January 19, 2011


list 1 (lst)
1. A series of names, words, or other items written, printed, or imagined one after the other: a shopping list; a guest list; a list of things to do.

I love lists! If I have something bigger happening in my life, like planning a party, going for a weekend trip with the family or moving between countries, I start by writing a list.
It calms me down. And helps me to see what to do. And fifteen minutes later, when my brain comes up with something critical to remember for that event, I just add it to the list. And when I get things done, and this is a very big part of my list-liking, I get to check things off my list!
I love creating lists, I love finishing off my lists!

Last night I sat down at the computer and started writing. This was going to be a list! I wrote our family master shopping list. I have been thinking about writing it for some time now, but have not found time, energy nor inspiration for it. But now I had it all. A master shopping list is a shopping list (obviously) that has everything you ever need from a grocery store. E.ve.ry.thing. That is why it took me so long to start writing it. Then when you need to buy food, you can just quickly mark the items you need, and do not have to try to remember everything you want to have in your cupboards. But being the tricksy thing I am, I Googled before writing the list, and of course found lots of ideas. But some people's lists were just too...short. The spice section was endless, but then it did not have that many food items on it. Huh? Some fancy new diet? Or some lists had all kinds of deli produce and pre-prepared items...Which of course are very nice and helpful in everyday life, but not available here in Central Asia.

Then I stumbled upon on this site: grocerylists.org. It is a funny and entertaining site. Now after you visit it and do not find it funny and entertaining, just remember that it is part of my weirdness. I like lists, after all! This page collects used shopping lists, and publishes them. They even published a book about the lists. Wouldn't you want to know what our neighbors buy from the grocery shop every week? No? Am I all alone here? Anyone?


Baaaack to the master shopping list. So, among these random lists by real people, the site owner has created a master shopping list for you to download for free! That was a kind and human thing to do. Quickly as a fox I took the list, printed it out and based my own shopping list on that one.

I enjoyed looking at a normal American shopping list. I did not recognize some things like fake eggs (beats me? are they plastic?) or Provolone cheese. But it brought me many warm memories of my times in huge American grocery stores and just looking at all that stuff! Sad part of the list was that I actually had to cut it down with a heavy hand. For example, the only frozen food item we buy here is either chicken legs and files or ice cream. No frozen pizzas, no breakfast burritos. No fish sticks, no tater tots. No juice concentrate, no TV dinners. And naturally we cannot just go and get a bottle of vanilla extract or peanut butter either. But one learns to live without Worcestershire sauce and canned chili, and find joy in little things in life, like when you actually find a bottle of soy sauce or lemon juice (in the capital!).

So now I have our family's Central Asian master shopping list.

Some fun items on our list:
Kefir: it is like a really liquid and sour tasting yogurt.
Jakka: it is like a really solid and sour tasting yogurt. Paste.
Liver: So good for you, full of iron!
Oil: Not these cute little half a liter bottles, but real ones. My husband actually bought a five liter bottle for me once, but it is too heavy to lift easily with one hand while cooking!
Smoked Russian cheese: I like this one. Nice smokey flavor. Note: Does not melt well. Do not use for pizza.
Moloko: sweet concentrated milk, my husband uses it for his coffee.
All kinds of nuts: An important part of the table when you have guests. And so much cheaper than back home!
Brooms: We need to keep that yard clean!
Seasonal fruit: This part of the list is colorful, beautiful and endless when the season is right ( late summer). This part of the list is very short, sad and depressing when the season is NOT right (February-March).

So now that I have all this food in my house I need to start planning menus. THAT is not a list I enjoy writing. I sat down for a good 15 minutes and wrote down every dinner I can or could make here. The list was 15 things. Then I removed the hot dogs, and I have 14 dinners, enough for two weeks. I thought I have more meals in my life! What happened? I am asking for help...again! What is your favorite dinner to make from scratch? Please share with me, or I will turn into a raisin!

Remember to eat well, and remember those who do not eat well tonight.

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