Ceeb veggie stand

As a SAHMWJSBATW (that’s ‘stay-at-home-mom-who-just-started-back-to-work’), I find myself spending a lot of time and energy trying to simplify the acquisition of food for us. It can easily take a full day each week.

First, I go to a couple grocery stores for meats, cheeses, frozen veggies, pantry items… I sometimes go to one of the after-school markets for peanut butter, honey or whole wheat flour. (Or I might splurge on bagels or tortillas!) Then I go to a fruit stand and a veggie stand in our neighborhood. Once I get home, I soak the the produce in bleach water and sift the flour for crawlies before making our bread for the week. (That last one is a personal preference. But killing off bugs is a requirement.)

So anytime I find a shortcut, I take it. Today, I found a great one.

Toubab stand

There are fruit & veggie stands all over Dakar. Some so-called ‘ceeb veggie stands’ just sell the basic ingredients for making ceebu jen: short piles of cabbage, carrots, eggplant, hot peppers… Other ‘toubab stands’ sell a wide variety of local and imported produce. Right now we are in the peak season, so the veggie stands have sweet corn, cherry tomatoes, green beans. The nearby fruit stands are filling up with small, sweet melons, papayas and strawberries. I love this time of year.

What I didn’t love was the walk to the stands followed by hauling the week’s goods back to the apartment and up the four flights of stairs with Pape strapped to me. Oof.

But then I found out that there’s a fruit & vendor who will drive to your house and sell from the trunk of her aging white station wagon. Perfect. I called her earlier this week and her husband (the station wagon driver) said they sell in our neighborhood twice a week. Perfecter!

Today’s “parking lot harvest”

So today, from the convenience of the parking lot below, I bought corn, eggplant, tomatoes, cilantro, garlic, bell pepper, zucchini, pears, melons and limes. Grocery shopping just got about 25% easier!