Tuesday, October 14, 2014

It's What You Get Used To

A year ago today we arrived in New Hampshire. We were beginning a stretch of life in the States for seven months on home assignment after twenty years of ministry in the Czech Republic.

While I remember how beautiful all the gorgeous New England foliage was at its peak, and the thrill of seeing the coastline out the window of where we stayed, I also remember what happened the day after we arrived.

I cried in the grocery store.

Most missionary women will tell you that it happened to them too upon return to the US. And it's usually not tears of joy (though it seems like they should be considering all you can buy there).

It's more from feeling overwhelmed by choices, unsure of brands and products, and unable to find things that you use back at home (which oddly enough is what you call the place that you came to the States from).

I did eventually figure it out and learned how to successfully grocery shop in stores all across the States, appreciating the stores once I got used to them again.

As I've settled back into home here these past months, I've walked the aisles of my grocery stores feeling so happy to be back; honestly it's still easier for me to shop here than in the States.

And yet, there are funny things that stop me every now and then as I realize what shopping means to me here.

Take, for instance, dry black beans.

I can sometimes buy them at my local health food store, or at Globus, a store 40 minutes from here in Havířov. They're not in any of the regular stores I shop at here in my own town. Or anywhere else that I know of.

Canned black beans? Occasionally I'll find them at one of the four stores here in our town, but most of the time I drive 30 minutes to the big Albert (we have a little Albert in town), a store in Ostrava.

Cheddar cheese? It's at Tesco, a fifteen minute drive from me. But it's expensive and you only get a small block of it.

But at Lidl, another store 15 minutes from our house, I find this incredible cheese (tastier and cheaper than what's at Tesco).

But you have to look hard for it as they don't keep it in the cheese section. It's usually near the yogurt!

Then there's soft brown sugar, a fairly recent arrival here. Where to find it?

At the mall in a clothing store call Marks and Spencers. There they have a small gourmet grocery section that is packed full of British food products since that's where M & S's originates from. Love this store!

Sometimes you can find it at Albert, but it's dark brown sugar and is too strong of a taste for me.

While it takes time to go get these products, I don't think twice about it anymore because I know where they are and kind of enjoy the hunt for them. Plus I am always on the lookout to see if any of those things have come to my regular stores!

I guess it's all what you get used to.

While we're talking about food, I'll leave you with a link to a recipe for a seriously delicious apple cake (that I subbed with gluten free flour and it turned out perfectly). Your taste buds will be oh so happy if you'll give it a try!

Brown Sugar Caramel Apple Cake

1 comment:

  1. Can I come over and have some of YOUR baking?? I definitely do miss Czech grocery stores! ;) Though I do love my Trader Joe's almond milk! Haha. Oh goodness - now I don't just travel 30 minutes for that one odd thing, but I'd have to travel across the ocean! Guess you learn to appreciate things in both places then.