Friday, December 30, 2016

Grab the Shredder - We'll Make Our Own Damn Confetti!

Edible Confetti

Of course you can shred paper (newspapers for a chic b/w retro effect or old bills - the red "Past Due" strikes a festive note even if the bailiff is at the door) but what do you do to get rid of it after it's been tossed?  If you have cats, new litter, guys! 

Better to have edible confetti to toss over a salad or mix into cole slaw.  Simply get one red pepper, one green and one yellow and mini slice them by holding them vertically on a solid surface - bread board - and make very thin slices.  Of if you have one, use a Japanese slicer which gives you long, slender curls of the peppers or a carrot.

Richie Gets A Double

The other day I mentioned that Richie wrote a Letter to the Editor and ran it as a column.  Today what do we read in the Letters to the Editor?  "Richard Murphy's letter prompted me to explain, simply, the Electoral College votes and one person/one vote."  Joan Haefeli, Torrance, who went on to explain it. 

Despite the number of Letters we've both had published, the above was brand new and a very pleasant surprise.  "Somebody (besides the Editor) read me!"

Trader Joe Guilt Banished

In the past, I have felt vaguely guilty and sad after writing about some new taste/food at Trader Joe's, thinking I'm being rude to any reader that doesn't have a Trader Joe.  No more.  Doing research for something else, I came across this statistic:  there are 460 stores in 41 states and Washington, DC.

In all of them is a hidden joke - a plastic lobster tucked in among the goods for sale.  Not a long hunt - Trader Joe's only carries 4,000 items versus the average supermarket which carries 50,000.   A partial explanation is that supermarkets have to carry several brands of one thing, whereas TJ is all their own label.

Other Insider Information

All of the stores have rather nicely done chalkboard art.  Guess what?  All of the stores have hired one or two artists who work out of the back of the store, making them! 

Trader Joe's uses a system of bells rather than a PA system heard all over the supermarket.
One bell - go to a register, the line is getting too long.
Two bells - we need a runner to replace an item being checked that is flawed.
Three bells - get the Manager!

Trader Joe's deliberately hires . more people than needed because customer service is vitally important to management.  And working there sounds like a good job - $12 to $20 an hour as a part timer.  After three months of 30-hour weeks, the employee gets health insurance and a 401K as well as a raise one or two times a year.  Estimated average income is $130,000/year.

TJ's will open any item in the store to give you a taste - you don't have to confine your grazing to just the food display "Try one of these" kiosks.  Further if you did buy something and you don't like it, they have a No Questions Asked return policy. 

Six hundred million bottles of $2 Buck Chuck have been sold.  But $2 Buck is now $2.49 a bottle.

And yet ... TJ's doesn't always satisfy - we will be celebrating at home and I wanted a tiny pot of caviar (and tiny is all that the budget would carry) so I went shopping on line.  No caviar at TJs.  Then I remembered having bought it at Bev-Mo.  Nope, umgotz..  Just for the hell of it, I hit Ralph's (supermarket) and they have it!  TJ's is not always the answer.

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