January 9, 2008

On the road to shopping again

grocery finds, San Pedro Sula, HondurasMy goodies from San Pedro Sula

Subtitled: It's Christmas again at La Gringa's house!

temporary bridge patched with sheet metal, HondurasWe made another pleasant trip to San Pedro Sula again last week. The second in two weeks. We had a bit of a scare in that the river where the temporary bridge was located was really high and fierce. The sheet metal covering holes in the temporary bridge didn't do anything to reassure us.

building a bridge, HondurasYou'll probably laugh at this, but we opened the windows and unhooked our seat belts for escape purposes just in case. As we were passing the bridge we saw that the scaffolding around the new part being built had washed away. We breathed a sigh of relief when we were on the other side.

We got to San Pedro late, as usual. Darn! Sears only had one of those towels that I wanted and I couldn't find a yogurt maker. Other than that it was a great trip. I just couldn't take take photos in the stores as we were pressed for time. I'm not sure if they would allow it but I didn't even ask. I can tell you that for the most part, the stores looked just like in the U.S.

We were thinking of buying a flat screen television. Before you start thinking that we are extravagant, our main TV is from 1991! It's been resurrected three times by a Honduran repairman, but the picture is dark and not very good. We ended up not buying one even though Diunsa had some good sales prices. Oh, I guess it is still extravagant since the new one probably won't last 17 years like the last one. That's probably why we didn't buy it. Maybe they will go on sale again this summer.

grocery finds, San Pedro Sula, HondurasI bought some fabrics − there is a ton of sewing in my near future − and a lot of groceries. We went to Los Andes Commissary for a quick look for whole wheat flour and found all the stuff in the photo above, plus more that I forgot to put in the photo.

There are things in these photos that I have not seen in six and a half years! Fillo dough! Spring roll wrappers! Dill relish! Scallops! Dill! Semolina flour! Bread flour! Frozen peas! U.S. export quality rib eye steaks! Can you tell I'm excited?

Most exciting find of all: I found this 5 lb. bag of wild rice for L.149 (US $7.88). Compare that with the 4 oz. box in La Ceiba for L.162 (US $8.57)! That is just evil. El Jefe had never seen black rice before and was pretty skeptical. He liked it, though, and I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't ask me to cook it for his family some time just to shock them.

My refrigerator and freezer are both stuffed to the gills. I was going to make some whole wheat bread today until I remembered that there is no room to store it in the freezer.

I'll be going back to that store at least every couple of months, for sure. I didn't even buy everything I wanted just because I was worried about having space for it. Some of the things I bought aren't things that I pine for or even think about, but when I saw them, my mind said "I WANT THAT!" Polish sausage, Italian sausage, Oscar Mayer hard salami were some of those things.

The La Ceiba grocery stores have been out of real Parmesan cheese for at least 4 months. Honduran Parmesan cheese smells like dirty tennis shoes and that Kraft powdered stuff is unacceptable. I have found canned chicken broth here but the last time was in 2006. I do make my own but it's nice not to have to all the time.

Oh, I was dancing for joy in that store. Now I have to go look up those recipes that I've been skipping over because the ingredients weren't available.

To top off a good shopping day, we stopped at Tre Fratelli's, an Italian restaurant for dinner. I had smoked chicken ravioli with a basil-jalapeño sauce. Yummy-spicy! El Jefe had a mixed seafood fettuccine which was really good also and came with a ton of seafood. A lesser man couldn't have finished the whole thing. ;-P We were served some homemade bread which I swear tasted exactly like my homemade herb bread. I also had my first chocolate mousse in 7 years. It was like a long-awaited sexual experience. I still get shivers thinking about it. Tre Fratelli's gets two thumbs up from us.

Years ago we made many trips to San Pedro, but they were usually to buy construction materials so we would spend most or all of our time in ferreterías (hardware stores). Boring! Not to mention that to order, pay for, and pick up even a bag of nails in a hardware store takes about 2 1/2 hours. Each trip, I would make a list and plan to check out a grocery store or look for furniture or fabric stores, and each trip we would run out of time. Then after the house was completed, for one reason or another we couldn't leave it. Then for the last couple of years we've had car problems and were afraid to take it on a long trip. No more! Now it's my turn. I'm going back no matter what.

66F in HondurasWe feel like country hicks going to the Big Apple when we go to San Pedro. It's always fun. We often mention that we are from La Ceiba and people are almost always very nice. That fact sometimes helps us when we say that we have to drive aaaall the way back to La Ceiba tonight and could they possibly get something for us a little quicker? ;-)

After that was the long drive home. I offered to drive, but El Jefe said no. "What's the matter? Don't you trust my driving?" "Well, frankly, no, I don't." I laughed because that was fine by me! I wasn't looking forward to the long, hard drive late at night.

car seat heaterI turned on my seat heater for the second time in 7 years, covered up with a blanket (yes, it was a cold night!), and promptly fell to sleep for almost the entire trip. What a guy! It's nice to have a macho man around.

tilapia, wild rice, and peasThis was our first meal afterward. Parmesan-crusted tilapia with tarter sauce made with dill and dill relish, wild rice, peas, and an egg roll with plum sauce. Of course, it was way too much and El Jefe had the rest for lunch the next day.

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