Happy shopping!

I did NOT do Black Friday along with the huddled masses, yearning to be set free among the aisles of cheap home electronics. At least not in the traditional sense. Because that doesn’t excite me. What excites me is trolling the aisles of the huge Seattle Goodwill, looking for maybe-worn-once Banana Republic and Ann Taylor clothing for less than $5 a pop. It’s the thrill of the hunt (and the good deal), and I come by it honestly, since my mom was (and still is, to an extent) a thrift-store shopper, as was her mother before her. I have fond childhood memories of prowling thrift stores and consignment shops in the San Francisco area with my grandmother when I lived in California, many moons ago. Good times.

I also satisfy my thrill of the hunt (and the good deal) by seeking out the best places to buy high-quality produce and pantry-and-fridge staples at a good price. We hadn’t been to one of our recent south-of-the-city finds, DK, for over a month, but with no Saturday anatomy class (thanks to the holiday weekend), we stopped there Saturday morning before our weekly Costco run.

It amuses me to see comments on Yelp and Google about this place. It’s clear that a lot of people are very fixated on stores being bright and shiny with nice displays and a consistent inventory. Well, DK is not that place, so those people should just admit that it’s not a good fit for them and stay away. This is a representative photo of how the goods are “merchandised.”:

Nice, huh? But I don’t care, because I love poking around to see what they do have in stock. The were quite low on my favorite Patak’s Indian curries, so I made sure to grab a few. Along with a few tins of these Moroccan sardines in olive oil.

And some pickled ginger:

They were out of the fig jam that I specifically put on my shopping list (which made me quite sad, because I love to mix a small spoonful with plain Greek yogurt for dessert), but they did have this rose jam:

The produce section is hit and miss. They never seem to have kale (one of my staple items), and some of what they do have must be used right away, as it won’t hold in the fridge (their bell peppers were like that this week). But they had beautiful bunches of collard greens, and jaw dropping prices on pears.

I got Bosc pears for 59 cents a pound…I had been paying $1.99. And they had great prices on Hachiya persimmons. I usually buy the smaller Fuyu variety that can be eaten hard or soft (the hachiya are more expensive, and must be eaten soft or they are too astringent to be palatable), but I bought a few Hachiya a couple of weeks ago and let them ripen, and really enjoyed them.

The warehouse was unheated, which made for a chilly shopping expedition (we were bundled up, anyway, fortunately), but then, an outdoor market would be even colder, perhaps with rain. And the cold is probably good for the produce.

I can’t wait for school break, when I will be able to make it to my other favorite hole-in-the-wall place (although it’s status has probably surpassed that at this point), Pacific Food Importers, to stock up on olives and other Mediterranean goodness.