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Jan 23, 2014 09:29 AM

Improvising with the wrong ingredient

My dear hubby has done some grocery runs for me lately and despite my efforts to be clear on ingredients, I've found lots of need to improvise with what he brings home. I ask for 1lb. of Velveeta (to make the kids' fav mac&cheese) and he brings home 16oz of Velveeta individually wrapped slices (I made him unwrap them and tried to use it because it was a holiday and stores were closed; result was nasty). I ask for chicken breast tenders (to make mustard-panko chicken fingers) and he brings home refridgerated, ground-white-meat chicken nuggets.

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  1. I wonder why the individual slices of velveeta didn't work. Are the ingredients somewhat different than the block?

    The chicken nugget thing is just weird.

    If I'm asking DH to get unusual ingredients at the store, I often text him a picture of the needed item. It helps.

    1. There was a time we sent a non-cooking friend to the supermarket to get "a head of lettuce" for a salad. She came back with an enormous head of green cabbage.

      We made cole slaw instead. And we STILL get mileage out of that one.

      3 Replies
        1. re: egit

          I asked my wife to pick up a head of lettuce and I got escarole. Which was OK..

          1. re: drongo

            I would have seen it as an upgrade, but I understand how it wouldn't be for everybody. I LOVE escarole

        2. i had to use cilantro instead of parsley more than once. luckily, i like cilantro.

          a pound of chuck has been a pound of ground mystery meat (labeled ground chuck).

          deli meats can be anything at all. and usually not what was on the list...

          11 Replies
          1. re: Gastronomos

            hahaha, this reminds husband called me from supermarket telling me he is with a clerk trying to figure out which is parsley and which is cilantro....both didn't i told him to buy both.

            1. re: Monica

              I agree. just buy both. I rarely run out of parsley these days. lessons learned. I do often need cilantro and have to get myself to the market for that fix, but i'll just go myself...

              1. re: Monica

                That's when i snap off a leaf and eat it :)!

                1. re: Ttrockwood

                  try and explain that to my wife. if it ain't labeled ON the item, no dice. and even when it IS labeled ... let's say they are just happy mistakes. LOL

                  1. re: Gastronomos

                    Exactly..If you don't know what it is tasting won't help a bit. Lol

                  2. re: Ttrockwood

                    I sniff it... Sometimes I go overboard and bury my nose in a bunch! I've gotten a few dirty looks.

                  3. re: Monica

                    I love your solution!

                    Reminds me of a decades-old Ann Landers advice column answer. A person wrote in to complain that his or her spouse wanted ketchup in the fridge while the writer wanted it in the pantry. Landers' reply: buy two bottles of ketchup and go both ways.

                    Interesting that I remember this 30 or more years later, partly because I felt so keenly that, yes, there's a good answer here, but also that this couple is probably just on its way to something else to dicker about.

                    1. re: Bada Bing

                      We have his-and-hers mustard and mayo... DH likes regular yellow mustard and full-fat mayo, I love spicy brown and light mayo. Rather than squabbling about it, I buy both, and if I run out of mine I'll put up with his, but he says his sandwich 'tastes funny' if it's not made the right way.

                      1. re: Kajikit

                        One thing the three of us agree on, Emeril's horseradish mustard is the best thing ever for mustard.

                    2. re: Monica

                      Lol, asked husband to p/up a bunch of cilantro last week. He bought two since he thought they looked good. Both clearly marked "Italian Parsley" on the band. So now I had two new bunches and the one I already had in fridge.

                      Everything we ate last week had a fresh grassy leafy topping. :)

                  4. That's what cell phones are for. And if that doesn't work, that's what baseball bats are for.

                    YES, I AM KIDDING.

                    1 Reply
                    1. Been there, done that. Other than asking for pickup of a gallon of milk, loaf of bread (any type) or chips (any type) it really is easier to do my own shopping. Not so much due to ingredient substitution but overall time involved. And especially when I want to stay within budget.

                      My favorite was when I needed to keep my fevered self at home so asked him to get dried cranberries for his favorite cookies. He came home very tired an hour later with a baggie filled at top-dollar-cost from the organic bulk bins, rather than the "Craisins" I'd expected. He'd even seen the "Craisins" but I'd asked for "dried cranberries" which the produce staff were eventually able to find for him.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: MidwesternerTT

                        I told my friend to get soda and he got chips. Then people wanted to drink soda and we had none. Husband had to go to the pharmacy which was the only thing open.