And a yummy year ahead.
The odd thing about always shopping at Borough Market is knowing that, on the Saturday before xmas and the last full work day before xmas, it is no place for the market regular. Too busy, too manic, too fraught. With the strong possibility that next year will be bad the traders are hoping for a busy time, but even they are overwhelmed by the sheer numbers.
So this year I had no intention of going to the market on Saturday. Instead, on Thursday I went to Brindisa in Exmouth Market for chorizo and padrone peppers for xmas eve. Saturday - after sleeping in till 10 o'clock! - we went down to Lower Marsh to the new, almost empty, Ginger Pig and bought some steak for dinner and some pork mince for stuffing our xmas chicken which we will collect on xmas eve from Borough. From the other traders in Lower Marsh I got some milk and fresh rocket. Later that afternoon we were on the South Bank where there was a slow food market - and joy oh joy both Neals Yard and Gastronomica had stalls, so we bought our stilton and a lovely chunk of pecorino.
Able & Cole, the vegetable delivery company, very kindly offered food bloggers a free organic box last week so most of my veg shopping is done. It was full of really beautiful produce, including lots of lovely clementines for the xmas feast. I heartily recommend them if you have no access to fresh produce - they deliver to your door. My only real lack was brussel sprouts, but we shall find some of them no doubt.
We did venture briefly to the market on Sunday - it was pretty busy, largely with tourists though plenty were buying at least one special thing. The traders looked almost haunted - then you get a sudden smile when they realise you are someone they know. Mostly they will sleep when this is done. I bought coffee, and a piece of venison fillet vacuum packed, bread, marcona almonds, more milk and yoghurt, and a small side of smoked salmon from Furness as the Irish salmon man has not been round for weeks. Had a nice chat at the Taste of Turkey stall and sampled a new dried olive they are planning to sell in the summer that was utterly sublime - the flesh melts onto your tongue and is gone in a flash. Seriously good.
The last bits will be gathered Wednesday morning - and then let feasting begin!