Bustin’ Out Merit Badge

The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 4,882 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—6,641 total! Take it away, MBA Jane!!! MJ

Wondering who I am? I’m Merit Badge Awardee Jane (MBA Jane for short). In my former life 

For this week’s Farm Kitchen/Bustin’ Out Merit Badge, I decided to home in on my grocery shopping skills, and drag along invite my BFF, Midge, as well. See, Midge is a bit preoccupied with her triplets these days, so she hasn’t been as on top of the whole organic thing as she wants to be. And let’s face it, peeps, I can get better at it myself (says the girl with a hidden shelf of Twinkies. Ahem. ‘Fession time!)

So, I tossed those Twinkies with nary a tear (hoping they will biodegrade in a hundred years or so), and slung my reusable shopping bags over my shoulder. I brewed some chai to keep the pep in our step and we were off! I don’t know about you girls, but it’s more difficult for me to eat all organic or local during the winter months. The Farmers’ Market is closed and a girl can get tired of nothing but spaghetti squash, know what I mean? But we were optimistic. Well, Midge was just happy to be out of the house with a clean shirt on, but you get the drift.

Luck was on our side right from the get-go: as soon as we pulled into the parking lot of the grocery store, we noticed a farmer’s stand advertising local, organic honey. He was kind enough to dribble a spoonful into my chai and I was totally sold. Yum, a better sample than even old Costco can provide!

We entered the grocery store, and I firmly steered Midge away from the center aisles. She didn’t know this little trick, so I explained that’s where they stock the bad-for-you/bad-for-your-wallet kind of stuff. She said thanks, but when I turned my back, she was sprinting for the potato-chip aisle. I think there needs to be a 12-Step Program for Recovering Bad Eaters.

Now, lists can be a good idea when you shop, but I tend towards the philosophy of letting what looks good and what’s on sale dictate my meals for the week. For example, organic eggs were on sale (Toile and Paisley only give me so many and I tend to eat them up pretty quickly!) and so were the organic cherry tomatoes, and a small chunk of local ham. Can you say “quiche” for supper? With freshly baked bread, drizzled lovingly with local honey? Oh my. Yes, please. Happy tummies all around.

We also found a good price on bulk foods, and we put together a delicious concoction of homemade granola for the triplets. Another place where our honey will come in handy, eh? Paired with organic yogurt and a handful of blueberries, those kiddos will have breakfast parfaits for the whole week! Who needs Lunchables when you can have a parfait of organic, crunchy, creamy goodness at school?


Midge was surprised to spend about the same amount she usually does, and got far more for her buck. Yes, the organic Oreos went back, and the chips were snuck out of her cart when she wasn’t looking, but I’m confident she’ll never miss them. And if she does, I’ll take her over some coconut scones to soothe her ruffled feathers.

That’s what friends are for!

  1. Nan Roberts says:

    Ahem, I too work at eating organic, local food, and I know about avoiding the center aisles. A 12-step program for reforming Twinkie eaters may be a good idea. But I *still* eat potato chips now and then. And my favorite is still Lay’s classic. Probably GMOed potaoes and oil, but still. (Good thing salt can’t be genetically modified.)

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