Buying locally

And by that I mean my local supermarket, not the green fields of the apple-cheeked farmer.

Every two or three weeks I go to a big Sainsbury´s and fill a cart to teetering point with everything from nappies to canned tomatoes to barley cous cous and white miso and tubs of ice cream.

But I have a fridge the size of a Kelly bag, and can´t stock up on a lot of fresh produce, so every other day sees me trudging up to the Co-op for milk, or eggs, or salad or bread.

The Co-op is small and more expensive, but it´s right here.

And that´s how I´ve devised the new market-driven cuisine for the suburban north pole housewife. You can´t do that thing of "choose what looks good", because everything looks the same. The bright lights and the plastic in a supermarket make it almost impossible to tell. Instead, I buy almost everything that has a "reduced to clear" sticker.

This may seem extreme, but isn´t, really.

I find that fruit becomes edible about three or four days after its sell by date. Salad may be a little wonky and so I might avoid it, but root vegetables, cabbage, broccoli and tomatoes,? Perfectly fine, thank you.

My haul yesterday: a bag of watercress, two boxes of huge mushrooms, a bag of "british stew vegetables", two basil plants, a packet of courgettes and a bag of apples.

The basil was quickly whizzed into a pesto and frozen in little cubes. Half the watercress was put into some dumplings that disintegrated into a pot of chicken soup but were still delicious. The apples became applesauce for Pepe. The stew vegetables I guess will go into a stew at some point, but they´ll keep for a few days. The mushrooms I will bake with garlic butter, and the courgettes will probably end up in a pisto of some sort.

That´s not a bad lot. Complemented with the freezer and the store cupboard, I could feed us all through the week without leaving the house.

Except that I´m running out of milk already.

6 comentarios:

Anónimo dijo...

That sounds like a good strategy. What stew vegetables did you get? This winter (in Australia) we roasted turnips, swedes and kohlrabi and really enjoyed them - they're especially good roasted in duck fat.

Have you posted your recipe for applesauce before? Our baby is due next April, and I'm starting to collect recipes (even though I won't need them for another year, I know).

lobstersquad dijo...

hi P&B: I think it was carrot parsnip onion and swede.
Must get me some duck fat, clearly.
Big congrats on your baby!
I just peel apples and put them in a pan with a bit of water, cover them and leave to cook down into mush.
I´m thinking of doing another baby food post soon, I hope that will be helpful.

Anónimo dijo...

weird supermarket you have. Here most things have gone off and started to rot a day or so BEFORE the sell by date (especially fresh goods, not talking canned).

As a result I never buy anything that's not at least 2-3 days before the sell by date, and try to make sure it's all used before the date too.

lobstersquad dijo...

Yes, well, I live in the copuntry that writesmon sesame oil bottles "may contain" sesame. Totally paranoid with health and safety

Anónimo dijo...

Thanks! I think parsnip, onion, carrot and swede would be vastly improved if roasted under some duck legs - I hope they're easy to find where you are. The fat is enough to do several trays of vegetables, and it keeps really well in the fridge.

Steph dijo...

I used to live somewhere like this - it really is a nightmare! Now moved to a city with a market where I can buy fresh, rip fruit and a vast selection of veg. Used to seriously worry I would get scurvy before moving ;-) Oh, and FRESH FISH!!!