Day 18 – All about the Brown Rice or Not

19 Jan

So we got back from NJ today evening.The journey took us about an hour and a half door to door and would have been a breeze if we had traveled light. I yet again proved I cannot pack light for a less than 48 hour trip. So we had a massive  suitcase with wheels to drag,a giant car seat back pack, a normal sized bulging back pack , an extremely heavy cloth bag to hang on my arm and a Bandar who decided to sleep through the journey and had to be carried for the train transfer.

Now , one of the major draws of going to NJ for me is the access to cheap Indian groceries . Here is how I have been managing my Indian essential grocery shopping for the last year now:

– I pay premium price for a home delivery of some select groceries through a random Jersey based website. They however, don’t have a huge online catalog of items, so I miss some essentials ( read, Brown Rice!). Plus I have to order for over $ 50 each time. They are also over priced.

– I actually buy a lot of stuff on my trips to Texas. Am  I crazy or what? I spend a lovely 30 minutes on each of work trips, going to same grocery stores I have frequented for 6 years .I drive by our old house to get there, I soak in the memories of the place, browse and buy things of my pre planned shopping list and then pack them in my carry on or free check in ( depending on my domestic airline) and lug back home to NYC. I can’t however use this for heavy stuff (read Brown Rice!)

– My cousin occasionally will drive to visit us from NJ and I will request my rice, atta and heavy stuff to be bought and brought over. But then I am dependent on his trips and they are few and far between ( read, he has got me stuff twice in the last 12 months)

Anyway, this overall  system usually somehow works with a lot of planning and patience and I tend to get what I need usually within a few weeks of needing it. This Jersey trip however was exciting for my little domestic world as I got my hands finally on brown rice – after several months of wanting it. So yesterday at the humongous Indian store, the husbadoo talked me out of buying a 10 pound sack of brown rice saying I was nuts to want to lug it back by train with our other stuff,  So instead I half-heartedly settled for a store sealed plastic bag repacked version – 4  pounds of brown rice.

I glared at the distracted cashier girl who tossed the bag carelessly aside during check out , I inspected the bag to make sure it didn’t have a hole. I carefully packed my brown rice and few other groceries between two layers of clothes in the middle of our suitcase . The massive suitcase was dragged painfully by your truly with zero arm strength during our train transfer on our way home, dragged uphill our Manhattan street to our doorstep and up five floors by the husbadoo. All of this, only to find that of course the bag had split and the plastic bag let more than half the bag of brown rice fall through onto my kitchen floor.:(


I was so tired and frustrated as I cleaned it up. All the effort we had taken to procure this precious-to-me but silly commodity , only to end up losing more than half of it.Sigh!

Anyway no use crying over spilt rice , so here is what I see as our weekend gains ( despite my loss of grains- bad joke, I know)

– My kitchen floor got an unexpected major cleaning as I swept, vaccummed nooks and crannies to get to the brown rice.

– We spent a fun weekend of sorts at my cousin’s place.I bonded immensely with my sister in law who I hadn’t had a chance to know very well yet till now.She is my age and I relate to her better than I relate to my own cousins .  I am rebuilding some sort of friendship or connection with my cousin who may not have been as supportive as he could have been when my relationship with the husbadoo news hit the fan or in other words, reached the extended family. I could have used an elder brother’s support and got it from my two other older cousin brothers but not him, which I was upset about at that time, but have now learned to leave behind and move on. Anyway they are the only family we have close by and are going to be parents to a baby girl soon, so no time like the present to mend unbroken but flimsy bridges.

– We or rather I, got my fill for suburbia to last me a short while,

– They got to see yet again, ( I hope ) why I choose the husbadoo and the amazing man that he is at close quarters.

– I learnt, practiced and perfected my appam making in the appam  pan finally by churning out 140 awesomely shapely, tasty appams for their house warming. Plus I managed most of the cooking for the ceremony well and got some brownie points with the extended fam in India . Never hurts.

So overall I might be short 2 pounds of brown rice, but fīne on other fronts from this weekend.

PS : This post really started off as just about brown rice but I went off on several tangents as you can see.

I also used the words ‘brown rice’ far too many times, but am too lazy to edit. So please excuse the writing,


2 Responses to “Day 18 – All about the Brown Rice or Not”

  1. srividhya January 20, 2015 at 11:48 pm #

    I hv been to NJ and NY but have no clue about prizes and the shop locations. My question my be dumb here.. Why you are getting brown rice from Indian store? The other food chains carry it na. Have you tried walmart online grocery order and door delivery?

    • popgoesthebiscuit January 21, 2015 at 1:36 am #

      Vidhya, I always heard that US grown rice – brown and white has arsenic. Whereas Indian store ones do not. I researched this maybe 1.5 years back when we started making solid food for Bandar. Same with baby rice cereal, which we skipped. Have not read about this recently. But I checked amazon after your comment – for 15 lbs, its 23 bucks. Still cheaper than NYC..2 lbs here is like 9 bucks…NJ grocery stores, I get a decent price..7 bucks for 4 lbs.Cheaper if I buy more in bulk..but hard to carry. I didnt know about walmart grocery delivery…wonder how much shipping they charge..

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