how a shoestring cbc does t&t

thank goodness saturday was dry making my trimonthly trip to t&t 100% delightful. i only go every few months when my stock of chinese tea runs out. =D

i’d like to think that my shopping style in that monolithic market is unique, motivated by my unique situation of not having a car, being short on funds, a really inept cook, and not really having a freezer….

so you wanna join me on a virtual shopping trip? ;-)

an impulse buy was the hulking bottle of ninjiom pei pa koa cough syrup (5.49). it’s unnaturally thick and sweet to be medicine such that i don’t mind getting a cough and look forward to imbibing this concoction! having this bottle sitting in my fridge just feels so chinese-y.

one of my more recent discoveries is dan-d-pak. they have a store on broadway i’m itching to check out one day after work. i discovered their mixed nut & seed pucks (1.79 tnt, 1.99 london drugs) and they strike me such a vancouverite-perfect concoction since it’s tapioca crackers (chinese) topped with a trail mix of sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, cashews, and peanuts. so yummy!

anyways, dan-d-pak also sells packaged spices and i drooled at the prices.. shopping at t&t is so much more cost-effective than shopping at safe*way. makes me wish i lived nearby…. on second thought, renting near the chinatown t&t would be very cost-effective as well but rather unwise…..

i got rice paper (1.49). next weekend’s foodie project is vietnamese salad rolls. =D that’s why i also needed rice vermicelli. man, are those noodles cheap (0.69).

i got curry powder (3.38). because that safe*way stuff is just crap. it’s scary how my spice array is seriously burgeoning. i want a spice rack – how settled down and old is that? =P

the shower/comestics aisles are awesome and i let myself linger a bit since it wasn’t as crazy as i expected it to be on a saturday (maybe because it was before noon). all this neat shisheido-for-asia products i have no clue what they are were it not for the label on the shelf saying “shampoo” or “shower gel.” =P picked up the most bulk-looking shower foam (1000 mL for 4.88, regular 8.99). i want to know what asian people use to stay looking twenty-something into their late thirties.

my favourite instant noodles brand is nissin. oh, there’s better, but i love their product array. my favourite flavour is by far the – here i go making up a japanese word – tonku yakanabu flavour. (it’s a green package and has sesame seeds.) i picked up flavours new to me : jah jiang (served dry) and udon in sukiyaki flavour (both 0.49 each). i consider myself a taste-tester and will return in december to pick up a selection to bring back to halifax!

the tea aisle was extremely funny. i’m not discriminating when it comes to my chinese green tea so the lipton brand (100s for 5.99) wasn’t quite ghetto enough and i got the chinese-brand (100s for 4.99). my sister wanted to get matcha in the summer so i got some (6 packets, also 4.99) – i’m going to poach two packages to make one hot matcha au lait and one iced one. i’ll also be bringing tea back home so what was more exciting and seeing a super-sale on a variety of flavours (non-ghetto packaging, flavours include “root of dyers woad,” chrysanthemum, luohan guo, honeysuckle, and five flowers).

on my way in, i saw enoki mushroom packages. it reminded me of stef’s post about bacon-wrapped enoki and mushrooms. i might make that, too, next weekend. =D

finally, in the most interesting find of the day, i was lingering in this aisle because i found what i came for and the basket was still not too heavy. i noticed these soup mixes. i haven’t had much chinese soup since i’ve been on my own and i don’t have a first clue how to make a soup taste chinese. one package is chi yum yun fai with portions of tuckahoe, shuk dee, red medeberry, dong sum, and jade bamboo. the other package is luo han kao and cole withi portions of luo han kao, dehydrated cole, dried date, almond, dried canot, and dried orange peel. each package (1.69) makes about 7 bowls (whatever metric measure that is).

so, i’m all stocked up for a few months! =D

On this day..