Over time, our group disintegrated. Every once in a while, we would attend an all day event to catch up but we haven't even done that in a long time. Until today! My friends M and H live in the same neighborhood on the east side of town so we went to an event nearby. (For the record, it took me 50 minutes to get there from my house.)
The last few years, I've been working on "Picfolio" scrapbooks for our family and friend photos. I usually end up with enough photos to do one per year. The picfolio is a mix of a photo album and scrapbook. It has sleeves for photos, so the majority can just be inserted if you have the right combination of vertical and horizontal photos. But each page has one larger insert, that photo needs a little matting or something. And then you can add other stuff where you want too.
M and H and I decided to go to Pita Jungle for lunch. We split a small hummus plate and I had the chicken tikka masala and a green ice tea (strawberry kiwi today). Everything was good, as usual.
M mentioned that I should go to the Gluten-free Country Store since it was right around the corner. I have wanted to go for a while but would never make the trip just for that! I see products online frequently that are only available locally at this store. So she showed me where it was before we headed back to scrap for the afternoon.
It was a small store, not a grocery store, although it had some cold cases in back like a grocery store. But it was more like the little country store in the front of a Cracker Barrel or something. There was SO much to look at. My eyes were hurting from a full day of scrapbooking and now...
Here's what I got. I know some of these items are available elsewhere, but sometimes they aren't or I can't find them or whatever.
I just finished a container of sweetened MimicCreme, which I've only seen at one store, so I got this unsweetened version to try. I've seen the Ah!Laska brand before but not this chocolate syrup--no dairy or soy! Sprouts used to carry Glee Gum (no xylitol or aspartame!) but they don't anymore.
I forgot to include it in the photo, but I also bought a frozen Amy's rice pasta mac and "cheese" that I haven't seen at the other stores or maybe I forgot because it does have nutritional yeast and Daiya cheese which I was avoiding for a while just because I didn't know whether I could eat it or not. (I decided I can but I don't do it all the time.)
This is the section I have almost the most trouble with. Should I bake from scratch or from a mix? Am I overpaying to buy a mix? Well, when my "from scratch" recipes turn out so bad that I throw the results out, I'm not saving any money avoiding a mix. So I found these. This is the other place that carries Sun Flour Mills, besides Albertsons (and they keep moving them so it's like a treasure hunt). Nothing has tasted like the "real" thing yet, but it's better than passable.
For someone with food issues, I'd recommend this place, but give yourself about an hour to go through if you need to avoid anything besides gluten. I think it gives me the opportunity to try more "convenience" foods that "normal" people take for granted. But I also have to think about the cost. They carry Paleo Krunch for about the same price as it's available online and I never bought it because I thought it seemed expensive for some nuts and seeds. Now that I've seen the tiny $7 bag, I know I made the right choice!