Supermarket-free Me: Day 21

For all that yesterday’s shopping experiences left me fed up, today’s were the antidote.

My other half is something of an expert when it comes to using the internet and finding things of interest.  During the week he found this little treasure which is a link to a weekly ‘organic and fair trade market’ in the town of Penicuik which is less than 30 minutes away from our home by car.  The site lists numerous types of food that are sold at wholesale prices and are brought in by local food producers.  We got quite excited at the thought of finding something new and different so decided to forgo the Farmers Market in a nearby town and visit this place at Valleyfield House instead.  We dug out the rucksacks (we are learning that life outside of supermarkets is generally trolley-free!), ready to do a big shop, got the kids organised for the car journey and off we went.

Sure enough, after a while, we pulled up outside a beautiful house.  We were surprised to find we could park right at the door (where were the crowds?) and went in only to discover that we were in a small hallway of a private house.  True to its word however right there in the hall was a tiny wholesale market!  Shelves and tables were holding bread, fruit, juices and indeed much of what we were expecting, just on a much much smaller scale. When we needed to pass someone else, everyone had to breathe in but we were warmly welcomed by the hosts who were charming and chatted easily to the children.  We abandoned the idea of being able to do anything like a weekly shop but happily picked up some things and headed home.  One child declared it to be the best shop  ever – indeed it was just like the ‘shops’ they set up to play with in our own home…

This afternoon I set about the task of finding the mozzarella cheese and soya mince that I still need for my recipes from yesterday’s shopping list.  I phoned a shop that I thought might stock them but to no avail.  In my better mood today, it seems almost comical to be contacting shops a few miles away when I could have walked five minutes to the supermarket to pick up them up…

With it being a Saturday, I decided to delegate my child care duties and enjoy my hunt for the items.  I went to an area of Edinburgh which I used to shop in all the time but haven’t properly spent time in for about twelve years. South Clerk Street in Newington is overlooked by Edinburgh’s famous Arthur’s Seat and is a main route for students walking between the well-known Pollock Halls of residence and Edinburgh University’s George Square campus.  It’s packed with quirky small independent shops and for anyone who enjoys shopping, I suspect you will feel your mood lift on approach.

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I had to pay for parking but I found a meter easily and went for a wander.  I discovered Peckhams which is a delicatessen with a café.  It is a small chain of shops in Scotland but the South Clerk Street branch is the last remaining in Edinburgh.  I had the time to browse and actually, the experience was similar to what I described yesterday in my ‘Sliding Doors’ fantasy.  I was able to fully appreciate the products and the new brands that I don’t recognise from the supermarket and I even managed to sit down and enjoy a coffee.  They had the soya mince but I had to go for smoked mozzarella.  It was a thoroughly pleasant experience but the prices were high and if you consider that I was paying for parking, it is definitely only a child-free treat, not to be relied on as part of my weekly shop.

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I’m going to have to look for some new recipes with easy to find (and inexpensive) ingredients…


4 thoughts on “Supermarket-free Me: Day 21

  1. Pingback: Weekly round up | Sunday 30 March 2013 | Edinburgh blogs |

  2. Pingback: Supermarket-free Me: Shopping Local | westywrites

  3. Pingback: My 100th blog post | westywrites

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