My sister and I did the shopping at our local Morrisons' store and then I prepared the food for all of us – Dot, Don (my sister), Becky and Laura (my nieces).
Unfortunately the temperamental northern weather let us down so the picnic I had planned went out the window – or rather we had it indoors, with lots of little dishes to tempt our tastebuds.
We enjoyed Greek salad, chicken drumsticks, which I flavoured with a smoked paprika and red pepper rub (Morrisons' own make), outdoor reared chipolata sausages in buns, garlic bread (always goes down well with the kids) and homemade spicy potato wedges. For my sister, a committed vegetarian, I also bought a pack of frozen cheese ‘sausage’ rolls and she had Quorn hot dogs in buns in place of the chipolatas.
There were dips, houmous, cheese, French bread and mushroom pate. Finally for dessert I bought a dark chocolate and passion fruit terrine – ice cream layers with passionfruit sorbet and sauce, topped with sugar crunch and chocolate curls. Unfortunately we didn’t get that far. After bowls of fresh strawberries with cream and ice cream we didn’t have any room left! Talk about a feast.
Now I have shopped at Morrisons in the past, but what I noticed especially this time was the huge variety of product on sale. Instead of just popping in for a few things I set about my shop strategically and went in armed with a list of dishes I intended to make as well as an ingredient list. I’m particularly pleased with my spice find – there’s loads of the smoked paprika and red pepper rub left and it gave a fantastic flavour to the chicken. Another buy that has become a big favourite with me is Morrisons' smoky chipotle BBQ sauce, which was great on the chipolatas and I suspect will be sublime on burgers. The kid’s preferred Morrisons' tomato and chilli relish, which I liked too, but the chipotle sauce is something else.
Bargain-wise I did very well. The outdoor reared pork chipolatas were two packs for £5, saving £1.38; I bought a big bag of potatoes for spicy wedges for 69p; salad potatoes reduced to 50p, two packs of chestnut mushrooms for garlic mushrooms, down to 34p per pack, vine tomatoes for 69p and half price pizzas, £1.49 each. Needless to say there was no way we could eat everything I’d bought at one sitting, so the bank holiday has continued all week with salade tricolore, pizzas, garlic mushrooms, chiopolatas, chicken and more spicy wedges (yum).
I definitely noticed a difference in prices. Morrisons' current campaign to lower prices is working – and they’re lowering them on things people actually buy. The fruit and veg offer (three items for £1.50) is particularly attractive and one I will be taking advantage of in future.
It’s almost six months since I became a single parent and with my daughter moved back to the north east, where I grew up. I can’t believe these past months have gone so fast; I love my new life, but I don’t think the transition would have been so pain-free had it not been for the enormous support of my family, especially my sister. Despite the Newcastle weather, we had a happy day and it felt good to be sharing it with my closest people; a family celebration to mark my almost six months' anniversary and being back home.
|My sister Donna, enjoying her veggie hot dogs in between rain showers (she will kill me for putting this up!)|