A friend of mine has a child in a local primary school. Said child recently brought news that it was due to go on an organised day trip with the theme of 'Where Does Our Food Come From'.
Bearing in mind this is Cornwall, a county poised between the equally whimsical and uncaring industries of Tourism and Agriculture (hence poorest county in the UK) to which of the following culinary educational experiences did the children travel on a laid-on coach, where they were provided with leaflets and general info?
1. The farmers' market (Tuesday mornings on the Moor, highly recommended).
2. Falmouth Harbour, where they could chat with local fishermen.
3. One of the local farms, where moo-cows and bah-lambs gambol and frolic in the fresh air before being, well, bopped on the head and turned into yummy meaty products.
4. One of the less meaty local farms, where they grow asparagus, and some other vegetables I can't think of at the moment, But loads, anyway.
5. Mylor, to see the oyster-dredgers at work.
6. Penryn Harbour, where you can see fish being smoked, it's weirdly exciting.
7. Fucking ASDA.
Ho yuss. Now, ASDA is one of Wal-Mart's subsiduaries, and to decry it for having a massive advertising budget and the morals of one of those nastier things out of Tolkien seems rather pointless. But I can't believe a school, and a school in Cornwall of all places, took the bait.
I'm doing a mahusive barbeque* this weekend, but as I had finished up all the stuff from the farmers market (where I buy all my meat, Wednesday morning looks like I've had werewolves round) I realised with shame that I was seriously considering going to ASDA to buy some of their watery ghastly fucking meat. So I bought a load of goodness from the butchers in town, and jolly nice it looks as well. And I would urge you to do the same. By the end of the week ASDA will have crumbled.
Go to your local butcher's I mean, not come to Falmouth, you probably live miles away. Think of the carbon footprints. You nutter.
Whilst I'm on a consumer trip, thanks for all the bag advice. Did I say I was getting a 'man bag'? No I fucking did not (sorry I'm a bit sweary, it's the heat). What I want is a rucksacky item, but the sort of thing a gentleman traveller would have worn while being caught up in The Great Game played between the British Empire and Imperial Russia in Afghanistan sometime around the cusp of the Twentieth Century, but would look equally fine back at his club in Pall Mall as said owner chuckled disparagingly at his own foolish adventures whilst servants gawked at his bullet-pocked pith helmet.
That sort of thing. Anyway, I'm Londoning next week, and if don't see anything up there, I'm jolly well going to have one custom-made, to those exact specifications.
Also, I bought a new ipod. YES YES I KNOW, but, ahhh this is the clever bit, I did get a three year warranty, and at the current rate of Apple things breaking down, said forty quid warranty will quickly bankrupt not only Apple, but also Argos, where I purchased the beast. And if that happens in the same week ASDA/Wal Mart is reduced to a smoking hole in the ground, leaving us all to emerge blinking into the light of a post-corporate age where people buy things that are made with love and passion by other people round the corner, and said things are designed to last a lifetime until eventually being returned harmlessly to the soil that bore them, please remember this post as the exact point Things Started Getting Better.
UPDATE: a Matt writes - At the risk of assuming the role of Dr Pedantic: it's not that supermarkets add water to meat generally (although possibly they do with chicken) it's that generally they don't hang meat long enough; and the process of hanging dries out - quite considerably - the meat. So it's more a case of not removing rather than adding. i've got a feeling i read somewhere there is something like 30% shrinkage of a carcass hung for a month. so there.
* It's another word for 'massive', I'm not barbequeing mahusives. Anyway, they're terribly gristly.