The Cottage Smallholder

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Perfect easy suppers: Dressed Cromer crab with salad leaves and white oaten soda bread

Dressed Cromer Crab Every other week I shop with my mum. We enjoy a good lunch chez maman and then glide in the comfort of Danny’s car to her favourite stamping ground – Waitrose.

With our save money in 2008 challenge this isn’t the top of my supermarket list for bargain store visits but over the months I’ve noticed some good, substantial offers behind the deluxe portals. As the credit crunch starts to bite with a painful rather than a playful nip, their in store offers have increased. Last weekend I shopped there for well under fifty percent of the 2007 weekly spend and there were real treats in my basket. If you shop smart it’s worth considering the deluxe stores every now and then. Incudentally we had visited the W shop the day befre to buy offer beef mince for our cottage pies.

We do take our time in the store, swapping tips and peering at the cost per 100g – this is a real key for saving money. And we have far more fun than the lonely weekends when I shop at Tesco.

Tesco does have its plus points too:

  • a bigger range of products
  • all the soon to be out of date food in one spot
  • I can visit wearing my decorating clothes and not startle the other shoppers

But if you look at the cashiers in each store and the way that they interact with their managers, Waitrose is the supermarket that wins the gold medal for the happiest staff. Over and over again. So every other week it’s good to bask in the bonhomie.

Waitrose at three thirty on a Sunday afternoon often has great offers in the fish department. This dressed Cromer Crab as nearly half price, with a large garnish of baby salad leaves and some of our freshly made white soda bread with oatmeal, it was the perfect treat supper.

Cromer crab is amongst the tastiest British crab available. There are loads of recipes around for Cromer Crab but I like it best in just dressed in its shell. Danny had left for a working week in Wales so as I ate this supreme treat I looked for information on Cromer Crab and the best was from the well researched and beautifully written site, The Tracing Paper. An excellent U.K. food blog that’s always well worth visiting.

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  1. samantha winter

    Hi Fi
    Just having a quick look at emails and adding to the blog whilst we are away in Devon and guess what????????? We purchased a Clovelly dressed crab today and are having it as a starter tonight before steak, mushroom and fryed spuds.

  2. I’m a huge Waitrose fan – for food – I use Sainsbury’s for basics – but I wouldn’t set foot in a Tesco if it was the only supermarket on the planet (as it probably soon will be). Their domination of the market, their appalling record on property development and the way they treat their suppliers means they will not get my business – no matter how much they cut prices and how badly off I am. I’d rather eat grass casserole than shop there. Food simply cannot be that cheap and still be ethically produced and sourced

  3. Ooh, Dungeness Crab – delicious! A few years ago I spent a few weeks in Canada with my school friend. This was before they bought a business and actually had some time off. We went to Sidney Spit, just off Vancouver Island, on their boat and moored at the dock there for a few days. Her husband and son did the man thing and set crab traps and any catches were put in what they called a “crab hotel” (which I re-named Death Row) until we had enough for a meal for 5. We spent a happy hour or so picking all the meat out of the shells and later gorged ourselves. We had so much crab meat that we ate it until it came out of our ears over the next couple of days, eating sandwiches just bursting with crab and salad. So decadent and so free!

  4. magic cochin

    I’m with you on the cheeriness of the Waitrose staff. And I don’t think they’d quaver at seeing you in your work clothes – after all your local Waitrose always has a sprinkling of muddied and booted riders amoung it’s customers!

    I’m sampled some esteemed crabs including the famous soft shelled crabs in Manhattan and the feted Dungeness Crabs from Washington State – but none have even come close to the flavour of a Cromer Crab. What’s your favourite bit? – I love the deep terracotta ‘coral’ in the ridge of the shell.

    On a bargain hunting note – do you ever shop in Netto? We checked it out and found a few bargains including Twinings Everyday Tea and Coleman’s Tartare Sauce.


  5. Diane Epps

    I too am an avid bargain hunter in Waitrose but as it is rather a long way away I only get there about once a month when I make a specific trip to buy stone ground flour for bread making. I only discovered how much of the nutrient is lost in normal milled flour when I read “Bread Matters” by Andrew Whitely. I would recommend this book to anyone who makes their own bread. It is full of really useful information and lots of great recipes that work. The croissants are to die for!!!!

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