I'm not sure whether or not I mentioned my trade opportunity with a local small farmer but on the off chance that I didn't, here are the Cliff Notes version--Shawn raises chickens and sells them both fresh and smoked. He had put a notice on an email list I'm on saying that he was running out of Food Saver bags so he might not be able to freeze the smoked chickens in vacuum bags. This was before I moved down here so I emailed and asked if he'd like to trade the bags for chicken. He was agreeable--hurray!
Yesterday he delivered half a regular and half a smoked chicken and I handed over the bags. Until the bags are fully "paid" for, I get free chicken. OK, so not exactly Cliff Notes but pretty much as close to that as I get.
When he came to deliver the chicken we got to talking (surprise) and he told me about a grocery store I didn't already know about. She carries things that the other "big" stores don't even carry. She specializes in things us Gringos want that aren't available elsewhere. I went specifically for the ZipLoc bags and ended up with some nice melty cheese for grilled sandwiches, bay leaves, baking soda, AND sweet pickles! I'd been told finding sweet pickles was pretty much impossible. "No one" carries them--even the big new store in a nearby larger town. Well, Monica now carries them and I got some of them. I know, I get excited over the smallest things.
Oh, and I could also be in serious trouble--she has ice cream sandwiches. Fortunately, I only go to a store other than the fresh market quite infrequently.
You know life is quiet when the highlight of my week is finding sweet pickles and ice cream sandwiches.