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Spending Her Money At The Grocery Store
5:35 p.m. - 2003-08-27

I love specialty grocery stores. This town is gradually adding lots of interesting places to shop for food. There is a little strip shopping center near me that used to have a Penneys (a little one), a Kahns, a W.T. Grants, and a small amusement park and other small shops. Somehow or other it survived the demise of the department store era and evolved into an interesting place without going yuppie or elitist. It has two nice used book stores (except that one is going out of business after 28 years because the owner wants to retire), the usual McDonalds and Burger King, several Asian restaurants, a Middle Eastern restaurant, an excellent Asian grocery store (where my husband got me the world's best rice cooker), an office supply discount store (love office supplies!!), a drug store, discount shoe store, a Ross Dress For Less, a Burlington Coat Factory, and my favorite, a whole supermarket of Hispanic food! My dad bought the tamales for the last birthday party there, and I must confess that they were not up to our standards, but still, I can walk in there and buy every chili known to man (or at least, known to Californian). I love the smell of the place, and the huge display of Mexican breads. When I was a kid, Mimi used to go into Oakland to the only Mexican store for miles around, and she would come home with lots of the pan dulce. My favorite was the round one with the white topping in a spiral pattern. I know how to make it myself now, but haven't done it in awhile. The only way to eat it is to have a cup of Mexican chocolate on the side.

Once, when we were living in the East, we drove to Silver Spring, Maryland. My sister was visiting, and since she is Jewish and Passover was approaching, she offered to cook the Passover seder for us. We had heard about an all Jewish supermarket in Silver Spring, so we all drove up there. It was fascinating. It was huge, with a kosher meat counter, and all kinds of interesting boxed goods you never see out in California, or at least not where we live. In my memory, all the boxes were pink. My favorite was a mix for chocolate macaroons that were easy and delicious. The only part of the seder I remember, except for the prayers, is the charoset, and that everything had a symbolic meaning. On another day, Allen (January's husband) made hummus, and it was so good that I use his recipe to this day.

When we first moved to Virginia, there were no tortillas to be had, except in cans (!) and no chilis. My mom had to send me some so I could make beans. We heard that there was a special Safeway in DC called the International Safeway so we went in to see it. They had imported items from all over the world, but it was too far away to go to often, and a person needs more tortillas than that.

Time to go to Jasons...

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