March 28, 2010

Oh, the Bread

Walnut-studded bread, I can't believe I slipped in telling you about this. Hauntingly-delicious, this loaf was just begging to be consumed in two days. We are very good care-keepers, so of course we did our part in tending to it. Spongy and yeasty, its lightly nutty scent trailed through the apartment.

Seattle has a lot of hidden treasures. I'm not talking about the colorful characters you'll find downtown who refuse to accept the idea that the grunge scene died in the 90s, the tipsy library building, or the homeless who dance creatively to sell their new issues of Real Change.

I'm takling about cafes and bakeries - such as the place where we got the bread, the Columbia City Bakery. Although I have never been to Europe, the food scene here seems a very European, from what I hear. You've got your bread-people, meat-people, produce-sellers, and dairy-men. Sure, many U.S. cities have this, but it's nearly effortless in Seattle to shop outside the supermarket. I'm fortunate to be 4 blocks away from Pike Place Market at work, and a 1/2 hour and $20 investment afterwards will give me pork sausage, chuck roast, muscat grapes, green beans, yogurt, and baguette in return.

And a crazy lady telling me more than I'd ever need or want to know about yogurt.

I bring up the bread because it points to a larger issue we've been discussing a lot over here: getting groceries. What is a joy to many, is a pain-in-the-side to others. I couldn't find anything more exciting to do. Others I know would rather stare at a wall.

As we're developing our grocery buying ritual, balancing sourcing from both local sources and the supermarket, I'm curious how you get groceries. Ours is a weekend mishmash of Trader Joe's, Safeway, Whole Foods, and the market.

So, how do you decide? Where do you go? And how often?


Maddie said...

How ironic...I read this just before an outing to Whole Foods! And it helped inspire me, as I'm usually not too keen on grocery shopping.

I go once a week, but am always frustrated that I end up at two or more stores. The farmer's market has produce but is slim pickins during winter; the supermarket is cheap but with low-quality produce; and Whole Foods has great veggies year-round...and high prices. It just takes so much advance planning!

But when summer arrives, grocery shopping is blissful because almost everything you need is at the farmer's market, which is a pleasure to shop at, not a chore.

Erica said...

Hidden treasures make big life transitions worth it. As I put the finishing touches on my Master's degree I am getting more and more excited to see where my degree will take me and what hidden treasures I am sure to find!

Tracy said...

Nuts and bread are a match. Each night when we finish our meal we're sure to save a piece of bread or two to be eaten in conjunction with some nuts.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I agree about the farmer's market. Though I rather like grocery shopping (probably more than the typical person because I feel I have the time for it), I feel like the world opens up when the farmer's market returns.
During most of the year, I create a sort of mental 3-tiered framework based on my meal plan for the week. First, what can I get local/fresh/ecologically or organically grown? Second, I move on to the local health store or Trader Joe's, and last hit the bigger supermarket. Now if only I could walk to each of these places from my home- that would be great.