Tag Archives: cooking

cooking can be just throwing everything within reach into the stew.

24 Nov

london 6pm 12C drizzle thursday 2022

just a simple cabbage and pork stew over rice. i just threw in anything i can find in my rack. so there is five spice powder, tumeric, chilli powder,malt vinegar, black soya sauce, brown sauce, ketchup sauce. surprisingly good, which confirms for me that if u got sweet, sour, salty, chilli, it will all come out tasting nice. the only thing missing in this dish is bitter taste. makes me realise there is nothing in my kitchen for bitter taste …i can only think of bitter gourd, that we chinese use. what would people here use?

i googled bitter foods, and this came up. one caught my eye, greens… that is so, i remember now , it can be bitter so that it can mimic the chinese veg kai lan. so brassica vegetables can be bitter too, though the example they gave, broccoli, does not taste bitter. but maybe the ones they sell here in the supermarket have all their bitterness bred out of them. come to think of it, today when i went to the sainsburys to buy the cabbage, i saw they have got in a large crop of greens. i did not buy them, because of was fixing my eye on the cabbage. haha. the cost is about the same, 65p for the cabbage, which is a large one, so you can get a lot of meals out of it, whilst the greens are 71p. it looks like i might buy the greens next time i am looking for a change in the vegetables i eat. it is a nice way of varying the diet. the greens usually come into season during spring, so it is a bit unusual to see them coming out now at autumn. 

 it is only 7pm, and it is so dark outside allready. i keep thinking it is very late at night, and thinking it is time to switch on the tv to catch the late programs i want to watch, and then i realise there is still hours to go yet before it comes on. the night is still so young. now it gets dark about 4pm. just you wait till mid december, when it will sink at 3pm. correction, 26.11.22. it will set 3.51pm. so not much later than what it is doing now. it will seem the nights will never end. that is what we mean when we say the longest night. 

11 May

london 11.10am monday 11C sunny 2020

its sunny out there, but quite windy, so i was out to do my tesco shopping to the superstore in vauxhall. the wind makes it so i get grit in my eyes.

there was no queue at the supermarket to get in, thank goodness, so i shall remember that fact, and to do my shopping on mondays at about 10am.

the temperature was supposed to drop today, but it is very sunny, so that even though it is only 11c, it feels warmer inside the flat. and outside it too inspite of the wind.

all this feeling of cold or warmth is relative really. i feel warm now because i am sitting in the sun in my flat, sheltered from the wind. but even when i was outside and get the full force of the wind on me, i was wrapped up rather warm in my hoodie, so did not feel it much.

i got lots of vegetables,(savoy cabbage, sweetheartcabbage, celery,chilli, tomatoes) and two 1kg packs of chicken thighs, £1.88/kg are a good buy. i will stir fry the chicken in vegetables. it is the quickest and cheapest way of cooking chicken, or any meat for that matter. instead of roasting them, which is the most expensive way, because it uses so much electricity.

i wonder if the chinese invented stir fry. if so, it just confirms to me how very clever the chinese are. i think it is the most useful invention , and might rate as good as the invention of the wheel.

(i think the single most important invention or discovery is human beings discovering fire and how to make it.)

  i think no other race or cuisine has stir fry. the regional cuisines in asia dont count as they are copied from the chinese and/or are a mixture of local and chinese influence which over time becomes   a distinct cuisine to call their own.

i would have thought even if the other cuisines did not invent stir fry first, surely they must have learnt about it, and adopt it, as it is such a useful way of cooking. you would think that wont you? yet if u look at the recipes of french cuisine, or any cuisine away from the region around china,  there are no stir fry dishes.

today uk moved a bit out of lockdown, with people allowed unlimited exercises, and sunbathing outdoors. i think it sensible, unlike the so strict lockdowns in europe. and i am glad we dont have to fill out a form and carry it with us everytime we go out, to show to any busybody wanting to know if we have a good reason for going out. i like that, the way the uk do it. some people might criticise and say uk has not done enough quickly , but i think they have got the balance right. and now i think they should let businesses open and bring commerce back, let shops open and trade begin. 

added 1.17pm

KODAK Digital Still Camera

i put so much rice, i must have been hungry and it was delicious, i finished it all.

UK lockdown

cooking for one

8 Jan

london 8.22pm 11C dry night wednesday 2020

i am seeing a tv program, eat well for less, and i hear this guy saying he is only cooking for himself and he thinks it is a waste of time because no one else in the family likes to eat what he cooks. i always hear people say that, they dont like cooking for themselves.

but to me, it is just wonderful, to cook for myself only. it means i can cook anything i like without worrying if the other people will like it or not. and also if i do make a mistake it would not matter, as i have only myself to please, and i am very easy to please haha. also i dont have to worry about cooking enough, because if u are cooking for others as well, you are rather afraid that u might not cook enough to fill them up. so all in all, it is very relaxing just to cook for myself. that is why i can never understand why others want to cook for others. i cannot be the only one who likes cooking just for myself surely?



what do u do now that u are retired?

12 Jan

london 11.24am 7.9C cloudy, tuesday 2016

i hear people say they dont like grocery shopping for food. but i enjoy buying food, and cooking it.

yesterday i get the joy of finding minced angus beef, 500mg,reduced from £4 to 80p, and they dont even expire till 13 jan. not often i get to see such reductions on beef, so i bought  4 of them. and had a delicious meal of one of the packs last night. the rest i freezed. i think this hunting for reduced price bargains like this is part of the fun and contributes to why i like it so much. and as a side effect i found that when i do find such bargains, i really enjoy eating it. i think if i were to just buy the beef whenever i want, it wont be the same. eating it often wont generate the  intense desire and fulfillment that comes when i eat it once in a while. 

for those people who dont know how to cook, or cook in a very rudimentary fashion, buying ready made foods only, i dont know how they spend their time.

without the periods of food hunting and food cooking, they must have a lot of time on their hands, esp if they are retired and not working. of course they might say well that is why mylife is so much more interesting than yours. haha. i have lots of things to do than to spend time buying food and cooking it and making it the highlight of my life. haha. maybe they are right, but i dont envy them. i cannot think of anything u can do at this late stage of your life that is as easy and enjoyable as shopping for food and cooking it. and eating the result. 

maybe they spent all the time dozing in the sun. haha. or sleeping in their beds. that would certainly eat into their time and make it fly by. 

i am so glad of reading too. glad that i can read, that my eyesight is still ok that it does not make reading difficult. it makes me really glad of eyesight. the blind must feel very isolated as there are so many things they cannot do. i think of all the senses, the sense of sight is the most important. 

added12.54pm 13.1.16, the reduced foods section can create a fearful scrum with people fighting to get the food. as happened in this tesco supermarket and a person got hurt. but it depands on what night u go. i went on monday, which is a quiet day, and no one was fighting to get the food. perhaps that tesco is staggering its reductions to stop the fights happening. that would be a good thing if they do. 

roasting a chicken

18 Oct

london 9.44pm sunday 2015.

I read this method of roasting a chicken and thought it rather a waste of money. so much fuel spent. why cook it for 1.5hrs at 120C, then take it out and let it cool, while heating the now empty oven full blast on highest setting for 45mins, after which put in the cooled chicken for 15mins to brown it. why leave it full blast empty for 45mins? it is all a bloody waste of energy. if he wants to brown the chicken, why not put that oven to full blast for the last 15mins of that 1.5hrs at 120C. it makes me wonder if people have lost the skills and adding bits and bobs of their own.

i myself just season the chicken , open its legs, (that advise he gave about cutting the elastic that keeps the legs together is a good one, it shortens the cooking time. )and cook for 1hr at 200C. at the end of that time, leave the chicken dont take it out till 15mins later, so the remaining heat can continue to cook the chicken. the chicken will come out cooked and browned. and no fuss or bother. and u can roast veg in the oven at the same time too. i dont bother to pre boil the veg beforehand. just coat them with a bit of oil before hand by shaking them in some rapeseed oil in the roasting dish.

i think any method of cooking should try to use as little gas or electricity  to cook it as possible while producing a properly cooked dish. 

It’s the onion that WON’T leave you in floods of tears when you chop it – and might even smell OK on your breath | Daily Mail Online

8 Feb

It’s the onion that WON’T leave you in floods of tears when you chop it – and might even smell OK on your breath | Daily Mail Online.

this article saying the onion is now less like an onion, is the trend in modern times. veg have lost their distinctive flavour, which makes them what they are. take for eg, garlic, it is nothing like what i know of it. it is so mild that i have stopped using it in my cooking. it is not worth the cost of using it as it has no flavour anymore.

i think i have adjusted to not having it in my cooking now, because i dont miss it. i daresay when i get strong flavoured garlic or go to malaysia where it is still used in cooking, i shall most probably realise how good it is in cooking, but until then i can live without it. i guess one good out of this is that i dont have garlic breath, which is a good thing. 

i still use ginger, at least for now, as it still has some flavour, though not as intense as i would like. fortunately it does not smell up the breath or sweat.

simon likes his garlic, but because there is so little flavour, he uses a lot. i guess that suits the growers and the sellers,more profit for them.

in the past u dont need a lot of garlic to get that intense flavour in your cooking, but now of course with these low- flavour garlic u have to use more.

part of the popularity of these mild flavoured garlic  is the objection to the smell lingering in the breath. but u cannot have it both ways, liking the strong taste of it without the strong smell in the breath and sweat. unless modern day garlic users dont really like the taste of garlic, even though they say they are garlic lovers.

the same applies to onions.

i wonder what other veg they will seek to reduce the smell and taste of.

look out, world, other strong tasting or pungent smelling vegetables will be altered, mark my words.

flowers allready have that treatment. for eg, commercial roses have lost their scent.

life is nice in london

12 Jan


12.1.13 saturday 

I have noticed that if u click the follow button on each person’s blog a box comes up asking u to give them your email address and it says u will be notified by email.

That scares me off, because I don’t really want my email to be clogged by these notifications.

But I noticed that if I click on the follow button at the top of the page in the task bar, than it comes up in my blog’s reader, and I can chose not to have email notification. And I can read all the blogs I follow in the reader.

That is much better.

Have you found this out too?

Also I wonder if I edit my posts will they send a email notification to followers every time I click the publish button? That would be real irritating to the followers surely? At least I would find it irritating to have my email box clogged up by many notifications of the same post just because small changes have been done.

The independent newspaper has a report of one of their reporters to live on £31 a week, which is what is left after rent, bills, etc have been paid for.

He concludes he could not live on that. But seeing what he spends it on, I believe it is because he is hopeless at budgeting.
I live on £50 a month for all my living expenses.
So if I can do so why cannot he? The answer is he does not know how to budget.
Just one example will illustrate the point.
He spent £8.60 on two trips on the tube, when he already has a bus weekly card. Why does he take the tube?

And then he buys processed foods like pizza, ham.

If he were to just buy one uncooked chicken ( £5), uncooked minced beef400mg (£1.17), 15eggs (£1.50), and veg, oats, sultanas,and rice, pasta, milk powder and bread will feed him very well for the week.

Here is what he bought instead.

Milk, coffee, pasta, chopped tomatoes, an onion , a carrot, cooking bacon =£4.78

Pizza £2.50
Bread and ham for sandwiches £3.60

Spend £5.77 for ingredients for a chilli that will last him 3days. (I wonder what he bought? A basic minced beef + fresh tomatoes (6 for 68p)+canned kidney beans, will not cost that much.) Maybe he bought cans of chilli con carne. That would be expensive.
He bought basic cornflakes included in that total.

Nothing on food

Nothing on food

£2.20 on frozen pizza

Dinner £3.63

I think any decent cook will be able to show him how to eat well on less money. So it is not poverty that is his problem, it is ignorance. I bet no one in the comments in that article will point this out.


I have seen it many times even amongst my friends who think they are frugal. 

My friends would buy canned sauces, when it is so much cheaper and quicker and easier to just use fresh ingredients and make your own.
U want a tomato sauce, use 3 fresh tomatoes, and water. Add herbs or whatever u have in the kitchen, pepper, etc. and u have a lovely tomato sauce just like that. If u want to thicken it, just added cornflour dissolved in a bit of water.

So with curry sauce, instead of just buying a can or bottle of curry sauce, use curry powder and add water, garlic, ginger, or whatever herbs u got and that is it, curry sauce. Add a bit of suger if u like to enhance the taste.

I have long ago stopped buying pasta sauce from the bottle, or passata, or bottled curry sauce. They are very expensive for what they are, merely water, with a touch of curry powder, or a bit of concentrated tomato paste. And they will be very salty and sugery as well.

Do u know that passata , which used to be 29p is now 55p? And that is the Tesco basic one, fancier brands cost even more.

It is only concentrated tomato paste and water. With a bit of vinegar.
The branded ones made from real tomatoes are very expensive. U might as well just buy fresh tomatoes and make them yourself.

Life is really very nice for me here in London.

I take the bus to the gym and use the showers as well as do the machines. And without much effort I can see me bulging out with muscles in all the right places.

And I washed with that radon orange and tea smelling gel , and it is a really nice smell. Funny how the smell can make u want to use it. Those marketing guys really know how to attract people to buy.

Even I was tempted to buy it just for the smell. Haha.

My friend who is coming to visit me called and told me that he managed to get national express bus fares for £5 one way, both directions. They charge £2 now for booking. That has gone up rather a lot from what it was before £1. But the general cost is reasonable at £12 return. Esp on such short notice.

It wont tempt me to go to Bournemouth but then seaside towns don’t expect much business in winter.

In winter, London is the best destination to visit.

And he is ok with no heating in the flat. he said he don’t have heating in his place either. So that is good to find a kindred spirit who don’t want heating.

We should form a club of likeminded guys like us.