Friday, August 21, 2015

Curiosity and the Grocery Store

Good Morning, dear Blogging Friends! 

This is a "whatever helps you get things done" post LOL

I am curious!

My questions are directed mostly for my well-traveled friends and my wonderful international blogging buddies! But everyone can share!

Do your grocery stores carry more "prepared" (or boxed/canned) meals? Or whole foods (like fresh produce, meats, fish, dairy).

Jack does most of our shopping these days, but very occasionally I'm well enough to accompany him. With each visit, I marvel at the amount of baking mixes, frozen mixes, frozen prepared meals or dishes, boxed meals where you just need meat and everything else is there.

How about in the butcher/meat department? I see the normal seafood, meats, poultry, and there are also butcher's-quality prepared and seasoned meals! One just places them in a baking dish for the oven, and they are done! I see all sorts of prepared items in the Bakery and Deli portions of the stores. And in the Dairy/Egg section where already-hard-boiled eggs, ready to be peeled, and even pre-made deviled eggs - all neatly packaged to put on the table.

In our fantastically-mega-sized Grocery Store here is only one aisle of canned vegetables (like from my mom's era). This includes soups (canned, boxed and ready-for-the-microwave).

Potatoes, rice and pasta can be purchased fresh or traditionally packaged. They are also available partially or fully cooked in a pouch for the microwave or to boil in water!

The produce section is small, but this also includes prepared salads and salad mixes, prepared fruits and fruit bowls, fresh squeezed juices and homogenized juices (canned or other packaging).

The dairy section is L shaped - it has all kinds of milks (flavored, soy, almond, organic, and more). There are eggs, cottage cheese, cheeses galore, yogurts and specialty items! I've never even had string cheese (does that make me deprived? LOL). The packaging, styles and flavors of cottage cheese and yogurts are amazing! I just buy plain, organic, unflavored Greek Yogurt. After tasting one of my husband's fruit packed yogurts I declared it a dessert! LOL

There were more aisles containing cleaning goods, personal soap/hygiene items, household goods, and paper goods than the fresh produce, dairy, and meat aisles combined! If I wanted to choose plain old frozen vegetables without sauces and seasonings, the selection was actually quite small, compared to buying these same veggies in their rich sauces.

It's fun walking through the Bakery and seeing all the yummies.

My son always enjoyed being part of the food preparations, especially when there was baking to be done! From the time he could sit on the counter, and stand on a stool, he was "helping".

I was wondering if my other friends experience the Grocery Store in the same way. 
It's great for the people who need prepared foods to keep their time table working well - 
and I marvel at the company employees who come up with these ideas. 


When I was working, I did take advantage of some prepared type foods, especially the ones my son enjoyed.

But primarily, I'm a person who enjoyed doing most of our cooking and baking from scratch. My co-workers always enjoyed the yummy treats and meals. These days my husband does most of the cooking, but he is even more of a "scratch" person than I!

There is nothing wrong with using prepared foods. It doesn't make us less of a person. I'm sure my Grandmother, or women in the early 1900s would have loved the convenience! It was a dream come true when Bisquick hit the market, way-back-when, and Campbells Soup brought out their line of condensed canned soups.

So how about your grocery stores? I'd love hearing if Asian, South American, European, African stores are anything like North American stores! LOL


P. S. If you are receiving this via e-mail, just click the title of my post at the top, to get to the blog post and leave your comment. Or click my email at the very bottom of this notification :-)


Paula said...

I try to cook mostly "from scratch" as I feel I can control what actually goes into my food, but must admit the prepared foods intrigue me. If I had little time, they would be a more frequent purchase for me.PS: I love those cupcakes!

Shona Erlenborn said...

I prefer to cook from scratch too, sometimes even using my own homegrown ingredients. My youngest loves to cook his own breakfast (if he has time). He loves making omelets and other egg concoctions - there is usually some cumin and capers included in the mix! He's an experimenter - just like his Mum!

KraftyKoolKat said...

Awesome cupcakes sweetie. I am afraid I have to have the prepared meals the past few years because of ill health. Hubby even has to put them in the oven for me as they would end on the floor. Lol!!!

KarinsArtScrap said...

that is looking fab and delicious Donna
Gr Karin

Gertrude said...

Fertig Produckte sind nicht meins, ich habe einen Gemüsegarten und koche gerne meine eigenen Sachen.
Aber diese tollen Schuhe sind der Hammer, echt Cool
glg Gertrude

Silvis Kreativstube said...

Hallo liebe Donna,

was für eine tolle Leckerei. Ich bin ganz begeistert. So etwas liegt mir gar nicht. Einen Kuchen backen schaffe ich gerade noch aber keine Torten oder so wunderbare Dekosüßigkeiten.

Ich koche sehr gern. Am liebsten frische Sachen mit viel Gemüse und nur sehr wenig Fleisch. Wir haben das Glück einen wunderschönen Markt zu haben wo man alle frischen Sachen kaufen kann.
Ich wünsche dir ein wunderschönes Wochenende. Ganz liebe Grüße Hugs Silvi

Sue said...

Those cakes are fab, almost too good to eat. Note I said almost:) LOL

Here in England it depends on where you are in the country and what store you go to. I love Morrison's as they have a large fresh fruit and veg section. They also have a fishmonger, baker and cold meats section. They have a fairly large range of cleaning products, frozen goods and tinned goods.

Hope you have a nice weekend. Sue

Lisa said...

I love to cook, but I'm not much of a baker. I don't really have a sweet tooth...I have a salty tooth ;) We have a fabulous grocery store that was just remodeled and they carry anything you could think of in a grocery store. I live in a college town, so there is quite a bit of diversity. They have products for so many different cultures. There are restaurants, juice bar, you name it. So I love to do the shopping!! Have a great weekend :)

A Mermaid's Crafts

pam said...

I used to cook from scratch Donna, still do most days! some days we have a ready meal afraid my DH cannot turn the gas on never mind cook!!! I have always been a stay at home Mum.
Fantastic card design..
Hugs Pam x

Diane said...

I shop at Fred Meyers here in the Pacific Northwest, they have a nice selection of everything you will ever need.

Hugs Diane

pam said...

Sorry Fantastic cake design, they look yummy..
Hugs Pam x

Jean Bullock said...

Great post. I have rarely used the prepared meal packets in the deli - the only reason I haven't is that my oven doesn't work. Otherwise, they would become pretty standard at my house. I love those cake shoes!

crafty-stamper said...

I prefer to cook from scratch too but then again I suppose the younger generation prefer the ready cooked-hence the decline in fresh fish and butchers shops I suppose.Morrisons have a fresh butcher counter as well as the ready packaged but not a great variety in fruit and veg as our nearby Asda but they don't have a butcher counter but a good selection of meats and chicken/bacon and stuff packaged.If you are pushed for time or can't be bothered state of mind an omelette is still a quicker and healthier option than the additive stuffed ready meals--love the cake shoes
Carol x

Debi said...

Hi Donna!
Unless I'm sick or on vacation, I'm a from scratch cook, also. And I don't pay much attention to the goodies premade because I'm generally dashing in the store and right back out. But these cupcakes are fabulous! They would be perfect for next year's Mother's Day Luncheon, and don't look too hard to assemble at home. Thanks for the idea!
Glad you're feeling well enough to shop!

Verna Angerhofer said...

I cook mainly from scratch for the most part and on an occasional basis will use some prepared foods if there is a time crunch for me or if I am just too tired to make a meal. We grow lots of our own veggies so we freeze them for future use. So that helps and I think if you make more things from scratch you can control the fat, salt and carbs in dishes. That is important for our household as hubby is diabetic and also has heart issues.

Stampsnob. said...

I don't even know if my store has the items you talk about I go in directly to what is on my list then out to the farmer market at the side of the road . I never noticed packaged dinners in the meat department My first thought was I should pay more attention but my reality is I don't care and don't want to know .....Lis

Olga Jewell said...

Those look so yummy..........

Petra Swart said...

Oh, I enjoyed your post, Donna and I had to LOL at those little shoe cupcakes at the top!!! How creative some people are to think of doing that, hey!!!
Over here I do most of my grocery shopping at two stores: Pick&Pay which is the one I do most of my grocery shopping at, but not my fresh veggies and fruit - they're more expensive and not the same quality as the fresh produce market, Golden Harvest. All my canned food, dairy products, bread, eggs, rice, porridge, household products, etc I buy at Pick&Pay - I think it is more or less the same kind of store you have, although they don't stock that much of the ready prepared-meals as my other (and favorite) shop I visit regularly. It's called Woolworhts and they have a clothing department as well. They sell the most wonderful ready-made meals (fresh, not frozen), desserts, cakes, bread, meat, cold meats and some lovely specialty products, too, and then they have your normal day to day stuff like tinned food, milk, eggs, fresh herbs, veggies and fruit, ect. They are a more up-market store than Pick&Pay, but surprisingly not that much more expensive than the other stores. It is a delight to shop at Woolworths, but I can't afford to shop there every day - just for special treats and when I need some specialty product for a recipe, like some special fresh herbs. I also cook from 'scratch' most of the time, as I love to prepare very healthy meals for my family. I love to spoil my family a lot with lovely food and sometimes I really cook up a storm!!!
So nice to hear that you're well enough to go to the shop and bring us this lovely post, Donna!!!
Have a wonderful weekend, my friend!!!

KT Fit Kitty said...

Hello, Donna! So nice to hear that you've been able to get out to the grocery store! I don't buy a lot of pre-packaged foods as I have so many food sensitivities, so I confess I really don't know much about them. I occasionally buy the prepared BBQ chickens at my grocery store and they are yummy! I also buy one of their prepared green salads - it's hard to find one without cheese, but there is one that they make, and I buy those quite often. I also buy the pre-washed salad greens to use in my smoothies and salads. I hope you continue to have the strength and energy, my friend! Sending hugs!

Dr Sonia S V said...

Woo such a yummy picture you have shared. The canned / just heat and eat culture has still not gained popularity in India. At one point I did succumb to buying some like lasagnas but then health concerns prevented me from buying as a habit !

Dr Sonia
Cards Crafts Kids Projects

Leslie Miller said...

I'm sure my grocery stores are exactly like yours, and I do marvel at all those prepared foods. Lucky thing for folks in a rush or who don't know much about cooking. I like to cook from scratch, but even then there are prepared foods going into those meals -- Bisquick, soups, different sauces and condiments. I'd never leave the kitchen if I did it completely from scratch! Interesting thoughts, Donna!

NanaConnie said...

I love those shoe cupcakes, Donna, and was so sure it was a photo of something from your very own kitchen. I was anxiously awaiting the recipe and instructions. :-D When I think back to all the years I was raising kids and either working full time or going to college and working part-time, I wish all those delightful heat and serve meals had been available. Now that they are in my usual grocery store, I rarely take 'advantage' of them because I need more control over salt, fat and carb content than those foods offer. So, like you folks, I'm still pretty much a 'from scratch' person but then, I only cook for one so it's not a great burden.

Paper Creations by Shirley said...

Hi Donna, it's great to read about how much fun the grocery trip can be :) I also enjoy it. Those show cupcakes are amazing! I mostly cook from scratch, simple low-fat meals with lots of salads. We enjoy meals out but I like to know what I'm eating and it's expensive to eat out. But when I was working at a stressful job with long hours and travel I didn't cook too much and caught a lot of colds and flus, eating convenience & restaurant foods. Glad you were out & about. Also nice to read you have a son :) Take good care, hugs, Shirleyxx

Desire Fourie said...

Donna here in Johannesburg, South Africa, the fresh produce section is about 25% the size of the whole store. And there is a whole isle of frozen veggies and a whole isle of tinned foods. Fresh meat is also a huge section. We do not have that much pre-prepared stuff here. I personally love cooking everything from fresh veggies and meat and do use frozen veggies as they say its healthier as it is frozen straight from harvesting and does not lie on trucks transported to shops and then also lie on the shelves in stores for quite some time. Nothing as good as a home cooked meal. Less salt and preservatives xxx Thanks for this lovely interesting post.
{Doing Life – my personal blog}

Patricia St Martin said...

Donna, Sorry it took me so long to post but I had to say something about those cupcakes, they are so cute and I bet they cost a lot.... and I'm pretty sure they taste no more then a box mix cup cake. I'm like you I do not do the shopping my hubby does that he likes to go so that is fine with me. Well have a great week.
Hugs, Pat♥

coldwaters2 said...

Hi Donna love those 'shoe' cakes they look really yummy, I love to eat organic food whenever possible the local grocery store is rubbish for fresh food, nothing tastes the same as it used to if it has a taste at all which is why I like to buy organic, Donna I want to thank you for the comment that you left on my blog about cookies several other people said the same thing I am just so out of touch. Have a lovely weekend
Lorraine x

Monica said...

What an intersting post this makes and I just like you and your hubby like to cook from scratch. I am a lover of all things natural and would just be happy cooking the least amount of things with the freshest ingredients possible. I look at food in the most natural manner and feel not too good with getting stuff in a bottle. Processed food is not the first thing on my mind, though we eat Italian tomato sauce in our pasta but I always make sure that I add in fresh onions, garlic and tomatoes to this and in a large quantity.
Asia is also getting full with processed foods yet, real Asian food uses fresh herbs and spices. And that is what I like. I encourage my children to eat fresh foods and fruits more than the ones from packets. It could be a challenge though but I don't give up and try and educate them in subtle ways and something does go in. Lol.


Monica said...

Lovely picture of the shoes there. Too good to eat. LOL.

cosie said...

Hi Donna, Australian supermarkets are much the same but we have local freshfood markets on the weekend. We buy nearly all fresh and most meals are made from scratch. I like to know where my supplies are grown and what is used to grow them . It's taken me years to realise that most packaged foods have so much added to them and most seem to come from China and Asia. Feel that if I don't supprt our local farmers and producers we will lose them all. I dropped over to say thanks for following my blog and your kind words when this post caught my eye. I am sorry if it is long and boring.
Many thanks
Jeanette (cosie)

Asha said...

Ooooh those cupcakes are such a distraction!
Large supermarkets .... my least favourite place to be. I call them Palaces of Hell! And because of that I drag hubby along for moral support if I need to go there. Suffice to say we'd both prefer to be elsewhere! For fresh produce, I shop at a whole food store. I don't eat meat but hubby does. We have it delivered from a local organic farm. We live in a village, and go shopping at nearby allotments and farmers markets for fruit and veg. There are also various free-range farms nearby where we get fmilk, cheese, cream, eggs etc. We are blessed in that we just have 2 mouths to feed and that gives us the luxury of choosing nature and not having to buy large quantities of anything. Supporting local farmers is important to us. Life is a struggle for them these days because of the discounts prices of large supermarkets. I do most of the baking myself. Once a month I make up a batch of short crust and flaky pastry and store in the freezer for pies, tarts etc. NO...I don't make my own bread LOL! Unless I have a craving for something special. We get it from our local baker who does it in his wood-fire oven. The thought of having to shop in the supermarket is keeping us in our little village! LOL.
hugs, Asha

Mary Smith said...

Hello Donna, I so appreciate you visiting and becoming a follower on my blog, Thyme to Create. Thank you so much. I am glad you liked the Vintage Pistol that my husband created. He enjoys making digital artwork, and with a little encouragement from me ;) he will do more I'm sure.

Thank you and pop over any time!


*Just an added note, yes, I am seeing more and more out there on the store shelves of instant foods. It's boggling for sure. :))

Have a happy day!


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