all the bay area IGA stores (including the one that was 7 blocks from my house) went out of business recently, so now there are no regular old supermarkets within reasonable walking distance. finding items that are not standard eastern european and/or asian fare proves to be quite a goose chase.
this morning i needed three items to make breakfast: eggs (preferably local and organic); buttermilk (standard); and bacon (preferably deli-style/fresh/thick-cut).
the asian market on my block had none of the above.
the asian/russian/american market a block away had organic sonoma county eggs for $3.49 (not bad). but they only had pre-packaged bacon and old-world-style bulgarian buttermilk (which is made with yogurt cultures instead of cream cultures, making it thicker and more tart — could be good for some baked goods, but i’m not sure about pancakes).
the russian deli a block away had fresh thick-cut bacon (although it cooked up more like really fatty ham, so next time i think i will try another butcher shop a few more blocks away) but again, only bulgarian buttermilk. they do get bonus points for always talking to me in russian, though.
i had to go to the fancy-pants organic food co-op a few blocks away to find regular buttermilk.
it takes commitment to cook american in these parts.