Tuesday, March 30, 2010

International Produce

Okay, I'm going to make a commitment to you. As we wrap up our tour in England, I'm going to do my best not to be mopey and sad about all the things I'm going to miss here. I'm excited about the next chapter in our life (which won't start, by the way, for another 8-9 months).

But living over here has been such an incredible experience, that I am experiencing a bit of preemptive nostalgia about a lot of things. Chalk it up to being a military brat. You have a pretty good understanding of how the loss of normal things in your life can affect you and begin to anticipate the pain early. Sure you'll get over it, but GUH! It hurts.

Okay, heading in the wrong direction here. The point of the intro is this: I'm going to try really hard not to be mopey about our impending departure. But I hope you'll indulge me and allow me to tell you along the way the random things I'll miss about life in the UK. Today is going to be one of those days.

Buying produce on base can be a bit hit-and-miss. Some days you'll find gorgeous produce, other days it looks like the produce that fell off of the truck along the way and was scooped back up just to be sold at the commissary. It can be a bit depressing.

But produce off base? Amazing! Imagine a chorus of angels singing the joys of produce fresh from the open air markets or even one of the English grocery chains. 'Cause that's what I'm imagining.

We are a Tesco family. We love it. Primarily because it's the closest grocery store to us, and also because it's awesome. It's like Target. But British-er. Yes!

So most of our produce comes from Tesco. And one cool thing about produce purchased over here is that they tell you where it comes from! Do they do that in the States? I don't remember. If they did, I must not have paid much attention to it. But over here, it's fascinating. Strawberries from Spain? Bananas from the Dominican Republic? Globalization of delicious produce? Yes, please!

Tonight, I made stir fry. And while I did, I was excited to see where my veggies came from. So, just because I'm a nerd, here they are.
Here are some of the veggies we used. Not pictured: zucchini and broccoli, because they were already cut up, and pineapple because it came from a can. Don't judge me, man. I'm busy! Because I bought the broccoli and zucchini loose (not pre-packaged), they didn't say where they came from. Or maybe they did at the store, and I didn't notice. I have an amazing eye for detail.

'Shrooms from Holland. Thanks, Holland! A few years ago, I hated mushrooms. Still don't like them raw. But LOVE them in stir fry! A mushroom soaks up soy sauce like nothing else. YUM.

Cilantro from Kenya, or as it's called here, coriander. Actually forgot to put this in tonight. No worries, I'll make good use of it somewhere else! Loving me some cilantro.

Bell peppers from Israel. Israel! Unreal. Bell peppers are the only vegetable Caleb will eat raw, and he loves them!

My coworker today made a comment about this. He always knows where his fruit and veg come from (and is on an infectious Chilean grape kick right now.) And he was saying how disappointing it'll be to get back to the states where most of your fruit and veg come from California.

I'll admit total ignorance in this department, but I can only guess he's probably pretty accurate on that statement. I'm sure we (Americans) import a fair amount of fruit and veg, but primarily, I'm sure it's grown in somewhere in our huge country. Not that there's a problem with American grown food! I'm all for it. But it is sad to think I probably won't get bell peppers from Israel once we leave England. Better enjoy them while I can!

Holy Moses. As usual, this blog was way longer than intended. Good night!

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