Friday, May 18, 2007

Your Move, TJ

A few months ago -- or maybe it was back in the fall sometime -- Trader Joe’s opened up a store about two blocks from where @ and I work. If you’ll recall, this inspired a string of posts about the grocery phenomenon that is TJ’s... and Go Lean bars. However, I was so intrigued by the chain I went so far as to do a little research. Research people! I typed the phrase “Trader Joe’s” and “something else I can no longer remember” into Google in an attempt to figure out how they kept their prices so low. I quickly lost interest. Because of this tendency towards adult ADD, I don’t have an answer for those of you out there wondering, “Yeah, how does Trader Joe’s keep their prices so low?” For the sake of moving on, I’m going to go with… economies of scale… something…diminishing returns… stocks… bonds… something… something… capitalism… I don’t know, OK? What do I look like? An oracle?

Regardless, the point is… Trader Joe’s never ceases to amaze… the only major issue I ever have with them is their inability to keep Go Lean bars in stock – those fuckers fly off the shelves like nobody’s business. I’m veering wildly of course here. That thing I just wrote was actually not the point at all.

This is the real point: @ says to me several months ago, “Lou, you simply must try TJ’s roasted red pepper spread.” And then she described to me several uses she had discovered for said “spread.” I might have nodded off during this mini-lecture on the many virtues of Trader Joe’s red pepper spread. Needless to say, I was not convinced. But my friends, I cannot fight fate. I cannot stop the future from happening. And so, one day while meandering through the aisles of Trader Joe’s, I stumbled--as though by chance--upon a jar of florescent orange red pepper spread and decided to give it a shot.

Not sure what to make of the orange “stuff,” I tasted it straight out of the jar. Hmmm…. I was not inspired. The jar sat in the fridge for a week or so until one day, while in the midst of a quesadilla bender, I ran out of salsa and was too lazy to go to the grocery store. Just so you understand the level of laziness involved in this decision, I should mention here that there is a grocery store approximately 20 feet from my back door.

Refusing to consider eating anything besides a folded tortilla with a little bit of reduced-fat Mexican style cheese melted in between the two halves, I saw the bright orange jar and I decided that the "orange stuff" deserved one more chance... if for no better reason than pure desperation.

Talk about a 180. Immediately, I was hooked something terrible. It just so happens--like @ said--that roasted red pepper spread is the perfect accompaniment to the quesadilla. It didn't take long before the jar was G-O-N-E. I had to have more! I could no longer fathom life without it. And then--not unlike most men--Joe let me down. The red pepper spread was gone.

Finally, today it was back on the shelves. I anticipated its arrival because I consulted Trader Joe's staff members as to its whereabouts early in the week. "Thursday night," they told me. And sure enough, on Friday at noon, the roasted red pepper spread was there. Just to be safe, I bought two jars, but I didn't stop there. I also bought tortillas and cheese. Then, feeling particularly ambitious, I went back to the office and started making quesadillas on my desk...

That's how badly I wanted--no... needed--the red pepper spread. Waiting until I went home to gorge myself with quesadillas did not seem like an option. The taco soup I had packed for my healthy and well-portioned lunch? Wasted.

I seriously ate like 42 quesadillas (OK... four)... while sitting in front of my laptop at work. I felt disgusting so, in an attempt to cleanse myself, I went to the gym... and almost threw up. Not really. I made myself stop eating at 3:30pm so as to avoid any real running and excessive quesadilla/red pepper spread consumption issues. Still, I never quite sweated it out as much as I would have liked.

After I finished my workout, I came home and, though not actually hungry at all due to my earlier eating indiscretions, did the only thing I could...

I ate about six more quesadillas (OK... three).


@ said...

also delicious on whole wheat with turkey and baby greens. TJ's is my boyfriend.

heidikins said...

Must. Find. Similar. Spread. There isn't a TJ's anywhere near me (as in, within 600 miles) so I'm off to find some kind of replacement, because I am seriously craving Mexican food right about now.