We left our natural gas grill in Texas because our new house is on propane. We said goodbye to HEB, (best grocery store ever) because they only operate in Texas. We sacrificed fresh grilled gulf seafood and the conveniences of a 100,000+ Houston suburb to live in a town of 2500 with milder weather, great views and no HOA. In other words, we love it. However, the move created meal planning dilemmas. The first time we went grocery shopping we went to 3 stores in 2 towns to get the things we needed for meals through the weekend. In the “main stream” grocery store, there was very little fresh fish and the produce was outrageously priced ($9 for 1-1/2 pints of blueberries?) Now into our third week, I’ve accepted this may be the norm until farmers’ markets open in the spring. Meanwhile, I’ve found several local gems that have taken the pressure off of meal planning:
Borrowed Kitchen Bakery – It started with the hunt for decent sour dough bread, lead to a slice of chocolate cake and then discovery of their freezer of “Farmhouse Foods.” We’ve enjoyed chicken coconut curry soup, pork tenderloin and root veggies (seasoned with a fresh sprig of rosemary), and delicious, creamy chicken and mushroom enchiladas. Three dinners…..done! They have a variety of sour dough breads that I’ve been using to make deli style and grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch while we continue to unpack boxes. The chocolate croissants reminded hubby of his work days in France. The ginger snaps remind me of my Grandmother. I could go on. I was enjoying the food so much, I didn’t think to take pictures of anything but the cake:
Suquamish Seafoods – I was really going through seafood withdrawal. Fresh jumbo shrimp, redfish and red snapper are not to be found in our little Puget Sound Town. I started asking everyone I met where I could get fresh seafood. They all said the same thing….Suquamish Seafoods. There’s actually lots of fresh seafood available, its just different seafood; crabs, clams, muscles, geoduck and a different selection of fish. Suquamish Seafoods is a tribal business located on reservation land we pass through on the way to the next town. This week they had fresh scallops and that’s what we had for dinner one night (super easy recipe here.)
They have a steady stream of business, offer suggestions on preparation and the customers talk excitedly to each other about their purchases. The seafood counter at HEB was never like this. We’re going back soon, perhaps for some muscles. My Mom used to prepare geoduck when we lived/visited Washington while growing up. I have memories of going clam digging for them. I want to leave that in my memories for now, but maybe one day…..(“Google” geoduck if you don’t know what I mean.)
Westside Pizza – I first discovered this place while vacationing here three years ago. Delicious pizza and fresh salads, always delivered on time….even on Friday nights. They have unusual toppings for the adventuresome, such as “Death by Pizza.” We’ve had our plain old pepperoni and mushroom pizza with Cesar salad a couple of times now and were very happy. Not as motivated as Donna’s What’s on Your Plate Challenge, I like my pizza made and delivered by someone else!
Other grocery adventures over the past two weeks have included Safeway Sushi (actually not too bad) and an “erroneous” delivery of produce from Imperfect Foods.
In addition to the fruits and veggies, were a pack of bacon and a pound of ground chicken. Anyone have a good recipe for ground chicken??? It’s good to know that food delivery is an option. Meanwhile, my grocery shopping challenge has introduced me to some wonderful local businesses that I now feel loyal to.