Aaahhhh...food from home. Don't get me wrong, I'm certainly not complaining about food here. The fact is, we're lucky to be eating such fresh fruits and veggies - usually organic. We're lucky to be surrounded by such wonderful food shops, an AMAZING bakery, and a bio-butcher. Food here is cushy...but boy do i miss some of the food-stuffs from home!
Especially with the holidays approaching...I'd give anything for a trip to Winco Foods (as ridiculous as that sounds, I know) to stock up on sparkling cider, Mrs. Cubison's stuffing mix, and Libby's pumpkin puree for homemade pies. By the way, on a side note here, there are no pies in Belgium. What a pity.
And did I mention that we don't have an oven in our home? that means no oven baked turkey, no cakes and pies, and worst of all no homemade bread! I'm making due with a crock pot and a stove..but it's just not the same...
I'm getting off subject here, aren't I?
OK, back to the subject at hand...food stuffs...I was really beginning to lose hope that I wouldn't be able to buy jellied cranberry sauce or any of those other junky things I love to eat during the holidays when I got wind of a little shop just a short bike ride away from us. Grare American Foods...the name says it all! Last weekend we threw the kids on the bikes and went to see it for ourselves!
Can I tell you the joy I felt (and yes, I squealed out loud) when I saw some familiar cans of candied yams in the window? Grare is a small store. For you Visalians, it's about the size of Visalia Coffee Company. It's full to the brim with all of the essentials, though. It has jell-o, stove top, shake and bake, marshmallows, graham crackers and hershey's bars. It has all of the familiar seasoning from Durkey's and Shellings, Campbell's soups, Velveeta, etc. etc. etc.
The owner of the shop told us that his Mother opened the store in 1965, bless the woman! The foods are extremely expensive, about 2 euros a can, but for simple holiday shopping or getting Jonas that bottle of ranch dressing that he's been missing so much, or a jar of best foods mayo...it is WELL worth it. Did I mention that mayonnaise here is sweet? yuck!
It's things like this that make living here a little bit easier. Now, I'm still very much looking forward to being home for Christmas to enjoy Mom's pumpkin pie, and Staci's pecan pie as well as all of the other yummy things that we cook during the holidays, but at least Thanksgiving won't be such a bummer now.
Now if only I cold get Roel into that Indian costume, and me into a pilgrim one...Thanksgiving really could be interesting...;-)