Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Grocery shopping

Back in my old neighborhood when I was really bored and lonely, I would take a trip down to the local supermarket. My most local market was called Sok which meant "shock". I guess we were supposed to be shocked at the low prices or something like that. The prices there are probably the lowest out of all the supermarkets in Istanbul so I was lucky to have one so close. My kids would get excited because I would let them get a snack or a treat. Snack, meaning savory and treat meaning sweet. Usually it would be a snack. They have this whole snack isle in every supermarket in Turkey that has portioned snacks. In the states you have to buy a whole bag of chips or a whole bag of pretzels. If they do offer a small bag of either, the price is too high for the portion. Here, they sell a wide variety of flavored pretzel sticks (popcorn, peanut, seasoning, cheese, spicy, etc.) They also have your standard shaped pretzel, a fish cracker, and sesame covered bread sticks all in small portioned packages at low prices. They are around 40 kurus which is probably 30-35 cents a package. I love it because then I don't have to get the individual baggies and fill them handful by handful from a big bag for each of my kids every time we go out for the day.
Since we've moved to Kozyatagi I've been amazed at the amount of markets they have in this neighborhood. Almost on every corner you have a Sok or a Dia supermarket. We have a Sok a few apartment buildings down from us. There is a Dia in the other direction about 200 meters. Shopping has never been so simple. Of course their selection isn't too wide but they have what we need. Milk, flour, basic vegetables which for us means cucumbers, green onions, parsley, green peppers, and onions, snacks, treats to make our evenings more exciting in front of the TV, and corn flakes.
When we first got to Turkey I didn't want to give my kids cold cereal for breakfast everyday. I guess that's the snob side of me trying to take over. I don't know why I didn't believe in it. It's how I was raised and I think I turned out just fine. So I rotated between pancakes and oatmeal and sometimes I would let them eat some corn flakes. Now I let them eat corn flakes more often. Today Atticus ate four bowls of corn flakes for breakfast. I really can't feed that kid enough. He eats all the time. Then two hours later we have snack time. I pull out the banana bread. He asks for two pieces and then gets the peanut butter. He's obsessed with sandwiches. So a banana bread peanut butter sandwich for snacktime. For lunch I fed them a well balanced meal of green beans alla turca, turkish string cheese, watermelon, and fish crackers. He didn't wolf that down so fast now that I think about it. In fact maybe he doesn't eat that much because looking at the rest of the day I really didn't feed him that much. We bought him an ice cream cone in the afternoon and before bed I fed him bread with honey and feta cheese on top, apple slices and milk. Not too filling although he did ask for four pieces of honeyed bread. OK, maybe he does eat a lot. I'm not worried about him getting fat, I'm just trying to imagine how many times a week I'll have to go to the market to feed my growing boys.

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