cookbook cover

We Midwesterners aren’t traditionally known for our use of vegetable matter.

Those readers who know me best may have heard me express some concerns regarding the dairy situation in Tanzania. Would there be cheese? If yes, would it be good cheese? Would it be enough cheese? And what about the butter? Would it be real, non-margarine, glorious butter?? After all, I didn’t print a cookbook of favorite family recipes titled, “Entertaining with Dairy and Carbs” for my health. We’re not screwing around here people. (I may have made some inquiries prior to our departure about acquiring a 22-pound wheel of cheddar to carry-on… but ultimately prioritized my child’s books & toys. #motheroftheyear)


Well, you will all be delighted to learn: things have already exceeded my expectations. FIRST – we arrived at our new house Wednesday night to discover this awaiting us on the counter, courtesy our kind & talented sponsors:


Nothing says “Midwestern welcome” like arriving home to this warm, cheesy-and-meaty pasta casserole.

THEN we opened the fridge to discover these gems awaiting us in a drawer:

dairy products

Irish cheddar and European butter? Sold.

AND FINALLY – another colleague of John’s took us to the Food Lovers grocery store today (which he likened to the Whole Foods of Tanzania), and we encountered an entire case of cheesy delights.

grocery store cheese case

Looks like we’ll find some way to maintain our calcium & milk fat intake levels… Though the prices do reflect the fact that this is not what the locals are eating…

In fact, the whole store didn’t really jive at all with the multiple, “You know you’re moving to a third world country, right?” conversations I’ve had over the last few months… If there was any doubt that we’ll be living in a the proverbial expat bubble while in Dar, please see photo below for confirmation:

grocery store

Our first grocery store experience in Dar es Salaam – “Food Lovers”

Paige seemed to be most excited when she spotted the “cat toilet paper”, as she termed it. I include this photo largely to educate the BJ’s Wholesale Club checkout worker who, upon learning I was buying mayo in bulk because I was headed to Tanzania, informed me, “You had better bring A LOT of toilet paper unless you like wiping with leaves.”

cat toilet paper

The preferred choice of 4 out of 5 African housecats.

I’m seeing the first potential flaw in the diet plan I had carefully mapped out called, “Lose Weight By Moving to a Country Where the Heat & Humidity Reduce Your Appetite and Where They Don’t Have Any Cheese.” For any of my former coworkers reading this, know that I will be securing that website domain just as soon as I purchase – my other brilliant get-rich-quick scheme where I will coach people on how to lose weight & save money at work by being too busy to eat lunch & only eating your company-provided free cheddar Goldfish. Trust me, there’s A LOT of additional strategy beyond that sentence. 😉