Sunday, July 16, 2017

Saturday: Lunch Out and Special Grocery Shopping!

Saturday morning I slept in!  I woke up a couple of times but went back to sleep, each time!  That was bliss!  I finally woke up at 10:30 a.m. when one of my cousins called.  I spoke with her for a few minutes, then, had a cup of tea and watched some sewing shows on TV.

Later in the morning, I made a card for one of my friends:

Birthday Card
Then, it was time to pick up my friend and take her out to lunch to celebrate her birthday! We went to one of our favorite diner-type restaurants and had a nice lunch.  She had a turkey hamburger patty melt with seasoned fries and and ice cream for dessert.  I had macaroni and cheese with grilled chicken garlic bread, and a side salad and a slice of cheesecake for dessert.  I brought home half my lunch home, as it was too much for one meal for me.

After lunch, my friend and I went to the Sri Lankan store.  I wanted to buy more tea and some frozen fish, among other things.  My friend wanted to buy red rice and a few other items.  Unfortunately, they didn't have my favorite tea.  I was told they were expecting another shipment in about two or three weeks' time.  I have another unopened box of 100 tea bags and a package of loose tea in my cupboard, so I can wait for the shipment.

I took this picture for SandyExpat, who mentioned PGTips tea: 

Display of Teas

These next two pictures are for Sandy and Sharon and any other British ex-pats who might be feeling a bit homesick - there's a whole section of the store with British products:

British Goods

More British Goods

Next time I'll take a picture of the British biscuits display.  The freezer held some black pudding, too, by the way. 

I bought the frozen fish I had wanted; it is priced at $4.99/lb. and is available in 10 lb. boxes or individual slices; I bought four slices, priced $2.15 (2 packages), $2.30, and $2.50, depending on the weight; I spent a total of $9.10 for the fish:

Frozen Slices of Seer Fish

Dried powdered coconut milk (to be reconstituted with water - 2 tablespoons to 150 ml water for "thick" coconut milk and 1 tablespoon to 150 ml water for "thin" coconut milk); 300g. box, for $3.99:

Coconut Milk Powder

No trip to the Sri Lankan store is complete without some special snacks - these are a savory mixture of a type of snack known as "murukku" which look a bit like pieces of noodles that are made with urad (a type of black lentils) flour, lentils, green peas, and nuts that are fried and spiced with salt, chili powder, curry leaves, etc.  We usually call it "murukku mixture" or "cocktail mixture"; the 250g (8.8 oz) jar cost $3.99:

Front of Snack Mix Jar

The contents are better seen from the back of the jar:

Snack Mixture Contents
I gave into temptation and bought a jar of pineapple jam (one of my favorites; $2.99), a can of golden syrup (another favorite; $4.59 for 454g) and a box of pudding mix ($2.29).  This is the first time I am trying this pudding mix - before this, I have always made this particular pudding (wattalappan, also spelled vatalappan or vatalappam) from scratch, using jaggery (a type of palm sugar), coconut milk, and eggs.  My friend, too, bought a packet to try.  I asked the store owner if it tasted like the pudding made from scratch and he was honest enough to tell me he hadn't tried it.  I am pretty sure it won't taste like the real thing, but I want to give it a try. 

Jam and Syrup and Pudding!  Oh, my!

I also decided to try another convenience food - a can of breadfruit curry ($3.99).  On previous visits to the store, I've bought the cans of breadfruit in brine, which need to be cooked into a curry.  This can contains already curried breadfruit that is ready to eat.  I love breadfruit, so I am looking forward to trying this - hopefully I will like it!

Can of Breadfruit Curry

And I bought a jar of a tried and true favorite - a spicy onion relish ($4.49) - I had some, the other night, with the last of the pita bread and I noticed that I had almost come to the end of my jar:

Jar of Spicy Onion Relish

My total came to $35.43:

July 15 Grocery Receipt 

Amount spent on groceries so far in July = $34.21 + $2.59 + $35.43 = $72.23

Amount left in the July grocery budget = $103.82 - $72.23 =  $31.59

My friend came home with me and we had a cup of tea and chatted a bit before I took her home.

In the evening, I watered the front garden and had a long chat with one of my cousins who called. 

Today, I am grateful for:
- A pleasant day in the company of my friend
- Going out to lunch with her
- A visit to the Sri Lankan store
- Being able to buy treats from my country of birth
- Phone calls from cousins

How was your Saturday? 


  1. Looks like you had a fun grocery trip both from seeing new things and being able to find old familiar things.

    1. I did have a fun grocery trip, Live and Learn. I really need to restrain myself when I go to that particular store; otherwise, I can easily spend at least $100 in one trip! I will go again, next month or whenever they get the tea, and no doubt spend a lot more money on several packets of tea and other goodies! Oh, well, it will still be cheaper than a plane ticket! :D

  2. I was happy to see that Coleman's mustard was visible in your photo of the British food items. DH loves it and despite the fact that it costs CAD 3.75 a small jar, he slathers it onto his plate! He doesn't believe that Keen's tastes as good, even though there is an association between the two companies I believe. DS brings DH Coleman's mustard from Ottawa for a gift sometimes.
    We were away last week and visited a business called "Everything Maple" where the owner is so enthusiastic about cooking with maple syrup that she has created and marketed nearly 200 products! We brought back 3 bottles of barbecue sauce, maple horseradish, and maple rhubarb relish.

    1. Bushlady, Coleman's mustard was my step-father's favorite, too. It came in powdered form in a yellow tin at the time, I remember, and we mixed it up with water, as needed.

      "Everything Maple" sounds like an interesting business! Very enterprising of the owner to create so many different maple products. I suppose one could substitute maple for just about any recipe that calls for sugar, although it would create its unique taste.

    2. Maple syrup is certainly a lovely sweetener. I have found that in baking, it needs to be a strong dark syrup for the flavour to stand out or it just becomes an alternative sweetener to use if one has a glut of it! In substituting for sugar in baking recipes, it is necessary to reduce other liquid to compensate.

    3. Good to know! Although, it is highly unlikely that I'll ever have a glut of maple syrup! :D

  3. Oh my goodness what a huge variety of British goods. Clearly I am living in the wrong part of the country. It has been awhile since I had any Branston pickle, perfect on cheddar cheese sandwich.

    I do like the. sound of pineapple jam and at the price of $2.99 very affordable. Grew up with golden syrup usually used at the bottom of a roly poly pudding.

    What a lovely day with your friend.

    Hugs xx

    1. Sandy, I'm not trying to promote the store or their business in any way, but, if you are interested, I can give you their website address. One can order on-line and they will ship out any items within the USA; shipping costs vary with size of order and destination, per the website, and I don't know how economical that will turn out to be. Unfortunately, it seems their website doesn't list everything that is available in the store! I searched for the Branston pickle, to check the price, and didn't see it listed! I suppose the stock changes with whatever shipment is received...but one could call or email them and ask if something is available and the price, etc.

      Golden syrup was a treat, spread on bread and butter, when we were children! Not at all what the doctor ordered, but a bit of a guilty pleasure, even now!

    2. Yes please, I'd love to have their website address.

    3. Sandy, it is

      If you click on their "contact us" tab, it gives their fax and email addresses, telephone number, etc.

  4. What a lovely day with your friend Bless. The food shop was really interesting, looking at all the different things you can buy, and the English items made me smile, especially the black pudding of all things!

    The murukka mixture looks very similar to something we can buy over here called bombay mix, although that's the name we give it, not it's real name apparently.

    Love the card you made for your friend, so pretty and personal. Have a lovely week. xx

    1. Suzanne, yes, I took a second look at the black pudding! But I guess they have a British clientele, as well - in fact, two British ladies walked in while I was there, commenting that this store was not the place to come if one was on a diet! LOL.

      Bombay mix is very similar, if not identical, to the murukku mix. Murukku is, actually, an Indian food that is popular in Sri Lanka, as well. There are other variations on the name, as well, such as Kerala mix. :)

      Thank you. Hope you have a lovely week, too.

  5. I love seeing the Sri Lankan goodies that you buy! Publix carries Coleman mustard, I actually got a jar for free a few months ago as they had very good coupons and also rebates for it. But we haven't tried it yet. I had no idea it was British.

    Bless, guess what? I found out that one of my daughter's roommates is a girl from Miami whose family is from Sri Lanka! And she had told my daughter that she loves to cook and wants to cook for all the roommates (which sadly will be wasted on my daughter as she is very picky and doesn't like spicy foods). I was so excited when she told me, I squealed, lol. She was like "Woah, mom, calm down!". So I hope the roommate will be cooking Sri Lankan foods when I go visit and I can finally taste some of your national dishes :)

    1. Well, how about that?! What are the chances of that happening? That your daughter's roommate will be of Sri Lankan ancestry? I'm sure you will get an opportunity to try out some curries and things! Hope she'll make some of the not too spicy dishes, like the milkrice and "pol roti" (coconut flat bread) that your daughter might enjoy. :)

  6. I loved seeing all the British foods, thank you for taking the pictures Bless. You have made me want to get some golden syrup, I love it on hot buttered toast.
    SandyExpat, if you have a Kroger store near you, they have an international aisle with Branston, HP Sauce, Marmite and other UK goodies. The price is a little high, but worth it when you are craving!
    Best wishes,
    Pam in TX.xx

    1. Pam you are welcome! Thank you for telling Sandy about the Kroger store - I forgot all about it! Some of the Kroger-affiliated stores here, too, have the British products aisle.

  7. I wish I had a Sri Lankan store to go to. I love shopping at stores with different (to me) foods. I do shop the international aisles at Publix and Whole foods, but those are limited.

    1. Anne, with your talents for putting together themed meals and so forth, I am sure you'll enjoy shopping at one. By the way, according to an on-line search, there is a Sri Lankan restaurant in Alpharetta, if you ever travel that way and want to try Sri Lankan food.


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