As I child, I was often sent to the butchers to get something for tea, and sausages were a family favourite.
It was a relatively simple task: It involved a 5 minute walk to the shops, waiting patiently in a queue of ladies who had more than the evening meal on their minds, holding up the proceedings with endless gossip and chatter. Once at the counter, the entire process was dispensed with the minimum of fuss, and I would return home with my purchase tucked under my arm.
How times have changed.
I scarcely could have imagined the day when I could use an electronic device to order in some sausages from the comfort of my home, to be delivered at a time convenient to my requirements.
Even in the depths of rural France, we are but moments away from a delivery to door service, and currently enjoy the convenience of ordering on-line followed by a drive by at an appointed time where your shopping, attentively chosen and carefully wrapped is packed into the boot for you to speed away without even leaving the comfort of your car.
It sounds that it couldn’t get any better, but it can, it really can.
Take today for instance.
The day started in a very dubious fashion. It was cold and dank and there seemed little or no prospect of any sunlight.
However the sun decided to make a late morning appearance and things started to look up – a great day for shopping I hear you say.
Indeed it was, and I set off towards the Champdeniers to see Peter and Jenny Sebborn at their small holding near Pamplie.
You see, I was off on a shopping trip , but I wasn’t going near a lap top or a supermarket. I was off to pick up my order of sausages that Jenny had ready for me.
My nephew Raphie came along for the ride on the promise of being able to feed the lambs.
The directions were impeccable and we arrived at the Sebborns in good time.
Jenny showed us around the small holding where a surprisingly large array of animals were basking in the sunshine.
We met Peggy and her two piglets and Stinkerbell, along with her paramour Nelson.
I decided not to feel guilty about my sausage order as they were kept in the most idyllic surroundings and were clearly very content.
There were guinea fowl, ducks, geese, chickens and of course the baby lambs.
Armed with warm bottles of milk, we went along to the feeding shed and were instantly surrounded by them, vying for pole position for the milk. The larger gals were rounded up and fed afterwards, after they were ushered in by Raphie who was taking his husbandry duties very seriously.
Jenny and Peter said that their meat is so popular that it is often sold before it is “fully grown” , and after seeing their place, I can understand why. I also have a sneaking suspicion that I will be returning soon for a top up order.
So, nipping out for a pound of sausages has now taken on a totally new meaning. Its the type of shopping habit more of us should get into.
Now I am just left with the dilemma of choosing which flavour to try first: Honey roast, chilli and garlic, or good old fashioned plain pork bangers.
After all, on-line shopping can take a lot of the pleasure out of sourcing good quality ingredients. Free range sausages locally sourced, are as good as it gets.