I love to be organised, so you’d think that all our Christmas food shopping would be in hand. Well it’s not. I’ve just started a new job and seem to be spending a lot of time travelling up and down the country, so playing Santa has been neglected this year. But all is not lost. Although I’ll be working right up to the big day I know that our wonderful shops in the Stow won’t let me down.
I thought that I’d share, as we often get asked, some of the places where we’ll be shopping including some of the less obvious shops that we love. This year the meat will be Yorkshire game from home, but last year we bought a duck and an organic chicken from the Sunday Farmers Market. We’ll be picking up some home-smoked salmon from Davies Fishmongers at Bakers Arms – they can also supply fresh lobster and crab if ordered in advance.
We’ll probably get our favourite merguez sausages from Maghreb on Hoe Street as an alternative to pigs in blankets. It’s also the best place for dates to wrap in bacon – a great tapas snack.
We have a regular veggie box from Organiclea which we’ll add to from the Veg Hut on Chingford Road. Herbs, fruit and olives will be from the Turkish supermarket, Akdeniz on Hoe Street. Cheese was sorted by a trip on Friday to what will be the new East London Cheese Board shop on Orford Road. For steaks I’ll be popping into the Brazilian butchers Boi na brasa and wine will be from Forest Wines.
I’ve heard about sourdough from Fluffy’s Bakery on Lea Bridge Road so I’ll be off in search of that, although if I run out of time there are many Polish shops selling great rye bread. I’ll be getting sliced meats and cheese from Gulliver’s the Polish deli on the High Street.
With all these amazing and diverse independent producers and traders, I really can’t see the point of all the rushing and queuing in the supermarkets – the little shops always have more unusual and better quality products. All that remains is for us to wish you a safe, happy and healthy Christmas – see you in the New Year!