I’m glad parislights asked for that Comfort Diner meatloaf recipe, because as it turns out, I was craving it. However, I stood firm in my solidarity with the Market Basket folks — notwithstanding all the slobbery anticipatory salivation, for which I apologised — and waited until I could once again get the ingredients at a sane price.
Inside the Heaven on Earth Meatloaf Co., Ltd. factory (click any image to view as a gallery):
The Enhanced Comfort Diner Meatloaf’s sautéed elixir of red, yellow, and orange bell peppers, onion, celery, garlic, oregano, basil, and thyme
The meatloaves shortly after going in the oven, holding their shape nicely after chilling overnight
Brown sugar & butter glazed carrots, better than Grannie’s creamed corn, and mashed potatoes
Out of the oven…
Alton Brown’s spiffy creamed corn recipe is over here. Don’t skimp on the freshly-ground pepper in the creamed corn — there’s a sweet spot of exactly enough that will delight you when you hit it.
That’s about £39.83. On the kitchen island below is what I got for that today. It includes about a dozen pounds — weight, that is — of veg, six pounds of beef and pork, a pound of deli meats, and a one-pound wedge of Parmigiano-Reggiano — the real stuff, from Italy and everything, which I ran out of last week. That total would easily be above $90 at other supermarket chains in the area, with one or two likely exceeding a hundred dollars.
Guess what I’m making a double recipe of tomorrow. The clue is in the peppers. (The answer: Comfort Diner Meatloaf.)
The five dozen eggs, the dozen ears of corn, and the four pounds of tomatoes in the background are from two farms in Harvard, Massachusetts. They were $19/£11.45 — no charge for the two dozen smaller pullet eggs that are perfect for use in recipes when you know that a large egg is exactly 2 ounces with the shell. They’re too small for Ann the Egg Lady to sell, so she sometimes throws in a couple dozen when I visit to buy the larger eggs.
I went down every aisle in this Market Basket, #37 (of 71), and nearly everything was already fully stocked — 97% complete, I’d say — and this just sixty hours after the crisis resolution. I stopped to have a gander at the next Market Basket down the road and they were more like 92% stocked, with a noticeable amount of empty shelf space. That second MB is not even a year old, so I’m guessing they’re prioritising the stores that have been around the longest first. In any case, I think my analyst- and media-shaming estimate of under a week will be easily met at all the stores.
The pork case in store #37
Fruit and veg also fully stocked
My full disclosure statement is that two items I wanted were at neither of the two stores: ground veal and fresh basil. I don’t strictly need the veal for the meatloaf and I recently took delivery of a large bag of vibrantly green dried basil from The Spice House in Chicago, so no big deal.
I also drove past the Market Basket still under construction that’s just ten minutes from my house, happy that now it won’t end up a sad derelict and a painful reminder of what could have been. This wasn’t taken whilst moving, by the way; I was at a red traffic light.
Despite what the article posits, I think it will be less than a week before everything is as it was. As to this:
It also may be difficult to get back customers who have left because of distaste for family drama or because they have come to appreciate other stores.
David Livingston, a supermarket industry analyst at DJL Research in Milwaukee, predicted 80 to 90 percent of customers will return. But he cautioned shoppers to prepare for a slightly different atmosphere, with the possibility of lingering tensions and uncertainty about whether a company suddenly saddled with massive debt obligations can keep prices so low.
“I just don’t think Market Basket will ever be quite the same,” Livingston said. “It’s like going through a divorce and getting a second family.”
Mr. Livingston, I presume you’re guessing, as analysts are wont to do, but I think that’s a load of horse potatoes in this case.
This fellow in another Boston Globearticle has a better understanding of the situation:
“This is historic. It was an unprecedented situation, and it defies everything we thought we knew about how businesses are run and who has the power. Many scholars, myself included, are eating crow right now.”
— Daniel Korschun, a fellow at the Center for Corporate Reputation Management at Drexel University
I’m going food shopping after work and I’m sure the place will be more packed with people than I’ve ever seen. I think Market Basket will see unprecedented and perhaps astounding revenue in the months to come.
UPDATE: Arthur T. Demoulas speaking the morning of 28 August:
“There never was a good war or a bad peace.” Benjamin Franklin in a letter to Josiah Quincy, 11 September 1783