Food weekend


The Whole Foods in my neighbourhood has recently relocated to bigger and better brand-spanking new premises, and on Saturday I wandered down to take a look. I have clearly not been to every supermarket chain in the world, but I am fairly confident when I say Whole Foods is the greatest supermarket chain on the planet. It’s like shopping exclusively at a Farmers Market, but it’s open every day and you can buy toilet paper.

I usually shop at the store in Logan Circle, which is convenient to where I work. It’s often jam-packed full of yuppies, but they’re usually unfailingly polite when I repeatedly run into things with the store’s dinky mini-carts. I thought the Logan Circle store was good, but oh my god the new Rockville store… after my visit I tweeted, “Visited the new Rockville @WholeFoods today. As close as I’m ever going to get to a religious experience. #ohmysomuchgoodfood”

There is an entire wall of bulk foods! Including bulk spices! You go along with your cute little plastic bag and measure out 12 cents of cinnamon, or 23 cents worth of ground cloves, then write the product ID number thingy on even cuter little stickers. You can also get bulk granola, bulk salt, bulk olive oil… it’s incredible. The place has a cooking coach, for crying out loud – a cooking coach with business cards.

So yeah, I went a little crazy, stocking up on lots of dried goods, plus some beautiful veggies. Even a basil plant! Because who doesn’t want a basil plant? And then I spent the rest of the weekend cooking all these lovely ingredients. Here, have lots and lots of  photos of stuff I cooked!

Dinner on Saturday night: grape tomatoes with basil (from my own plant!) and olive oil, improvised fetta dip (fetta, plain yoghurt, garlic powder, lemon juice, olive oil, salt+pepper), and these awesome/weird brown rice cakes I bought on impulse at WF after seeing them being made. The machine shoots them out at speed! It was awesome.

Saturday night dessert: organic plain yoghurt, strawberries, and delicious almond and dried fruit granola from the WF granola bar. Also had this for Sunday breakfast, because it was very delicious.

I made hot cross buns from scratch on Sunday! Very exciting. The only other time I’ve made HCBs they were a bit of a failure (I think the yeast was a bit old), but I am insanely proud of this batch.

The dough all kneaded, ready to rise.

The dough! It has risen! Much like Jesus.

Separated out into balls, ready for the second rising. (Again, like Jesus?)

After another bit of rising, complete with flour paste crosses. I thought about doing something a bit more creative on top, and then I realised flour paste is really really hard to write with.

And they're done! Complete with delicious sugar glaze. Roughly two seconds after this I started eating them.

Serving suggestion: hot cross buns go very well with the Sunday newspapers and a cup of tea. Also, butter.

But my cooking adventures didn’t end there!

I also made Anzac biscuits! Took some into work today, and had several conversations trying to explain what golden syrup is. Luckily one of my housemates is both awesome and an avid baker, so she already had some in the house. Otherwise I think it could've been quite the challenge to hunt some down.

I made a "free-form" (read: messy) steak sandwich kinda thing for lunch on Sunday...

...and a lovely curry with basmati rice for dinner that night. Scrumptious.

Hooray for weekends of cooking! And it continues this week: tonight for dinner I had beautiful spring asparagus with a boiled egg and crusty bread.

So yeah, the moral of the story is: there is “real” food to be had in the US, as long as you shop at Whole Foods… and spend quite a lot of money in the process, as the only real drawback is that it’s really bloody expensive. But my tastebuds are definitely thanking me for spending the extra dollars.


2 Responses to “Food weekend”

  1. 1 Sandro

    Australian supermarkets are definitely a little crappy–even our beloved Supabarn could do a little better. My only experiences of overseas supermarkets have been in New Zealand, Italy and Britain. They all have better supermarkets. (And NZ’s supermarkets have an eye-watering selection of bacon.)

    I also love the tech in other places where you weigh and bag and price your own veggies etc, so the check-out chick only need scan them. Genius, why don’t we have that here (especially now we have self check out).

    Also, you must clarify if Whole Foods is the only good supermarket in the US, or if there are others.

    I think that is all.

  2. 2 N

    I’m sad to say that, for the area, their prices on produce aren’t actually all that terrible. A bit higher, but you’re generally guaranteed to get things that won’t go bad after 24 hours (a regular risk run at traditional grocery stores, and most especially at Trader Joe’s, much as I love them).

    To Sandro, I say merely that the only supermarket I’ve met on par with WF is a much smaller chain called Wegman’s. But there aren’t many, and the closest one to us is about half an hour away without traffic, and youdon’twanttoknowhowfar with it. But totally worth it. Perhaps I smell an outing…

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