I have been in and out of the supermarkets over the past 2 weeks stocking up on the produce to make the Christmas cakes, mincemeat, and flavoured liquors!
To my surprise, Tesco’s did not have any mixed peel or glace cherries, Waitrose had a limited stock with 30% off, so I bought their entire stock (sorry folks) as I was already thinking in my head where was I going to find the time to make the peel.
Over the coming weeks, I will share the recipes with you if you do decide to do the same. You will need up to 4 weeks for the mincemeat and the same for the Christmas cake.
Just before I go off to shop, I check out the best deals in the supermarkets, especially since Brexit I have noticed that my weekly shop has gone up somewhat.
I stock up monthly with cleaning materials and toilet rolls from suppliers – that does stop the trolley from overflowing somewhat! Or a huge queue forming behind me. I have been gathering certain suppliers over the summer and it has certainly cut out the visits to the supermarket, I can now get away with a weekly shop unless I have forgotten something.
I do like to pick out my own fruit and vegetables and in all honesty, I do not have a preference, most supermarkets stock good quality produce but I also do like to go to the independent shops as well.
Thursdays are my preferred shopping days and I order my meat and fish direct from the wholesalers and it comes the next day packed in dry ice. There is always a minimum order I have to place so this is done twice a month.
I invested in a large chest freezer in the summer and this is just for bread and patisserie and I have this delivered twice a week as there is no minimum order. I do bake two to three times a week but I am no match when it comes to the French croissants, I leave that to the professionals but I have found that quite a few guests like a selection of freshly baked patisserie at breakfast.
By being efficient, it means that I can still provide a five-star breakfast and absorb the costs as I have been more savvy with my shopping. I have also created a window of time where I have time to make and bake other delights.
November is just around the corner and fresh fruit salad is still everyone’s choice on the breakfast table, I think the weather has had a big part to play as it has been somewhat warm and spring like these last few weeks and no one has taken me up on having a creamy bowl of porridge with a fruit compote or maple butter (I was given several jars by some clients that stayed recently).
I really enjoy sharing new products with guests and getting their feedback, having worked as a chef for many years, I still get a buzz out of it. I’m going to sign off now as I am jarring up the mincemeat…