Monday, December 04, 2023

Tales From Produce (A)Isle: O Produce Tree, O Produce Tree

 Christmas has come to Produce (A)Isle.

Seasonal foods have flocked to the shelves.  I cannot remember being personally exposed to so many desserts - especially displays full of fruit cakes - in my life. Between pies, cookies, cakes, and random desserts, my store alone may more calories present than some small countries.

Additionally, the appearance of Christmas schlock has made its appearance.  I seldom wander over to that side of the store, but there it is when I go.  Holiday decor, candles, last minute gifts for the desperate or unorganized - all have made their presence known in that most fluctuating of commercial areas, the "seasonal" aisle.

And, of course, the music.

To be honest, the music is not as horrible as it could be.  There is a fair sprinkling of 1940's and 1950's Christmas music, as well as some pretty good jazz arrangements.  Sure, there are the outliers - "All I Want For Christmas" (although not sung by Mariah Carey - not paying those advertising dollars) - but a lot of the normal things are there, including the music from "A Charlie Brown Christmas" (which is really Christmas to me).

As for ourselves in Produce (A)Isle, we are not nearly so fancy.

As Autumn has faded, so have the apple varieties:  we have slowly dwindled from the high point of October with 10 or more apple types to those that we tend to carry year round (It is the season for Granny Smiths, in case you were wondering): Gala, Fuji, Honeycrisp, the aforementioned Granny Smiths as well as the "Why do they take up the space?" Red Delicious.   We are now firmly into citrus season:  at least three kinds of mandarins, two kinds of grapefruits, four kinds of oranges, and pommelos (which I have never had, but look interesting).  Cranberries have a remained from Thanksgiving and the fresh variety remain available (although not, apparently, selling well).  Soup Ingredient kits are also now available (everything you need for a soup; I have to admit they look kind of tempting).  

We do have all the "usual" fruits and vegetables available - although one can really tell we are cycling through the seasons.  For example, the Roma tomatoes showing up to us are barely even red, yet continue to sell well (it is not as if there are a lot of other choices).  It certainly does make visible the fact that we force some of our food to be available instead of seasonal.

A rather odd footnote:  We have been rather shockingly short of spinach and other greens the last week or so, as well as some other general fruits and vegetables.  We are dependent on what the morning truck delivers, so I am not sure if there is a shortage or we are being shorted.  But it is notable, because these are items are regular sellers.  

15 comments:

  1. I have to confess that I pretty much tune out the commercial Christmas push when I'm shopping, including the music. I have a vague awareness that there are over-stuffed Christmas aisles, but since my shopping list is always short, I just stick to it and get what I need. I reckon I'm a very bad consumer.

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    1. Leigh, you are the worst sort of enemy of the consumer economy. Making do and not shopping - why, who knows but this sort of madness will spread and people will only buy what they need, not what the corporations and the social media tells them they need. The recklessness of it all!

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    2. LOL. The irony is that the system itself, with it's all-consuming hunger for economic growth, ends up pushing people in this direction. I just decided to make the best of it.

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    3. Leigh, it is true. The more bemusing part to me is that we have created an entire system where legions of people (perhaps including myself) have skills that are useless outside of a very narrow civilized band of high technology and urban environments - no robustness at all.

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  2. Nylon125:00 AM

    A fascinating post to see from the inside of what I usually see as a consumer TB. A local FM radio station has been blaring the seasonal music since early last month but the CD collection has been busted out, both for home and the SUV......Rat Pack and Johhny Mathis hello!

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    1. Nylon12, I truly am surprised at the musical selection. It really is much less mind numbingly dull than I had anticipated. Lots of old classics.

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  3. This is the time of the year when I try for the most part, to avoid all stores as much as possible. If I need something, I'll drop into a small drugstore that carries some grocery staples and pick it up there. So I get very little exposure to the music, seasonal aisles and such.

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    1. Ed, you are not wrong to do so. I myself avoid stores as much as I can as well (except of course, now I work in one).

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  4. I have to say your post is making me hungry lol...I'm with you on A Charlie Brown Christmas, actually I just watched it this morning! I've been listening mostly to Bing Crosby and Dean Martin Christmas music lately! Tomorrow is monthly shopping day so I will see what they have out! Costco will be a nightmare...not looking forward to it!

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    1. Rain, my mother had a Bing Crosby Christmas record that she always played at Christmas (I assume her parents did the same), so that and Charlie Brown are Christmas music to me.

      Good luck on the shopping! In the US on Black Friday, apparently it was not as bad as it has been in years past, which was nice for the rest of the house that tromped out.

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  5. I heard about the leafy green shortage. Read something but my sieve of a memory can't recall why.
    My husband always looked forward to this time of year. He loved the jumbo navel oranges. The slightly 'lumpy' ones with the big "butts" he called them. The heavier the better. More juice. He would happily pay as much as $3 an orange for the right ones.

    And it finally dawned on me why I so enjoy the title of your posts so much. (A)isle. There were a few words in that style sprinkled throughout the (X)anth novels. I don't have them any more, all the travel in the Air Force travel. But I read them all and loved them. :)

    You all be safe and God bless.

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    1. Linda - Sure enough, you say it and I go look and it really is a thing. Apparently "due to supply chain issues, labor shortages, and less growing of Spinach by Texas farmers since 2021, there is a shortage".

      I cannot specifically speak to oranges, but the grapefruit at this time of year are the best ever.

      The (A)Isle thing was a lucky thought on my part. Sometimes it feels like we are off on our little island as we are in a corner and somehow we are separated out from the other employees (not sure it is a conscious thing, just feels that way). Suddenly "Isle" became "(A)Isle.

      I read the first five or six of the Xanth novels. I kind of lost interest at some point; he was a good writer and I loved the puns, but the stories tended to become run together.

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    2. There were a lot of similarities in the stories. As they went on, I have to admit to finding some of them harder to read as my "favorite" characters aged out of them. :)

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  6. It IS interesting "viewing" the produce section from your lens, TB. I'm not much of a fruit eater, but when my tastebuds came back a couple of weeks ago, I was all about eating apples, and I was trying to taste all the varieties. It didn't occur to me that they were soon to be diminishing. And I am disturbed to now read there is a leafy green shortage. :( That was on my list to eat more of for the calcium.

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    1. Becki, we are usually about three weeks or so behind the harvest in the stores (I think), so some of the late varietals may still be making an appearance.

      Oddly enough, the greens seem impacted across almost every category: Spinach, Arugula, Kale (ugh), and Spring mixes. Somewhat sadly, iceberg seems to still available.

      I will have more to report after I work tonight.

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