In which I reveal myself as a snob and a lunatic, all at the same time

I had the most productive weekend!  Shit got DONE around here.  I had a number of things on my to-do list and every one of them was accomplished, even down to the “putting photos in albums” task.  For reasons that I do not comprehend, I find putting photos in albums to be one of the worst tasks, even worse than cleaning the toilet or shovelling the sidewalk.  Our snow is melted, I should add; shovelling the sidewalk is just an example.  In the case of the photo-geddon, I had put off developing pictures for thirteen months; I had photos from Jake’s seventh AND sixth birthdays.  I had upwards of 500 pictures to put in albums, and by the time the weekend rolled around, I was down to about the last 200.  I did get them all in their albums, and I felt a strong sense of accomplishment until my friend Nan asked why didn’t I just make photo books, which would be faster and easier.  Um, because such a radical idea never occurred to me?  Because I must spend hours of my time cropping, developing, sorting, and putting photos into albums in some kind of masochistic plan to suck the joy out of life?

Probably because of the chill in the air, I have been craving soup like nobody’s business.  I wanted to make my favourite butternut squash soup, but with coconut milk instead of whipping cream, but when I went to the grocery store they were all out of butternut squash.  It was puzzling; was there a sudden rush on butternut squash?  Maybe all the seniors in the neighbourhood were hoarding them?  In any case, I decided mushroom soup was the way to go, but never having made it before, I nervously opted for winging it.  I had some fresh mushrooms and some dried mushrooms, and someone had told me that reconstituting the dried mushrooms in white wine made for a lovely mushroom soup addition.  The only problem with that is that I rarely have white wine in the house; I’m staunchly a red wine type of girl.  So, off to the liquor store for this very important ingredient. 

Now, normally I’m a Superstore liquor store kind of girl, and normally I just buy a case of my favourite red and stash it in the crawl space.  I don’t shop around at the liquor store.  The last time I shopped around at the liquor store I found myself singing a duet with a perfect stranger.  A duet of Baby, It’s Cold Outside with strange gentleman in his sixties.  With a cart containing a case of wine, a twenty sixer of rum, and the biggest bottle of Bailey’s available.  This is what comes of shopping around. 

In any event, I was loathe to browse the liquor store shelves in the event that I should burst into song again, although Christmas music isn’t high on my list right now, I wanted to avoid singing “Islands In The Stream” or some such duet with any of the other shoppers, and so my goal was to go into the store, grab a bottle of Gewurztraminer or Riesling – the only drinkable whites in my opinion – and get out.  However, it took a lot of searching to find either of those.  Pinot Grigios and Chardonnays abounded, and so many bottles labelled merely with “White Wine”.  While I do not like to think of myself as a snob, I really had trouble purchasing those, even the ones labelled “Mad Housewife” or “Middle Sister”.  Even though I am both of those.  (Technically, I am a middle child, since I have brothers on either side.  Still.)  I almost got sidetracked by a bottle of “Chocolate Cake Liqueur” which kind of smells a little four horses of the apocalypse to me, and then I almost got sidetracked by some giant bottle of alcohol labelled “Kinky”.  I wish I had bought that.  Finally I found some Quail’s Gate Gewurztraminer AND Riesling.

And I also found, on sale, a bottle of Cupcake wine.  JUST SAY IT, I know you’re thinking it.  I fell for cupcake marketing.  You just can see the winery owners, stroking their goatees, “Well, if we call it CUPCAKE you just know women everywhere will fall for it!  Bwahahaha!”  It’s true.  Women will always purchase things that are in any kind of cupcake motif.  Men certainly will not; not even the most flamboyant man is walking out of the store with a wine labelled “Cupcake.”  In my defence I had tried this wine before and it makes a very nice companion on a Friday night.  Also it is a Shiraz which is my boyfriend.  MY WINEY BOYFRIEND. 

I walked up to the counter with both wines, and the very young man at the counter asked me if I wanted a bag.  “No,” I said absently, “I’ll just double-fist them back to the car.”  Did I say that out loud?  Yes I did.  So I walked back to the car holding my naked wines like an alcoholic mess who JUST wanted to make mushroom soup, dammit, leaving in my wake the two young men at the counter who were probably shaking their heads at having to work in an area with so many lame people.


  1. Kerrie @ Family Food and Travel says

    Oh Nicole, I laughed out loud a few times reading this. Your trips to purchase liquor are definitely more fun than mine! Looking forward to your mushroom soup recipe. We are making potato and leek soup here today. Cold weather makes me crave soup too, but also hot chocolate with Bailey’s. Perhaps I should head to the liquor store 🙂


  2. I feel kind of bad for asking about the photo books. I’m contributing to the ruination of the photo album industry, aren’t I?

    I am definitely not a wine snob. I only use it for cooking so I buy White Rabbit because it comes in tetra paks that keep the wine fresh for a really long time. I like to call them Mommy’s Lil’ Juice Boxes. I have no shame.

    “I’ll just double-fist them back to the car.” — HAHAHAHA!

  3. wherewiller says

    This post makes me think about how much we need to hang out in real life. You are my kind of snobby lunatic.

  4. My lame, old lady liquor store joke is “No I don’t need a bag I’m just going to slip it my purse and drink it on the way home.” As long as I rotate clerks, I get a laugh every time. Oh they’re laughing AT me not WITH me, I know. Don’t care.

    But how can you not browse at the liquor store! I love it! Of course I also live two blocks from one, so there’s that.

  5. You know what’s awesome about this? We don’t like the same kinds of wine. Which means that should we ever be in the same area code, we can have a bottle each. (I do not like Riesling. At all. Pinot Grigio is the way to go for me. And Merlot.)

  6. You’re snobby about wine to put in soup? Hats off – you are way out of my snob league. I don’t like white wine, I only cook with it, so I don’t care what kind I buy. And my favourite liquor store joke was when I went in with my Mom while I was nine months pregnant and she told them I should ask if they’d cash my family allowance check.

    And I couldn’t agree more about putting photos in albums. It must be done, and it is a task of the devil.

    • Well…my recipe only called for like 1/2 cup of wine, which I knew would lead to leftovers so…I had to make sure it was wine I would want to drink! Not generically “white wine”. I love your mom.

  7. I loved your post. And I have a favourite recipe that is too good (and easy) not to share…

    Creamy Mushroom Soup

    3 cups thinly sliced mushrooms
    2 TB chicken bouillon (or veg. bouillon if you prefer)
    1/4 cup chopped onion
    2 cups water
    Combine above ingredients in saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 min.

    1/4 cup butter
    1 1/2 tsp salt
    3 cups scalded milk
    1/4 cup flour
    pinch poultry seasoning (I like thyme and basil)
    Melt butter. Blend in flour and seasonings. Whisk in milk and stir over med. Heat until thickened. Stir in undrained mushrooms. Serve hot.

    No wine in this one, so the story of making it would be far less interesting, but still, as soon as I read mushroom soup, I just had to share it. 🙂

  8. That is SO TRUE about Cupcake wine.

  9. Definitely making photo albums are the worst. Loathe them. I had a free photo book from something and it took weeks to make the damn thing. So annoying. You almost need to drink that shitty cupcake wine to get through it.
    Double fisting is my kind of girl.


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