The minute we walked into the Spar Market on Tuesday, I knew something was wrong. It was so hot and humid on an already hot and humid day we could barely breathe. Right away, I noticed the usual refrigerated dairy and perishable end-of-the-aisle area where I usually buy fine cheeses was totally empty, and the power was off. Also, the entire air conditioning system in the market was off.
Even during load shedding at Spar, the aircon stays on, and the refrigeration works without an issue from what we’ve seen repeatedly. Don’t get me wrong; we like Spar. This grocery store is generally well-stocked for this area of relatively low population, providing most foods we use. Sure, on occasion, certain items are out-of-stock or entirely unavailable. As a result, I’ve learned to stock up on things I use regularly.
We were soaked in sweat when Tom loaded the non-perishable items on the checkout belt, including an additional dozen bottles of wine for my upcoming birthday party in nine days. When we finally walked out of the market, the hot humid air felt cool compared to the discomfort in the market. We couldn’t wait to turn on the aircon in the car.
They may be selling a keto salad dressing one week, and the next time we go, it’s no longer available, nor do we ever see it again. There is a brand we like, Carb Smart, which has healthy mayonnaise without toxic seed and vegetable oils, spices, sugar-free barbecue sauce, and coffee creamer without all the chemicals and corn syrup. One week, they have two or three of these items, and the next week, there are none…never to be found again.
But, on Tuesday, when Tom and I headed to Komatipoort to shop, we were sorely disappointed when we couldn’t buy meat, cheese, and dairy. Immediately upon discovering this, I decided we’d shop for meat at the Wild Butchery at the Bush Centre in Marloth Park. We didn’t go until this morning after breakfast.
Here’s what we purchased this morning:
- 6 kg mince (sirloin – hamburger), 13 pounds
- 2 kg filet mignon, 4.4 pounds
- 2 kg short ribs, 4.4 pounds
- 2 kg bacon, 4.4 pounds
- 3 kg lamb chops, 6.7 pounds
- 2 kg block mozzarella cheese, 4.4 pounds
Total 17 kg, 37.5 pounds
Total Cost: US $76.11, ZAR 1373.55
That averages US $2.03, ZAR 36.64 per pound of meat and cheese. Where in the world could you buy this amount of protein at these fantastic prices? The filet mignon alone will provide us with two night’s meals of over 8 oz filets for each of us. We’d spend the total cost we paid today for only the filet mignon. Wow!
This amount of meat will last us for over two weeks. We’ll use only a portion of the mozzarella to make pizza this Sunday, with plenty left over for future dishes.
Back at the house, we both started sweating profusely once again while putting everything away. By the time we were done, it was almost 3:00 pm, 1500 hrs. The dew point was at 78, the temperature at 88F, 32C, and humidity was 85%, way higher than tropical. Although these numbers aren’t much better today, it feels drier since it hasn’t rained in 24 hours, and the sun is shining.
I couldn’t imagine we’d want to sit on the veranda at 4:00 pm, 1600 hrs., but once situated with our chilled drinks with many animals visiting, we forgot all about the weather and enjoyed our evening. The only shopping we had left was the meat we’d put off until this morning. But, after buying this amount of meat today, my grocery-shopping enthusiasm has returned. Hopefully, Spar has returned to “normal,” and everything will be as expected next time we shop on the 23rd.
As for buying meat in the future, we’ve decided to support the local Wild Butchery for great prices, excellent service, and quality products.
Photo from one year ago today, February 1, 2022: