Posts Tagged ‘grocery’
Durian. Ever have it? Heard that it’s an acquired taste. It scares me. I’ve seen it at the Asian grocery stores, and I’ve only seen it being eaten on Food Network. While durian might be a great fruit, the unfortunate part might be its smell, which then I would think affects its taste. Let’s say it smells like feet… at the end of the day… after wearing socks made from synthetic material that doesn’t let your skin breathe. Yeah, right? What would possess someone to try this fruit? But, there are people who eat it. If you can get past the interesting aroma, you are rewarded with a smooth and creamy fruit – I wonder if it’s like avocado in that sense? In Asian cuisine, it’s used in milkshakes, ice cream, cakes and candy. So… hiding the fruit in food masks the smell? Maybe.
I’m not opposed to trying things once, so when my husband’s parents came home with some durian CANDY, I thought, okay, it’s been sugared up and I’m not eating it straight off the tree. It’s a little less scary. Great. I took a small bite out of the already small bite-size piece and let the flavor melt in my mouth a little. Disappointment. Sweetened condensed milk and sugar with durian could not convince me. I could still taste feet-iness. I wanted to like it, really. I even wanted to fake liking it so my husband would try it. Could you imagine, “Hey, honey, this is sooooo delicious. Try it!”
Found some takers for our two bags – My mom, dad and aunt were happy to have a taste of home.
Every year, we like to visit Long Grove at least once. The biggest reason is for the brown bag apple pie from Apple Haus. It’s everything we want in an apple pie: flaky, buttery crust with a slight crunch, fresh apple chunks, not too sweet.
But before Apple Haus, we stopped by the Glunz Family Winery tasting room and I had this shot of raspberry wine in a chocolate cup. What a great idea for a party opener…
So many things to look at in Apple Haus. Just around the corner are the display cases with…
…pies! This cutey says it serves 1 or 2, but the lady behind the counter said it was good for one.
This is not a great picture of me at all. I was trying to make a “Mr. Egg” face. Talk about cute dish scraper. I ended up buying it and the kids played with it for a few days afterwards.
We do like going to the different stores around Long Grove, especially The Tuscan Table. Eastman is definitely scaring me with the muddler here.
They were so tired after walking around and having an apple donut and apple cider snack. It’s really amazing how much they look like each other. They’re so sweet.
At last, at home with our brown bag apple pie. There’s actually a good chance we’ll be attending the apple festival later this week. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
Oh my goodness, one and a half days without internet access from home is brutal. We rely on it so much! Looking up recipes, sending e-mail, reading the news, reading my favorite blogs… Even our little one was suffering withdrawal from not being able to log onto The Disney Channel’s webpage. Anyhow, after an hour the cable technician was able to diagnose some loose cables outside our house and he found a nick in the cable that comes from the main line. Apparently he put in an order for the line to get replaced. Who knows when that will actually happen.
But what I really wanted to write about is The Ferry Building. I really don’t know if we have something similar to this in Chicago, so you can only imagine how excited I was to walk into this place with all these specialty food shops! My husband spent $50.00 within 30 minutes… it was so easy to do. I did visit some plant/garden/gift shops, too, but our main focus was on the eats.
For the mushroom fans, Far West Fungi. It was strange that no one seemed to be working there at the time… kind of eerie. Unfortunately, we didn’t really visit too long, but it was neat storefront.
Imperial Tea Court had a great selection of loose teas, but what we were really looking for was…
…this place! Boccalone! Their tag line reads, “Tasty salted pig parts”. How awesome is that? This place was featured on Food Network recently, and we just had to try the salumi cone. Deliciously salty and fatty. It can’t possibly be good for you. We did bring home some nduja, spreadable salami, along with some cheese from Cowgirl Creamery. A $20 grab bag of cheese and a little cheese knife.
Scharffen Berger chocolate… oh my dark chocolate goodness. The kids were so good in the store. You’d think they might go nuts in a place that has samples at every turn, but no, they were very well behaved and Abby really impressed the staff with her taste for 60%-70% dark chocolate. “Your daughter has a surprisingly mature palate.” Why, yes, thank you very much.
We ended our little foodie excursion with dinner at Taylor’s Automatic Refresher, a casual diner but with some upscale diner meals. We caught up with my college roommate (daughter’s godmother) and her new husband of one year (happy anniversary!!). I tried the Ahi Burger and we also ordered the Grilled Mahi Tacos. Fresh, delicious, light… mmmm. I’m sure the beef burgers were great, but we definitely wanted to try the seafood.
I think this pretty much sums up the day. My kids are such troopers when it comes to their dad and me dragging them to all these specialty groceries and food markets.
You know when your family or relatives go on vacation and they bring back a little something as a momento from their trip? It’s a nice gesture, right? I think it is. Normally. But why these designs? Seriously, is my sense of style that hard to read that my relatives purchase these very, uh, unique totes?
It’s not that I don’t appreciate my family’s thinking of me while away on their tours. The tote on the far left is beaded, crazy beaded. Where would I use this? And the tote with the woman came with it’s own makeup/satellite bag. My daughter thought that bag was slightly creepy. And, the one on the bottom is newly acquired, even though the date on it is the year 2000. Note to family: if you feel like you want to buy something, really, just spend it on my kids. They LOVE it when you come with small treasures from abroad. They have stories to tell their friends like, “My grandparents got this for me in Paris.”
So, do I take these totes to the grocery and use them until they fall apart? I suppose they could be good dress-up material for the kids. Library book bags? Ooh, white elephant gift!
Went to Assi International (pronounced ah-see) in our neighboring suburb of Niles, IL. I like to refer to the market as the Asian mega-mart. This is not to say that I don’t shop at the other one nearby, Super H Mart, which is larger, but more chaotic to me. Not only does Assi have a great produce section, there’s every kind of Asian cuisine cooking product you might ever need: Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, Filipino. Oh, and I also buy my Cafe Du Monde coffee there, Makes a great Vietnamese iced coffee, I hear, but I like mine straight from a French press. But I digress.
I’ll be heading there tomorrow (Saturday) because I need to get some fixin’s for a Korean BBQ lunch. We have some marinated rib eye (bulgogi) that we’ll grill. Who am I kidding…my husband will grill. I want to buy a few different kim chee (or sometimes kimchi, kimchee or gimchi), for you non-Asians that’s pickled vegetables with varying degrees of spice and seasonings. Some of them are so red with chili heat, my forehead starts sweating just looking at it. I wouldn’t even touch the stuff before, but I’ve gotten used to the taste, and it really does lend a nice flavor if you eat it along side of your grilled meat and rice.
If you go on a weekend, they often have samples of products and you might be lucky enough to eat the right amount of food for a light meal. So, last weekend, my family and I were walking through the frozen section and we saw an elaborate setup of Filipino food by Pronto Foods. Holy cow, they had all sorts of fried spring rolls: chicken, pork, plantain. Actually the plantain spring roll is called turon, and there are different kinds other than plantain: Ube (taro root/purple yam), ube and cream cheese, plantain with cream cheese. They were sampling this with a gluten-free wrapper (corn) that had been fried three hours prior. It was still crispy! Definitely not oily, either. I was impressed. Granted, they weren’t shaped like traditional turon, which is wide and sort of rectangular. These were more like cylinders, a bit bigger than a cigar, I think. We’re looking forward to trying it at home.
**Update – taro root and ube are totally different. While they are both monocots, they are different plant species.
One of the Pronto Foods representatives who was working that afternoon, Eddie Chua, gave me quite an in-depth explanation of their cooking philosophy and product formulation. This was all okay because my kids and husband were busy sampling their full-size chicken siopao (steamed bun) and other spring rolls. So, he told me, as if in secret, to come back this Saturday because they were going to sample their crab rangoon, which has REAL crab and a cheese blend rather than cream cheese. Maybe we’ll run into Eddie again.
Went to Whole Foods with the family for the first time and as I suspected, Eastman thoroughly enjoyed the store. There was a lot of, “Hey, look at this!” and “Look at this section.” Here we are checking out one of the food bars. I’m so excited that we found nut-free granola for me and Ollie, and not unreasonably priced, either! Granted, I wouldn’t say we would buy all our groceries there. The two closest Whole Foods locations are not quick drives.
We were visiting a newer location and we made it from one end of the store to the other, and Abby said, “Wait? Weren’t we just here?” Eastman told her we were just at the other end, and she said, “WHAT?! This place is huge!”