Lidl supermarket, an international chain, has been in Larnaka for ten years this month. When we first visited, lured by some enticing advertising, we weren't all that impressed. By that stage we had got into the habit of doing one major grocery shop per month, at Metro, and in between times I would pop to the local discount shop, or the fruit shop. And it was clear that while Lidl had some products at excellent prices, the range was too limited for our regular needs.
However, in the past ten years we've been there quite a few times. Their advertising brochures arrive most weeks on Saturday, and while I throw most junk mail straight into the paper recycling, we usually browse the Lidl one. Richard has bought some inexpensive and reasonable quality tools there, and we've bought a few appliances, too, when they're on offer.
We like their coffee beans, although we haven't been able to find any for some months now. And there's the biggest problem: we understand that the 'special offer' products, often connected with a specific country or culture, are only available for a short period. But they also have regular products, which are sometimes there, sometimes not. They always have some basics - sugar, white flour, toilet paper etc - but there's no guarantee of any particular brand, nor of some products.
This week's catalogue showed some silicon muffin pans, something I'd been thinking about for a while. I have plenty of small cake tins, but sometimes I want to make bigger cakes, the ones generally referred to as muffins (or American muffins, as the muffins I grew up with, known as 'English muffins' in America, are rather different). These muffins pans weren't going to be available until Thursday, so we knew from previous experience that we needed to go first thing on Thursday to have any chance of buying any.
Of course 'first thing' is actually mid-morning now, since we're under 65 and in good health, so we can't go to shops before 10am. But shortly after that hour, we headed to Lidl, armed with a short shopping list of things we would be running out of in the next few weeks, and which we have previously bought there.
I was pleased to find that there were still plenty of muffin pans, albeit at the bottom of a box with various other silicon cookware. We pondered buying four, but decided that two would be sufficient; it's not as if I make muffins all that often. I just like to have the option.