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Yogurt and Agility

In the morning, I made one of my favs—pancakes topped with pecans, and adorned with a sour cherry sauce and non-fat, non-flavored, non-Greek yogurt. It was delicious.

"What a nice afternoon," Adele said as we were entering into the final turn of our walk around the neighborhood. "They say it will be foggy and raining for the rest of the week."

"Well," I said, "this is about as good a time as ever to talk to you about a very sensitive matter."

"Yes," she replied. "What is it?"

"It's about the yogurt. We have a problem. You like Greek yogurt and I can't stand it. You like nonfat or at least low-fat yogurt, and I'm okay with normal fat yogurt. And you want plain and I lean towards the vanilla yogurt. What are we going to do?"

"You really don't want all that extra sugar and fat, do you?"

"How about this?" I said. "What don't we buy two different types of yogurt?"

"You use most of the yogurt. I only use a little bit. So why should I get a whole big yogurt and then let it sit in the refrigerator for two months?"

"Well, the problem seems to be that in the stores that you go to they never seem to have the kind of yogurt that we could agree on. I think we could both agree to get low-fat, non-Greek, unflavored yogurt. But most of the stores don't seem to carry it."

"But there is one store that seems to carry what were looking for," she replied, "it's the nice store up in the mall, but you don't like to buy there because they charge an extra dollar for their yogurt."

"Tell you what. Our relationship means a lot to me," I responded, "at least an extra dollar. Go ahead—go shopping at the high-end store and get what you want and I'll be okay with it."

Meanwhile, we passed by a neighbor who was standing on the sidewalk working with his papillon-bred dog on agility training. We met him the prior evening as he was pacing his small dog through a series of obstacles including jumps, hoops and tubes.

It seems that his dog ran the course—but not fast enough, so today, he was out with the dog working on improving the dog's take-off.

He had the dog sit as he walked about 50 feet away and placed a treat in a dish, then he walked halfway back to where the dog was waiting.

Upon a signal, they both took off toward the treat. The first two times, the man won and collected the treat. The third time, the dog triumphed and gobbled it up.

As we walked away, Adele said, "that gives me an idea."

"When I want you to do something, I can put some ice cream on the floor and get you to go after it."

"Could you at least put it in a dish?" I responded.

"Oh yeah. In a dish."

"And maybe on a table—not on the floor."

"OK. On a table. Would that work?"

"Let me think about that—no."

So we left, went home and had dinner.

That night after dinner, she turned to me and said, "Let's go!"

"Go where?" I said.

"Yogurt shopping."

"But it's dark and cold and raining—and besides I don't need yogurt right now."

"You wanted yogurt. Let's get it before you forget."

"I won't forget. I never forget—if I write it on the board."

"I don't look at the board, so I might forget. Let's shop!"

So, we headed to the upscale grocery store on that cold dark night, and lo and behold it was totally empty. I guess those needing yogurt on this particular evening were few and far between.

So, of course, we passed the wonderful produce section where every fruit and vegetable could have been hand-picked for a gourmet magazine, and we wound up filling our baskets quite a bit.

While Adele was produce cruising, I headed to the freezer section—I thought it was the refrigeration section but those open-glass compartments look about the same.

Yep, it was the freezer section—loaded with dozens of varieties of ice cream—but no Moose Tracks. But then again, I already had my supply of Moose Tracks at home.

What's Moose Tracks, you might ask? It's a vanilla ice cream with Donelli fudge and small versions of chocolate-covered peanut butter.

I get a call from Adele. We discovered a while ago that when it's hopeless to search the store to find one another—use the phone. I answer as I turn to my side, and as I hear her voice asking, "Where are you?" I see her—in the actual refrigerated dairy section.

I go to her, and there we are—together…in the yogurt section. There are myriad brands and varieties to chose from—but not my favorite brand, Mountain High, in our agreed upon low fat, unflavored non-Greek variety.

We exchange containers, wanting to read the labels. Then exchange glasses because her glasses reads the fine print better. None are perfect—but we agree on a non-fat, non-flavored, non-Greek yogurt. Honestly, it wasn't that long ago that that was just about the only kind in the stores.

And don't get me going off about tomato sauce—how there used to be one type, then between chunky and spicy, and this added and that ingredient, they were up to over thirty varieties by one manufacturer alone who hired a consultant and reduced it to six variations. Probably that consultant got more work with the yogurt company.

So, we check out at the register—we came for yogurt, one thing, and wound up with a basket full of stuff, and went home.

In the morning, I made one of my favs—pancakes topped with pecans, and adorned with a sour cherry sauce and non-fat, non-flavored, non-Greek yogurt. It was delicious.

~ Al Zagofsky





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