Posts Tagged ‘supermarket’

Hey Little Lamb!

Monday, November 17th, 2014

Every time I catch a bus down Wilmslow Road towards Didsbury, we go past a large Middle-eastern/Indian/Asian supermarket that sells everything you could ever imagine from every country you can think of (except Australia.) It also appears to sell cute little lambs. I think I might get myself a pet for my last few months in Manchester.


Too cute!

French ANZACs

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

It is amazing how your pride for your country emerges when you are living overseas. Suddenly national holidays become very significant and I feel like marching and saluting and drinking VB. Actually, that last bit is a lie. I’d never drink VB. Anyway, today being ANZAC day was a great excuse to make biscuits. I have always been an ANZAC biscuit maker. They are so good. Essentially butter balls – who wouldn’t want to make and eat them?


Now that's butter.

Of course, France posed some problems for me when it came to gathering the ingredients. They are not complex things – butter, oats, flour, golden syrup and sugar. That’s about it. However, we’re talking about Paris where I usually visit two to three supermarkets every day in order to get all of the ingredients I need to make a very simple dinner. The two challenge ingredients – oats and golden syrup.

Essentially, I failed on both. I managed to find some quick cooking oats and added some “Toasted Flakes of Five Grains” that one of my ex-Canadian neighbours gave me when she left the Récollets. The golden syrup became impossible and I gave up after three supermarkets. Research on the internet suggests it is possible to find, but many ‘foreign’ ingredients are only found in certain areas of Paris, depending on who lives there. Clearly there aren’t many Brits living in Montmartre or the 10th arrondissement. So an experiment with honey and maple syrup was required.

After 12 minutes in my little Seb oven, deliciousness was created. Amazing!

ANZAC biscuits

Crunchy on the outside, chewy on inside.

Not quite a true blue ANZAC but not bad for a French version.

I Had a Dream

Saturday, December 3rd, 2011

For many people who go to a new country and learn a new language, there is a point in time when you are clearly comfortable enough with the language that you start dreaming in it. I am not a huge dreamer, and if I do dream I never remember it in the morning, so I’m not entirely sure whether or not I dream in French. I would like to say I do because I know many people who have been learning French for a much shorter period of time than me and yet they have been able to dream in French. That’s not fair.

However, last night I had a dream that was half in English and half in French AND it would make a fantastic television game show. It would have been entirely in French, however I was in it and I was stumbling along with my not-quite-perfect speaking ability. Essentially the dream involved me partaking in a competition where I had to run around a supermarket putting items into a trolley. Yes, it was essentially Supermarket Sweep, however it was in French and we were given little electronic note pads that listed an item we had to find. Once we had found it in the supermarket and put it in our trolley, the note pad then changed to show a different item which we had to find. It was great fun!

However, I was at a slight disadvantage as the other competitors were French and therefore didn’t have to translate the item they were being told to search for. However, they were both male and therefore didn’t think like a supermarket aisle, something I am particularly skilled at. So when the next item was a ‘measuring tape’, the boys had all gone to general homewares section, where as I knew it would be in the sewing department. HA HA! Winner!

Actually, I don’t know if I won because I woke up before the competition had finished. But I felt like I was doing ok. I have high hopes for coming back next week to play on for more great prizes!

Are My Eyes Deceiving Me?

Sunday, November 27th, 2011

Are you seeing what I’m seeing, J1?
I think I am J2.



Now THAT'S a biscuit.

TimTams in Paris?! Surely I was hallucinating. Yet as I reached out and touched them I discovered they were as real as the Oreos on the shelf next to them. It appears that TimTams have finally broken through the tough French market and have made their way into the supermarket near me. I checked to see they were definitely made in Australia and yes – they have been sent to me from my good friends at Arnotts in New South Wales.

I made this discovery on Friday night while at my local Monop’ (a small version of a big supermarket chain in France) and almost had a heart attack. I then came back to life and died once again when I saw the price. Three Euros and 15 cents for a packet of TimTams. That equates to AUD$4.30. I haven’t bought a packet of TimTams in Australia for quite sometime but I would be horrified if they cost more than that. Still, I bought a packet and shared it with my fellow residents at the usual Friday night gathering, proudly declaring that I had discovered some Australian biscuits in France. They were all very impressed and eager to know more about Australia’s baked goods and deadly animals. Now all I need is for Arnotts to start exporting the dark chocolate versions because they are so much better.

Why Are You So Salty, Mr Chicken?

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Once again those French have tricked me and tricked me good. Tonight I made an ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS dinner using a recipe from my new Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall cook book, Veg Everyday (recommended to me by Ben, my wonderful darling brother who asked to be mentioned.) It was quinoa with courgettes and onion. YYUUUUUMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!! Even Tom was mmming and yumming. As it was a completely vegetarian recipe and I was feeding a male, I bought some chicken to grill on my BRAND NEW Bodum grill pan (yay!).

Quinoa and zucchini

Everyone is jealous of my dinner. Jealous, jealous, jealous.

Now, visits to the supermarket are annoying and difficult enough as French supermarkets are generally useless and never have everything you need. I managed to scrounge together most of my required ingredients and made a few compromises in order to not have to go to another shop. I was quite pleased about this fact. It wasn’t until we were eating our meal that I realised I must have gone awry somewhere. The chicken was very, very salty. I am quite sensitive to salt as I don’t add it to anything except when I’m baking potatoes and so I was slightly confused as to why I felt like I was eating salted peanuts and needing more and more water. It wasn’t just me either – Tom agreed and so I wasn’t going crazy. Something was different.

Tom went and checked the herbs I had put on the chicken and questioned me over and over again as to whether or not I had added salt – no. Then we checked the packet the chicken came out of and discovered that the chicken was ‘marinated naturally’ in all sorts of salt. Real salt AND fake additive salt. How I was supposed to notice this I’m not sure as it was in exactly the same packet as ‘normal chicken’ except with a tiny piece of text that said it was marinated. Yum. So my extremely healthy, utterly delicious meal was RUINED by evil French additives. I guess it teaches me a lesson as I should really buy meat from a butcher but I had to buy toilet paper and we have already discussed my dislike for visiting more than one shop in a day.

Fruit, Fruit, Glorious Fruit

Saturday, August 6th, 2011

Oh mirabelle, oh mirabelle!
How I do love you so, oh mirabelle!
You are so hard to find in shops
So when I see you, I will buy lots.
Oh mirabelle, oh mirabelle!
Let me eat you, please!


All for me.

So I have found fresh mirabelles in the supermarkets! SO EXCITED. For those of you who don’t know, a mirabelle is a small, yellow plum that is difficult to cultivate and is a speciality of the Lorraine region where I lived last time I was in France. They are so good. I am so happy to have found them.


The holy fruit.