Plant snobbery


I stopped in a local Aldi store today because I needed some lemons to make springerle, those German cookies that you roll out with a special embossed rolling pin that makes little design squares on your dough. The dough, made with eggs, flour, sugar and a bit of leavening, are flavored with lemon zest and anise. Nobody really seems to like springerle, but they’re festive and relatively low-fat for a cookie, since the only fat comes from the egg yolks. Anyway, they take up space in the cookie tin, so I keep making them.

I don’t usually stop at Aldi because it’s been my experience you can’t really count on finding a staple like lemons there. It’s sort of hit-or-miss. Today, though, they were on my way, and they had lemons, but you had to buy a bag of six for $2.99. I only needed two lemons, so now I need to find something to do with the other four. But I digress, as I so often do. For sale at Aldi were THE most beautiful poinsettia plants I’ve ever seen. They were huge, at least three feet around, healthy-looking and super-bushy and only $8.99 apiece, in gallon containers.

I stood there and looked at them for the longest time. I wanted to buy one for my mother-in-law; we’re going out to see them on Saturday, and I’d intended to buy her a cyclamen, but this poinsettia (a.k.a. Euphorbia pulcherrima) really had a lot of pop to it. I actually had my hands on one and was pulling it off the shelf when I stopped. “Who buys plants at Aldi?” I said to myself, and walked away.

That’s right–I’m a plant snob. I don’t know why I am, but I am. I’ll buy plants at Home Depot or at Walmart, but at least those places have regular nursery sections. I prefer buying plants at actual nurseries, even though they inevitably cost more. And I’ve learned not to bother buying those little boxes of spring bulbs that are for sale everywhere in the fall. The things don’t come up, half the time. (Well, except for those gorgeous acidanthera I got at Home Depot last spring.)

So I didn’t buy that poinsettia, and now I’m regretting it, because it means tomorrow I’ll probably drive to Aldi and they’ll all be gone. That’s what I get for being such a darned plant snob.

Photo by André Karwath, a.k.a. Aka, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license.

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