Bismillah Rahman Ar-Raheem
So I had this dream I was walking through a very clean and sparkly Waitrose. The little branch that my Mum used to wheel me through in a trolley as a child and then I where I worked at when I was at University. I know those aisles very well. In the dream I lovingly bought a big tub of Greek yogurt, loitered over the chocolate mousses (but didn’t buy), then went to the Delhi section and got myself a lovely large wedge of mature cheddar cheese cut for me by a lovely lady behind the counter (who’s name I have forgotten) – remarkably still working there since I last visited the store in 2008.
I got to thinking what would be my top ten supermarket buys if I could indeed pop around to Waitrose or another shop in the U.K ….
#1: Cheddar Cheese: I was a Vegan for at least 8 years, but as soon as I got back on the stuff I was addicted. Love it on pasta, in a sandwich, melted, a lovely chewy hunk by itself. Sadly we only get processed cheese or soft cheese here so it is something I do miss. I did toy with the idea of trying to figure out how to make it a home, but I think this endeavour is beyond my skills!
#2: Museli: This is actually the one food item I try to coerce anyone visiting me to bring with them. Sometimes tourists visiting my husband ask if they can bring anything and very occasionally when I am feeling desperate I get permission from him to ask them to bring Museli with them! Rather sad I know but I just love this food for the lasting happy satisfied tummy feel after eating a bowl with milk. If anyone feels sorry for me and plans to bring some with them, I don’t like it too fruity or nutty… thanks : D.
#3: Ice Cream: Magnum: hom hom nom nom nom. All I can say really – I fear it will be a long time before I get a taste of one of these again…
#4: St Michael’s yellow Hot Pepper Sauce: This is a delicious hot pepper sauce made in St Michael’s, Barbados. I used to get it from the small Indian and African run shops on a particular road where I am from in the U.K. The hot taste is wonderful with so much depth and I love to put it on everything. By far the best and most flavourful hot pepper sauce I have ever tried.
#5: Greens: Any kind of fresh greens – salad spinach, lettuce, celery, cabbage, anything else green, leafy, or small pea pody and crunchy… I love munching on fresh greens and I do miss these vegetables and the variety of vegetables. Something I have tried to remedy with my attempts at gardening here (think no water, pure sand, pounding sun – little success). I am currently admiring some tiny seedlings which I hope to turn out to be curly kale… but the road is long an dangerous before they produce something worthwhile!
#6: Vinegar: I adore vinegar. No one seems to eat it or have it in the kitchen here, so I have not been able to figure out the Arabic for it, to see if they have it in the town either. I did even wonder if it was haram, but thanks to a great blog I read a few months ago it turns out that it is Sunnah to eat Vinegar, and that the Prophet Mohammed (p.b.u.h) loved vinegar. This excellent news has spurned me on to renew my efforts to obtain this here… Any Arabic speakers reading this know the Arabic for Vinegar?
#7: Cadbury’s Creme Egg: Love them what can I say. I bite off the top lick out the middle and then enjoy the chocolaty outside… nommy.
#8: Indian Food: I really, really, really enjoy Indian food – not the U.K only stuff but the more authentic style of food which finally started making its way to the U.K in maybe 2005. I am a big fan of the Dosa, and would dearly love to enjoy one of those again. I dabble with my own versions but my husband doesn’t like any food which is too heavily spiced, or that has a flavour unknown to him… so I don’t cook this way anymore.
#9: Pasta: There is some pasta here but we don’t get nice wholemeal pasta, or various different shapes, cuts etc. Tagliatelle, lasagna strips, twirls, etc all unknown. Love pasta with pesto or tomato sauces. I used to cook a really yummy meal with lasagna pieces, a vegan mincemeat tomato sauce, and a mashed potato topping in the oven – I probably could manage this here, but I think it would not turn out right without all the right ingredients.
#10: Mushrooms: The only mushrooms we get here are the very dry and random (and few and far between) puff balls you sometimes find growing in the desert. Or some disgusting excuse for mushrooms in a tin. I love fresh mushrooms, so easy to cook, tasty and nutritious!
So there we are after 6 years in the desert, and being rather pregnant turns out I do miss something from old blighty! : D