Lent, Ash Wednesday to Maundy Thursday. Christians around the world will be fasting or giving up a luxury item for forty days as a form of penance leading up to Easter and the marking of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Many non Christians also join in and give up food stuffs from crisps and chocolate to meat and alcohol. I gave up booze for lent a few years ago and this is not something I will be doing again in a hurry. Trying to explain to my Scottish relatives that I didn't want a beer while visiting them on holiday was one of the hardest things I have ever done.
This year we have decided not to deprive ourselves of food and drink but limit ourselves to where we can buy it from. For lent we are giving up supermarkets.
I have a love hate relationship with supermarkets. I love the range of food available. I love the convenience of being able to buy all of my groceries under one roof. I love the copious free car parking. I'm quite fond of free morsels of food on cocktail sticks on the deli counters. On the other hand, I hate BOGOFs on £5 chickens. I hate individually wrapped apples. I hate buying fresh food that is out of season and has been shipped around the globe. More importantly I hate the damage, perceived or otherwise, that supermarkets do to the High Street and independent traders.
We have made a slight tactical error however. We missed the opportunity to stock up on the larger items that we rely on the supermarkets for. Top of this list is nappies, but as this is a food blog I'll try to focus on the food.
So until Good Friday* we're saying goodbye to Asda, Morrison's, Sainsbury's and Tesco's. There will be no cheeky visits to Aldi, Co-op, Lidl, M&S or Waitrose. We will be shopping in the corner shops, the greengrocers, and the butchers that we all too often avoid because they aren't located next to each other. We'll also be spending more time shopping on Leeds Market which, to be honest, is something I'm really looking forward to. Bring on the shopping.
*and possibly beyond depending on how we get on.