Having attention deficit as an adult is a killer at the grocery store. This can happen anywhere, not just Alaska. But on a dark January day in Alaska without enough Vitamin D, it can be worse.
I call my attention deficit (AD), not attention deficit disorder (ADD), because I don’t believe it’s a disorder in my case. I’m getting through life okay, it’s just more challenging.
AD can be triggered by the places I go. Costco’s the worst. Too much stuff; I can’t go unescorted, I’m hypnotized by all the stuff—I fall into a black hole. I walk out forgetting why I walked in.
Grocery stores are the worst. If I don’t have a list, I’m dead. We have Safeway (I call it Scarfway) same as the Lower 48, with the same stuff.
I intended a quick run to the one in Eagle River just for a few items, including frozen pizza. I didn’t feel like ordering a pizza for a thousand bucks just for some plastic cheese with my cardboard. I’d rather pay less for my plastic cheese.
I make my way to the frozen pizza section to grab a quick pizza. I stop dead in my tracks.
Not only do the flipping pizzas take up half the frozen foods aisle, but there’s a gazillion choices. When did that happen? I saunter along reading the choices and smack into a guy who seems mesmerized by the same choices. He is hang-mouthed, as I am.
Pizza choice is now a multi-layered process. There are steps to follow: 1) choose the crust, and 2) choose the kind of pizza. There may be more, I don’t know. I never made it to step two; I couldn’t finish step one.
It’s a maelstrom for someone like me with AD who barely manages a ‘hey man, gimme a large pepperoni and cheese and make that a medium.’ The crust is the crust. End of story.
That’s why I like Costco pizza. It’s a straightforward process. “I’d like one piece of combo pizza, please.” I’m not asked what type of crust. I’m handed a piece of pizza; easy-peasy. It’s just pizza, dude.
I troll back and forth in front of the frozen pizzas reading the plethora of choices. Curious, I count fifteen choices of crust: original, classic, pizzeria, wood-fired, ultrathin, rising crust, cheese-stuffed, naturally rising crust, organic crust from California, crispy thin, restaurant style, uncured, three-cheese, gluten free, flatbread, and finally, the thin and crispy crust. Goodness me, we mustn’t forget the thin and crispy.
The confident souls stride down the frozen pizza aisle with an ‘excuse me,’ open the door, grab a pizza and away they go, decision made. They not only know their crust choice, but they know the kind of pizza too.
How do they do that? I have pizza-choice envy. I raise my head in attention-deficit defiance and make a resolve. I can do this. I roll up my sleeves and get to work.
First off, do I want crust that’s original or classic? Okay, does that mean it’s made of original flour and original water, or classic salt with classic techniques? Or do I want a pizzeria crust? Hm, that’s intriguing.
Wood-fired sounds good, I know what that tastes like—like it sat in a campfire all night. Okay, what’s left…ultrathin…yes, but is it classic or original ultrathin? Well a rising crust is good. But don’t they all rise? Wait, that one has a sexual connotation. Crust isn’t about sex—or is it?
How about cheese-stuffed? Gluten-free crust? I don’t have a gluten problem. I wonder if the gluten thing is a national conspiracy or a marketing gimmick to make us think we’re going to die if we eat gluten. Hm, better Google that one.
Now what about organic crust from California? Of course I want to be healthy and chemical-free—I pictured chickens pooping around the crust to fertilize it and pecking for bugs. Does it have to be from California? Why can’t organic crust be from Connecticut? Another Google search.
So what’s left? Naturally rising crust—getting sexual again—restaurant style or uncured? Uncured? Seriously? Is cured pizza crust bad for you? Okay, time to Google. I grab my phone and type in ‘cured.’
…Curing is a method of preserving food (usually meat or fish) to prevent spoilage. Food can be cured by brining (soaking food in a saltwater solution), smoking, or salting (packing food in salt).”
Not to ask a stupid question, but how does one make sure pizza crust is not put through this curing process to ensure it is uncured?
I move on to flatbread, three-cheese, and thin and crispy crusts. Okay, I’m officially burnt out on crust. Do I even want to look for the kind of pizza I want, now that I’ve battled my way through the crust options?
No. I’m going to Costco.
© Lois Paige Simenson and The Alaska Philosophaster, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to The Alaska Philosophaster with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.