I'll save the recipe for another post but Sundays are Romertopf Chicken day at our house. For those poor souls who have deprived themselves the joy of cooking (oops, taken, can't call my cookbook that), the Romertopf is a clay cooker that one soaks before using. Then whatever goes inside the cooker steams and bakes all at once. Vegetarians and vegans - you too can have delicious meals cooked this way. No animal products required.
Chez nous, we love Romertopf Chicken. Even my veg daughter admits that her yearning for it may be the meal that breaks her.
So yesterday, a trip to the grocery store to gather the ingredients (root veggies and chicken). Then in a rare act of culinary pre-preparedness, I decided to get everything ready, do yoga, then cook. Things were progressing quite well, I was admiring the parsnips, loving the potatoes...and then went to the fridge to get the chicken. I'd purchased a brand I'd been eyeing for a while, Pollo Rosso (more than you could ever want to know at that link unless you're thinking of going into the biz), raised the Italian way, organically, of course, so I thought I'd try it for a special occasion (which turned south as per the previous post). There was only one such chicken left, it was ridiculously expensive for a chicken, as in perhaps $7/pound, but given the special circumstances, I sprang for it.
But alas no chicken. Knowing that anything is possible, I checked the car. The freezer. The potato bin. The utility room where we keep the dog food. Then I called in my hubby. While he (and his gender) are not widely known for finding things in the fridge, he did a thorough investigation and alas he confirmed the complete lack of chicken in our house.
Back to the store with my receipt in hand and alas, being Whole Foods with their classy team approach to customer service, a young woman quickly joined my case, looked up the "left behinds," and indeed found a data entry for my chicken. Off she charged toward the meat department, me scurrying behind - note: I'm a fast walker but jeez this woman was nearly running - and while she slipped behind the meat counter, I went back to the display case where my chicken had first lived. There she was, all $18.34 of her.
Then the mad dash back to the customer service counter with the young woman. She now had my receipt in her hand and I, in a rush myself as my yoga window was narrowing, asked if it was OK for me to leave. Just a minute, she said, as she took another member of the team off to the side. They did some intense whispering, which concerned me (did I look really crazy?) but then, they were whipping out another set of documents. "For your inconvenience," a young man with a button that said "team leader" said. Next I knew, I had a $10 gift certificate to Whole Foods in my hands.
Nice but I'm still thinking it was my fault. I'd asked for paper not plastic (deliberately had not brought my own bags as we needed the paper bags to recycle our newspapers - what's wrong with this picture?), which meant I hadn't noticed the plastic bag into which they'd put the chicken. Maybe the bagger failed to put it in my cart, maybe I'd ignored it while loading the car...but in any event, I'm $10 richer in Whole Foods dollars.