5.11.2008

Laying in Supplies: Round One - The Grocery Store

So item #147 on 'The List' was 'Stock up on staples.'

Being a household of two, and being used to dining out quite a bit, we have been seriously negligent on keeping what I would consider to be an appropriate amount of food in the house. You know how like, you run out of buns before you run out of hotdogs? No big deal until pretty much everything in the kitchen fails the buddy test. Cereal without milk, popcorn but no butter, pepperoni but no pizza, you get the idea. Again, that's assuming you could find anything at all... The contents of our frig consisted of SoyMilk, half a carton of milk gone bad, an onion, 2 Rum drinks, 4 pathetic strawberries, 6 cans of Coke, chocolate syrup, and various condiments. I'm not saying you can't make a meal out of that, I'm just saying you can't make very many consecutive meals out of that. The freezer and the pantry were in even worse shape, and we got to the point where there was just no denying that we needed to get to the store and that we might as well take care of #147 while we're at it. Of course it's a shame that we didn't reach this point a day earlier or later, because being Mother's Day, the grocery store was full of lost and confused men trying to be 'considerate' in the only way we know how... doing it ourselves and not about to ask what a 'Cumin' is.

So we join the fray, and the mission was three-fold. 1) Get the basics, 2) Stock up on necessities, 3) Figure out if our grocery store has any African foods or spices. We didn't even make it into the produce section before Chris realized that this was not going to be a One Cart operation, and went back for a second. Two carts was a first for me and I wondered if this was something that was going to be a regular occurrence for the rest of my life.

As we walked down aisle two, my morning coffee wore off. That was a bad sign of things to come, but Chris dealt with my whining and feet shuffling like a trooper, she's going to be a good mom.

Ok, as a side note, I love the midwest, but we are not particularly accommodating to African tastebuds. If you're Hispanic or Italian, you've got a fighting chance. There was even a sizable selection of Scandinavian foods, but African? Zilch. Unless you're in the coffee aisle, we don't even offer any African knock-off products. Nothing brags about being African. I guess in my ignorance I thought that if you looked hard enough you could find a little bottle marked, "Ethiopian spice blend" with a silhouette of the African continent behind it. I was wrong about that, but I found "Bear Spice" while searching for it. Bear Spice? Seriously? I guess there's more of a market for people eating Bear here than people trying to make African cuisine, but whatever. It wasn't a total wash though. Chris spotted a bag of TEFF in the health food section, which was a pretty significant find. At least now if we make injera, the dough will have a chance of tasting 'right' even if they aren't accustomed to spicy bear meat as a topping. ;-)

So by the time we got out of the grocery store, we had 3 carts and a receipt literally the length of my arm and amounted to more than my last guitar. Good Times.

But hey, at least #147 is off 'The List.'

11 comments:

Susan said...

We have bought our Berbere spice at www.ethiopianspices.com. :-) I can't even find it at the exotic grocery stores. Good luck with the injera!

~Susan (AWAA Family)

Katherine said...

oohh! Teff! I'm going to have to get some and try to make the bread too! Try Valli Produce. They might have some of the spices in the Indian section.

Yarnsmith said...

I realized I got whole grain teff, not ground. Er... anyone got a mortar and pestle?

There wasn't teff flour that I could see.

Thanks, Susan for the heads up about ethiopianspices.com. They DO have teff flour, but it is currently not available. Wondering if it's having the same issues as other grains?

Nicola said...

Hey Chris, check out www.bobsredmill.com. They have Teff and just about any other grain you could hope for. I've used a number of their flours and mixes with good results.

Nicola ;)

Nicola said...

Oooo, they also have a _ton_ of recipes to use Teff in (including one for injera). The recipes can even be searched by ingredient (both teff flour _and_ teff grain). Though they aren't necessarily inherently Ethiopian flavors.

Nicola :)

Katherine said...

do you have a coffee grinder? I bet you could use that to grind your teff...

Yarnsmith said...

I think it's too small to grind in a coffee grinder.

Yarnsmith said...

Oh, wait, I guess you can. The internet is conflicted on this point! :)

Jill Coen said...

Hey guys! I know a family in the last travel group bought a bag of berbere spice...readily available while you are out and about in ET.

When you make a stop for baby formula for some of the families, you can buy it then. :)

Yeah!!

Katherine said...

ok, I was at the store today, and saw how small teff is... Um, it's so small, you can barely see the individual grains. If you have luck with the coffee grinder, let me know. Otherwise, want to make a run with me to Valli sometime? We could check there...

Yarnsmith said...

Yeah! It is small.

In Nicola's comment, teff flour is available at bobsredmill.com.