As I was driving home, a 5 minute commute without traffic, I was thinking two things. The first, how frustrated David Suzuki would be with me for driving my vehicle such a short distance. And as I spewed carbon dioxide into the air, I was also thinking about supper. I decided to let the inspiration to come to me once I arrived at Wild Earth, which happens to be an under a minute commute from our apartment. And, as I walked into the trendy little grocery store, I realized all my reusable shopping bags were at home carefully folded and neatly tucked in a corner of the storage room.
If there is one reason to go to Wild Earth (there are many), its their meat selection. They sell absolutely gorgeous, tasty beef. They also carry Irving Farms bacon and sausage, which other than Old Time Country Meats, has the best sausage and Englishy bacon around town. But as I browsed, I remembered my morning resolve to eat low unsaturated fat today thanks to Paul Plakas and his “get ripped quick” eating plan basics he sent to a friend of mine. I ate squeaky clean until 3:00 p.m. (we can excuse the four chocolate covered ju-jubes my sister generously gave me when I was at my crazed 2:00 p.m. I NEED CHOCOLATE NOW OR WE ALL DIE mood).
So I look at the chicken. At Wild Earth, a single chicken breast is selling in the neighbourhood of $3.75. Dinner for two, therefore, would be $7.50. Not bad in the scheme of things, but I’m in a frugal mood. I looked at two thick juicy pork chops, and they were $3.50 for both. A steak, a rib eye, big enough to share, was $8.00.
Suddenly, I became my Baba, and felt I was living in war times. I resolved to make a frugal supper. I looked at ground beef. They had the usual generic ground beef, 36 lbs for $10 or some such thing (it was pale and hardly pink and didn’t look appetizing so I may have got the details wrong *wink*). The other choice, dainty little 300 gram packets of Spring Creek Angus beef for $3.90. Lovely, beautiful beef, dark, red, and, well, meaty. The choice was obvious.
300 grams of ground beef would make one burger in my world, had I a BBQ. And I needed to share dinner with Mr Walsh Cooks. So, again, recalling all the novels I read, the stories I heard from my grandmother, I thought, “I’ll stretch this beef out and feed a group of 40 from it”. I sashayed back to the vegetable section, and there on the shelf were these humungous white mushrooms. “The meat of vegetables” says the ad on the radio. So I buy a lot of white mushrooms, deciding then and there, that I will make a modified Shepard’s pie for dinner, with the mushrooms acting as a filler.
The mushrooms, I paid $2.20 for about 7 big white mushrooms, and same again for two big onions. Ridiculously expensive. But what can one do? Live on Ramen Noodles? Not likely. The sodium count in those babies is comparable to the Pacific ocean.
Although Michael and I are fortunate enough to not be experiencing financial hardship, we cannot deny the price of food in Edmonton is expensive. At one time, I would not pay attention the cost of the food items I placed in my basket. Now, I’m keeping an eye on it, because what I think should be a $30 basket of food, is easily turning into a $110.00 basket of food.
There is inexpensive, quality food in Edmonton. One just has to look for it. By some weird cosmic connection, both Michael and I decided to buy a loaf of sour dough bread today. I bought mine at the former Tree Stone bakery for $4.50. Michael bought his at the new Vienna Bakery for $2.15. And his was bigger. And it tasted like a more natural sour dough.
Anyway, I don’t want to turn this blog into a shoppers forum, because people read this who live around the world. And if you are reading this from somewhere other than Edmonton, it would be interesting to know what you pay for things like 300 grams of ground beef, 7 large white mushrooms, 2 white onions, and a loaf of sour dough bread.
And now, time has past and we have eaten dinner. It was a success. And of course, while eating we couldn’t help but discuss the mosquito issue, because nothing is more appetizing than talking about mosquitoes. I had wondered how the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would be warding off our blood thirsty vermin. It would be horrible to be dressed up as they are and have a gallon of Off sprayed on them. However, I should give them more credit. They seem like a hardy couple, and a few mosquito bites, followed by insane scratching, followed by bleeding and a scar, might just be the perfect gift to take home from Canada.