The Grocery List

baking, ingredients, grocery list“Chocolate squares (unsweetened), check.
Flour, butter, check.
Sugar, eggs, check.
Heavy cream, check.
Bottle of red, check.”

Samantha sighed as she mentally checked off her grocery list. The essentials only. She didn’t have time for non-essentials, like milk or cereal or pasta. She swiped each container with a Lysol wipe as she unloaded her grocery cart at the store, and then swiped the seven items again when unloading the grocery bag once she reached home.

Safe.

But just in case, Samantha washed her hands with soap and water at her kitchen sink, singing, “happy birthday to me,” twice, before drying each finger with her cheery yellow kitchen towel.

Happy birthday to her, indeed. Alone. No friends invited because, to be real, no friends would come during this virus scare. Each one was safely encased in their own sanitized home.

So, finally, Samantha could celebrate her birthday the way she wanted to.

No cake.

No gifts.

Just French Silk Chocolate Pie. From her mom’s recipe. Back in the day, her mom never made her a boring vanilla cake with chocolate icing. Or a boring chocolate cake with vanilla icing.

Samantha begun to sing softly, “It’s my party and I’ll bake what I want to, bake what I want to…”

Back in the day, 50 years ago, Samantha’s mom made a special dessert from an old recipe of her great-grandmom’s. French Silk Chocolate Pie. Samantha loved that birthday dessert, even though she only got one slice since she had to share the pie with her five siblings.

But now, at 60 years of age, Samantha creamed the butter and sugar, melted the dark chocolate and blended it all together with some vanilla and a dash of salt, chuckling that she wouldn’t have to share it with anyone.

She cracked one egg, whisked for three minutes, then the second egg, whisk, then the third. As she whipped up the heavy cream with a ½ cup of confectioner’s sugar, she didn’t miss her friends, either, or not having a birthday party.

She scooped the chocolate mixture into her just-baked piecrust, which she then placed in the refrigerator and set the timer for 120 minutes.

Her mouth watered as she sat down to read a good book, sipping on a glass of Cabernet. In two hours, her birthday would be the Best. One. Ever.  

Chianti, wine

Written from the prompt “write about a character based on her grocery list.” WHAT’S ON  YOUR GROCERY LIST?

148 thoughts on “The Grocery List

  1. For some folks, this would be the best day ever. I, however, prefer to have friends and family around on my birthday. I was so lucky, my birthday happened a week before the lockdown. Last night we video messaged with our grandaughter and her daughter. It was wonderful. The little one showed us card tricks and played the piano for us. Thankfully there are ways to connect. Sending hugs. xo

    Liked by 3 people

    • Our birthdays are close together, Darlene. But my guy and I were in lockdown so it was a quiet day, with NO birthday cake. My family has promised to celebrate with me, even if it’s weeks (months?) later. :-0 I happen to think there is nothing boring about chocolate cake with vanilla icing. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. French Silk Chocolate Pie! Now that’s a trip back in time for me. My mother used to make that for my father who had a sweet tooth. I never really much liked it as a child, preferring a scoop of vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce on it. The way I felt chocolate should be consumed– not messed up in a pie.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Since this blissful birthday didn’t count because you didn’t celebrate with family and friends, I now pronounce you ageless.

    I didn’t bake this week, but I did make a vat full of chili. Gotta keep warm because the temps are dropping this evening.

    Seriously, your post reminded me of Mom making peanut-butter and coconut chocolate-covered eggs. I can still see the chocolate syrup dripping from her fork above the double boiler. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ageless – YAY! Wait, as long as I don’t become whatshisname – Dorian Gray. Don’t you love Oscar Wilde’s quote that: “The old believe everything, the middle-aged suspect everything, the young know everything.” Where do you fall in this? I must have never been “young,” because I always knew that I didn’t know everything. And now, sure enough, I believe in a lot more than I did when I was younger: joy is contagious, pain goes away, loss hurts but you never really lose, and love is more important than anything else. .<3
      On another point, those peanut-butter and coconut chocolate-covered eggs sound A M A Z I N G! Happy Easter!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love, love, loved this post, Pam!! I laughed pretty hard all through it, I suppose because this quarantining time is just so weird. You captured it all: the grocery list, the overblown intensity of simply buying groceries, the differentness of now versus any other days in our lives, and the new experiences we are having during this time. That pie sounds fantastic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We need from-the-belly laughter right now for sure, so I’m thrilled that my story caught your funny bone. My suggestion? Run to your on-line shopping list and add the ingredients for French Silk Chocolate pie. Ahhh, that’s better. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Two wonderful things here: (1) yay that you’re going to bake for Easter. Your husband can thank me anytime. 🙂 (2) Thanks for agreeing that my age has not notched up a year. No birthday cake – no year added. xo

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  5. We just got back from the grocery store and it was as bare as I’ve seen it in a month. We’ve laundered our clothes, taken showers, and disinfected the groceries, so now I’m ready to get to work. Who knew grocery shopping would become such an odyssey in 2020??

    Your recipe sounds delightful, and I happen to love French Silk Pie. It’s not a huge favorite with my famly, so…more for me. That can be good and bad. 🙂

    I don’t recall wishing you a happy birthday, so happy belated birthday! My daughter celebrates her 22nd on Monday and she wishes she could invite her friends to celebrate with us.

    Have a happy and blessed Easter, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Happy birthday to your daughter! The good news is that she’s home, so you get to celebrate those 22 years together. I think it may also be good news that no one else in the family cares for French Silk Chocolate Pie. You can just shrug your shoulders when you go for that third piece of pie. 🙂
      Happy Easter – be safe, be well, and be grateful. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. oh yes, French Silk Chocolate Pie!! Still have my grandmother’s recipe card for that and it remains a family favorite here today. (although I now swap the regular pie crust for an oreo cookie crust)

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I love your kind of essentials, Pam! After enjoying your words, I tried my hand at the suggested writer’s prompt and was transported somewhere in time that was perfectly delightful, fused with snippets of warm memories. Thanks for the journey!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Three cheers to you, writing from the “grocery list” prompt. Who ever would have guessed that we’d MISS being able to shop for groceries whenever we wanted, for however long we wanted, with no fear attached? ;-0

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  8. It was the word “chocolate” that caught my eye—and, French Silk Chocolate Pie sounds terrifico!
    Samantha was very fortunate finding all her ingredients in the store but with a decadent dessert like that, It’s meant for sharing. As always you’re a wonderful story-teller Pam. Happy Belated Birthday!

    Liked by 1 person

    • HI! In my world (and in Samantha’s) no need to stockpile toilet paper – but butter, sugar, flour, eggs – those are the items to make sure the pantry has plenty of. 🙂 Hope you’re doing well.

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      • We’re doing fine—enjoying our contacts by phone, emails and letters–even bringing our own chair and having a coffee in a parking lot–6 feet apart. That was a novelty!
        Stay safe and keep well, Pam. Cheers, your Canadian fan

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I am sad for Samantha. She plays a good game but deep down, she’s hurting. I’ll be making my own cake next week. But, luckily, have my two boys to share it with… I’ve suddenly an urge for a Sachertorte – must check what ingredients I need….

    Lovely write, as per, Pam!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Great story.. I was thinking about the DoubleTree Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe my hubby sent me just a few hours ago. They have never made their recipe public until now. I will be making them tomorrow because I need to make a Banana Nut Bread with the bananas we have not eaten, today. I’m gaining weight which is bad. I’m eating my feelings…which is also bad. I have no excuse really, but there you have it.
    Sad times we are in. I pray you and your’s are well and safe. 😘💕

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Kim! Soooo many people are worried that this lock DOWN will mean a big weight UP. But there’s a reason that certain foods are called “comfort foods.” I made my first homemade bread last week – never, ever have I felt the need before. The smell was almost as delightful as the taste after it baked. After your comment, I ordered bananas. Banana bread sounds …. comforting. 🙂 xo

      Liked by 1 person

  11. What an upbeat and happy story. I am a low-key birthday person. My favorite birthday desert wasn’t cake, but strawberry-rhubarb pie. My mother made one for me every year. I haven’t made one in years, but bought my husband usually surprised me with one from a local pie-maker. Now, I stay away from sugar. Happy Birthday, Pam! Mine is just around the corner.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m the same way. I get very shy around my birthday and don’t want a big deal about it. Except for cake. Please, I need cake if I’m going to have to get one year older. 🙂 Sorry to tempt you with these offerings if you are off sugar. My will power does not have that kind of power. ;-0 Happy Birthday (I whisper) to you – round the corner.

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  12. I have my grocery list too. My daughter’s birthday is Monday. She was born on a Friday the 13th. Thank goodness she is living with me and working from home. She ALWAYS takes her birthday off no matter what. This year will be no exception. I have a spice cake mix and she bought cream cheese frosting several weeks ago. It will all be doctored. I like your list for French silk pie. Sounds decadent. I ordered her gift from a local lavender farm. Lavender scone mix, brownie mix and choc frosting all with lavender in it. She used her last one a week ago to have for breakfast during the week. We could make them from scratch but I like giving small businesses a boost right now. Maybe we will make some chocolate pudding shots too if we can get our hands on whipping cream. I’m on a roll here. Please, someone hide the scale. It will be off the charts if this lockdown continues much longer. 🙂 Now for that French Silk pie. Hmmm.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Happy birthday hey your daughter! Actually I was in the middle of writing a long response to you here and our power went out. Huge windy day. So I’m on my phone but not sure if this will work. I hope your daughter enjoys that delicious spice cake with cream cheese frosting. That gift of lavender is amazing. I wonder if your local shop has a website? In my mind, Friday the 13th is a lucky date.

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      • https://www.norwoodlavenderfarm.com
        I’d bet you have a local place too. The products came so quickly and my daughter loves them as well as the ladybug pillowcases I made for her. Maybe I’ll get time this week to write a post. Catching my breath. Now what is this about we should be having extra time?? I hate when the power goes out. 😦 Rarely happens here. Our weather is pretty mild 98% of the time.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thanks for the website. It has amazing offerings, and I’ve already picked out some gifts I’ll send out for special birthdays. THANK YOU! No, we don’t have any lavender farms near here. I last visited one in Long Island when visiting a friend a few years ago.
          Our power goes out too frequently – New England weather can be ferocious, and so many trees that fall onto power lines.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Great to hear that you liked the website. Because it’s close, shipping was quick. We’ve used their products before so know they are good. We are not plagued by severe weather here and fortunately, when they built the trailer park 25-30 years ago, they buried all the power lines so we don’t have that issue right here. If someone hits a pole out and beyond us a little, that can affect our power. We just get lots of rain in winter. Summers are very dry. I love it here.

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  13. What a great way to share a recipe! Growing up, we always had angel food cake with chocolate frosting for our birthdays. Not knowing any better, I thought it was just fine. Now my husband makes me a caramelized orange cheesecake and it’s perfect! Although I don’t mind sharing, the thought of having the whole thing to myself is pretty tempting 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Interesting how tastes change as we “grow up”! My mom used to make me an angel food cake with chocolate icing also- until I became a teenager and my dad said that devil’s food cake would be more appropriate. 🙂 You have a SUPER guy who makes you a caramelized orange cheesecake for your b.d. Yummmm!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I haven’t listened to It’s My Party in a long time, so thanks for that. Birthdays at my age are not exactly a cause for a grand celebration, but I sure feel for kids right now who can’t have a regular birthday party.

    Liked by 1 person

    • As I wrote this piece in Samantha’s Point of View, suddenly I heard her singing this My Party song, only changing the words to “bake what I want to.” Samantha has a good sense of humor. 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the song. That was wayyy long ago, huh?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Okay, FOR YOU, here’s the full recipe for French Silk Chocolate Pie: 1/2 cup butter; 3/4 cup sugar;s 2-2oz. squares unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled; 1 tsp vanilla; 2 eggs, 1 8″ baked pastry shell.
      In mixer bowl, cream butter, gradually add sugar, creaming til light. Blend in chocolate and vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, beating 3 minutes after each addition, on medium speed of electric mixer. Turn into pastry shell. Chill several hours. Garnish with whipped cream and chocolate curls, if desired.
      From me to you!

      Liked by 1 person

        • Excellent. This is an “old” recipe, so when it says pastry shell, it’s talking about a pie shell (otherwise known as a pie crust). Just wanted to make sure that’s clear. I (ahem) don’t make my own piecrust, but buy those ‘folded’ kind that you can press into a pie pan and bake. Presto!

          Liked by 1 person

  15. LOL…..I’ll say it’s her best birthday. She doesn’t have to share any of that dessert and probably will still get some presents and a celebration at some point. A win-win if you ask me..:) But then again, I’m a chocolate dessert person so I can’t be objective..:)

    Liked by 1 person

  16. There are still wonderful ways to treat ourselves with a bit of thought and creativity. Lovely post, Pam. I think I’m going to do a bit of specific shopping next time around, do a little special cooking, and celebrate an unbirthday. 🙂 I hope you’re treating yourselves and your loved ones to special treats. Have a lovely weekend and Easter, my friend. Great story. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heads up, my friend. During our “Zoom” Easter get-together with lots of family, the youngest, 7-year-old Neville, informed all 22 of us that April 22 is “National Brownie Day.” And somehow he got us all to promise we’d make brownies and send photos to him on that day. So…. perhaps your grandboy should be “brownied” also on April 22. 🙂 Hey, we all need things to look forward to. xo

      Liked by 1 person

      • Great idea. I’ll have to tell his mom. Actually, if would be a fun project to look up what the “national day of” is for each day and pick one to celebrate. As if my daughter needs more to do! Lol. Thanks for the heads-up!

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Well, that’s certainly an example of making lemonade our of lemons! A solitary birthday celebration, but also a very good birthday celebration. And it’s so important to treat ourselves now and then during these uncertain times.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Our current grocery lists are a bit different to what they’d normally be – we’re having shortages of eggs and flour because everyone is baking! Interestingly I’ve been having a longing for a chocolate cake my mother used to make and thinking I might just have to make it sometime soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A flour and egg shortage is a horrible thing! Here in the states it’s a shortage of toilet paper and YEAST that’s a problem. Yup, suddenly lots of people are baking bread. I hope you take the time (we do have time now, don’t we?) to make your mom’s chocolate cake. In many cases, desserts are memories.

      Liked by 1 person

    • That’s funny, Carol. Time, it seems, we have plenty of these days. I’ve baked more cookies and bread (banana and my first homemade loaf) than any other time in my life. My excuse is that I mail it off to people who don’t know how to bake, Win-win for us all, since I find baking stress-relieveing. xo

      Liked by 1 person

  19. At this point in the upside down world, chocolate pie sounds essential to me. Happy Birthday to you and I’m sorry you didn’t have cake. You will just have to make up for that in the future! Hope you are holding up. What else can we do?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think I may have to wait a few more months for my cake. Perhaps I’ll just change my birth date. 🙂 As you say, everything is upside down. Sorry to see all that snow you still have. My pansy planter outside our front door is helping me smile. Stay safe!

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Times really have changed, Pamela. I heard our 4 year old granddaughter say she was going to climb up their tree “in real life” since the word “virtual” is tossed around often now. Two months ago, she never used this phrase. You hit the nail on the head, Pamela, with this story. Despite all of the challenges and very serious consequences for many people, a small part of me feels guilty for enjoying my space and solitude. An evening with French Silk Chocolate Pie, wine, and a good book was a huge treat before and still is, now. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Hi Pam,

    Loved your story and I’m sure for some, this would be the best birthday ever. Happy belated birthday to you! Mine was at the end of March, so in the middle of this crisis. I’m thankful though that I don’t live alone. I have my husband and son at home, so we quietly celebrated and I enjoyed carrot cake, my favorite cake! My daughter in TN and friends sent wishes via phone and face time. We make do, right? But now sweets and I have parted ways, or at least I hope so. 🙂 Anyway, have a lovely day and stay well. xo

    Liked by 1 person

      • I’m an Aries and Carrot cake is the best. As to sweets, it’s been 3 days! So far, so good. Yay! 😉 I just need to cut back a little. My son’s 25th birthday is May 9th, so that’s my goal. Stay good until then, then we’ll celebrate. Fingers crossed. Have a good day, Pam! 💗

        Liked by 1 person

  22. Love it! For my birthday, I ordered a “Caroline’s Cakes” seven-layer caramel cake. And the only person I could share it with was my husband. It disappeared in an alarmingly few days.

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  23. What a lovely story, Pam. I celebrated my birthday last month with no dessert – no cake, pie, or even a cookie. However, my daughter-in-law and the three little ones stopped by to drop off a gorgeous bouquet. They couldn’t stay because my son is an essential worker (he works for GE Aviation) and they can’t be sure they are germ-free. I just can’t wait until the day arrives that I can cuddle and smooch those sweet little girls. I’m glad Samantha got to enjoy her birthday.

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