Today was not much for eating, much less for cookery. We spent much of the morning using an evil implement called a "roof rake", trying to ease the snow load on one of our outbuildings. Eventually we figured out how to "work smarter, not harder", but it was still mid-afternoon before we stopped. The standard breakfast occupied one rest break; lunch involved the last ravioli from last night and, er, I forget what else.
Once we'd called it a day on (note that I did not say "finished") the outside chores we set out for the day's errands. The plan had been to allow 5 hours and be home before 5 p.m; the reality crammed them into 3 hours and got us home by 6. I still managed to snap some photos during our shopping.
I briefly entertained the notion of a parody along the line of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" for Duluth's great food and kitchen stores: "Three grand grocers", "Two great charcuteries" and so on, to celebrate the expansion of wonderful groceries, butcher shops and even kitchen stores since I moved here. I decided I couldn't make the numbers work. Here, without further ado, are the places we visited today.
Old World Meats is in its third generation of family owners/operators, and they keep expanding and improving.
They've remodeled and reworked the space, just since last October.
Instead of a couple of cluttered aisles where home sausage-makers could buy their spices and supplies (I forgot to ask where those items are now kept) they've expanded the island for their cured meats, and set up a charcuterie section to show off their excellent sausages, spicy beef sticks, and smoked foods.
Their meat counter is something to behold.
Back in 2005 there was an eGullet Culinary Institute short course on braising; that's when I started getting to know the fellows here. I've been a regular ever since. These are the people who can get a specific cut and/or advise you on how to cook it. They smoke meats and fish, mix sausage, and have strong opinions about how to cook their products...if, but only if, you ask.
They also have a great fish counter. Today, however, the display case was atypically empty due to a heavy deep cleaning when they "knew business would be slow". Trust me: you can usually get good fresh salmon and halibut there, and you can often also get scallops, shrimp, or fish that I can't remember because I'm not particularly interested in it.
We picked up some smoked salmon, upon which I hadn't planned, along with the pre-arranged tri-tips. More about those in a later post.
One of our favorite grocery stores here is technically part of a chain, but its counterparts are all far south: Minneapolis, St. Paul, and those areas. Cub Foods was a big breath of fresh air when it first arrived up here, and it gets much of our business.
Over the years, as subject to market pressure as any other place, they've expanded their produce areas
added to their inventory to accommodate multiple cuisines
expanded their deli area
and allowed other ways for us to spend entirely too much money. We picked up items for a dinner party in a couple of days, and continued our rounds.
When we FINALLY got home, we enjoyed the crystalline quality of moonlight over a snowy landscape, as seen from a hot tub,
...then enjoyed reheated pork roast and sauerkraut, from last week's crockpot cookery. I'll post photos if anyone wishes, but it was much more tasty than pretty. Think beige. Then think savory, salty and juicy.
Edited by Smithy, 13 January 2014 - 10:21 PM.