection is apricots, raisins, and cranberries. Most of the cranberries are "Craisins" masquerading as something else — orange-flavored cranberries! Blueberry-flavored cranberries! Cherry-flavored cranberries! Apparently if you've got dried fruit A that's been doctored to taste like dried fruit B, you don't actually have to bother stocking any actual fruit B.

Coming soon: beef- and pork-flavored chicken! (Or maybe that should be beef-flavored Animal 57.)

Yes, if I'd planned ahead, I could have tried the neighborhood farmers' market, or Trader Joe's or Henry's (the Whole Foods-esque market across the freeway, where everyone in the neighborhood who's too scared to shop at Vons goes). But I'm an American, damnit; I need instant gratification with a minimum of prior planning! When I get the notion to make chocolate-cherry bread at 8:30 PM, I expect to be able to go out and obtain my ingredients right away, man!

I think that I give up. Hopefully we won't sink so low as to bring chips and dip instead.

Posted by Kevin at December 1, 2006 11:12 PM
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