With Christmas fast approaching, I spent part of my week-end in Brighton looking for Nut Roast mix for the veggies on Christmas Day. Now, I know it's cheating slightly to buy a ready-made mix, but with all the other things we have to do on Christmas Day, it does make for an easier life, and also the brand I normally buy is extremely reliable (having eaten more stodgy or gritty nut roasts than I care to admit).
Now, with Brighton being one of the UK's centres of alternative lifestyles (it has the highest number of Green Party Councillors in the UK), you'd have thought buying a nut roast would be a cinch, wouldn't you? Especially before Christmas, when it's a guaranteed winner.
Alas, no. It seems to the laws of supply and demand have gone completely awry. We went first to Holland & Barrett on London Road, but were told that no longer stock it, despite having been asked eight times that day for it. (Doh! Isn't that telling you something, then? Or is it a case of Stalinist centralised control deeming that only larger branches shall stock nut roast mix?)
Next stop was Infinity Foods, one of the country's largest health food shops and a Brighton stalwart of a business, and the UK's oldest food co-operative. Alas, a similar problem: no nut roast mix, they'd run out, supplies not due in until next week, etc.
So, along I went to Holland & Barrett's main branch in the centre of town, in North Road. Actually, for a main branch it doesn't look much bigger than the one in London Road, but it does stock nut roast mix. Alas, however, they've run out. So, in vain I trekked down to Waitrose, and then across the road to the large Taj international health food supermarket. But no. Nothing. Zilch.
Oh well, looks like my old recipe, then...