It's times like these when I wish I lived closer to a big city. I'm having a little dinner party tomorrow night and Tiny Kroger won't have everything I need. The biggest missing ingredient will be fresh bean sprouts, and I totally could have grown my own, but I would have needed to start them, oh, probably a couple weeks ago.
Besides, I've never had much luck sprouting beans.
So canned will have to do (they'll be used in hot and sour soup and in spring rolls).
(I never used to be able to make good homemade yogurt, either, but have finally figured out the formula and I NEVER want to eat commercially made yogurt again. So perhaps I have a future with bean sprouts.)
The Chinese restaurant closest to us sucks, so I've learned to make my own Kung Pao Chicken (I healthy up my version with a lighter sauce and I sautée the chicken in a pan swirled with oil, rather than fry it in an inch of oil). We eat it fairly frequently here in the Middle of Nowhere. Since we're having guests, I'll also serve the soup and spring rolls, but I don't usually go to that much trouble for a weeknight meal.
So the list I'm making is, of course, for the grocery, and it's not a long one. That's the beauty of a well-stocked pantry. I'm turning into my mother: She never seemed to run out of anything.
Then again, she never made spring rolls or sweet and sour soup, either.