Sunday, November 6, 2011

Legs just will not do the job

Cate is embarking on one of her global expeditions next week – the last for the year – and will be going to Moscow and Istanbul and Mumbai - so has been spending most of the weekend working to prepare for this – although we did manage to squeeze in a bike ride on Sunday morning.

But she also decided that she would like to cook on Saturday night and perhaps on Sunday night and this is a great idea as far as I am concerned because she is a good cook and while we usually go out on Saturday nights I am happy to have her potter about in the kitchen.

I usually do something very simple for Sunday nights – like leftovers from a meal during the week - or soup, so I am happy for her to cook.

The problem is that she makes these decisions very late – say on Friday nights – because she thinks that you can go over to Spar and buy the ingredients you need to cook a meal.

Well you can if you want something very simple – like cheese on toast or a tin of tomato soup.

The second mistake she makes is to leave it until after lunch on Saturday to go shopping.

Vienna is full of little shops they call ‘Supermarkets’. They are just little stores that really have the bare necessities of life. Our Spar for example stocks mainly alcohol, chocolate and rotten vegetables.

I wondered for a long time where Spar could get vegetables that old and I finally figured that they must wait until the Naschmarkt closes and then collect the stuff that the store holders there have thrown away.

It really is amazing. I bought some potatoes there a while ago that were fossilised and should have been in the Museum of Natural History.

However – one of them looked like Jesus so I have it on eBay and am hoping to get enough to fix the tooth I broke on one of their prehistoric Zucchinis.

Yes it’s my fault and I should go down to the markets in Landstrasser Haupstrasse where they have wonderful fresh fruits and vegetables every day but crushed as I am by the burden of my daily chores I do not always get the time.

Indeed I could cycle down to the Naschmarkt – which is a veritable paradise – but there you are.

Anyway – I have warned Cate before about last minute shopping expeditions to Spar but she takes little notice of what I say – indeed few people ever have – so we set off late on Saturday – she with a shopping list and me with a heavy heart because Cate hates shopping - and markets generally – and Spar in particular – and I was preparing myself for the worst. 

Which – of course - happened.

Now both dishes were chicken dishes. The chicken refrigerator was bare – well there were a few legs but we wanted breasts – so it then did not really matter that they had no limes, spinach or coriander. 

I knew there was no point in asking about breasts – I have trodden that path before – what you see is what you get until the next delivery.

So it was an urgent trip in the car to the much bigger Spar at Simmering where our needs were met – after a fashion. You do what you can and we made some accommodations.

Cate has learned her lesson. If she decides to cook she needs to make a decision on Thursday so that I can do the shopping on Friday. 


  1. Now Thursday is just too far ahead. Looks like shopping earlier on Saturday, or settling for the simple....

  2. I'll have to invite you to my Spar: it's the little Spar that can! I love going there on Monday mornings because I can buy organic chicken and other first class meats at half price. The so-called leftovers from Saturday, they keep in stock for late shoppers like Cate. Maybe you should move? ;-)

  3. ha. the total same thing always happens to me! their bags of potatoes are always rotten (except you don't know that until you get home and open the bag) and they never have the meat i want. supermarket shopping here drives me crazy. and it totally kills spontaneity!

  4. That settles it, I'm not moving to Vienna anytime soon! I am used to getting what I want (usually) when I want it when it comes to groc shopping.

  5. I have seen adults break into tears at the markets, what is it about markets that don't like to carry edible food. Right now we are on a quest for turkey for Thanksgiving. Not going well.

  6. Saturday morning farmers markets are full of glorious food. The Merkur stores carry whole, albeit smaller turkeys towards Christmas, they also usually have sweet potatoes and American cranberries, as does my SPAR. Individual SPAR stores used to be quite open to get you items beyond the regular shelf items. Unfortunately, the SPAR higher ups decided to make all the stores less customer friendly and stock all the stores more or less with the same brands (I am still cross that I can't get Earl Grey from Harrogate Teas anymore).

    Fmc.... send me a mail, and I'll give you the address of the very kind butcher who carries organic turkey for Thanksgiving. All you have to do is pre-order (Thanksgiving is an American holiday, after all).

  7. Merricks: Yes- cheese on toast might have to do

    Merisi: Mine only has leftovers every day

    angiv: There potatoes are really special - I do try to avoid them.

    esbboston: Well - do not go to Spar when they come to your home town

    fmcgmccllc. Good luck with that one. I bet you can get a Duck!

  8. he he he - one thing i do not miss about vienna. many a saturday in the first district there was no chicken to be had at ALL. i usually had to come prepared with minimum four recipes, and then mek something different altogether. or just drink alcohol and eat chocolate.

  9. TNDW: Which is not a balanced diet!