Sunday, April 25, 2010

Polish Shopping Trip

We sit poised on the brink of this project -- tomorrow, Monday, is our first day of Polish cooking.  I admit, we slacked off on researching Polish culture beyond just what they eat.  To explain (make excuses, really) I can say it's been a hectic week.  Angel had a lot of work lined up and was out on the road a lot.  I had my final exam in Managerial Finance and end-of-semester assignments in my marketing class, and I spent much of my week studying for that.

Angel spent quite a bit of time coming up with seven days of menus, and working up a shopping list from that.  (Rather than list the full week's menu now, I'll try to post daily over the next week.)  Angel spent almost four hours out shopping in Traverse City, MI for our week of Polish cooking and spent $350, to which we'll need to add another $40 for the pork knuckles we need for a recipe later in the week.  Angel shopped at two stores.  First was the local Oryana Natural Foods market.  What a bust.  While they pride themselves in carrying a wide array of organic and natural foods, all Angel could find there was rennet, for cheese-making.  Everything else we found at our local Meijer super-mega-grocery-everything-mart.

Angel says that we have more vegetables than we've ever had in the house.  We have two refrigerators -- when we got the huge side-by-side for the kitchen, we didn't get rid of the smaller fridge that it replaced.  We put it out in the garage and we've been using it to hold mostly beverages.  Right now, both of them are full.  Angel says she got five heads of cabbage, three jars of sauerkraut, five cartons of blueberries, four cucumbers, 10lbs of potatoes and a bag each of parsnips, turnips, carrots, celery and apples.  And a head of cauliflower.  And six dozen eggs.  Six.  Dozen.  Eggs.  That's 72 eggs -- more than we get for Easter -- that we're going to eat in a week.

Angel had some observations.  First, she learned that "pimento berries" are actually whole allspice, a Jamaican ingredient.  She said that the twins had fun picking out turnips and parsnips and tossing 'em into bags, and that we purchased no beef -- all the meat was either chicken or pork.  We usually live off of beef and chicken, so this is a change for us.  I had hoped that my son would've taken some pictures and shot some video clips of the shopping experience, but not this week.  Hopefully we'll get some of his insight in future weeks.

New spices:  Whole peppercorns, whole allspice, white-wine vinegar.

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