Saturday, November 3, 2012

A Foodie Pilgrimage to Trader Joe's

It may be wrong to equate Trader Joe's with a pilgrimage, but I mean it in a foodie, not a religious, sense. There are number of places in Spokane where a person can go on such a trek, so I chose a Saturday morning jaunt to Trader Joe's and the Great Harvest Bread Company. Unfortunately, most of the foodie sites I like to visit are on the South Hill, which is a half hour from my house, but that could actually be a blessing in disguise. :)

I was at Trader Joe's for a full hour, just looking. I didn't put anything in my basket for half an hour. Weird, I know, but, I was finally able to narrow the vast selection down to a few choice items.

Here's what I bought today:

Let me explain my choices.

1. I bought the hand-tossed whole wheat flour tortillas because I've been wanting to make breakfast burritos and wraps for lunch. The Mediterranean hummus goes with the tortillas for the wraps. The Oregonian taste-tested store-bought hummuses (hummi?) and chose this Trader Joe's hummus as the winner, so it was hard to pass up. I also bought a bag of spinach for the wraps, which you can't see in this picture.

2. I was intrigued by these bacon ends and pieces. It looked like good, thick bacon, so I decided to buy this package to throw in the freezer until I come up with a good use for it.

3. My housemate Katie got me a gift card to the Great Harvest Bread Company for my birthday. I used the last of it on this loaf of Honey Whole Wheat bread. I like the size of the slices because they're small enough to be a complement to a meal rather than the whole meal itself.

4. I love looking at the Trader Joe's cheese selection. They have wonderful foreign cheese that are (bonus!) reasonably priced. Two families I visited this summer--the Miedemas in Colorado and the Leonardis in Coeur d'Alene--had Gouda cheese that I loved, so this was the obvious choice.

5. I love almond butter on apple slices, English muffins, toast, etc. I bought a big thing of almond butter from Costco because it was twice the size of Trader Joe's almond butter and the same price, but I didn't like it at all. Sometimes it's worth it to pay a little more.

6. I use coconut milk in curries, but I'm also thinking of making a Cream of Mushroom soup from scratch with coconut milk in the coming weeks. Plus, it's always nice to have a can of coconut milk on hand.

7. Last but not least, the lemon curd! My favorite cooking show, River Cottage, has a recipe for muffins with a big dollop of lemon curd in the center of each muffin. Can't wait to make them!

So there's what I bought on my Trader Joe's/Great Harvest pilgrimage. It was very satisfying. I was proud of myself for choosing carefully; it's easy to overbuy there. But I felt I chose only what I was going to use within the next week or so. And I can always go back. :)

What's your favorite place to shop for groceries?

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