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.