It’s just 3:30pm, but it’s so dark outside I think we need to turn some more lamps on. And the wind is gusting so hard Kurt’s bringing the flag inside. At the same time, it’s warm today. After weeks and weeks of temperatures below freezing, it feels like a heat wave out there at 50º. I didn’t even wear a jacket today, just my fur-trimmed sweatshirt.
The snow is melting by leaps and bounds too. There are puddles everywhere. And our poor snowman!! Kurt said as we left this morning that all that’s left of the snowman’s head is his brain stem. It’s gross, but so true. There’s just a little point of snow coming up out of the snowman’s body; it does sort of look like the top of a person’s spine sticking up.
It’s so sad to watch the demise of the snowman. First his buttons and eyes and nose and smile, all made of charcoal, fell out of their holes. Then one arm fell off, and a few days later he’d lost the other arm. Now he’s just a pillar of snow, with a bright pink scarf wrapped forlornly around what used to be his shoulders.
Today was grocery-getting day. I can’t call it grocery shopping, as we didn’t actually shop. We just got groceries. First on the list — the commissary. They are open tomorrow until 3pm since they’re closed on Christmas, but I also needed stuff for dinner. We did a massively quick run-through of the commissary and stayed mainly on the fringes, where all the fresh food is. I’m planning on making a stuffed turkey breast for Christmas dinner, and I had found some breasts for $20 a piece at our local non-chain grocery store. They were the same price as a full turkey! That’s why we had to go to the commissary today; I wanted to see what they had. I found some frozen breasts for $1.74 a pound, which was a good price, but most of the breasts were unmarked as to their weight. Plus they were frozen. I’d rather have fresh if I can find it.
Then it was off to BJ’s. We don’t have a Costco here, much to my dismay, but at least the BJ’s is close to our house. We grabbed some diapers and some chicken breasts, since that’s the cheapest place to find them. I also got some grape tomatoes to roast for Christmas dinner.
Finally we headed to Stop & Shop, which we jokingly refer to as Shop & Rob. Even Gracie calls it that. That’s where I finally got my fresh turkey breast. We basically made a stop at every grocery store in the area in the last 24 hours, except Shaw’s. And all for Christmas dinner!
It’s funny to see what you can get at various grocery stores across the country. In Seattle, we had a ton of Asian people, so Asian markets and stores that carry lots of Asian stuff were the norm. My favorite foo-foo grocery store had an entire aisle of food that had very little English on the packaging. I loved it too, as we eat a lot of Asian-style food. We also eat Asian rice — no Uncle Ben’s for us. Calrose is my favorite type, a short to medium-grain sticky rice that’s lovely and chewy.
Here, there aren’t a whole lot of Asians. Instead there are a lot of Portuguese, so things like linguica (lin-GWEE-sah) and chourico (chor-REE-zoh) are common. Chourico is similar to the Mexican chorizo, for those of you in border states. And let me tell you — linguica and chourico and even chorizo, it’s all good. Mmmm. Makes my mouth water!
We’d run out of rice last week, so while we were at our local grocery store, I decided to grab a new bag. But they don’t carry calrose rice! The closest they had was sushi rice, for $6.99 a pound. No, thank you, since I can get five pounds of calrose rice for $2.39 at the commissary. In fact, the commissary is my primary source of Asian products, though it really leaves something to be desired. I might have to get Caroline to send me some spicy bean paste so I can make bulgogi (aka, Korean bbq) again!
I can’t get Luzianne tea up here either. I have to get my sister to ship it to me from Florida, since no self-respecting iced-tea lover would use Lipton. I’ve had to do it, before my sister could get Luzianne to me, and I can really taste the difference. And here’s something that makes no sense — in Washington, I could easily buy a pack of chicken necks and backs to feed to my dog, as well as packs of gizzards or even just hearts. Here, it’s almost impossible to find such “waste” meat for sale. I’ve looked at every single grocery store in the area, and no one sells necks & backs. Even gizzards are hard to come by. I asked the butcher what he did with the necks & backs when he does cut-up fryers, and he just shrugged and told me they don’t sell them.
Oh well. I’m sure once I move on, there will be something I want that I can’t find anywhere but here. What are some things you love, but you can only find in certain areas of the country?