Back in the days when I worked 20 minutes from home and Mr. Brilliant worked in New York City, I had time to cook from scratch every night. But now my ride home consists of sitting in traffic on Route 46 and his ride home is the same bucolic ride through tree-lined suburban neighborhoods that I used to enjoy. So he is helping out with meal preparation, often with great help from Trader Joe's.
Tonight's menu was Mediterranean stuffed chicken breast with a stuffing of bread crumbs, black olives, herbs, and feta, the aforementioned multigrain pilaf in a pouch, and Brittany Blend vegetables sauteed with garlic in olive oil. If you buy, note that the chicken has to cook longer than indicated on the package -- 1/2 hour before removing the foil and another 25 minutes afterward.
I could get used to this.
Meanwhile, Trader Joe's employees work long days. At various times during my three years of waiting for the next round of layoffs, and realizing that I was an over-50 Cold Fusion web developer, I often thought that I could do worse than to work at Trader Joe's, which from all accounts pays reasonably well for grocery work, even if you do work till 11 PM stocking shelves after the store closes.
If you ever wanted to know what happens at your local Trader Joe's after hours with all that Sirius/XM oldies music pumped in, these two gentlemen give you a clue:
Saturday at the Manhattan Trader Joe's - not only did you have to wait on line to pay, you had to wait on line to get into the store. It was decorated with lots of hearts in anticipation of Valentine's Day.
New item: Trader O's - the TJ version of Spaghetti-Os. They didn't look all that appetizing.
Today's purchases (which was rushed because the check out line was already at the free coffee counter by the time I got into the store)
Trader Giotto's Pizza Sauce Orangina Soda TJ's Rice Pudding TJ's Orange Juice from concentrate Handmade Chicken Burritos Gyoza Chicken Pot Stickers Apple Cereal Bars Salsa Verde Mini-Pearl Tomatoes TJ's Kalamata Hummus Yellow Fin Tuna Fillet Egg Pappardelle Pasta Tandoori Naan Garlic Bread Restaurant Style White Chips
Ryan asked me if I found everything OK. I asked him if he gets hazard pay.
Trader Joe's opened in Manhattan in March 2006. It is located on 14th Street between 3rd Avenue and Irving Place. The store is part of an NYU dorm - that formerly was the Palladium club back in the 80s.
It is also busy. Very busy. Extremely busy. This has to be the busiest store per square foot in the chain, maybe in the world.
Take last Saturday - I got there at 905AM (5 minutes after it opened). I still waited on line for 20 minutes. I learn a lot on line at TJ's. You will also learn as I contribute to the Disciples of Joe. Or maybe just get hungry. Or frustrated like me when I wait on line to buy eggs.
You know who they are. They're the people with cupboards full of multigrain pilaf in a pouch. They're the ones who put out baskets of praline pecans and peanut butter-filled pretzels for a party. They're the ones who delude themselves that they're drinking healthy soda when they guzzle Hansen's diet pomegranate. They're the ones whose faces light up when they hear the words "Trader Joe's" at 100 paces.
If you've never been to Trader Joe's, you just don't get it. So here in this blog, we Disciples of Joe are going to explore All Things Trader Joe's -- product reviews, recipes, silly videos -- the entire Zen of Joe. So visit often, and feel free to spread the Word of Joe in the comments.
This blog is not owned by, endorsed by, or even known about by the ownership, management, or even employees of Trader Joe's. It's solely a gathering place for initiates of the Cult of Joe to share videos, recipes, and Trader Joe's product information.