Farm shop has it all

Wimberley Hall Farm Shop
Wimberley Hall Farm Shop

Blogger Trish Burgess writes for the Free Press

One of the first articles I wrote for this column concerned my sadness that Jackson’s Butchers and Pacey’s Bakery would be closing due to retirement of the owners.

The search for alternative sausages and soft, white rolls has taken some time, but I’m pleased to report that I have found both in one location – Wimberley Hall Farm Shop in Weston.

In looking for a replacement sausage I tried all the varieties sold at Wimberley Hall in the last eight months, purely for the purposes of research. Last week was a Eureka moment when I discovered the sausage of sausages: caramelised onion and balsamic vinegar.

I can hear the protestations now: what on earth are those pretentious ingredients doing in a humble sausage? I agree and I had been avoiding them for weeks.

In fact I would never have given them a go if they hadn’t had some samples on the counter and I was a bit peckish.

But they are delicious and I will be returning, as I do most weeks, for my fancy bangers plus all my other fresh meat, bread, cheese and eggs.

Of course I still need to do a proper supermarket shop so visits to my local Tesco’s in Holbeach are frequent. I have never sussed out how to do a monthly shop: can’t decide more than two days ahead what I want to cook which is terribly inefficient.

I haven’t tried food shopping online either. Maybe it’s my age and I’m turning into my mother but I do like to do my shopping in person and have a chat with people.

I’ll have a natter in Sergi’s when buying a steak pie, or a quick hello in Booth’s when picking up a basket of fruit.

Don’t worry, I’m not the annoying person who holds a queue up, but if the shop is quiet it’s good to at least pass the time of day with the assistants.

I tried Aldi in Spalding the other day. I hadn’t been there in ages and had forgotten what great bargains were available.

Mind you, I took Dougie with me as having a slip fielder to catch the tins as they fly off the end of the conveyor belt is a distinct advantage. Taking my husband food shopping is always worth doing as he prides himself on his packing expertise.

I pity the poor scout or cadet who offers to do his packing for him for charity: I’m convinced he pays them extra to do it himself.

The one aspect of food shopping I’m not keen on is self-­scanning. I can’t get the hang of it. I struggle to locate the bar codes, can’t fathom out how to pack the bags without the machine shouting ‘Unexpected item in the bagging area’ and always end up having to call for assistance. It’s all too stressful. Give me a cashier any day. When was the last time you chatted to a self­s-canning machine about what a lovely summer we’ve had and aren’t the nights drawing in?

You can follow Trish on Twitter @mumsgoneto and read her blog at www.mumsgoneto.blogspot.com