Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My Grocery LOVES...

I thought I'd post a few pics of some things I've come to love here.
Of course I love this little guy, but the head of lettuce is what I'm referring to here. So fresh and yummy. I loved the ferria {farmers market} in Jaco. I've found a grocery store here however that has produce just as fresh and with a "lower" price tag. Be still my heart!
Most of the canned goods here come in this cool invention, a pull top. This is my evaporated milk. How easy is that. Because of this my can opener has retired early. Anyone need a can opener?
I'm sure you think this is ground coffee. But alas, it's the closest thing I can find to brown sugar. It's Caramel Sugar. It compacts like our C&H from the states but tastes quite a bit different. I've been told it's healthier than our traditional sugar but that means as much to me as "diet ice cream"....NOTHING!

My S-I-L's amiga just brought {smuggled} me in two HUGE bags of brown sugar. Yes I was as giddy as a little school girl and I'm not afraid to admit it!
I bought this to make a squash recipe that is native to Costa Rica. I was so excited to have learned how to make this, bummer is my family wasn't as excited as I was! Oh well, I'll just use it as a food coloring or make-up if the economy gets as bad as it is in the states. :)
I found this definition on Wikipedia:
Achiote is growing in popularity as a natural alternative to synthetic food coloring compounds. While it has a distinct flavor of its own, it can be used to color and flavor rice instead of the much more expensive saffron. The tree that it comes from is called the "lipstick" tree.

I thought this was interesting. I took this picture in my "not so friendly" neighborhood grocery store. {If you visit here, take it from me, Costa Ricans really don't like it when you take pictures in their stores}
I believe these are quail eggs but I'm not sure. Aren't they gorgeous? I loved all the detail in the shells.
It's funny, the eggs underneath them {what we are used to using} seemed so weird to me our first few months here. I wouldn't eat them {although I feed them to my family}.

A few days ago I saw the BRIGHT white, perfect eggs that I was used to in the states. I was surprised by them and had forgotten how flawless they are. Many times with our brown eggs I have to pull feathers off that have decided to attach themselves. In one batch you will get so many variables in sizes and color. How weird it must be to use a perfectly bright clean egg. I wonder how long it will take me to get used to that...

I might just feed them to my kids until I'm ready.

I HEART this seasoning packet. What's so different about it you ask.

It has dried onion, laurel, cilantro {my favorite} and garlic. What's NOT to love! I use this to make a version of Ranch dressing that blows the competiton away. Sorry Hidden Valley!

If I can't find this in the states I need to pack a suitcase full when we head back. Anyone seen this around? Anyone...Now this is cool! It's an anti-biotic that comes with a top you snap in and the applicator fits right in. You turn it upside down and no spills with the perfect measurement.
Funny thing is when I went to pick this up I didn't have to wait. They just handed it to me. Sweet.
I went home and opened it and it was just powder. I tried my best to read the directions and figured out that I needed to add water up to the line inside. So I did. Only to have my husband come home and tell me it needed to be boiling water. Oh, well. So now we all know why we have to wait 1 hour to get our takes that long to add the water.
I love this! Jelly that squeezes out of a bag. This costs about 550 colones {just under a dollar}. Are you jealous now? No more finding fragments of jelly in my peanut butter.

Since I bake so much now, this is how I store my flour, in a covered plastic bin. We go through so much that this just works for me.
I have to end with these guys, courtesy of Troy. I don't know if you can see the faces he drew. As a mom I so enjoy finding surprises like this around the house. I hate to say that they perished today to serve my little fam our breakfast.

They will go down as heroes in our {stomach} hearts.


Crista said...

Hi! I just read somewhere recently that you can make your own brown sugar. Its about 1 cup white sugar and 1-2 tablespoons of molasses. Now, that's assuming you have white sugar and molasses ;).
I'd be right there with you on the brown eggs, considering I don't love eggs in the first place.
Well, I just stumbled across you from a comment you left somewhere and thought I'd check you out. Hope my brown sugar tip work out for you!

loubige said...

Come're saying that seasoning is better than the Hidden Valley powder you add with sour cream? I'm not buying that one...and IF it is....please mail me one!!! :-)
P.S. Loved the art work you and the kids made for the house.

Heather Anderson said...

I love that you are finding these things the truth is those eggs and it sounds like most of that stuff is probably better for you then the stuff in the states... we (Americans) eat the worst foods and do things to our foods that other countries would never do. I love the Achiote and hope that more co start to use natural is always better than synthetic! I wonder if you could use it to make playdough??? I store my flour that way too... I bake too much cuz I LOVE cookies:(

Love the art by your kids! Kids make life FUN!

Christine said...

So Shawna you have a few ideas to come back to the US with patent and sell to the public. We'll be seeing squeeze jelly on all the shelves:)

My traveling sister's favorite thing to do is visit the grocery stores in foreign countries to see all the cool/different stuff they have. I wonder if quail eggs taste the same as regular eggs?? and are you brave enough to find out?

Tammy said...

Target here sells the medicine with a lid like that it is cool less spilling

Lara said...

I grew up with brown eggs. We had our own chickens when I was little.