13 Aug 2012

There and back again: a glutton's tale.

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So my Monday food post is proving to be a tragic reminder of all the beautiful food stuffs I have left behind.  I have traded in the warm, sticky plums and perfumed tomatoes of Italy for the cardboardy peaches and manky salad of the UK!  
I think the thing that makes most envious of Italy's food culture is the generosity.  Most people in the region grow at least some of their fruit and veg so whilst some may have a glut of zucchini others struggle with the number of plums or tomatoes crowding their gardens.  In England, if you are lucky enough to know someone who grows vegetables in their garden or allotment, you might see a few runner beans once said gardener has fried, baked, stewed, broiled and generally OD-ed on runner beans.  In Italy it means that you get a knock on your door from someone (who may be a friend or a neighbour or someone entirely unknown who simply heard that you needed some figs) holding a basket filled to the brim with the vibrant bounty of their plot.  You may then choose to respond with your own basket of unwanted produce or simply chat in the doorway for at least an hour.  Food is an incredibly social activity.  
Back here in Wales, new people have just moved in to the flat downstairs and I am keeping my fingers crossed they might knock on my door later having heard that I am running horribly low on Basil.

More realistically, James and I are still continuing with our bid to avoid the supermarkets and it feels that every week is both a little more successful and a little bit easier.  Planning our food requirements ahead of time is really the key factor in achieving success; as we can no longer just nip to the Tesco's on the corner we have to make sure that we are well prepared for the week in order to avoid the 'hungry-cranky-house-syndrome'.  Plus, I love planning food for the week - Sunday afternoons spent perusing cookery books together whilst drinking tea never fails to feel perfect.
This week we have even stepped it up a notch and in light of the continuing campaigns over the price of milk we have included dairy products in the list of banned substances from supermarkets; this week our milk and butter is to be supplied by Riverford Organics.  It does cost more, but then, I guess that is kinda the point...
Hope you all have lovely dinners planned tonight.

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