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Saturday, 5 January 2019

Grocery shopping list for December 2018

4 December

Went shopping at the IGA. Bought a ling fillet, sea perch fillets, hot salami, pork sausages, goats' cheese, Cheddar cheese, broccolini, half a butternut pumpkin, carrots, broccoli, asparagus, a swede, zucchini, bread, crackers, snacks, milk.

They had salmon at the fresh fish counter and I asked if they had skinless fillets but the young woman serving me, who was slim and sounded French but could easily have been born in any European country, said that they did not. Fish with skin on it spits when fried in the pan with oil, so I prefer to get skinless. I asked for the biggest ling fillet they had and she moved around a number of them then gave me one I picked out. Then when she was selecting sea perch fillets to weigh she took time to ask me if the ones she had picked out suited me. I asked her if the smoked cod they sold had to be cooked before eating, and she said that it did. I put the information away for next time I went to that supermarket; I had never tried their smoked cod before.

At the checkout, I gave my backpack to the young woman at the register, who was short and had dark skin, and told her that everything went in it except for the bread. I gave her a single-use plastic bag that had been stored tied in a loose knot, to use for the bread. She hesitated with the box of crackers and I told her it could go in with the bread, so she put it aside. I popped the asparagus into a narrow side pocket in the backpack, and she also put the snacks in there after scanning them because the central section quickly filled up with bulky items like carrots (which were sold pre-packaged in a bag) and milk.

11 December

Went shopping at Coles. Bought locally-harvested barramundi fillets, salmon fillets, chicken thighs, a piece of Scotch fillet, Danish salami, Cheddar cheese, bread, two types of biscuits, potatoes, Brussels sprouts, parsnips.

I asked about getting a chicken for Christmas and the young woman with dark skin said that the store was closed on that day. But the older Anglo woman at the deli counter, who I have seen on many occasions before, told me that they will be open on Christmas Eve and that the chickens will be cooked and ready from about 8 o’clock in the morning. I said I would come in sometime in the morning.

14 December

Went shopping at the IGA. Bought a piece of smoked cod, tuna steaks, sea perch fillets, pork sausages advertised as “Italian”, shortcut bacon, water crackers, bread, snacks, biscuits, milk, a swede, broccolini, some green beans, asparagus, Multix “Greener” biodegradable sandwich bags, toothpaste, and a box of Pears soap.

While I was up the street I also bought some Christmas cards at the newsagent, and on the way home I stopped off at the pub and took some cash out of the ATM. The sandwich bags are to put the fish and sausages in before putting them away in the freezer. My routine when I get back from shopping is to bag up the fish fillets and sausages and freeze them. I usually take food out of the freezer on the day I am going to use it.

I had a look at the Choice magazine page on biodegradable plastic and it wasn’t very encouraging. There is a verification scheme that Australian manufacturers can use and plastic products that don’t have the mark of the Australasian Bioplastics Association haven’t been verified as biodegradable. Also, if you just put the bags in your garbage and throw it down the chute, there is not much benefit as the bags will just go into landfill and will not degrade. Degradable bags are designed to break down in a compost bin but I live in an apartment.

Most of the purchases fit in my rucksack this time, but as usual when buying bread I put it in a single-use plastic bag that I bring along with me in the rucksack’s front pocket. The water crackers and the soap went in with the bread because they are not heavy.

20 December

Went shopping at Coles. Bought salmon fillets, Hungarian salami, milk, zucchini, Brussels sprouts, a cauliflower, half a butternut pumpkin, and a bottle of laundry detergent. The rucksack when put on the self-serve checkout machine’s scales caused an error as usual and I had to call the sales clerk over to clear it, but this is of course routine. On the way home I stopped at the Olive Station sandwich shop near the light rail station and for lunch bought two toasted cheese-and-ham sandwiches and a bottle of lemon-flavoured iced tea.

24 December

Went down to the Fish Market to get some things and there were police as usual on Bank Street directing traffic. The carpark was chockers, with guards in yellow vests allowing pedestrians to get around safely. Inside the main building, there was a kind of restrained chaos. There were two media crews in orange hi-vis vests, including one from the ABC; I also saw Jono Coleman interviewing a man. All the retail staff at Peter's were Asian and I bought raw tiger prawns and scallops. Also went to the deli and bought smoked wagyu beef and some prepared artichoke hearts.

Then I went to the IGA and bought a punnet of strawberries, two bags of a salad mix containing baby spinach and rocket, coriander, red chillies, ginger, broccolini, a cooked chicken, some Danish salami, a block of Cheddar cheese and some goats' cheese.

30 December

Went shopping at Coles. Bought a blue grenadier fillet, and two of the fresh local barramundi fillets. Also bought kangaroo burgers, beef sausages, bread, milk, Brussels sprouts, parsnips, potatoes, asparagus, and zucchini.

The woman at the deli counter told me initially that the blue grenadier had to be eaten today. The label on the fish had the word "special” on it. But when she was prompted further it turned out that it was fine to freeze the fillet and use it later when I was ready. I always freeze my fish when I get home, and the blue grenadier fillets were much too big to eat in one sitting, so if I couldn’t freeze the thing there would be no point in buying one. I have had this type of fish from the supermarket before and it was very tasty in my recollection.

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