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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Shopping for a watermelon??

One of our BIGGEST dislikes of moving to Germany was buying food.  I know some of you may gasp because of your love for all of that stinky sausage stuff ... but it just doesn't get my taste buds leaping - I can't stand the look, the smell and here's the confession ... I haven't even tasted it!! mwahhhh Is that bad? So there won't be any picture of that stuff here!! Anyhow the supermarkets aren't like back 'home' or abroad either for that matter.  Almost four years into our stay here, we still miss ASDA & Sainsbury's and the like.  SIGH!! I kid you not, when we travel home to England and enter one of these supermarkets, I feel this urge to touch everything and an even bigger urge to leave with it all too!!

I prefer a one stop shop & that is near impossible here. Our first food shop was the day after we had arrived in the country as residents.  We lived in an area called Bad Vilbel for the first six weeks. It was at the local Lidl there that we realised things were never going to be the same!!

We picked up some groceries for a family of 6 to get by with for a few days!! We loaded our stuff onto the belt for it to be scanned, we started to 'pack' (as you would normally!)... well that wasn't going to work. She scanned that food through so fast like her life depended on it. The space at the end of the till was comparable  to a postage stamp.  Some of the items didn't make it to the trolley without touching the floor first, never mind attempting to put it in bags.  It was so alien to us. Hubby & I glanced at each other and started to grin.  I glanced down the line, expecting to see raised eyebrows and smiling faces in empathy of our experience, only to see that no one else thought it was amusing or even batting an eye.  To them it was just every day-to-day life and it is - they expect, infact demand, such efficiency!  Then came time to pay the cashier. I handed my visa debit card over to make payment and she refused to take it.  "Keine Kredit Karten!" (no credit cards) she snarled at me! 'It is not a credit card, it's a debit card!' came the reply - anyhow we weren't going to win regardless of how much explaining we tried, so luckily there was a bank across the road and my hubby ran across, got some cash and we were able to pay for the food. Phew ... glad to get out in one piece!! haha It was like stepping back in time!  We just had to laugh!

The amusing thing is now we are so used to this speed and lack of "can I help you with your packing?" kind of service now, that when we go back to the UK and experience some customer service and a bit of light hearted chatter with the cashier, as well as scanning through the items SO patiently slowly, I feel like asking them to hurry up!  Especially if we are on our 'stock up' shop just before we reach the Eurotunnel on our return to Germany!  OH how the worm turns!!  =)

Not too long after this initial experience we tried out a Tegut grocery shop.  The sign on the watermelon said 1.99€, thinking that was a great price, we picked it up and headed for the cashier.  Except it came up at 11.00€ in total and was infact quite the opposite.  The price we had seen was price per kilo. Duh!! Then say so!!  Not knowing the language, we were too embarrassed to even attempt to explain that we had misunderstood the pricing and would leave it. We walked out - watermelon in hand, grinning once again at our experience, hoping that it would be worth it once the kids started to devour it!!

I wonder if this experience was the birth of making the most of a watermelon?  Since then I've enjoyed doing some watermelon carvings.  This was my first attempt!

It was for our youngest son's 5th birthday party.  What do you think? I was so pleased with the outcome.  Here's what I used:

A large watermelon
green and red grapes
2 limes (cut in half for the feet)
two sizes of melon baller
raisins for the nostrils on the snout and to layer the grape eyes.
A cookie cutter to cut out the snout.
Cocktail sticks to hold the feet, snout, ears, eyes and tail in place.

I had so much fun creating this pig. I got the idea some time before, after watching Annabel Karmel carving  it with some children on a television program.  I searched 'youtube' for that particular clip but couldn't find THE one.  I did come across this fun tutorial and off to work I went. It is easier than it might look! Try it and share your results with me! It was a joy to see them excited to eat the good stuff!!

I have found some great ideas on Pinterest and have plans to do a lot more of these fun designs when the watermelon gets to a good price this summer. I will share them with you here.   If you would like an invitation to join Pinterest, please leave me your email address in the comments section below.  If you would like to follow me on Pinterest click here.

I am in no way affiliated with Pinterest ... only a slight addiction!! It's a Happy Life!