Saturday, 27 October 2007
Sunday, 21 October 2007
Anyway, supermarkets have been much in my thoughts this month as we have just returned from a fabulous trip to New England. This provided opportunities for visiting supermarkets in SIX different US states, and we took full advantage of this. Whether or not you think I am odd for enjoying supermarket shopping, it's becoming apparant to me that my habit of taking my camera into supermarkets to photograph things on the shelves is verging on madness, but I have no shame where this is concerned! Here are a few things that really excited me:
I had never heard of French's Fried Onions until recently, when I discovered that they are in fact a staple of American retro-cookery. I now have 2 cans in my kitchen cupboard, and I'm trying to pluck up the courage to use them in the slightly-scary-looking 'Green Bean Casserole' recipe on the tin. I like the idea of these Cheddar ones though, especially as a crispy coating for chicken. Sadly the purchase of these was also vetoed by Rob, for the admittedly very good reason that we had barely enough room in the van to sleep, let alone carry bagfuls of trashy American groceries. Spoilsport.
I am an advertising agencies dream as I am SO easily swayed by packaging. I have a cupboard full of 'Jiffy Corn-Muffin Mix', simply because I love the boxes. This Bell's seasoning is beautifully packaged. I love the 'Old Bay' seasoning tins too. And as for this wonderful My-T-Fine' pudding mix - wow! It saddens me that manufacturers feel the need to update their packaging so regularly - I love the fact that this has probably remained unchanged for 30 years.
Back on the Hallowe'en theme again... in the form of the infamous 'Funfetti' cake. More to come on this topic in another post...
This just made us giggle. I'm not sure if the Brawny-man has cause to fear for his job just yet...
And finally, a quick mention for possibly the most fun supermarket in the world, ever - Trader Joe's. I had heard some of my American friends raving about it and we stumbled upon this branch in Massachussetts. It's full of local produce and some really unusual foods, all at excellent prices. I also love to see a retailer with a sense of humour - the food is labelled with variations on the Trader Joe's name; e.g. the Spanish sausages that we bought were 'Trader Jose's', the Clam Chowder 'Pilgrim Joe's', the noodles 'Trader Ming's', etc. It's so good to see the injection of a little humour into the potentially banal job of grocery-shopping. Although when you shop with me it's always fun.
Thursday, 18 October 2007
I regaled Rob with these facts from the extremepumpkins website, but he was still unconvinced.
Pumpkin Seed Eating Facts:
1. Some types of pumpkin seeds have less husk than others.
2. You can eat the whole seed, husk and all. Don’t worry.
3. 50 grams of seeds has 5 grams of dietary fiber. That will keep you regular.
4. Pumpkin seeds are also said to be good for Gout, Prostate Health and are supposedly an aphrodesiac.
5. Both German and Bulgarian folk medicines say that eating pumpkin seeds prevents impotence.
6. Roasted pumpkin seeds will keep for about a week in the fridge.
Domestic-goddess-like I also whipped up a quick pumpkin soup using some pumpkin flesh, some stock and the rest of the tin of pumpkin. It's in the saucepan in the picture behind, but as it's just orange gloop it doesn't really warrant its own photo. It tastes nice though, and feels virtuously healthy as it contains no fat. I'll put extra butter on the toast that I eat with it to make up for that.
Boy, this one was trickier, especially those eyes (which I'm still not happy with... but what kind of sap gets too perfectionist about carving vegetables?!). It was a masterpiece of engineering to get that baby pumpkin to stay in its mouth. The scene was completed with the addition of a face to the teeny pumpkin, and a second scared-looking veg:
They're on the doorstep now and - nearly 2 weeks early - I'm ready for Hallowe'en! All thoughts of fruit forgotten, I have a bag of Walmart's best pumpkin-shaped-marshmallows to hand out to the scrounging kids. Their parents can deal with the ensuing sugar-high. My witches hat and wig is ready so, glass of 'blood' (red wine) in hand, I'll toast the Eve of All Hallows with a smile (and a witchy cackle!).