The Old Ways of Butchers and Bakers

When you go grocery shopping do you go to the supermarket for your basics then on to the butcher for meat, the baker for bread etc.? Or do you just do all your shopping at the supermarket?

It’s such a nice idea to support your local butcher and baker and go to them but in reality it’s just so convenient to do it all in one stop. My heart sinks when I see articles like this about a local butcher in Perth just not getting enough business to stay alive, or walk into a shopping centre and see the fruit and veg shop which has been there as long as you can remember, all closed down.

At the shopping centre close to me there is a Leonards (chicken), a very gourmet looking butcher, a bakers delight and a Coles. I’ve bought from Leonards once (Christmas time for a turkey), the rest of the times I go straight to Coles. What a missed opportunity! Is it really that much harder to go to the butcher aswell? We used to, before Coles and Woolworths got all speccy with their bakeries and butchers.

I am happy with my weekly (best case scenario) trip to the farmers market in Kalamunda for my fruit and veg because I know I’m supporting local farmers and getting the best stuff! We really do notice the difference when I don’t go. But I understand how its difficult to even do that, I go so often because its time when Mum and I have together each week, a major added benefit for making the trip.

I know, very well, that I get a much better product if I go to the market or a specialty shop, to the people to which their product is their art. You can ask for what you want also, butchers can make up a rolled roast or the exact type of steak you like, and can help when you don’t know which cut to use for a particular dish.

Think of how wonderful and inspiring our shopping centres would be if we all went to that little bit more effort. Perhaps the standard Bakers Delight and Leonards franchise stores would be accompanied by a marketplace of locally run butchers, preserves, bread, cakes, and fruit and veg.

It’s not likely to happen if we just say that we should. Shopping centres and local businesses need to think of ways to make it easier. Local butchers could offer online shopping and delivery, a company could gather all the local producers together and offer an online service which collects the things you want from different producers for you.

Shopping centres could have a card which you pick up on the way in the shops, you swipe it as you shop and then pay for all your items from all the different places in one transaction. I would love that!

Do you have a butcher or baker who you go to all the time? A baker who greets you by name and hands you your usual sourdough freeform rye loaf cut extra extra thick, without you even saying a word? A butcher who knows that thursday night is lamb chop night at your place? or am I dreaming of a decade ago? Is our laziness and adoration of convenience getting the better of us?


The Angry Almond – Home Made Cereal

The Angry Almond, nestled in the very back of the Subiaco Markets, is the go-to place for well priced by-weight beans, nuts, herbs, spices, grains, teas, dried fruit, berries, snacks.. I don’t know what it is about these shops with all the barrels of things and scoops, its just nice. Similar to Kakulas brothers/sisters in Fremantle and Northbridge but a bit simpler and without the drool inducing cheese display.

Since discovering this place (guided by my wonderful friend Vik) I have revolutionized my breakfast ritual and at the same time significantly decreased the amount of plastic/packaging I bring into the house (probably saved some $ too!)

Recipe: DIY Cereal/Muesli

1. Start with your grain/fibre base. My favourites are bran flakes, puffed quinoa and corn flakes. The quinoa is really nice as its much better for you than puffed rice and has a great flavour. Never tried quinoa before? Well you definitely should, either like this or cooked up (buy the non puffed version) with a bit of chicken stock. A bit of background sourced from the ever reliable Wikipedia;  “Quinoa was of great nutritional importance in pre-Columbian Andean civilizations, secondary only to the potato, and was followed in importance by maize. In contemporary times, this crop has become highly appreciated for its nutritional value, as its protein content is very high (14% by mass), yet not as high as most beans and legumes. Nutritional evaluations of quinoa indicate that it is a source of complete protein.[14][15] Furthermore, it is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. Quinoa is also a source of calcium, and thus is useful for vegans and those who are lactose intolerant.[16][17] Quinoa is gluten-free and considered easy to digest. Because of all these characteristics, quinoa is being considered a possible crop in NASA’s Controlled Ecological Life Support System for long-duration human occupied spaceflights.[18]” 

2. Add dried fruits of your choice. I try to go easy on the ratio of fruit to grains because of the sugar content but its nice to have a mix. I pick from dried cranberries, apricots, sultanas, banana, pineapple, paw paw etc. Favourite combo so far is cranberries, apricots (turkish, chopped up) and sultanas.

3. Cook up some crunchy granola. Melt two table spoons of either butter, coconut oil or olive oil (or combination of those), add a good glug of golden syrup, a bit of vanilla extract and some cinnamon (good for boosting your metabolism). Pour in about half a kilo of flat oats (not instant) and mix until its all coated. Put it in the oven at about 180 degrees C until they are slightly brown. They won’t be hard when you take them out of the oven, its the sugar crystallising as it cools that causes that. Once cool break them up into chunks and pop into the cereal mix.

4. Mix it around as much as you can and then store it in a sealed container. I have mine with Greek or natural yoghurt and a dab of honey if it needs it. You can have it with milk but it gets soggy quick, just like corn flakes ordinarily do, so eat fast!

Needless to say, I love it. First time I remember being excited about my weekday breakfast. I don’t add any nuts or seeds because I really just don’t like them. Any add-ins you think would make it even better?

DIY present wrapping station box.



Weekend project: DIY present wrapping station box.

I’ve had a few pressies to wrap recently and having just moved house found that it was a bit of a nightmare because I had no paper, ribbons, sticky tape etc and of course I left it til the last minute.
So this weekend I headed to kmart, picked up a plastic tub which had wheels, was shallow enough to fit under the bed and long enough to fit a tube of wrapping paper ($16). Then filled it with wrapping paraphernalia.
Easy! My future self is already thanking me for my foresight.