It’s Field Trip Time!

by Katy on March 18, 2010 · 12 comments

My father is a great teacher, a lovely father and one heck of a tennis player. However, his photography skills are somewhat lacking.

As much as I like to hang out at home, sometimes the four walls start to close in, which means it’s field trip time!

My father had suggested we hit the Bob’s Red Mill store, which is far enough away to be a bit of an event destination, yet close enough to make it a feasible trip. Not to mention that it’s across the street from the Dave’s Killer Bread factory and not too far from Costco. I’m a fan of batching my errands, so finding other reasons to be driving so far from home is key to avoiding gasoline guilt.

I spent the morning puttering about the house, hanging laundry, answering e-mails and getting some stuff organized to sell on craigslist. I knew I’d be going out for lunch and only ate lightly.

By the time my father cycled over at 1:20 P.M. I was ravenous. We jumped into my mini-van and drove the 8.3 miles to this wonderful mecca of whole grain goodness. (Seriously, this is not an advertisement. I just really like Bob’s Red Mill!) Unlike the previous trip when I had enjoyed a wonderful bowl of vegetable soup, I needed something a little more filling. The daily special of a turkey reuben caught my eye and was everything the Bob the doctor ordered.

Although Bob’s Red Mill is heaven-on-a-stick for scoop your own enthusiasts, my pantry was actually pretty well stocked and I only needed oatmeal. In my quest to avoid unnecessary plastic, I brought along my glass oatmeal storage jar to skip taking a bag. Unfortunately, the computer scales/cash registers there were unable to weigh the jar and then subtract that amount once full. So I took a plastic bag and filled it up with 99¢/pound organic oatmeal, which was 20¢ per pound more than the non-organic. I did have my handy-dandy mesh grocery bag, for which they gave me the reward of an entry to win, um . . . something.

Having completed our lunch/ dry goods shopping, my father and I drove across the street to the aromatic Dave’s Killer Bread store. My husband has recently become completely and utterly addicted to this bread, which is so chock full of grains and seeds that it’s in a category all its own. Unfortunately, it runs $4.50 per loaf at the grocery store and $3.50 at Costco. I found a shelf of “irregular” loaves, which were mildly misshapen and at $3.40 apiece were a a bit cheaper than Costco. I bought four loaves and then started to nibble away at the free samples. It was then that I noticed the freezer full of day old breads priced at $2.00 apiece. Hello?! Luckily, the clerk was very nice about doing the exchange, which netted $3.40 back to my debit card.

Okay. Now my father and I were really full, so we drove the short distance over to Costco. My father and step-mother just took in a rescue dog and are feeding him the Costco dry food despite not having a membership. And despite my aversion to Costco, I agreed to take him.

When compared to the vast hugeness of Cost, we are tiny.

Because neither of us are impulse shoppers we were able to get out of there in no time flat. (This was despite a brief mix-up about whether to buy the chicken or lamb dog food.) I bought the chicken stock concentrate that I depend on, (hey — it’s organic and I’d never even noticed) a bin of cat litter for which I had a coupon and a two-pound packet of smoked pulled pork that got a huge rave of a write-up in the FoodDay section of The Oregonian.

I convinced an employee to snap a quick photo of the two of us on our way out to the car, and our father-daughter field trip thus came to a close.

I certainly enjoy spending time with my father, but I think we’ll plan something a little less far reaching for our next field trip.

After all, isn’t my neighborhood walkable?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Marie-Josée March 19, 2010 at 7:09 am

Thanks for sharing your field day with your daddy. Your city seems absolutely awesome!

I purchase Bob’s Red Mill products here in Quebec, and I could just feel the wholesome goodness emanating from your post. Looking at all those grains and seeds always grounds me; it’s a bit like a drug, and legal and completely free.

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Kris-ND March 19, 2010 at 7:36 am

What a joy to have a father to spend time with! My father died when I was 12, and while I love my step-father, I missed out on my daddy being there to walk me down the aisle, father/daughter dances, etc. I hope my husband will be around 😉 to take our daughter out on a day long “date” 🙂

Bob’s Red Mill??? Forget anything else, THAT makes me jealous…lol I have to live of trying to shop on their internet site.

Bob’s Red Mill…sigh, better than Disneyland 😉

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Kris-ND March 19, 2010 at 7:37 am

oh, and I mean alive…lol Didn’t want to imply he would leave and not be around for his children. Just wanted to clarify that, so I didn’t give the impression the poor guy was somebody who would desert his family…lol

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Lisa March 19, 2010 at 8:20 am

I’m so glad you and your dad enjoyed your outing! The bread sounds like it is delicious. I baked a loaf of homemade bread yesterday and have it wrapped in a clean dishtowel placed inside a tin that somebody recently gave to me. Was it this site that recently discussed bread storage methods? Storing like this seems to work really well for me. As for my plain jane bread, it uses only 4 ingredients but could probably be dolled up any way you’d like. Here’s the basic recipe: 1 1/2 cups warm water, 1 1/2 teaspoons yeast, 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, 3 to 3 1/2 cups flour. Mix together in a big bowl by hand…no kneading required. Grease a loaf pan and dump your dough into it. Cover loosely with a clean dishtowel and let it rise for a couple of hours. Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly slash the top of your loaf then bake for 50 to 60 minutes. (I deviate from this a bit because I like a more tender crust. When mine is ready to bake, I cover it with foil then uncover it during the last 10 minutes or so.)

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Deb March 19, 2010 at 10:40 am

Your dad sounds like a super fun, awesome kind of man! Love that he peddled on over to your place!

Ohhhhh Katy, you are a woman after my own heart. I live an hour north of Portland now, but when I head down there to work on the rental or see the fam, I hit Bob’s and Dave’s. Since I live a more rural life now, I invested in food grade buckets and mylar bags. I buy Bob’s in bulk – yes, those mega bags in the back of the store – grains, oats, beans, farina. LOL you should see the back of my truck when I’m done loading it up! We package the bulk food up here at home, we have a large concrete food cellar.

I can hardly stand to eat any bread except Dave’s , and the clerks at the store are so nice. Thank goodness there’s the occasional coupon (buy 3 loaves for the price of 2), so I can get a good deal at the grocery store once in a while. Their raisin bread is dangerously addictive, I don’t even need to toast or butter it, I just eat it as a snack or for dessert!

Aren’t we lucky to have those stores in Portland!?

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Laura March 19, 2010 at 12:31 pm

I loved reading about your outing with your dad–he sounds like a very special guy. A trip to Bob’s, Dave’s and Costco would not have been a good time in my dad’s book! We might have made a trip to Sears for another tool of some kind, but nothing related to food.

We live very close to Bob’s and Dave’s (and I shop at that Costco once a week), but I am ashamed to admit I have never been there. I’ve been kind of afraid actually because I think a trip to either would explode my budget (because I’d want to buy everything), but I think I’m going to give it a try. Thanks for the tip about the day-old loaves being located in the freezer. The family will be so happy if we can start eating Dave’s bread again.

And isn’t the weather beautiful here today in Portland? It’s nice enough that we’re breaking out the barbecue for the first time this evening.

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Katy March 19, 2010 at 12:43 pm

It is gorgeous here in Portland today. We barbeque year round though, as we have a gas barbeque. It sizzles in the rain!

I wouldn’t worry about spending too much at Bob’s Red Mill. Just buy the stuff you need, and because you scoop your own, you can even get small amounts.

Katy

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Mariko March 19, 2010 at 2:28 pm

Did you notice they sell loaves of bread at Bob’s, too? As I recall, they were ridiculously cheap, like $3? And it’s not day old or misshapen or anything! If I had a giant freezer, I’d definitely hit both Bob’s and Dave’s and have a carb-centric freezer!

Ooh, and I totally want to try that pulled pork from Costco, too, thanks to that Oregonian article!

Glad you had a fun outing with your dad!

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marianne March 19, 2010 at 4:25 pm

i used that cat litter coupon too! i don’t use coupons unless its to the wholesale club.

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Barbara March 19, 2010 at 5:37 pm

A field trip with Dad sounds awfully fun.

You sure have cool stores in your area.

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Julia March 24, 2010 at 5:23 pm

LOVE Bob’s Red Mill, but I’ve never been to the store. Looks like a field trip to Portland is in store…I’ve wanted to take our son there since he’s never been.

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