Sunday, June 08, 2008

Trip to the new "HyperPanda" was an hour of my life I can't get back!

What a waste of time going to the new HyperPanda was. They didn't have anything different for foodstuff than Panda - the "regular" grocery store, Panda. I should have known better... What was I thinking that I would even expect anything more?!? Yes. It was big and clean and new and shiny. But honestly, I don't care about new and shiny. Just give me one grocery store where I can actually buy the stuff I want! Is that asking too much? Why does it have to be so impossible to just get normal food?!?

I want English muffins - frozen is fine - they don't have to be fresh - in fact, I'd prefer frozen. There is not a bakery on this side of the world that could come remotely close to making a proper English muffin. I want crab meat - I'll take it in a can and be happy about it - I realize "fresh" is out of the realm of possibility, and when I ask about frozen crab the guys at the grocery stores are completely stumped! "Frozen crab legs? What are those, Madam? Oh no, Madam, we do not have those." Yes, I realize you don't have "those." Can you get them? Could you at least try?!? We haven't had cans of potatoes* for over six months now. Why? Did someone get caught fermenting them to make vodka or something, and so now the rest of us are being punished???

Would it be asking too much to try to be consistent? Could we get both frozen grape juice concentrate and frozen orange juice concentrate? No? Just one or the other and consider ourselves lucky to get that, I guess. And how come there is no ammonia in the entire Eastern Province?!? Did someone get caught drinking that, too? Trust me, I just want to use it to clean my windows and glass tables - I promise I won't be mixing cocktails with it! Does Nestle make Velveeta cheese? [No. Kraft makes it. Is Kraft owned by Nestle?] We haven't had that available for months, now, either. I've been craving broccoli with cheese sauce for months and if someone can tell me how to make a better cheese sauce than with Velveeta, please do share... And, damn it, when the hell are we going to get some decent butter?!?

Dutch products [including anything made by Nestle] are being boycotted in the Sandbox, because a group people in this part of the world had their "wittle" [emulating Rachel Lucas, here] feelings hurt by some stupid cartoons. Waa, waa, waa. Bunch of crybabies! No. Worse. Bunch of thin-skinned wusses, is what you are [and, I'm thinking you're much worse - but my Mother reads this, occasionally]. So there! Take that! All of the good butter has been replaced with something that is labeled butter but is, in fact, the farthest thing from butter that I've ever tasted. It is made locally. If you can supply us with good milk and great yogurt, why the hell can't you make some real butter?!? Is it really that difficult? Toast actually tastes better dry than with that crap made locally which is labeled butter. I swear it has got to be made from oil or something - and I mean oil like the kind that is being pumped out of the ground here - not vegetable oil. Butter is supposed to be made out of cream - not fossil fuel! Doesn't everyone know that?!? Apparently, not!!!

Two and a half more months of nothing good to eat... I should be much slimmer by the time we head back to the States for vacation. Of course it will be because I'm going to end up starving...

*Easiest potatoes in the world to make for dinner: Slice a can of potatoes (they make sliced canned potatoes but I have NEVER seen them on a grocery store shelf, here), sprinkle a little olive oil on the potatoes, then generously sprinkle some garlic powder and fresh ground black pepper on them. Toss them so that all the potatoes get some of the olive oil, garlic and pepper. Put them in the oven at 375 for forty-five minutes. Add some chopped onions and put the potatoes back in the oven for another fifteen to thirty minutes - depending on how "crispy" you want them. That's it. All done. They go great with steak on the grill. You have virtually no mess and no fuss! Imagine how well steak, these potatoes, and broccoli with cheese sauce would go together...


  1. And if you can get your hands on some chorizo next time you're in Bahrain and slice some into it while you're baking ......mmmmmm mouth watering already and its only breakfast time!

  2. Just happen to have one in the freezer, Rose! It would be really, really good sliced into the potatoes - if I could get 'em.

  3. If it's any consolation, we have no canned potatoes here either, dear.

    We did have good old Angus Beef shipped in - for $50 freaking bucks a kilo. WTF?

    Hmmmm - I wonder if I could fedex you over some velveeta? I sure do feel your pain. And who wouldn't love some cheese brocoli?

    Personally, I think the management sucks with getting in decent food. I'm already over the fact I've gotta pay $12 for a box of freaking special K. I just want the damn stuff to be brought in. And while they're at it - could they bring in those jars of marinated mushrooms for the love of god?

  4. Feeling your pain, too, I_Oman! Will pay the $50.00 for two pounds of US beef - and I don't eat it, but DH does. And the $12.00 for a box of cereal. Why the hell are there NO canned potatoes in the entire Middle East?!? We're going to Bahrain to see if we have better luck shopping. Although the last time we went - no potatoes there, no crabmeat, forgot to look for Velveeta... At least we can get some REAL bacon! [That, I do eat!] I'll check to see if they have marinated mushrooms - perhaps we can do a swap - Velveeta for mushrooms. I'll let you know. Are they boycotting Dutch products in Oman? Do you have decent butter? You can get pork, there, can't you? How 'bout alcohol? Just curious.

  5. I heard that in Islam you can't eat bottom feeders, and sea creatures that eat off the floor of the sea. That might be why they don't bring in crab.

  6. I'd be willing to accept that, Enamorada, if we didn't have lobster - which we do - the salty kind, not the great New England lobster - and we've had crab before - yeah, canned, but I'm NOT picky at this point - nothing like a good salad with crab meat! But for whatever reason, no crab for months, now...

  7. Sabra - we can get crab meat here. In fact when I'm feeling up to it, I send the hub out at the crack of dawn to meet the fishermen as they come in and get a few kilos of the stuff and boil 'em up. You can find the canned crab meat here too and just yesterday I bought some imitation crab meat to make some crab dip.

    Butter - we do have Lurpack butter and yes, I buy the stuff. Hub had his personal 2 day boycott of the stuff, but he's a hard core butter dude. I think last year there was a boycott of it and it was pulled for a few weeks, but it's readily available all over the place now. Don't you have carrefour in Saudi? They have their own brand of French butter and at $10 for a pound of the stuff, it's worth it.

    As for pork, yes it is available here. In fact several of the grocery stores here have a 'pork' area for non-muslims that have various foodstuff with pork in it. Alcohol is available too.

    I did go to the grocery store yesterday and looked for the canned potatoes at a very expat grocery store and nothing. Maybe they're in the pork room!?!? HA.

  8. We can't be friends, I_Oman. I am way, way too envious of what you have that we don't have! (J/K of course.)

    It's Lurpack butter that I want - and can't get! We do have Carrefour - I will check out their brand of butter. Anything has GOT to be better than what we're getting. canned potatoes in the entire Middle East. Interesting. What's up with that, I wonder?!?

  9. Not sure what's available and what isn't in the middle east, but if you can get some Roquefort cheese, I love that on Broccoli and pasta. It's different from the Velveeta sauce, so it might not cure your craving. Also, I'm guessing that getting a nice strong bottle of Bordeaux or something to go with the Roquefort sauce is out of the question ...

  10. Anonymous - That sounds really good and I will have to try it - Roquefort with broccoli and pasta! May not cure the "craving" I have for broccoli with Velveeta cheese sauce but now I know what I can make for dinner on Sunday [all planned and shopped for until then].

    You have no idea what I wouldn't do for a bottle of Cabernet! Umm. Yeah. It is pretty much out of the question. Although there are the occasional "substitutes" that can be found locally but NOT legally.

  11. Here we go again....
    Another bitching spree!
    Who is forcing you to stay in the eastern province. Seems like nothing is good enough for you. Whats keeping you in the eastern province? You don't wanna go back to the trailer trash life?
    Attitudes like this make me sick to the stomach.

  12. Just knew a useless troll would have to show up at some point. Thanks, Anonymous, for being that reality!

  13. dont you get lurpack butter in the eastern province anymore? Have they started boycotting it? It used to be available everywhere a while back...

  14. That is exactly the butter I'm looking for, Anonymous. I did see "unsalted" Lurpack the other day - but not the same as the blue, salted, Lurpack. Occasionally I can find it at Tamimi, but not lately... When I do find it - I buy ten of 'em - the big ones - and stick it in the freezer. I'm hoping that I have better luck shopping in Bahrain later this week - and will find it there.


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