Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Market Forces

To market, to market
To buy a fat pig.
Home again, home again,

The Sunday farmers' market in Hobart is one of our favorite places. This isn't to be confused with the massive, crowded Salamanca markets held every Saturday. It's a smaller market set up in a car park (that's a parking lot to you Americans). It's got great breads and cheese and (if they show up) fresh pasta, but mostly it's a wonderful spot for veggies and fresh herbs.

So LK suggested a veggie run and that got us on our way Sunday morning. The thing I like best about this market is that in about half an hour you're done even if you've checked out each stall twice. And the bank account is secure because A) the prices are cheap and B) how much can you spend on vegetables, anyhow?

As we left the farmers' market loaded with three or four shopping bags, I suggested we stop by a great sausage store in Salamanca. I have an innate understanding that too many vegetables can be bad for you unless you balance them with fatty meat byproducts.

LK had an even better idea. She likes the meat selection and prices at a store just around the corner, so we went there instead. Once in the store, we split up. I went to the deli counter and bought sausages, cheese, pate and black pudding. That should counteract the harmful effects of fresh vegetables and at the same time put my cholesterol meds to the test.

I caught up with LK in the vegetable section. "How can you spend half an hour at the farmers' market and shop for fresh veggies at the next store?" I asked. That question, as you probably have guessed, was one of those that does not deserve an answer.

LK attacked the meat section, but not in a heavy-duty way. Lamb shanks seemed to be the chief purchase. With the total bill at the store coming in at under $100, I was feeling OK about our little Sunday shopping expedition. That is until we got back to Kingston.

It was then that LK very mildly suggested that we needed some non-food items, but they could wait ... but maybe it was easier to get them now, etc. So a quick stop at the large supermarket near home.

"Are you going to stay in the car?" she asked. "Aren't you just running in for one thing?" I asked. "Well..." she said, "I thought I would check out the meat. We are getting pretty low on meat."

By this time I figured out what was going on. It has to do with two things: One, she had not reached whatever level she needed to satisfy her shopping urge. Two, the fridge in our garage has a mostly empty freezer. Like Nature, LK abhors a vacuum.

So into Coles we went. First LK browsed the vegetable section. Don't ask. I certainly didn't.

Then she pillaged the meat department. And here she began living up to her reputation as a super shopper.  She acted as if the bomb was on its way here and her job was to fill up the bunker's larder. Hams, steaks, ribs, roasts - it was a carnivore's orgy.  If an animal is mentioned in Old McDonald Had a Farm, we bought it.

On the way home, I did the by-now fairly substantial sums and mentioned how much we had ended up spending on what started out as our little Sunday morning veggie run. "Yes," she said, "but now we won't have to shop for meat for a while."

Yeah, I thought, not until 2013 most likely. But I didn't say it out loud. No sense in making another comment my darling chooses to ignore.

No comments: