I've Been Reminded of the States recently due to the election, which is today, and Thanksgiving, which is this month. The biggest thing I've really been thinking about is groceries. Dave and I were putting together an order form for a Thanksgiving dinner at CDV and that was when I realized just how much I no longer had access to and how much I NEVER thought about it back in the US. For example, we couldn't order cranberries because there are none here. So no cranberry walnut salad, no cranberry sauce, no cranberry wildrice dish, no cranberries. Too expensive, so we don't get them through the school, and the supermarkets don't sell them anyway, so we can't personally purchase them. Pumpkin pies are harder to do here for a few reasons. They don't have canned pumpkin, let alone "Pumpkin Pie Mix." The pie crusts that are premade are about half the depth of the ones at home, and the pie pans themselves actually. They don't have those crunchy onions for green bean casserole, no biggie. I kept thinking about how I would have been shocked not to be able to just run to the store and purchase these items on a whim. Now I don't even expect to see them, so I don't think about them until they were brought up. THEN, I went grocery shopping today at the SUPERMARKET CHAIN, Migros, and couldn't buy any berries since they are no longer in season, no asperagus, no broccoli, and I couldn't find baked beans (so common back home), and I was thrilled to discover things like premade pie crusts, which I swiftly informed Dave about using my new phone ;P, Ricotta cheese (NY cheese cake anyone?) and Cottage cheese!!! These are all things we completely take for granted back home. You never imagine that you would have to wait until next summer to buy berries. Or that asparagus and broccoli would be off the menu. Another thing: ALbert has been talking about gravy and I just remembered how we just hop over to the store pick up some gravy mix and voila, gravy. Not here. No gravy mixes. Also no low-fat products. I thought that was interesting. I've started reading a book about the American food industry (I know, another one!) and have been reminded of the whole low fat yoghurts etc. and was more aware of the fact that there is no such things in these stores. I wanted low-fat cottage cheese when I saw that cottage cheese existed here, but no luck there. And no Lebne/Greek Leban Yoghurt, which I was craving. Such basic, expected items just don't exists here. To think that you can't just get everything you want at the grocery store hahaha, we, Americans are so spoiled by grocery store options!!
Food Cost Cutting has brought the students together. Those-in-Charge- miscalculated food costs and are ow paying for it. After mid-term this is what happened: No more bananas in PFA (I noticed this and was sad to have to buy bananas again), as well as other fruits I did not take as much notice of. MArket place essentially only serves oranges now, and you find oranges on the side of the desserts in A La Carte, where strawberries, lychee, and passion fruit once stood. Market place often serves only one item instead of 4, and once this was a pork only dish resulting in something of an uproar from the muslim community. CDV has reduced it's menu of 5 items to 2, the burger and the vegetarian. CDV "late night" gets fewer regular shipments and most meat products have been reduced. The school is serving LOTS of chicken. oh, and 2 items have been cut off of the PFA sandwhich menu, the roast beef sandwhich and the avocado-smoked salmon torilla wrap. No more specials either. Yah....the students are really angry. The school doesn't say they are doing this due to food costs, they told the CDV staff that it is due to the fact that "less students tend to show up to practical duty at the end of semester, leaving the chefs to deal withthe whole menu, so they want to simplify it to reduce this problem." The chef later told me that it was actually due to food cost miscalculation. Well, I cook my own food, so I'm not so affected, but still, Les Roches...come on now. I've heard some rumours of some kind of "stand" that the students will be taking against the school soon. We'll see if they are true.