In each new city we have to start all over again. While we have clothes and toiletries on our backs – a stocked kitchen must be created over and over. Our hosts have been kind enough to point us in the appropriate direction to find a grocery store. We have yet to find what looks like a US grocery store. I fear we are shopping in the European equivalent of a Village Pntry each and every time. Are the prices reasonable? We have no idea. The first shopping trip we have to come up with a dinner, breakfast and a lunch for next day – after that we can browse city markets or stumble across other food stores. The picture above is just a few doors down from our Rome apartment – it is not one section of the store, it is the entire store. Brody was insistent on finding a cereal other than Corn Flakes, so he went with Brent to find another food store. What they found had three rooms like the one above and was considered a supermarket.
We develop a rough outline of a shopping list but we are quickly learning that some things do not exist in Europe, like peanut butter. We found it once in Venice but it was too little for way too much money. The girls made do with Nutella and jelly sandwiches – for real. I would say that I make many home cooked meals but I was unaware of the simple cheats I use, like Campbells soup. I cannot find cream of mushroom or chicken anywhere. And frozen veggies – nope, not here. Convenience foods are nowhere to be found, if by chance they exist they are very expensive. We eat a lot of pasta – but pay dearly for the sauce – it’s the Italian way of punishing us for not making our own.
We don’t want to buy too much – just enough so it is all gone by the time we are ready to travel to our next city. We have been carrying around sugar and some small odds and ends – but not a lot. Our final meal is always a hodge-podge of items that we need to make gone. We carried out a bag from Venice this morning but ate most of it on the train as our lunch. We had sandwiches, fruit and splurged on individual bags of Ritz crackers for everyone. The extra expense was worth the peace that came with the children not fighting about fair portions.
I remember agonizing over what to bring in the RV. Little did I realize how good we had it! Each apartment has an interesting array of kitchen ware. There are plenty of pots but lids may or may not be there and bakeware? so far non-existent in each apartment. There is a solid rack in the ovens – so that is what we use, or if a pot is all metal – that suffices. Of course it’s 50/50 whether there is an oven at all. We arrived in Rome and have a 2 burner stove and a microwave. Failing to find any dinner meat beyond bacon, our first dinner was scrambled eggs with bacon. Brody will have his cereal in the morning and that is good enough for now.