I know you have heard about some of the differences of our life here in Krakow. I just wanted to update and give you a list of things that were common in our life in the states and how it parallels our life here in Poland.
So in the states our pantry and refrigerator were full. There was so much food I got rid of when we were moving that it broke my heart. There was always plenty but yet I always needed to grocery shop or there was nothing to snack on. In Poland, we moved in with some things our Team Leader got for us...milk, bread, turkey, butter, you get the picture. And our teammates all pitched in a got us some of their favorite things to snack on or how to recreate things from the states like cream of chicken or mushroom soups. I had brought some seasoning stuff and peanut butter with us but we needed to shop. We have gotten that done pretty well. I LOVE to cook and cooking from scratch is such an art for me. I love to create. I am glad I do because you can't buy much prepackaged stuff here. There isn't prepackaged cookie dough or refrigerated biscuits. There isn't pancake mix or Bisquick. They don't even have shortening. Their butter for cooking is pretty much only unsalted. So having a quick meal for a busy night doesn't work too well. They do have hot dogs but we haven't bought them yet.
So I have begun shopping for a week at a time. I make a list of recipes on Sundays and then we go shopping for just the ingredients we need for that week's meal. I also get lunch meat and stuff for school lunches and veggies and fruit. We supplement bread, milk and cereal as needed. This works well. Our pantry is only full at the beginning of the week. By the end we have eaten what is in there along with some leftover meals. It is perfect. The food here does not have preservatives in it which is great! However, it doesn't last nearly as long as it did in the states.
We go to our little shop at the end of our street to get meat. We have met a nice lady who speaks NO English..and well our Polish isn't great...so we have fun. But she is so sweet. We figure if we keep going back to her that will build up our relationship and our language. Ordering lunch meat has become comical. We try to order half a kilo of turkey...which is about a pound...sometimes we get that and sometimes we get enough for one sandwich. Ha!
We buy fresh bread from our shop or a bakery by our tram stop. Mmm!!! There is no whole wheat bread that we have found which is a bummer but who can complain when you get to buy it fresh...as your regular routine! Ella and Macie love going to pick out our bread for dinner. We also buy milk in glass jars. There is something fun about drinking milk from a glass container. It is yummy!!! But it isn't always in the stores. So when we see it we buy 2-4 bottles at a time. LOL
We still are not sure about what some of the names of foods are. For instance: I have been looking for corn meal. I know they have it. My friends make cornbread. I couldn't find it with the flour...i was hoping I would just see a picture that would make me think it was cornmeal. One of our team wives told me the name of it. I finally found it at our "Sam's-like" store. But of course I had to buy 10 packages of them. Well it turns out she told me the name of corn flour not cornmeal. Haha! So now I have 10 packages of cornflour. It does have a recipe for corn tortillas on it.
Eating out has been interesting as well. Some places have menus in English or at least descriptions in English. A lot do not and we have to guess. Some of the waiters or people speak English and some do not. So sometimes we don't get what we thought we were ordering. But most of the food we have had has been yummy! We have learned we like peirogi and white beat soup. There are also these circular bread things they sell on the street. They are about 1.40zloty...which is about 50cents in the states. Yummy! The downfall are the drinks. Unless you go to Ikea, KFC or Subway you don't get refills. And the cups you get are small. I am fine with that but James not so much! Haha! And they think Coca Cola Light (Diet Coke) = Coke Zero. Haha! James doesn't think they are the same.
Ok, I will not bore you any more with food stuff. I will post later about other differences. Love you all!