Off to Peebles last weekend to see my parents – and go to part of Peebles’ second ever autumn food fair. Not quite the highlight of the social calendar that the spring book fair is, but a good enough excuse to go and support a local event.
What I hadn’t quite bargained on was that there would be quite so much emphasis on meat. Fair enough in some ways, given that there’s farms around, proper butchers and the like. But if you were a veggie and/or had problems seeing meat, you would probably have had to avert your eyes for about a third of the stands…
Other friends have done the farm shop thing, and shared out half animals, that kind of thing. I must admit I thought it would hard to fit e.g. half a lamb in a freezer – and which end would you get? But then we saw what that looked like, which was certainly a lot of meat.
We’re even thinking about splitting a half lamb order with my parents to make it a bit more affordable (at least, spending money on meat rather than a second freezer). Except I have to eat some more brambles first. Or maybe make rather a lot of risotto to clear out some stock. Etc.
It’s all nice and green and Guardian reading of me to want to get local produce – which I do. And help farms in Scotland keep going – which I do. But then I see the prices of the food and baulk a bit. Even the veg boxes are more than I’m prepared to spend, it seems, which is a shame for one who really likes fruit and veg.
So, as ever, we bought little things – though this does allow me to plug the Chocolate Tree, based (I think) in Gifford, East Lothian. Not only do they do the dark chocolate with interesting flavours thang, they also do a proper Nutella alternative. They even boast that you’ll never go back to Nutella after you’ve tried it.
Now the difficulty is whether to open the jar – and fulfil their promise – or inflict that on someone else by passing it on as a present…Food for thought, one way or another, if not as much food for the plate.