Posts tagged ‘shopping’
Brian and I spent most of our time in Philly in the Old City. We did a ton of walking in that area alone. However, I couldn’t quite resist making the hike to Center City to see Reading Terminal Market. How could I forgo checking out “the best, freshest and liveliest public market since 1893”?
In short, it was everything I hoped it would be. Tons of vendors, amazing looking fresh food, variety, ethnic cuisine. I very nearly decided to move to Philadelphia for the market alone. It was a good thing we didn’t have a cooler with us or a fridge in our hotel because I would’ve spent a fortune on food. I’ll stop rambling and just get to the photos, because they express my feelings much better:
Reading Terminal Market: definitely a Philadelphia foodie must see.
To address any concern you may have had, I have not fallen off the face of the earth. I got married (though I’m sure in the minds of some people, those events are equivalent)!!! At any rate, the ceremony was last Saturday, the only nice day in Maine since forever and we had a wonderful time. It was perfect and everything I dreamed it would be. A week later, my Man and I are getting settled into our apartment in the Berkshires and starting our life together. Finally.
I love my Man more than words can express. I’m so glad we’re finally married and together, instead of doing the silly long distance thing we maintained for 2 years. My Man has innumerable wonderful qualities, but one of the ones I’m most excited about is his willingness to let me be myself in the kitchen. He’ll eat pretty much anything (or at least try it) and though he still wants to eat meat on occasion, he’s totally cool with the healthy, flexitarian/vegetarian, homemade lifestyle I’m pursuing. Such a refreshing change from home, where “beans”, “vegetarian” and “different” are sometimes dirty words. And we’ve got a plethora of new pots, pans, dishes and cooking gadgets to encourage me in my culinary endeavors. It’s very exciting.
It’s also thrilling to be living in a place with several decent supermarkets in town. No more driving half an hour because our local store doesn’t have what I need! I’ve promised myself (and my Man) that I will shop more purposefully than my family does at home, which sometimes results in going to the supermarket several times a week. I made a list, planned a menu for the week and staked out deals in the supermarket fliers last night. We ventured out to the store this morning at which point I made a very sad discovery.
Food costs money.
Clearly this is not really news to the rest of the world, but now that I am living on a budget and seeking employment, we’re trying to limit the amount of money we spend on groceries every week. A sad reality for my cooking dreams, given that I used to not give a thought to spending $20 on the ingredients for one meal when I was living at home. At any rate, it adds to the challenge and I’m sure will work out once we get into a routine, have more staples in the cupboard, and I get a job.
Meanwhile, I’ve subscribed to the following blogs (because I obviously didn’t have enough others to read) with the hope that they’ll help me cook good food while saving money:
Thanks to another great blog, Cheap, Healthy, Good, for the links!
On Saturday, I finally made my way to the Bath Farmer’s Market. It was a beautiful day and I had a wonderful time (as only a food geek like I would). There were about twenty vendors to peruse with an excellent selection which included mushrooms, cheese, eggs, flowers, honey, maple syrup, beef, pork, baked goods and lots of vegetables. Since it was my first visit and I wanted to see was available, I only purchased some baby red potatoes and basil.
I have also come to the conclusion that everyone is happy at a farmer’s market. I can’t imagine not being happy at a farmer’s market. It’s sunny, its warm, there’s fresh organic local produce everwhere you look, children and dogs are running around. It’s just a happy place.
I felt a little badly about taking so long to post this, but my procrastination was rewarded with “13 Strategies for Shopping a Farmers Market” from the Chicago Tribune. There are some good tips there, especially if you’re inexperienced with farmer’s markets.
One might think that the best way to make and eat food that I actually desire would be to go to the store and get it myself. This always seems like a good plan until implementation. First of all, I’m pretty sure it’s only necessary to go to the store once or twice a week, if all members of my household can get organized enough to decide what they want and put it on a list. There’s only four of us, usually three, so to me it makes sense. Easier said than done, however, but I eventually get my parents to decide on what the leftovers already in the fridge are being used for via a very, very circular discussion. I know there’s an element of driving me crazy just for the sake of it, but how to remedy that I’m not sure. Maybe I’ll do something crazy like move out in six months.
At any rate, I decided to make this pasta dish I’ve done once before (because the leftovers were, after all, claimed for other purposes), wrote down the ingredients and headed to my local grocery store. It was upon entering said institution that I recalled my hatred for grocery shopping, especially here in town. Reasons below:
- I hate shopping carts and think they should only be used when completely necessary. My list was pretty short, so I grabbed a carry basket (or whatever they’re called) and set about my shopping. Of course, I end up with more food than I can comfortably carry and spend a third of my trip looking foolish and frequently putting the basket down to rest my arms. But I didn’t have to push one of those misaligned, big carts that don’t fit down the aisle when someone is coming up the other side.
- Something happens to people when they enter grocery stores in general. It seems the majority of them think they’re in a museum. They’re wandering up and down the aisles, looking around as though they’re never seen food before. Armed with my list and a sense of purpose, I like to get in and out of supermarkets as fast as possible. Result: I’m annoyed with pretty much every other shopper.
- In the defense of my dazed and confused co-shoppers, my supermarket is notorious for having a limited selection and discontinuing items with frustrating frequency. So, as annoyed as I was, I too am standing at the meat display trying to determine if there’s any chance the supermarket carries ground sirloin (they didn’t). The same applies to some varieties of pasta. I understand that we live in a small town, but it’s frustrating. And it adds to the general confusion and my specific frustration.
At any rate, I survived. The point of all the foolishness of going to the supermarket is to get food and I did and I’m very excited about cooking it and having something yummy for lunch at school this week. I also picked up the ingredients to make some black and white cookies with my sister that I can hopefully post the results of later. Finally, I went to the library, where I do advocate browsing and taking one’s time, and checked out Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential which I am so excited to read. Review to follow, of course.