Shopping for Spatulas

It may or may not surprise you to learn that our first “major” shopping excursion after we landed in Albania was for cooking utensils. I “needed” a new spatula like most people might say they need to get  toilet paper; it’s just not something you would even consider living without.

Our Little Sous wields his new favorite weapon, ready to march into battle against all the eggs and

tomatoes in our new kitchen!


Our own two hands are absolutely, positively, without a doubt the BEST kitchen tools everybody should use more often!

After that, however, I love flexible silicone spatulas. I used to cook eggs and so many other things with hard rectangular spatulas, because that’s what we always did growing up. Now that I have been introduced to another way to scramble, there’s just no going back!

So, after getting settled into our new digs and taking a quick inventory of kitchen utensils and dishware, we headed out to the market to search for this ever-important missing implement.

We wandered through the maze of shops in this mall, gazing with CURIOSITY at the displays of familiar and unfamiliar objects. Clothes in bright colors, shoes, and handbags decorated the front of each business, while signs I couldn’t quite understand seemed to be beckoning me in to their sales.

And then I saw The One. THE shop I’d been seeking. The glorious display of sparkling crystal glassware in the front window silently strung me forward like those cartoon fingers on the end of an aromatic waft. It hooked me under the nose and drew me in; I was powerless to stop it!

I literally sighed with ecstasy as I turned in circles to take in the rows and rows of perfectly placed dishware, standing like soldiers preparing for a dress parade. The seemingly endless rows of shelving in that glorious corner of the mall could be my own personal Disneyland! I could be very happiest cook in town, if only I could come here every day to shop for new toys!!!

Now, our Chef de Partie and I shop very differently. He likes to make a list, follow that list to the letter, and get in and out as quickly as humanly possible. I, on the other hand, prefer to use lists as a guideline, to make sure I don’t forget anything important. I’m perfectly happy to wander up and down market stalls and aisles for hours (yes, literally HOURS), poking and prodding and sniffing and inspecting ingredients while pondering what we could possibly create with each new discovery. Needless to say, we don’t always go shopping together; not for the general, everyday stuff, at least. We want to stay married, after all.

Fortunately for him, I was on a very singular mission on this particular day. We quickly sought the assistance of one of the shop’s staff members to find the right section of the store containing all the hand-held utensils. I grabbed this one and that one off of their hooks, testing the balance and the heft in my hand. We asked Our Little Sous about his preferences, since he’d be using it, too, but he was more interested in the pepper mill that came up to his nose!

Now I have the key tool I need to make our favorite breakfast staple, and quite a few other things, too. We plan to be here in Tirana for a while, so I know I have plenty of time to go back to my favorite candy store. Next time, I’ll go alone and take my time wandering up and down every single aisle, dreaming about all the possibilities!!!

If you want to learn more about how we PLAY with all the wonderful things we find in local markets, join us over in our brand new online group!