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10th-Jan-2011 01:13 pm

Thirty-Six Days of Me: What you ate today, in great detail.

Where ‘today’ actually = yesterday, Sunday 19 January.

Here’s an annoying thing about New York – how difficult food shopping is.  It’s such a first-world problem I’m frankly embarrassed about it, but there it is.

In the UK, I could make a grocery order at Tesco.com, including fresh foods, processed foods, household and personal items and it’d be delivered to me door for a (in my opinion) reasonable price. In New York – and bear in mind this is a stupid thing to find an obstacle – there is one store yopu go to for processed and non-foody things and a WHOLE OTHER store for fresh foods. And neither of these are walking distances – although I am spoiled by small grocers around my neighbourhood, don’t forget that I find it an effort to leave my apartment sometimes, and we live in the Age of Convenience;  Availability isn’t the problem, ease and price and being able to carry the stuff home is.

Which is a roundabout way of saying: I’ve managed a trip to Target since returning from the Christmas break  – to stock up on cheese and dried pasta and cereal and juice, and such basics, but I haven’t yet made the additional trip to get actual fresh vegetables, which I hope will happen tonight.  So at the very moment, my diest isn’t the greatest.

Stupid convenience of processed foods.


Sunday mornings mean lie-ins! Which is why I got out of bed around 9ish and had a bowl Frosties and 2% (semi-skimmed) milk while checking on the internets. Around this time I realised that weekends also mena delicious coffee, so I filled my Red Riding Hood mug up with Trader Joe’s Gingerbread Coffee. Twice, in fact, because I haven’t yet figured out how to make one cup in my coffee machine. (Shush).

At about 10, I remembered two things which I forget all too often. 1) we don’t have a microwave in the apartment, and 2) if I’m going to be dancing for 6 hours straight, I really need to eat first. So I stuck the oven on and heated up an Amy’s Burrito from the freezer, in time to be able to eat it around 11 before heading out.

(Man, I love Amy’s Burritoes. Perfect size for a small meal, easy to bung in the oven for an hour. Easy to eat. Vegetarian. Tasty.)

Meeting Becca for three consecutive waltz classes, I quickly regretted not filling up my water bottle (which is sitting clean in the kitchen, cause I’m always that idiot). Becca offered me some of her diet coke, but I cannot have artificial sweetener/colours without feeling like someone’s trying to poison me, so I declined. I did nick her empty bottle, though, and filled that up at the fountain.

After dance, we headed back to my apartment, to commence the exposure of Becca to Press Gang (it’s an exchange of cultures! She had me last semester with the Koren Drama Capital Scandal) where Roomie Ana wisely suggested pizza, because of the lack of actual foods in our apartment right now. There’s a lovely pizza place a block from our apartment at which we’re rapidly becoming regulars. (Pizza is one of the four basic food groups in NYC: Fructose; Lactose; Corn syrup and pizza, see?) I’m not exactly sure what was on the very pale thng we got, other than apparently there was a vodka based sauce, lots of cheese, and delicious pesto. I had two delicious slices, along with a root beer.

Here’s the thing about Root Beer: British people (including me) very often find it undrinkable, and here’s why: In the US, I believe, when you fall and cut your knee open, your parents would douse it in iodine. In the UK, the antiseptic of choice is TCP. This is a rather pleasant, but very distinctive smelling liquid that is usied for playground first aid, gargling sore throats, household sterilisation, all sorts of things. The smell of it is wildly distinctive and culturally pervasive: we know the smell and it becomes distinctly medicinal.

It’s the same smell that many root beers have.

Therefore: I don’t like root beer.

Most root beers.

Ana, on the other hand, loves root beer.

Back in November, we played host to [info]maeyan for a WHOLE WEEK, and she observed while there the shared love Ana and I have for our sodas – he loves his root beer and I love a good spicey ginger ale. (Not that common or cheap in NYC groceries). Without warning, one day in December, a crate of 24 bottles of ginger soda arrived at the apartment, completely unasked, and TOTALLY DELICIOUS. Over the Christmas break, as well, a root beer equivalent arrived, and I’ve been going throguh those experimentally. IBC root beer, I still won’t touch, but there’s been some good surprises in the crate.

Last nights example, however, wasn’t. It was the blandest thing that ever blanded. But that’s because it was sone of the last ones, and we’ve weeded out the ones that look tasty.

And that’s what I ate yesterday! Exciting, wasn’t it?

This post can also be found at Thagomizer.net. Feel free to join in the conversation wherever you feel most comfortable.

(Deleted comment)
10th-Jan-2011 06:22 pm (UTC)
You may be a saviour.
(Deleted comment)
10th-Jan-2011 07:30 pm (UTC)
See though, all these other places to go are just other places to go, and the reason I fail is because it takes an effort to go to one place, not because there's no choice.
10th-Jan-2011 06:42 pm (UTC)
Wow! I also love ginger beer and that selection box looks phenomenal!
10th-Jan-2011 06:53 pm (UTC)
I love root beer precisely because of its weird, "is this really for human consumption?" taste! But I think it smells more like Germolene than TCP.

I would be annoyed too at that food-shopping situation, though. Maybe most people in New York just eat out? But that's not helpful if you're trying to swim against the tide in looking for a healthier and cheaper option. :-(
10th-Jan-2011 07:13 pm (UTC)
I see Camwyn connected you with FreshDirect! It's legitimate -- all my NY friends use it because of their stylish walkup living situations.

Press Gang with Julia Sawalha? Awesome. I haven't thought about it since I was a kid.
10th-Jan-2011 07:28 pm (UTC)
Yes that Press Gang! We are watching it for Dexter Fletcher's accent and leather jacket, Kenny and Lynda's bromance, and Colin hiding under the desk ina bunny outfit.
10th-Jan-2011 07:38 pm (UTC)
For the record, I am highly enjoying all these things so far and am looking forward to seeing more! :D
10th-Jan-2011 08:33 pm (UTC)
NYC is a bit of an anomaly when it comes to food shopping in the US - I hated grocery shopping when I lived there. It was horrible. Grocery stores were absurdly tiny, crowded, and far from my apartment. FreshDirect either didn't exist yet or I didn't know about it, but it is a really good option now!

I honestly lived on instant ramen when I lived in NYC, both because I was poor and because I couldn't cope with normal grocery shopping.

I miss NYC pizza terribly.
10th-Jan-2011 09:45 pm (UTC)
I get supermarket envy every time I travel. There are better supermarkets in Jersey City than in any part of Manhattan or Queens. It drives me nuts. (And this is not even taking into account the unique headaches of kosher shopping.)
10th-Jan-2011 09:51 pm (UTC)
As a vegetarian, I am very grateful to the Jewish community in NYC for making sure that kosher cheese and puddings exist.

Thank you.
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