Thankfully, the weather hasn’t been as hot or humid here this week! I was pretty sure I was actually going to melt last week. And of course, it was one of those weeks when we had to be out and about running around doing lots of stuff in the heat too. Ugh! Hopefully, everyone else is enjoying their summer though because I feel like I’ve barely had one but it’s already the end of July. I’m going to need to pack a lot of summery fun into August, I think.
Don’t forget that there are two new Costco locations, possibly one near you, that opened this week: New Brunswick, New Jersey and Guelph, Ontario, Canada.
Micéli Anchovies in Marinade – These are not at all like the usual anchovies you get in olive oil and definitely not like the ones in salty brine. They aren’t at all fishy tasting and don’t seem to have that not great (I might say “tough and rubbery” if I were being unkind) texture that you can sometimes get with the anchovies in jars or tins. The marinade is made from sunflower oil, vinegar, salt, and citric acid and doesn’t really impart too strong a flavour to the fish at all, you can taste it a bit but it isn’t overly vinegary so it’s a mild flavour if any. The anchovies really just have a nice fresh taste and the texture is really soft and lovely. They are delicious! You can see the white colour of the anchovies and from that you can tell that these anchovies have been placed in the marinade when fresh, and were not cured; cured anchovies have the dark colouring. These fresh anchovies avoid the really strong flavour that you might usually associate with anchovies, and also the overly firm texture too. If you’re not a fan of anchovies normally because of that strong fishy taste and unpleasant texture, then you should give these a try because these have stayed nice and fresh, as well as soft, in their marinade. The texture and fresh taste make these anchovies the perfect choice to add to salads or pasta or other fresh dishes. We love them on salads with a little squeeze of lemon juice and not much else even. The good thing is that when you have your own big container of them, you don’t have to be anywhere near as stingy as they are in restaurants where they serve you a salad with two or three little anchovy filets and act like they’re doing you a favour. Plus, of course, these are fresh so they taste better on your salad too. The only thing that might be undesirable to some people is that they leave the skin on, but you can’t even tell at all when you are eating them because it is very soft and just melts into the fish. The great thing about these is that you can get all of the great health benefits of anchovies, without overloading on salt. Anchovies are great sources of iron, Omega-3s, protein, B vitamins, and all of that while being low in calories. If you’re going to get fresh anchovies like this, then Costco is definitely the place to go because a 200 gram package of similar fresh marinated anchovies is someplace between £3.50 – £4.00 and that’s not even half the size of the container at Costco but the cost is almost as much. We love these and pick them up pretty much every time we go to Costco now. I think we’re on our third container of them already because they are so delicious and perfect for summer salads. 500 grams for £4.19 (US: $7.56). Item #: 0091475.
Pink Lady Apples – We buy a fair amount of our fresh fruit and vegetables at Costco. I find that they have good prices and quality that is certainly on par with the best supermarkets. Then there are some fresh items, where the quality is way better than the local supermarket; these apples were certainly in that category. Recently, I had gotten the same type of apples from Ocado, my grocery delivery people, and they were tasty but tiny. And by tiny I really do mean child sized and to get the baby apples we paid £3.00. So, I definitely feel that the real sized apples at Costco, which are £0.61 less, are a much better deal. The apples at Costco are also packaged in a tray so that keeps them from banging against each other and getting bruised and turned into applesauce. We actually didn’t have a bruise on any of our apples that we got from Costco and they will last quite a while, if you don’t eat them all quickly because they are so good. Dave really prefers the very tart green apples, so the pink lady variety is a bit of a compromise for us because it is sweet enough for me but not so sweet that Dave won’t enjoy them too. They’re like the perfect apples to me, like ones you would actually grow if you had your own apple tree. This is one of the few things at Costco that I wish came in a larger pack. I would like nine apples at a time (yes, I know, I can just buy two trays of them and have a couple extra) and they’re not going to go bad so quickly that the bigger size is a worry. If apples aren’t your fruit of choice, you should check out the awesome looking berries (strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries) that they have this time of year because they are beautiful and delicious. Or maybe the pears, because they are also great looking and tasting. 6 apples for £2.39 (US: $4.31). Item #: 0000236.
Slow+Low Pulled Pork with BBQ Sauce – I will say right up front, this was way better than either Dave or I were expecting. I figured it would be more fatty than not and that the included sauce would be sickly sweet. We’ve just not had good luck with this type of thing before. I will say that if you are looking for something that will be ready to eat in just a couple of minutes and with no real involvement from you, this is probably not the product for you. Basically what you get is a pork shoulder joint in a sealed plastic bag that you need to heat and shred. The pork shoulder has a smoky rub on it made from spices like paprika, cayenne, onion powder, and salt and pepper. In the bag the piece of pork doesn’t look that big in size, but once you shred it you realize that there’s actually quite a bit of meat there. They claim six servings but I think four decent sandwiches is probably more realistic. You can either cook your pork in the oven for 80 minutes or in the microwave for 18 to 20; we chose the microwave. So, we did have to do some “work” by taking it out mid-way through its time in the microwave to shake it about a bit but nothing too demanding. The real involvement comes from having to shred the pork yourself. But luckily, this doesn’t take that long as the pork is so tender and juicy that it just falls apart with a bit of double fork action. We debated about putting the included BBQ sauce on the meat because I really have a hate of sweet BBQ sauces which is usually what you get in things like this. So, we did a little taste test before we put it on and I was impressed with how tempered the sweetness was, so we went ahead and added it. Once on the meat, the sauce gave it a really nicely balanced smoky and sweet flavour that did a nice job of enhancing the pork. We served ours on buns and it was actually pretty great. It was a nice taste of the US for us expats. It was also a really good meal for a warm summer night because we didn’t really have to get the house hot with the oven being on either. Plus, if you serve this with some coleslaw, or the healthier choice of a salad, it’s even more summer appropriate. And of course, top it off with an accompanying glass of the super good Kirkland Signature Organic Lemonade. 960 grams for £6.99 (US: $12.61). Item #: 0168669.
Fila Men’s Running Trainers – Dave and I workout in the house, with our Wii (more strenuous than it sounds I’m sure), so we need shoes that we just wear inside and we also try to replace them frequently enough that we don’t end up having foot or joint issues as a result of shoes that no longer have good support. But trainers are expensive! So it is nice when Costco has a pair of inexpensive shoes that still offer support and a decent sole. This is one of the things I appreciate about Costco, there are just certain items that they will always have in stock, and sneakers are one of those things. Well, at least for men. Granted, when we have been looking it’s for something to either just wear in general or for some kind of basic athletic pursuit like walking or cross training, we’re not talking about shoes for running marathons or anything like that. It probably also helps that we are old enough to not really care what brand or even what colour they are. But really, where can you get a decently made, name-brand athletic shoe for just less than £20.00? Really nowhere in the UK it seems. Dave’s new shoes wouldn’t be his pick for colour or probably not even the brand. However, they work well for his indoor workout with decent support across the foot and the sole gives enough cushion to make running on a hard wood floor more comfortable. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to carry athletic shoes for women at our Costco very often. I had to buy my most recent pair from Amazon and they were £60.00 and aren’t anything special, actually I’m not even sure their insole is as nice as Dave’s £13.00 pair of trainers. Honestly, it killed me to have to pay so much but my other ones were shot and I couldn’t wait any longer for Costco to get some shoes for women. Obviously, I’d have much preferred a pair for £20.00 at Costco. Because of the low prices at Costco, you can actually replace them every 6 months or so and not be so bitter about it; if you exercise a lot you should do this for good foot health. Our only trouble buying shoes at Costco for Dave is that his foot is a fairly substantial size 13, so sometimes it is hard to find his size. I think we had to dig through quite a few boxes this time to find his size, but for that kind of savings, it was totally worth the extra time and effort. £12.99 (US: $23.44). Item #: 0781364.