07 March 2010

Something different

I have a confession: I like to shop.

No, not the malls and stores, but occasionally I do the grocery shopping and I actually enjoy it. Way back in the 80s when we we were DINKs, we would tend to split the shopping every week. As an engineer and manager, I liked the challenge of getting in and out of the store in minimal time. Being a tight wad, I am not embarrassed to use coupons or go for the generics. I tackle the store like going on patrol. Lay out a strategy, gear up, organize my ammo, secure the perimeter. And don't even think of touching my cart. My only pet peeve is when momma gives me some off the wall, odd request (like whale blubber) that takes me 20 minutes to find in the store.

Anyway, we were running short of dog food (imagine that) and rawhide bones this am, so I popped off to the store to for a short run and to get some gas. I was planning to hit Wally world, but decided that HEB had most of everything I needed and their prices are on par with Walmart. HEB has some really neat stores down here that have character. It a small chain that started out in the San Antonio area and has expanded into Houston in recent years. They tend to stick to the suburbs have some really great selections/prices/deals. Being a San Antonio based store, they have a lot of really good Mexican food and supplies, but they pride themselves on carrying a wide array of different cuisines and have an outstanding selection of wine and beer (local brewers). Last month, I came across some really good coffee (Caribou Coffee) that I had not seen around here before (but I heard about it from somebody up north). HEB is fast becoming my favorite grocery store, although momma still prefers Kroger.

As I was cruising the isles this morning, I can across a section I had not observed in past excursions. HEB likes to cater to a wide variety of clientele and I guess I was unaware of a large number of people who prefer English goods. I actually had to stop and take a few pictures just to make sure it wasn't my imagination. I am curious (RC - feel free to chime in here) if things are the same when we import them to the states as would be in their home country. Are some of these really popular in England, or is our narrow view of what English folk eat? I spent 5 years in Germany and, on occasion, we would come across some American items out in the local stores or shops and they were considered as "gourmet cuisine" by the locals. Sorry, but Frito's, Budweiser & SPAM do not qualify as gourmet. During our 5 year stint, the wife and I stumbled across one Mexican food restaurant in Stuttgart that, to be kind, did not quite qualify as Mexican. Maybe it is because we have some really good places down here and I am slightly jaded when it comes to my salsa, but it definitely wasn't like home.

And momma did not believe me when I listed off some of the products available. Since I am always accused of acting like a 10 year old, I had to chuckle when I spied a can of Spotted Dick. Momma did not feel adventurous enough to try it out.

OK, RC, here's your chance to enlighten/educate us colonials. From what I can read, it is a pudding best served with custard. Is it any good? Worth a shot?


terri said...

When I'm not feeling pressured to do the shopping (which isn't often,) I actually enjoy the grocery store too. I am careful to find the best prices, but I am also interested in finding and trying new things.

HEB sounds a little like one of our local chains, Kowalski's. It's a little more upscale, but you can find the oddest things there.

I'm glad to hear you like Caribou Coffee. I enjoy buying their specialty drinks in their stores, but when I buy coffee to brew at home, I buy the Caribou brand too.

Can't wait to hear what RC has to say about the Spotted Dick. And for the record, I'd have giggled at that right along side you.

meleah rebeccah said...

Oh my...I can't stand grocery shopping! But you already know that!

Um. As for 'Spotted Dick' I think it IS some kind of dessert. Like a custard! But that name? CRACKS ME UP!

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NinaRRheaume said...
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Abby said...

Of course spotted dick is a dessert...

Your shopping strategy sounds a lot like mine. Speed and efficiency! And you don't know where the whale blubber aisle is yet? Get with it!