Thursday, June 12, 2014

The End of the First Week

I made it through the first week.

Although I have been really busy (or it seems) I feel guilty that I am not working very hard.  Poor Doug is putting in 12 and 14 hour days with a 1 hour commute to and from Saudi Arabia.  And, when he arrives home for dinner, it is an experiment as I am just now learning how to cook for adults after 30 years of cooking for kids.

The groceries here are not quite the same and the kitchen is definitely not equipped with the type of tools I am used to.  On top of those things, I am not a good cook.  I never have been.
We have a large kitchen but without a lot of "tools."
Luckily Doug does not have a strong interest in a fancy dinner with gourmet delights.  He is a basic sort of guy who just needs food to fuel his body. He would rather have a grilled steak and baked potato than any other meal.

However, I promised myself that after we moved to the ME I would learn to cook good, healthy foods for us since I would have more time to do that sort of thing.

First, I researched recipes on the Internet. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring mine – they are coming in our air shipment – 2 months from now! I found several interesting salad recipes and a few main dishes.

Second, I took a taxi to the grocery store.  Doug takes our one car to work each day right now and it will be a week or so before I will have a car to drive.

The grocery store is sort of a Super Target – groceries and lots of household items including TVs and some clothing.  It is quite the experience.  In order to have a cart to use, you need to deposit a coin in the handle bar that releases a lock that keeps the card attached to the other carts.  If you don’t have the right coin, you don’t get a cart.  I learned this the hard way.

With my ingredient list for my recipes in hand, I ventured into the grocery store.  I found most of what I needed although it was a struggle sometimes as most of the labels are in Arabic.  Sometimes I needed to look at the instructions on the back of the labeling to determine if the product was what I needed.  Many times there were several choices and I had to decide which one might be the best one.

I came across oatmeal.  I picked some up as I thought it might come in handy for cookies or weekend breakfasts.  Actually I purchased it because my grandson loves oatmeal and I thought it might give me something to talk to him about.

There were 7 choices for oatmeal.  Back in Virginia, I was lucky if there were 2 choices.
However many things were not as easy to find.  I wanted some honey for a couple of my recipes.  I searched 3 stores before I found honey.

When I went to choose salt, there was an entire aisle filled with varieties of salt.  However, I did not find any non-stick spray or laundry pretreating spray.  And, diet tonic?  Don’t even think about it.  The choices for soda and soft drinks are limited to Pepsi products. I finally found a few cans of Coke Zero.

With groceries in the pantry, I am now focusing on adding some personal touches to our flat.  The goods in the grocery store were not going to cut it for me.  So I kept looking.  And, guess what I discovered?  A Pottery Barn Store.  Yipee!!!

Now that I have Pottery Barn and enough food ingredients to keep me challenged for another week, I think I am doing pretty good.  Tomorrow we have dinner invitation and I have to worry about what to wear.  That is another story for another day.



The moon over Manama as seen from our balcony.

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