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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Tears of Joy

Tears of joy at being reunited with my husband? At being reunited with Bailey? Oh no, that was my reaction to my first real look-see of Wegman's.


But first, let me backtrack a little.....

We are finally in PA! Although it was sad and hard to leave Indiana, it's nice to have all of us together at last. We arrived on Saturday night - stayed in a hotel that night, but have been camping out with an air mattress and 2 sleeping bags since as we are still awaiting the arrival of our household goods due tomorrow. Hopefully.

It's actually been kind of nice to have a few days to explore without being tied down to unpacking boxes. It's also given me time to really sit and think where I want everything to go. I've been a bit grumpy at times, realizing how much smaller this kitchen is than the kitchen we just left (that kitchen had more room than we really needed - that's not something that happens often!), but I know with some creativity, we can make it work. And, after all, it is bigger than our first Indiana kitchen, thank goodness.

As part of our exploring, we went to visit the local YMCA which just so happens to also be close to Wegman's. Wegman's. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. Wild mushrooms - not just crimini and portobello, but shiitake, oyster and button. Lentils - at least 6 different kinds. Many varieties of rice and many of them brown. Organic foods. Cheeses I've never heard of and more than I'll every try. 6 or 8 different types of olives. Pancetta. Proscuitto. Sharffenberger cocoa and baking chocolate. Baby bok choy. Pocky Sticks. Dark chocolate covered almonds. I could go on and on and on.

To fully understand my joy, you have to realize that I have lived in foodie hell for 9 years. We lived in the Bethlehem, PA area for quite a while - until about 1993 - and I honestly don't remember what grocery shopping was like there as I was just getting established as a cook. Then we moved to Texas and though our local groceries were nothing special, I was spoiled by my trips to Central Market and Whole Foods in Austin, Texas. Once you've been to Central Markets, nothing else compares! Then there was Indiana. In our town, anything out of the norm was a rarity. I could find some more unusual things within about a 40 minute drive, but the stores were not reliable in what they carried. Very frustrating. Not at all foodie-friendly. Pretty much all of the things I listed above were difficult if not impossible to find.

Wegman's has many of the things that I used to only be able to find at a place like Whole Foods - and the closest Whole Foods was over 2 hours away! Wegman's doesn't have the endless variety of organic and unusual foods that WF has, but what it does have is all the regular things that grocery stores carry so you can do all of your regular shopping there too - something I never could do at Whole Foods or Central Markets - they were better for the specialty items. Unlike Whole Foods, Wegman's is also reasonably priced. The big packs of chicken are $1.79 a pound - and that's their regular price, not a sale price. I used to have to wait for chicken to go on sale for that price at Meijer. Their shrimp was $6.99 a pound and their strip steaks were $8.49 a pound - both very reasonable. Meijer regularly charged $12.99 a pound for strip steak.

Wegman's is within a 15-minute drive. I don't even have to pack a cooler! That store alone could be well worth the move. Even the boys were amazed at the variety. But I think they were really more interested in the Tastykakes (certainly not unique to Wegman's but unique to the east coast or this general region).

Tonight we had our first dinner in our new house, out on our deck with a card table and a random assortment of chairs. On our new grill, we cooked up the reasonably priced strip steaks along with some grilled asparagus and roasted Dutch baby yellow potatoes (baby potatoes were not readily available in IN either). Along with this simple but tasty meal, we opened a bottle of 1999 Peter Lehmann Barossa Shiraz - a full-bodied shiraz that paired nicely with the steak.

Before I close, I just wanted to mention that Weigh-In Wednesday will not be happening this week as the scale is packed up and I have not been tracking calories. I have, however, been walking, so all is not lost. WIW will be back next week - hopefully with some good news. We managed dinner tonight even with a minimal amount of kitchen items, but I look forward to once again having a fully equipped kitchen.

14 comments:

  1. Okay... so jealous! I made our first trip to Wegmans last time we flew out to MD.

    Such an huge awesome store - but it is almost a60 minute drive away... so unfair!!

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  2. Wegmans looks like a great store. I wish there would be something like that here in Chicago. All we got is Dominick's and Jewel Osco and both kinda suck :/

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  3. Joe - But I'll bet you'll be pretty close to other good stuff. And what about all the great crab and seafood you'll be able to get? I'll be jealous of that! ;-)

    Danii - Now seriously, how can anyone living in Chicago be jealous? ;) :D When we lived in Indiana, Chicago was one of our foodie playgrounds - we looked forward to our trips there and would load up at Whole Foods, Sam's Wine and Spirits, etc. Chicago may not have Wegman's but it has so much else to offer! :)

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  4. Well, I'm really spoiled. We have Whole Foods and Central Market, but I still get irritated about not having Trader Joe's.

    Congratulations on your move and good luck in PA.

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  5. Welcome back to the East Coast!

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  6. Robyn100711:27 PM

    *sigh* Other than my friends, Wegman's is the only thing I truly miss about northern Virginia. I was only 5 minutes from Weggie's there and loved every minute of it. In a pinch their stuffed or crusted raw fish is a great quick meal. They even come in containers that can be put in the oven so you don't dirty any dishes. Enjoy exploring your new digs!

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  7. Cate - Trader Joe's are an elusive thing, aren't they? We don't have one here, but my MIL and my SIL both have one nearby, so I'll stock up on my visits to them and put in orders when they come visit me. :) Of course the Trader Joe's (or ANY store) in PA aren't as much fun - no wine or alcohol. :(

    Hi Robyn. :)

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  8. Oops - my comments should have been directed to Anna - I can't edit it for some reason. But hi to Cate too! :)

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  9. Oooh! Jealous of the Wegmans!! We have to go to the flagship store every time we go to Buffalo to visit Andy's parents. That is definitely a reward for moving!

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  10. Congratulations on the move well made, and look forward to the tasty treats you'll cook with all these new ingredients now at your disposal ;)

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  11. Stephanie (gertdog)10:01 PM

    Ah, you've been initiated into the Wegman's cult! Welcome! :)

    When my sister moved to Rochester last year, I'd been shopping at Wegmans for almost 10 years. But that doesn't stop her from telling me on a regular basis about all the amazing things she's finding at Wegmans (not that I mind listening- I just find it funny)!

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  12. Oh, we love the Weg!

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  13. linsleyd9:59 AM

    I told you you would love Wegmens, it's the greatest!

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  14. A quick hello to all who have responded here. I've been MIA for quite a while, but you're comments are not going unnoticed!

    Linsley - The only thing I wish for now is a kid-free trip to Wegman's so that I can explore and drool to my heart's content. Sadly, that will probably not happen until school starts!

    I used to live 2 minutes from the grocery store and felt pretty comfortable leaving the boys alone while I did a quick shop. Now that we're more like 15 minutes away, I don't feel comfortable leaving them alone - no longer able to quickly rush home if they need me. Sigh............

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