Purple cabbage panic

We realised last weekend when making our shopping and cooking lists for our Thanksgiving dinner this weekend that purple cabbages for the coleslaw was going to be quite difficult to get. Thursday’s shopping list was up today and on queue The Mister (after being told by Moore Wilson’s that they weren’t going to have any until after Christmas) phoned up the place in Kaiwharawhara that we’d picked would be our main chance, to see if they had any. YES! Hint of panic when the lady told him they closed at 4pm but she agreed to hold 2 and he dashed home to get the car to get out there and get them.

But. Yes, unfortunately there’s a but.

(The rest of this entry is my retelling of The Mister’s story …)

The Mister: Managed to get the car and get out to Kaiwharawhara by 4. Approached the corner of Hutt & Kaiwharawhara roads and THE SHOP WASN’T THERE!! But the lady on the phone had said “just opposite Spotlight” which is where he was … so he wandered up and down a bit thinking there was an organic grocer near by and couldn’t find one however on the way back to the car spotted a sign on the hill that said ‘Produce’. Changed course and took off up the hill to discover a big garage-looking shed, not really looking open to the public and wandered in.

Small Chinese lady approached.

The Mister: “Hi, do you sell to the public?”

Small Chinese lady: “GibberJabbaGibberJabba?!???!?!”

The Mister: “Do you sell to the public?”

Small Chinese lady: “Who you want?”

The Mister: “I don’t want anyone, I just want to know if you sell to the public” (glancing around at every kind of green vegetable on big commercial pallets).

Small Chinese lady went to get the phone and began dialling.

The Mister: ” Oh god. I just want a purple cabbage!”

Small Chinese lady: (into the phone) “GibberJABBERGIBBERJABBER. Ah ha ah ha ah ha. YOU. PHONE FOR YOU (and thrust it at him).”

The Mister: “Ah, hello?”

A Chinese man: “Hello – can I help you?”

The Mister: “Ah, yes, I have come into your warehouse – I want to know if you sell to the public, all I need is a purple cabbage.”

The Chinese man: “I’m out on deliveries. No we don’t really sell to the public. I do have some cabbages though. Ummmm, just wait there I will be back soon.”

So the Mister stood there, with the Small Chinese lady in an awkward silence for 10 long minutes, disturbed every now and then with some unanswered GibberJabber until The Chinese man arrived.

The Chinese man: “Hi, how many did you want?”

The Mister: “2”

The Chinese man: “Oh. Are you a chef?”

The Mister: (looking down at his very non-cheffy clothes) “Errr, no.”

The Chinese man: “7 dollar”

The Mister: “Errr. Do you take Eft-POS?”

The Chinese man: “No no no. You go French place across the road. He knows me. Tell him I send you and he will give you money.”

The Mister: Left the warehouse. Felt too embarrassed to go over to La Cloche and name drop when he didn’t really know The Chinese man and wasn’t really a chef and shouldn’t’ve really been there and all he wanted was a purple cabbage. (It was at this point that I got a voice message (don’t know what I was supposed to do if I’d heard the phone and answered it) that went something like this “too flustered to text all going wrong the place I went to is GONE and I found this other place but they only take cash and I don’t have any cash and there are no money machines around here and it’s hot and I’m running late so I’ll just see you in Victoria in 5 or 10 minutes” (there might’ve been some swearing in there but there certainly weren’t any breaths!). Then he decided to scratch around in the coin place in the car to see if there was enough parking money to cover it. Nope. In some far-fetched clutch at a last straw he looked in the pocket of the jacket he’d worn to work that day lying on the back seat of the car that he hasn’t worn since last summer.

My god. $10 in the pocket. SAVED.

Purchased the cabbage and made a new friend – The Chinese man’s parting words “You want cabbage again I hook you up.” Yippee.

So I was picked up and told this story on the way to Moore Wilson’s. I’d barely stopped laughing (it was funny, the way he told it) when sitting at the traffic lights The Mister said “So. Somewhere in Wellington there’s a woman holding 2 cabbages.” Set me off again!

So, with all that the behind us we set about the business of getting onions (of various colours!) for the Thanksgiving Dinner hors d’oeuvres. And you’ll never guess what we saw in the vegetable department …

PURPLE CABBAGES!!! Arrrrrggggh!


(Although as someone has since suggested perhaps Moore Wilson’s never knew what we wanted because they call them red cabbages, not purple … surely not?)

Oh, and we did see our turkey that arrived up from the South Island today, waiting in their commercial fridge for Saturday because ours isn’t big enough.


So, roll on Saturday night! (And I’ve hidden $10 in the car for any future emergencies!)


#1 Goepes on 11.27.09 at 10:13 am

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry for you..

#2 OrangeGirl on 11.27.09 at 10:27 am

The Mister’s mum laughed, so hard in fact that apparently she could type a comment to say so and run this morning instead!

#3 Red, scarlett and purple — OrangeBlog on 11.27.09 at 10:32 am

[…] ← Purple cabbage panic […]

#4 penny on 11.27.09 at 6:51 pm

How often have I seen that face!!. The virtue at school this week has been Patience. I will use you C—g as an excellent example !!!
M.U.M /M.I.L

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