Saturday, October 24, 2009

Are we sick of food shopping yet?

I shopped for food on nine of the 11 days ended yesterday, going to a few stores only because they had a sale. We do need a lot of food to make home-cooked meals five days a week, but this is ridiculous.

I did most of the shopping and preparation because my wife has been unusually busy with other things and stopped making her weekly visit to the ShopRite in Englewood, where we used to live. And I wanted to use a a $10-off-$100 coupon from Fairway Market in Paramus before it expired. But I won't be schlepping up to the Fashion Center mall again to use a $10-off-$75 coupon from Fairway. Food sales are beginning to lose their allure.

The day after my Fairway splurge, I stopped at a ShopRite, where sparkling cider from Spain was on sale. The next day, I was at Jerry's Gourmet & More in Englewood to meet a friend and returned for three of its superb, restaurant-quality dinners for $6.99 each. I went back to ShopRite for more cider (limit of four on each visit), then to Costco for organic salad greens and juice and to return diced and fresh tomatoes.

I took a two-day break before stopping at Ikea in Paramus for frozen pancakes, crispbread and cookies. I also bought dish towels there. The next day, I had a meeting in Morristown, so stopped in Paterson on the way home, because I was out of Syrian bread. At Fattal's Bakery, I picked up bread, spices, lamb sausage and prepared muhammara -- a red-pepper dip made with walnuts and breadcrumbs.

The next day, I combined trips to Crate & Barrel (to return items bought online) and Trader Joe's on Route 17 in Paramus. The final two trips were to ShopRite in Paramus for drug-free Readington Farms chicken, which was on sale, and H Mart in Little Ferry for wild-caught whole red snapper cut into steaks, head and all. I coated the pieces in seafood rub (Costco), baked them about 20 minutes and served them with leftover rice and broccoli from a Chinese takeout dinner.


  1. My wife noticed that Fattal's bread now reads "Pita Bread" on the bag instead of "Syrian Bread".

  2. That's probably why I have been referring to it as pita bread, instead of the Syrian bread of my youth. Did you notice Fattal's no longer bakes the bread on Main Street in Paterson? They have a plant in Elmwood Park, across the river from Paterson, but the address of the store in Paterson no longer appears on the pita, but is on the bag with the larger Lebanese bread. Confused yet?

  3. That lamb sausage Fattal's makes is excellent. I am going to try and make muhammara myself this week, its pretty easy from what I understand.

  4. The muhammara package had the ingredients: ground red pepper (Aleppo pepper?), breadcrumbs, sugar, oil, cumin, mixed spices, hot pepper, pomegranate juice (molasses?), walnuts and pine nuts. It's not spicy and it's thicker than the restaurant versions. It reminds me of bazergan, which my mother made all the time.

  5. Yes I believe its Aleppo pepper and for the pomegranate juice, I believe its pomegranate syrup. They sell something called Hot Pepper Paste, you can use that to make it. They sell it in jars that come from Syria and Turkey, they are about 32 ozs.


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