La Tortilleria Tortillas : A shameless (unpaid) plug

As a consumer I try to shop wisely. We don’t have a lot of money in our grocery budget but I also think it’s incredibly important to make ethical decisions and support local businesses. How food is produced matters more to me than how much it costs – and if it’s too expensive I’ll just buy it when it’s heavily discounted and put it in the deep freeze (I’m looking at you organic, grass fed and finished beef and lamb,  organic chicken and sustainably caught fish!), purchase less of it or figure out how to make it myself.

When Mr Incredible was diagnosed as being allergic to wheat though, our grocery bill shot through the roof. So many things I’d done to save a penny here and there were negated with one diagnosis. Sure, we could continue to bake our own bread but a wheat free loaf costs both a lot to make and a lot to buy – especially if you care about taste, texture and ingredients. One of the biggest shocks I got was just how disgusting some of the ingredients that make up mainstream GF food are. I have a habit of reading labels and the amount of times I couldn’t bring myself to buy a GF item are without count… Mr Incredible just missed out 😦

One of the items that’s been difficult for us is wraps. We really like burritos and my mince base usually does us for two meals – burritos one night and Mexican potatoes the next. (It’s here that I should also apologise to my North American readers – we do Mexican a lot less traditionally here most of the time and what I serve up as burritos might be unrecognisable to you!) Regardless, it’s one of those meals were we purchase two different types of wraps. Wheat based and freshly made for us – preservative laden for Mr Incredible who asked me to make an exception on the ingredient rule for this dinner. Which is why, when I came across a demonstration by La Tortillieria in our local grocer the other day I purchased three packs of their incredibly delicious, traditionally made wraps. We’ve gone from these ingredients:

  • Whole Ground Corn treated with lime (54%), Water, Preservative (282, 202), Food Acid (297), Thickener (412, 466), Enzyme (1100)

To these:

  • Corn & Sea Salt

If you’re in Australia and looking for a better option, do yourself a favour and check them out. I do realise they’re probably rather easy to make yourself… but when you can buy them this good I have so much less incentive.

*This blog is unpaid and with no incentive other than hoping enough people buy the product so that it will stay on shelves and I can continue to.

I love my library… and my local bookshop

Seriously, I love my local bookshop. An independent seller that serves great coffee and has a fabulous selection with knowledgeable staff plus funky gifts. I visit, on average, twice a week… the baristas know me by name and they make the best coffee in the shopping centre (mall). While I’m there I’ll often browse the shelves and if there’s a book I want to buy, I’ll buy it there. The coffee shop is an incentive for my kids who join me for grocery/market/other shopping. If it all goes well then, as a treat, they get “cold milk in a take-a-way cup” and I get a coffee. If it all goes pear shaped, I get a large coffee 😉

Recently though, I got up the courage to pay my library fine (as an aside, does anyone else have mental blocks about issues? They stay inside my mind until I get the courage to share / conquer them and then I wonder why I’d made it into such a big thing). I’d made my library fine into a mountain of unscalable proportions and was pleasantly surprised when I finally ventured into pay it (and reinstate my library membership) that it was not nearly as expensive a bill as I’d led myself to believe. $20. $20 had stopped me from borrowing books and tempted me to buy them instead. How utterly dense of me.

books.jpg

I walked out with this pile of books. If they’re really good I’ll put them on my “wish list” and if they’re not I’ll stop eyeing them off in the bookstore. The two can work hand in hand – I can still support my ‘local’ and use our money wisely. In the meantime, Mr Incredible can chuckle at my bedtime reading.