I walked how far for a jalapeño?

jalapeño pepper“Oh darn,” I remember saying out loud as I stood before the cutting board while the sharp aroma of freshly grated horseradish and ginger danced in the air. I was preparing a batch of fire cider, when I realized an ingredient was missing: the jalapeño pepper.

After getting everything else chopped, zested, squeezed and assembled in the jar, I set out for the store. There’s a little corner market of great convenience a block away, but I opted for a grocery destination that’s a bit further afield.

Because the co-op where we do the majority of our grocery shopping doesn’t stock all the basics – like sustainably raised meats (the co-op has no meat unless you want pet food) and breads from a favorite bakery that no other retailer carries –  it’s not uncommon for me to swing by this particular neighborhood market on a somewhat regular basis. The walk over the hill, down the other side, and back again has become part of the weekly grocery  ritual and easily happens more than once or twice a week. The sidewalks on my route are practically empty and that makes it the preferred option over the very flat and far less strenuous alternative along a busy retail corridor just one block away.

On this particular morning, I decided there was no time like the present to squeeze in a morning constitutional while also getting a necessary errand off the list. I admired the changing light of the season and the way it highlighted features and details of the historic Victorians along the way. Blooming flowers in the trees overhead begged passersby like myself for a little nod to their beauty. (Remember, I live in San Francisco and plants are blooming year-round.) At the market I chose a little pepper, paid with exact change (I love when that happens!), slipped said pepper in my pocket, and headed back home.

By the time I unlocked the front door, I had logged 1.6 miles. To some, it may seem absurd to walk so far and take so much time for one little thing. But you know what? This is my kind of multitasking. How often does grocery shopping truly invigorate your body and soul?

More than four weeks after the fact, I can tell you that the results are most invigorating. We are sipping and breathing fire over here!

jalapeno pepper and fire cider

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    Kari O'Driscoll Reply

    I’m with you, Deb! That’s a huge part of the reason we chose the house we’re in. There are any number of small markets within a few miles that we can walk to and I love being able to take the time to really see my neighborhood as I’m on my way there or back. Of course, up here, I’m often walking in the rain, but the dog doesn’t much mind ;-).

  2. deb
    deb Reply

    Kari, thanks for chiming in! You’ll love knowing that my least favorite time to walk to and from that market or any other further afield is when it gets too warm! Walking in the rain, so long as it’s not coming at me horizontally and the wind’s not too intense, is such a delight. The only problem is getting bread home safely in the rain. The breads I purchase come in all but a paper bag, and unless I remember to bring/wear a backpack, I walk home protecting my loaf like a momma duck sheltering her young.

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