Thursday, June 01, 2006

What's awesome about Annerley

About four months ago, Pete and I moved into a huge rambling ramshackle old hulk at Annerley. It needs a major repaint and an industrial clean. The carpets are swirly-1970s orange and brown and the walls are pink. The roof leaks when it rains. There has been major roachal and waspal infestation. There isn't one straight wall in the joint, and most of the rooms have small holes drilled through the adjoining walls, I assume so that previous sharehousers could perve on each other in their bedrooms. Nice.

However this is all fine, because of all the pros of living here: one of which is that I am super close to all my favourite provisions stores. I love being only ten minutes from the city and I love being able to do my shopping at these places:

The Annerley Fruit Barn
This place is great. You drive right in or just park on the footpath. They start at about 6 am and hardly ever close. They have lots and lots of great fresh produce, and the stuff in the bins outside is the cheapest you will find....suck on that, Woolworths and Coles!
I love seeing what they have that day and deciding on the day's dinner there and then. Once they had bunches of gorgeous leeks for 89c, and then the next week they were back to $4! The deal-bags (2 kg tomatoes for $3, 500g green beans for $2.50, etc) are fantastic and have encouraged me more than once to make Karen's Italian tomato and bread soup, or a mushroom risotto, or.... The staff are always friendly and the store has some real secret treasures. Great produce, really cheap, and always open!

Awesome. Pete is oft to be found down at Coco's deli and butcher, stocking up on pancetta or pork chops. The deli sells the ends of all the meats for a couple of bucks a kilo, and once I bought a kilo of meat-ends and took them home. They sat on the bench while I considered what their fate would be. Eventually I made a sort of super-meat-end stew, minestrone's older, fatter and uglier cousin that wears strong aftershave. The house smelt like a sausage factory all day.
Anyway the meat-end stew got portioned out into takeaway containers with some pasta, and frozen for Pete's lunches. After the second or third day he said that the meat-ends had obviously undergone some kind of Hulk-like tranformation and that they made him feel really sick. Possibly the massive concentration of processed-meat chemicals and the unholy meaty combinations dwelling within the stew were to blame.
The stew was booted. I went back to making salads.
Coco's is still great.

Balaclava St
I have harboured great hopes for Balaclava St in the past, but in recent times have stopped expecting so much from it. Really, only Pennisi's and All India Foods can be relied upon: the other couple of little places are really overpriced, considering you can get the same stuff next door for much less. Need a 40kg tub of ghee? Need REAL haloumi that fries up like a dream, or newly-importable President fromage de chevre (comes in a log, $33 a kilo) from France?
Balaclava St is where it's at. Pennisi has giant loaves of ciabatta for only $2.50, but you gotta get 'em early before they go, or go stale.

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