When I lived in London my friends and I would spend Saturday mornings (not too early!) perusing the local organic farmers market. What a lovely luxury in the middle of East London! We were also fortunate enough to live on a bus line that stopped practically at the end of the street and went all the way to the stunning, bustling and tres chic Borough Market. I was spoiled for choice and my head was constantly bursting with ideas for seasonal dishes and experiments. Relocating to a large county town has somewhat taken away that choice for me. My new home town has a decent covered market where we can pass an eye over the goods at the butcher, fish monger and the corner vegetable stalls. They pale in comparison to the availability of quality farmers markets and covered markets in the big bad city where I was spoiled for choice.
I have had to get over my big city snobbery and embrace everything that my new home has to offer. I have always tried to support my local producers, when I lived with my parents in Canada the superior quality of meat from the market and provincially grown fruits and vegetables was made evident to my impressionable mind. I remember with fondness early morning trips to the market with my father to choose the roast for Sunday's lunch, stopping at Paddington's cafe for a backbacon in a bun morning treat and the quick trek through the cheeses and vegetables to collect the few things my mother would request. My father's get-in, get-out attitude hasn't rubbed off on me, thank god...I can spend hours exploring the markets and food shops, just taking it all in.
Support for local farmers and producers is very important now, as ever. Thankfully David has grown out of his student-living lifestyle and has become locally-conscious. After some research and looking at our budget we have decided that there was at least one area in which we could, without overspending, give support. And so Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday morning I awaken to the feint clink of glass bottles outside our door when the milkman delivers our pints. It is somewhat soothing and at the same time exciting to hear him as he opens the gate. Milk in bottles is something that only few of my generation know of, and for those of us who grew up in North America it is the thing of story books and old movies. Not only does having milk delivered make me feel socially conscious in terms of supporting my local dairy, but it also lessens our household waste as we return our bottles, and brings a bit of nostalgia to my tea every morning. Budget-wise, the cost isn't much more than we would be spending each week on milk from the supermarket and I rarely find myself pouring sour milk down the drain.
If you haven't considered this service I urge you to look into it, perhaps for a family or four it seems unfeasible, but these days the milk man delivers more than just milk...it might be worth it! siigh
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