When master gets a craving for steak there is nothing that can reel him back from satisfying his oh so primal urge for that perfect cut of meat seared to perfection on an open primeval fire. This is no tranquil and stress-free undertaking. Not by any stretch of the imagination! No modest and unassuming piece of beef from the oh so scanty meager, peasant class, meat section of the stereotypically generic grocery store will do! No No No! Master laughs at the mere notion of shopping at a Ralphs or Vons! Ha! Ha I say! He has come to cautiously and judiciously have faith in the high volume of “USDA PRIME” cuts of Beef sold at Costco. Unusual! Yes I agree! But tasting is believing! The difference in quality from the hum drum slab of meat from the local grocery store to the selection at Costco is not insignificant! It is paramount! Perhaps not worth 3 times the cost per lb for the average pallet, however, for those taste buds that do understand, it is pure food heaven. It is akin to spiritual enlightenment or maintaining a state of grace.
So off we go! Costco Tally-Hoooooo. Have you ever been to Costco on a weekend? If you have, I feel your pain. If not, I will try to explain. It takes a certain type of person to be able to look fear straight in the eyes and laugh!!! Ha Ha Ha Ha…. Lamented Master! No one could get in the way of his steak! Normally on a weekend, it takes about an hour just to find a parking space. It’s a mad house in the parking lot! You need to have professional driving skills; I mean Grand Prix kind not just regular I passed the DMV test so now I can drive skills. Reaction times must be swift, sense of danger on high alert, eyes wide open for that oh so prime parcel of parking space. Master put the AMG in manual mode, his fingers gently caressing the paddle shifters on the steering wheel. The suspension was put into track mode and he lowered the car to its lowest setting in eager anticipation of what he might have to endure! It seemed like half the valley was shopping at that Costco on Saturday! Was it Black Friday already? Were they giving away free gas? I can’t comprehend why so many people were there on that day. I scarcely overheard Master exhale an evil snicker and grimaced as we entered the parking lot. He was ready…. Right away people were honking at one another, uncaringly waiting in the middle of the lane in the hopes that a parking spot might miraculously appear. Some cars simply gunned it and raced through the gauntlet of cars only to be thwarted by another car that had sped even faster and drifted into the empty parking spot with such precision and exactitude that they would have even impressed The Stig. “Some say he is illegal in 17 US states, and he blinks horizontally…” But I Digress! There were little eighty year old ladies from Pasadena, who only drive their cars to go to church, giving each other the bird. But that’s not what this post is about. Nope! Needless to say, Master was able to find that perfect parking spot. Let’s just say that the years of going to Costco have trained him well, Nürburgring! Ha! Childs play! He is well overqualified for any common race track!
Once safely parked and inside the store we quickly passed the rows and rows of unimportant items. 75 roll packs of toilet paper on the left, 100lb buckets of cat litter on the right, 200lb bags of dog food on the racks! No! All unimportant at this point! The only thing that mattered to Master was getting way in the back of the store to the food section. Well, he calls it the food section; to me it is better known as the sampling department. As Master persuasively yet ever so gracefully sauntered to his beloved meat section, I, like a scout, began to observe, ever so unassumingly, at all the potential free sample stands. From the left corner of my peripheral view I noticed Master had arrived at the Rib-Eye section. His forcefully stance was elegant yet unmistakably prominent. His legs spread ever so slightly, his knees marginally stooped in anticipation of a potential “Fight or Flight” response. His arms somewhat pronounced and bowed, as if to keep predators away from his primordial hunt for that unadulterated unqualified masterfully cut piece of Beef. He’s focused! Determined! Absorbed in his Quest! Maybe I can sneak away and stand in line for samples. Cheese and cracker! Tapenades! Sausages! More Cheese! What’s next? What’s next? As my hands are full of free samples I hear a strange grunt from afar… There it is again! Grunt Grunt Grunt Grunt! It’s getting louder and louder, a bit distinctive even! What could it be? A kid playing with a toy wolf three aisles to the left? A German Shepard seeing eye dog a few aisles to the right? What could it be? I scan the horizon of the store to discover the source of the commotion. Ha! I laugh! The grunts are coming from Master! He found the perfect steaks! It’s hilarious! All that was missing was a big fire in front of a cave and a loin cloth made of animal skin. Grunt Grunt Grunt! Emmmmmm! Grunt Grunt Grunt! As my laughter subsided, I faintly heard someone within a big crowd of people say “Lake to late ana punkin pie” Hmmm I must see what this is! What could possibly be causing a crowd of people to surround this sample table? I get closer and closer and notice that the poor sample lady is about to lose a limb merely attempting to put out her samples. People are snatching up the goods faster than she can set them down. She finally had to call for back up to help maintain order and contain the mob of freeloaders lingering in anticipation of the free goods she is soon to dispense. Using all my secret ninja moves, and the years of Costco battlefield experience, I was able to get close enough to get a sample! Ok Ok Ok maybe I got two. Don’t Judge! I was still unable to comprehend how “Lake to late ana punkin pie” was in reference to Pumpkin Pie! I, very graciously and respectfully, asked if I may have my pieces of pie without the whipped cream. Never be rude to people that handle your food! She immediately and forcibly countered with a solid “NO!!” Do I look too thin I wondered? Was this older foreign lady telling me that I need more meat on my bones? I was about to point out that Master had just picked out Fred Flintstone sized steaks for dinner and that I was not squeamish about the calories, when I realized that the sample she was offering was not for the pumpkin pie! She was promoting the Whipped Cream! Hence the “Lake to late ana pumkin pie” which translates to Land-O-Lakes Whipped Cream with a Pumpkin Pie!
Laugh if you will! We obviously did not go to Costco to purchase whipped cream. However, the older lady blaring with a heavy foreign accent “Lake to late ana punkin pie” stuck in my mind the rest of time there. I was so amused that I was walking through the aisles laughingly reciting “Lake to late ana punkin pie”. We didn’t end up buying a pumpkin pie, nevertheless I was able to convince Master to buy the oversized 3-Pack of Land-O-Lake whipped cream! He still queries as to how am I to use so much whipped cream! Silly Silly Master! As if there is a good reason not to use whipped cream! Whipped cream on waffles, Whipped cream on toast, Whipped cream on ice cream, Whipped cream on cereal, heck! Whipped cream on hot dogs even! All I know is that I truly enjoy my “Lake to late ana ********” fill in the blank. I sniker like a school girl every time I use the whipped cream as I reminisce how, sometimes, you are able to buy happiness! Happiness, this particular time, just happened to be a giant 3-pack of “Lake to late”