I had no idea I was going to write that. Blogging is surprising, don’t you think?
We had herrings for supper. I gutted them, saving the roes (one hard, one soft), bashed them on the backbone to flatten, dipped them in oatmeal and fried them in butter and oil, adding the roes at the last. I wasn’t sure what to serve with them, but ended up with a sweetish wholegrain mustard which worked well. I fried potatoes, cooked French beans, which were the last from a local grower – there was a sharp frost last night, he picked them just in time – and served some of the last of our tomatoes which were a bit random but delicious. Very much an end-of-summer feel to the veg.
And there will be a winter feel to the next day or two. I’ve bought leeks and parsnips and a cauliflower. The price of caulis has gone up because of the cold, but I know that Tim isn’t profiteering, but rather that he’ll have dropped his profit margin. In a box of ten or a dozen, he’ll break even on the second to last and make any money on the final one. Anything thrown out constitutes a solid loss. If you don’t shop locally, bear in mind that the small shopkeeper has no buying power. He pays what the wholesaler charges. The big supermarket cuts out the wholesaler, buys direct from the farm and sends back what isn’t sold. There’s no risk, yet many supermarket prices are as high or higher than your local greengrocer’s or butcher’s or fishmonger’s, if you’re lucky enough to have any of those. I’d rather go without something else than not shop locally, though I used a big supermarket too when my children were young and I had to shop for five every week. I still used the local greengrocer, butcher and fishmonger, though, because they were much better value, and I still supported the village shop, though few did and it finally closed. Now it’s just the Sage and me, I use small independent grocers or the Co-op where they employ many High School students in the evenings and weekends. And yet, I understand well that many people can’t afford the luxury of not shopping around. As I say, I’ve gone for the cheap option too, it’s buying smaller that gives me choice.
I’m feeling strangely intense this evening, darlings. Probably it’s because I haven’t finished work, so am still on duty as it were. But also, and unusually, I had a good night’s sleep. I woke four times I think, but I wasn’t awake more than ten minutes each time, and that’s such a rarity that I feel as if I slept the clock round.