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Think of the lettuces!


Whenever I hear about the severe vegetable shortage, I wonder — who the hell wants to eat severe vegetables? But, yeah, you’ve probably read that we’re having Vegetable Issues.

The story is, we in the North are dependent on growers in the South if we want Summer veg in Winter. England relies mostly on the Spanish for things like peppers and spinach that won’t be available from local growers for months. And Spain has had a shit Winter. Much of their February crop was rained out.

How serious? Eh. Two weeks ago, I paid £.45 for a head of iceberg lettuce at Aldi. Last week, the same store was asking £1.10. They had plenty, though.

Frankly, I think 45p is super cheap for a head of lettuce, anyway. I remember in college there was a spike in lettuce prices and a head climbed over $1. We were horrified. We seamlessly switched our salads to cabbage and felt quite pleased with ourselves…until a few days went by and the gastric consequences of a diet rich in cabbage began to present itself.

God, we were stupid.

The oldies I work for aren’t impressed. Summer vegetables in Winter are a danged newfangled idea, like digital whotsits and the gramaphonium. We have plenty of local veg, and all the better for not coming from the Continent.

So, don’t worry. We aren’t facing scurvy any time soon.

p.s. No, I didn’t buy the lettuce. We’ll do our weekly shop tomorrow and I’ll tell you what it’s up to now.


Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: February 6, 2017, 8:08 pm

The irony is that Spanish produce is mass-produced, tasteless rubbish, grown for bulk not for flavour!

People who spend time in Spain tell me that the produce locally is very good, which makes me think they just export the stuff they don’t want to people for whom life without lettuce is unthinkable.

Comment from Steve Skubinna
Time: February 6, 2017, 8:15 pm

Might be worth canning and pickling. Makes a good hobby, plus pickles and preserves!


Comment from Ric Fan
Time: February 6, 2017, 8:18 pm

Yep. I remember when fruits and vegetables were very seasonal.

Oh, and what happened to the fad that you must eat foods only grown locally?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: February 6, 2017, 8:30 pm

Still very much a thing here. The posher veg shops (yes, there are such things) carefully label each bin of produce with the farm it came from.

Our favorite veg stand will only sell things they grow right there. Yes, we have no bananas.

Comment from Skandia Recluse
Time: February 6, 2017, 10:06 pm

denied spinach and broccoli — oh! the horror!!

Comment from Skandia Recluse
Time: February 6, 2017, 10:07 pm

next thing you’ll say you can’t get cauliflower.

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: February 6, 2017, 10:09 pm

You can’t make sauerkraut with lettuce!

Growing up I thought cabbage was just weird lettuce. It was one of the (according to my mother)few food items my father wouldn’t permit to enter the house
It wasn’t the gas though, because he was big on baked beans (savage amusement….).
Apparently it was a result of eating a lot of the stuff as a kid during the depression when he had to walk uphill both ways to school in blinding snowstorms.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: February 6, 2017, 10:25 pm

But why is not the Uncle Badger growing a hardy leaf lettuce in the greenhouse?

Comment from Gromulin
Time: February 6, 2017, 10:29 pm

Just curious what an avocado costs there. If you even have them?

Comment from p2
Time: February 6, 2017, 10:35 pm

I’m a tad geographically challenged at the moment, spending some time on the west coast in Kotzebue.. lettuce at the “big” store in town is about 9 bucks a head. a package of 12 rolls of toilet roll goes or just over 45….

I’m off to barrow tomorrow….things should be slightly less spendy….

Comment from AliceH
Time: February 7, 2017, 12:47 am

Durnedyankee- I remember cooked cabbage with horror and revulsion. Mom chopped it and boiled it with little floaty bits of leftover canned ham, seasoned with salt, pepper, and butter. It was the smelliest, worst tasting thing ever and I generally skipped dinner those nights. (If I was stealthy enough, I could sometimes sneak a piece of bread later from the pantry.) It was only served as a periodic desperation-budget stretching meal a few times a year.

I won’t eat cooked cabbage to this day. ::shudder:: Raw cabbage in Cole slaw, on the other hand, is delightful.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: February 7, 2017, 4:25 am

Dang p2. Is there a road on that peninsula?

Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: February 7, 2017, 2:35 pm

Don’t know much about cabbage. Lettuce here at the inexpensive store Save-a-Lot is running $1.49 USD, and that for a smaller head than you got a few years ago. Yes, I know it has very little nutritional value. But I like it, mixed with green onions, radishes, and pickles instead of cucumbers.

From time to time I buy that other lettuce, Romaine, and mix it with the iceberg.

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: February 7, 2017, 2:46 pm

When I was a kid I loved sauerkraut. Not so much now. But I still love stuffed cabbage.

If you think cooked cabbage smells bad, hope you never smell burnt cabbage. 🙂

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: February 7, 2017, 4:24 pm

@Wolfus Aurelius—don’t discount the nutritional value of your iceberg lettuce. It has vitamins and minerals that are good for you.

This is my favorite website for food nutrition data. http://nutritiondata.self.com/

Comment from ExpressoBold
Time: February 7, 2017, 4:40 pm

Everybody knows that Ric Fan won The Dick with Prof. Irwin Corey yesterday, right?
“Professor” Irwin Corey (July 29, 1914 – February 6, 2017)

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: February 7, 2017, 6:28 pm

I sure didnt know. 🙂

I dont remember even voting the past few games tho I have a vague recollection of voting for commie Corey at least once. Guess he went to join his pal, Fidel, in that big commune in the sky…

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: February 7, 2017, 7:26 pm

We never ate sauerkraut, the why of which should have been obvious to me before about 3 minutes ago.

Having been deprived in my formative years, sauerkraut experimentation proceeds off and on to this day in my house.

But Aldi’s sells a very nice German product way cheaper than I could possibly make it.
And I don’t have to wait 6 weeks to open the jar after I buy it.

Comment from Veeshir
Time: February 7, 2017, 8:35 pm

Is Aldi’s high-end in Europe? I saw they won a cheese contest a few years ago.
I’ve been on two Aldi’s in America and it was less than pleasant each.
Like a cross between a dollar store and the place Winston Smith got his Victory Gin.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: February 7, 2017, 9:44 pm

No, Veeshir, Aldi is super cheap. For food, it’s kind of the Wal*Mart of groceries — undercuts everybody else. But a lot of their stuff is prize-winning and very good, despite being cheaper than the rest.

Yes, we have avocados. They’re about 99p each. In fact, we have a real profusion of stuff. I’d say more than we had in the States…but, toward the end, the profusion of exotic immigrants to the States meant there was all kinds of weird veg on offer.

He does grow me lettuce, Deborah, but I wouldn’t ask him to grow iceberg — too much water, too cheap to buy and it would all be ready at once. I want iceberg for the crunch.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: February 7, 2017, 10:44 pm

Re: Iceberg. Yeah—I get the crunch factor. I want to buy all kinds of interesting leaf lettuces and Husband wants iceberg for the crunch (at least on his sandwiches).

Comment from p2
Time: February 8, 2017, 1:52 am

deborah hh – there is not…unless you count the dogsled trail & atv trails. they dont work well in summer… everything comes by airplane or a couole big barges when the ice goes out in may…..

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: February 8, 2017, 7:56 pm

You are a hardy soul, p2.

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