Another weekend is over, and as usual we spent it searching.. for marzipan, for cheap but nice bookshelves, for Wal-Mart (AGAIN! couldn’t remember where we found it last time), for a Costco (we knew that there was supposed to be one closer to San Juan than the one in Caguas), for nice frames for framing a few posters (our walls are still so bare)… We are like Pippi Longstocking and her two friends Tommy and Annika – they go hunting for things (sakletare) in one of the books but the difference is that they actually find what they are looking for!
The marzipan was a real quest; I had been told that it might be sold as almond paste (mandelmassa, which is really what I wanted) (thanks Annika!) but it didn’t help us much (except that O translated it to pasta de almendras in Spanish). We couldn’t find it in Costco (when we eventually had found the branch in Bayamón!), so while we were having lunch in the Costco café, O asked two local women sitting next to us – they were very friendly and helpful – but the best thing was that they thought that I was Puerto Rican!! Ha ha, both O and I were a little confused – was it my accent when I spoke Spanish or my looks?? I told them that no, I am studying Spanish (in Spanish) and they replied, oh, you know Spanish well enough… It was all very flattering but I only did say 3 or 4 sentences in Spanish.
Leaving Costco, we got completely drenched from a sudden downpour, but we continued our search for marzipan in the local supermarket chain Amigo, no such luck but we found the spices we were looking for (chilli & cayenne pepper). Then we thought that we might try Wal-Mart, as we had already found some odd products such as gluten-free pasta in that supermarket. However, we didn’t want to drive all the way to Caguas so we attempted to find the Wal-Mart in Bayamón… Easier said than done – it is not close to the Costco, of course! Once we had found this branch, it turned out that they don’t carry a lot of food, so no marzipan. Nevertheless, we got the best tip of the day: a shop specialised in bakery!! Yes, we finally found what we were looking for, even if we had to pay expensive $6 for 8 oz*.
So, why this desperate search for marzipan? Well, tomorrow it is Shrove Tuesday / Fettisdagen / Mardi gras / martes de carnaval, and I wanted to make fastlagsbullar / semlor, traditional Swedish cream buns with a marzipan filling, eaten before (and during, we are not so picky!) Lent. It wouldn’t be the same without the marzipan / almond paste, but now I have it and hopefully I will be able to post a nice photo of the buns tomorrow!
Yesterday, we continued our weekend search for bookshelves** and frames – back to Wal-Mart as we now know where it is 😉 but the frames were too cheap-looking, Home Depot didn’t have any frames but it took us asking five different members of the staff to find this out (they sent us in every direction possible in the shop!), in Bed, Bath & Beyond the frames were too small and this is where our hunt for the day ended… we were exhausted, frustrated and bored!
There is nothing more irritating than spending your weekends looking for simple stuff that you take for granted to find – oh, how we miss IKEA!!! (I think that they even sell almond paste in IKEA in Brussels)
Anyway, it is a new week, and our new visitors P & M arrived yesterday evening. Lots of fun activities planned and I promise to add some photos to my posts during the week!
*) El Mundo de la Repostería in Bayamón, heaven for someone who wants to bake in this country!
**) We have given up on the bookshelves for now… The books will stay in their boxes in the wardrobes.