Simon Thompson of Bungay greengrocer Giddens and Thompson on Lockdown 3 and the simple joy of a Seville orange
Well, here we go again! As we find ourselves in lockdown number three, I am more aware than ever before just how dangerous Covid 19 is, especially with this new variant running rampant. We were already diligent in safeguarding our customers and ourselves, but we have tried our hardest to increase our cleaning regimes and we are very strict about the rules we have in place for coming into our shop – you have to sanitise, and you have to wear a mask, unless you are exempt and can clearly show your lanyard. Unfortunately, we have had an abusive customer and there is just no need for that, to us or anyone.
One thing that we are very happy about is that we have passed our Health and Safety Executive Covid Risk Assessment, which underlines that we are doing all we can to keep everyone safe. We know that there are difficult times ahead, and we just need to be more supportive and respectful of each other.
However, getting back to what we do best, and that is selling our lovely fruit and veg! I am so very excited that the Seville orange season is upon us once more. After the roasted root vegetable delights of winter, these oranges always liven up the shop and they bring the promise of warmer days. They are looking really good this year, and we’ve already had lots of avid marmalade makers queueing at the door!
Also looking stunning are the winter vegetables that are coming into Giddens & Thompson at the moment. Those who are regulars to the shop know that I have a thing about the January King cabbages. They are not as widely known, but I think they are the most delicious cabbage available. I love them lightly blanched, and then tossed in olive oil with some salt and pepper. Even with winter vegetables, you can still enjoy cooking them in the simplest of ways and enjoy the rich flavour that they offer.
Apples and pears are still going strong, and you can always take a tip from The Delicate Diner and roast the pears to enjoy over porridge or as a treat after dinner. Sometimes, we forget that roasting fruit can bring out the natural flavours, and also preserve them for a few more days.
I will be honest, however, and say that along with other retailers, we have had some supply issues with produce coming from abroad. Thank goodness that we have great relationships with local producers to try and counteract some of the shortages. These local connections have always been important to me and it underlines the importance of buying and supporting local
For those isolating, or who just prefer to keep locked down without a weekly venture out for food, you can buy all of our produce from our website. Since its launch, it has gone from strength to strength. All our customers seem very happy with it, as well as finding it easy to navigate. You can also place an order over the website and then come in and collect – the best of both worlds!