three times a year, I appear to be a Meijer crazy.
let me explain.
I work with 12-18 year-old young women, and for the past three years we've made gourmet chocolate/caramel covered apples as a fundraiser for summer camp.
did you notice the italics and bold on the word "gourmet?" yeah, that's not exaggeration, take a look see...
these beauties are a hit, because we use quality control parameters, a whole lot of effort and gobs of TLC (tremendous layers of chocolate). ;)
it all starts with the perfect tart Granny Smith apple. from Meijer. and only Meijer.
before Meijer gets an inflated ego, I made the decision 3 years ago to use Meijer as our exclusive supplier (⬅ business lingo) because they have the quantity/quality ratio that I need when searching for 70 apples. yes, se-ven-ty! that's our typical pre-order for each event that we make them: Valentine's Day, Mother's Day and Father's Day.
here's the "moment she appears crazy part," I hand select every apple.
and no, don't even get the image in your precious little head of me standing in front of Meijer's gourmet apple mockery section...
I do not "hand select" pre-bagged damaged apples the size of GMO walnuts.
to find 70 gourmet apples (firm, no blemishes, no bruising, so-big-that-I-can't-wrap-my-fingers-around it), my crazy-for-thirty-minutes world begins here...
loose apples, three layers deep.
I have a system, that involves higher math and complicated patented algorithms, on how to efficiently inspect every layer of the apple bin. that's how high the apple perfection bar is, and what usually makes me appear crazy.
side note: if your hankering for a really good GS apple, don't come looking after 8:30am on the Wednesday before above mentioned celebration days. #myrejectsarenowyours
but this year, *sigh* this year I didn't need 70 of the GS gems, I needed 100(!). which means I'm appearing crazy for even longer.
actually, what's really crazy are the hilarious (⬅heavy sarcasm) comments that people barrage me with...
"an apple a day... you must hate doctors."
"wow, that's a lot of applesauce."
"juicing your own?"
"you know there's bagged apples over there, right?"
"while you're looking, can you grab me a few good ones?"
"you know those are the sour ones, right?"
my typical auto-pilot reply is a "teehee," or just blatant ignore and keep searching.
listen people, I can't chat, keep count, juggle the apple bin/layer algorithm, grip an apple to test its firmness, hold it up to the light (incandescent lighting shadows are the worst!) then spin it, searching for even the slightest soft dip in the skin-- I'm not a multi-tasking apple savant(!)... yet. #crossingtheMeijercrazyline
nine produce bags, filled with 10 apples each, are gently piled in my cart. thrilled, I grab my last produce bag, lift up the formed pressed cardboard for the last layer of apples--only 10 more to go!--and reveal a sea of waxy-green apples-- blotted with bruises.
Meijer has a new pop-up screen on their check-out screens. the screen offers 'YES' or 'NO' buttons, and asks: "Were you satisfied with your Meijer experience?"
I Meijer crazy mutter to myself, "90%, Meijer. 90%."