Saturday, May 1, 2010

Israel Shopping

One of the main skills and duties I hold at Gateways is cooking and more specific, on trips. This does not just mean working in the kitchen but includes budgeting, menu planning, grocery shopping and implementing the menu and cooking food. When people ask how I’m so good at cooking I always tell them I learned everything from my mama! Growing up all 3 of us enjoyed pitching in to cook, bake and grocery shop. I thought it was a normal part of life! Unfortunately in today’s day and age most people don’t learn to cook or even grow up eating home cooked meals! Thanks mom for keeping us cultured.

First we plan out how many days we are cooking/planning/shopping for. Then we make the plan. It usually looks like this:





I write one for each day to make a quick plan and it quickly fills up:


B – cereal, fruit, spreads

L – sandwiches, fruit, chips

D – enchiladas, beans, rice, pico

I always keep in mind that if we’re working a lot that week I try and put eggs or some kind of extra protein. We always have a salad and fruit in our day to keep our group strong and healthy! We will throw in fun snacks and desserts for special occasions but always make sure there are good and nutritional meals!

Then once I have all of the days planned out that I need (on trips usually just 3 or 4 days) I make a grocery list. Next, I have to get my budget from finances and they multiply the number of days by the amount of people and give me a figure. Usually I have the budget in mind when planning and have to be careful to not have too much meat and cheese everyday or else it get’s pricy! Luckily in Israel and Cyprus fruits and veggies are cheap and affordable!

Even though its hectic, grocery shopping is a fun privilege! We get really thrown in the culture, learn a lot about the language and spend some good QT with your shopping team.

The particular shopping day we documented was a very exciting time because we went during Pesach. So I had made a plan and menu but things I didn’t realize weren’t “kosher for Pesach” weren’t being sold, like soy sauce!

Stick to the list.

There will be lots of things that want to pull you away from your plan. Yes, you need to be flexible to sales and products not being available but the more you stick to the list the quicker and more efficient you’ll be. When items aren’t available or too expensive, quick substitutes are imperative. But don’t loose you’re cool, stress makes a shopping team a mess!

The 7 days after Pesach is the feast of unleavened bread where God told us not to eat any bread with leaven in it (like yeast, baking powder, baking soda, etc). Read it in Exodus 12:15! But in Israel the rabbi’s have gone a little extreme and included pasta, some rice, couscous and those sorts of things. I always reference the Word of God in this case and use the Holy Spirit to bring conviction on the right sort of foods.

In Jerusalem, the grocery store had blocked off lots of shelves that contained “unkosher for Pesach” foods. A girl on the other team said they needed something and took it from behind the curtain and when the cashier tried to ring it up, there was an error on the register!

In the hurry of shopping, I lost my shopping cart. Met a creepy deli guy who kept dropping his cigarette from behind his ear INTO the meat we were buying and a sweet dairy worker.

The craziest part of my day was not being able to find cat food for the Wilks cat because they would only sell MATZAH CAT FOOD. It was so ridiculous and at the end of my shop that I began yelling at a grocery worker who didn’t speak English. I got ahold of myself, told him I was sorry and marched off in a huff.

Why can’t my cat have cat meat and what cat would possibly eat matzah??? I am sorry Lord for getting offended. Bless Israel.

After shopping, Chelsea met up with some students to do some souvenir shopping and I saw 2 Arab kids with a camel in the middle of an intersection, talking to a Jewish man.

I thought it would make an interesting photo even though it was through my window.

I can’t to do the shopping on outreach with Sarah in Geneva, Italy and France! Now I need to work on learning some French words…

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