Hunter Gatherer

I was on a quest. The elements may have not been in my favour, and I may have been hindered by an overnight bag, but I was too determined to ignore my journey. The first challenge I had to conquer was how to travel from visiting my sweetheart in Southampton to Winchester. There was snow to deal with, as well as engineering works stopping ALL of the trains. Sigh. I captured a rail replacement bus and my path began.

From the station, I ventured west, following my guide (also known as Ipod Maps). I trudged through the snow, over mountains (slight hills) and through treacherous forests (very pretty public footpaths) and at last, I reached my fated destination.

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The Good Life farm shop. I shall hereby forever more be a frequent visitor. I should have taken more pictures, but my awe of the displays caused forgetfulness. It was perfect. There were walls laden with fruit and vegetables, with labels revealing their origin. There was a huge butcher’s counter with such variety; whole rabbit anyone? I admired the cake and bread displays from afar, but got up close when it came to inspect the store cupboard offerings.

I filled my wicker basket with all kinds of delights, popping my head round to sneak a look at the truly delightful cafe. It looked like an extended country kitchen. Time forbade me from resting there today, but I will report from there at a later date. I headed to the till, praying the total would not exceed the cash I had to hand. This was the kind of middle-of-nowhere area that would not have a lot of ATM machines. My fretting was futile. I almost gasped in surprise at the total. £11.87. Mmm, that’s right. All of this fresh, local, gorgeous food for £11.87.

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Braising steak – £4.54 for 464g

Salad potatoes (loads more in brown bag) – 91p

Cooking onions (more in bag) – 33p

6 pack of Royal Gala apples – £1.99

Yellow pepper (price per weight, not by item) – 67p

Bramley apple (to make apple sauce for porridge topping) – 61p

Baking potato (destined for a curry) – 70p

Carrots (more in bag) – 37p

Garlic (price per weight) – 28p

Two packs of sesame snaps (one didn’t make it home; it was a long walk) 90p

Frozen peas (serve yourself from freezer cabinets, genius idea! Not pictured) – 57p

Now, what you see above should last me the week, but I do already have various cans and such in my cupboards, as well as a couple of leftover dinners in the freezer. But the value of what I bought just further convinces me that supermarkets are a waste of time. I will admit that store cupboard ingredients were a bit pricey (£1.10 for a can of “organic” baked beans), but I am seeking out the fair-trade shop in town to pick up that sort of thing.

I may have chickened out and jumped on a bus once I had found my way back to the station. The walk from the bus stop to my home was the last leg of an epic journey. I had accomplished the quest of gathering goods to feed myself well. I grinned. I do like a good adventure.

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