Day 1

And so it begins. Luckily for us, we’re starting with a fairly full stock of most items we use regularly, so this should only help our resolve.

I’m pretty lucky in that I work in Bold Street, which is one of Liverpool city centre’s best for independent retailers of all sorts. Matta’s (51 Bold Street, 0151 709 3031) is an international foods store run by a lovely Indian family which has a very good range of Asian and vegetarian/vegan foods. I can get milk (by the pint) and local eggs there, as well as greek yogurt, feta and halloumi. We do love our dairy products, so this is useful.

Other types of cheese, such as our standbys, cheddar and brie, are probably going to have to come from Delifonseca or The Liverpool Cheese Company. Both are excellent shops; Delifonseca has delicious sandwiches for takeaway as well as a great variety of ingredients in addition to the meats and cheeses in the deli counter. Their upstairs restaurant is well worth a visit too. The Liverpool Cheese Company is in an old dairy in Woolton village, appropriately enough. They have an enormous assortment of cheeses, and it’s the best cheese shop I’ve found since I lived in Edinburgh and would visit IJ Mellis cheesemonger on Victoria Street for an occasional treat.

Today I went to Mattas and had to check a recipe in Waterstones, though I didn’t buy the cookbook. Someday I probably will but I’d prefer to get it from News from Nowhere, also on Bold Street. I also went to Lush to buy my husband an anniversary present and myself some lip balm. Now, having worked for Lush previously, I know it is in fact a fairly large multinational company. They have hundreds of stores around the world. However, they’re still owned by the same team that started them, they have a commitment to using minimal packaging and quality sustainably-sourced ingredients. Are they putting smaller local soap shops out of business? I don’t know. But as a coworker put it, better to shop at Lush than Boots.

Tomorrow will be interesting; I do occasional baking on the sideline for a local bakery and a friend of a friend has asked if I can help her out. I’m baking a sample lemon tart for a local restaurant, which may end up on their Valentine’s Day menu. The ingredients aren’t particularly obscure ones, but I need large quantities of some of them (15 eggs/yolks for the filling!). Let’s hope the greengrocer is up to the challenge.

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