Tag Archives: Food

plots for novels

28 Apr

london 8.31am 8C rain tuesday 2020

its lovely when i woke up this morning to a rainy day. a lovely change from the sunny blue sky days we had recently. and i am not being sarcastic, haha. i do love a cool wet day after a long stretch of hot warm days. such a nice contrast and everything is so much fresher after this rain. the vegetables growing in the courtyard by our amateur gardener are all standing stiff and tall and glowing instead of limply falling over the side.

i wonder when it is time to eat them, it wont do to let them grow old so that they become tough and fibrous. i think not a lot of us will be tempted to cut them and eat them, because they are not the common vege, like celery, or brocolli, but swiss chard and greens. i doubt many like those vege. 

i saw her watering the potatoes yesterday, they were growing just below my window, and i asked her what vegetable are they, and she said potatoes. they are only showing the leaves and i thought at first it was basil.

she is not growing tomatoes like last year. now those vege i like, and they produce a lot of tomatoes throughout summer so that you can harvest them continuously. but these ones, you can only harvest them once, and then they are gone.

i have finished reading the rise and fall of becky sharp by sara manning. and made a comment about it saying it is a nice attempt to bring the story up to date for our modern times, but i said that it fails because nowadays women dont have to rely on marrying well to get on in life. and so the point of the story is lost. in fact, that is also why adaptations of jane austen transplanted to our modern times dont work so well because the drama of winning a good marriage is all lost when a girl dont have to rely on that to do well in life. in fact, i should say that the whole genre of marrying well has spawned a huge amount of novels in the old days, but that is not likely to be the case for novels now. but women men relationships can still find lots of fertile ground to plow for novel story lines.

this one might provide fresh ground for a novel, i think. it is a woman complaining about her man. she asks why he ask her a stupid question like where the dishwashing liquid is. and it is quite a common one, where a woman thinks the man is deliberately trying to aggravate her, when from what i see, it is just ignorance, or just the woman controlling her kitchen and not let him get even near it, so it is natural that he has no idea where she keeps things in it. she had set him up, and then she complains why he is so ignorant.

so what do u think, am i mistaken to say it is the woman who without realising it, created the man who lives with her. she is the mistress of the kitchen and wont allow him to do anything in it, because she likes it her way and he would disrupt it by putting things away somewhere else, or make a mess of the kitchen etc. the reason why i say it, is because i know it is easy to do that. it happens to me, and i recognise that behaviour in me. the thing is, i am aware of it and i try to avoid it. like seeing simon do things in the kitchen and i stop myself from remarking on it, or correct him… because it would make him too nervous to do anything in the kitchen, or make him angry about it , either way it will stop him cooking and that is not what i desire, as it is important to let him do what he likes and feel at ease about it. that way i dont have to be expected to do all the cooking.

that is a very dangerous thing to do, to divide the duties and make each person responsible for a particular chore. it will bite back in the future. if u do all the cooking, dont complain if years later u find he does not know how to cook and rely on you to cook his meals all the time. it is something that women have done and later complain bitterly about when the man they have made is helpless in the kitchen and rely on her for every meal. 

a pleasant day

21 Mar

london 11.26am sunny 10C saturday 2020

yesterday the pubs and restaurants in london are asked to close. and today this morning i saw the pimlico library closed and at the victoria library i saw a notice saying they are closed but the doors were open and a man came out saying they will be close 10mins from now. so i entered because i want to get the papers, and the reading room door was shut, but i can see through the glass that there were quite a lot of people inside. i asked the librarian and she said they are closing and no idea when they will open again. so bang goes my chance to read the papers from today.

though i have to admit i myself have allready decided to stop going to the library so the library closing is just another logical step to lockdown in london really. we can still read the news online, though since it is all about the virus, it can get a bit repetitive. 

we can still go out and sit in the sun, but it is a bit cold out there so i am sitting in the sun inside my flat. haha. i suppose i shall try to get out and sit in the sun outside later when it gets warmer. 

and cooking food.

i went earlier to the sainsburys in pimlico and got a large pork leg joint 2.5kg, and 1kg of chicken legs.(still usual prices, pork£3/kg, chicken £1.85/kg) so that would be me ok for meat. and that is really all i need.

i froze 3 portions of the pork, and am cooking the 4th , soya sauce pork, with 5spice powder to make a stew. and sitting in the sun on my sofa whilst typing this online. its very pleasant actually.

luckily, i can get books to read using the online books to borrow that the library is providing. it is called the cloud library and i am reading a book called american royalty, in fact finished it allready. a fictional imagining that america crowned george washington and went the royal route, creating dukes and a aristocratic class…

and of course there are the free books i can get via my kindle. there is a website i can get that sends me free books that i can download in my kindle. i have loads of books that i have yet to read. that should be useful now that the library is closed and i cannot borrow books anymore. 

 

 

 

food

29 Jan

london 12.45pm 9C sunny wednesday 2020

yesterday night i went to a chinese new year dinner given by a casino, in west london.

there was no notice about it, i only know of it because one of us have parents who are members of it, and so told her and she told us. it seems it is open to all but we did not know that then.

we went last year and it was really a delicious and lavish buffet, and the memory of it still lingered with me, that is why i wanted to go this year. last year they advertised it and asked people to rsvp at eventbrite. it is a website that allows people to say they are coming, so that they can get an idea of how many to cater for.

this year there was none of that. one of us told me she had booked a table for 10, and told me the name she booked it in. so i thought i can use that to gain entrance. usually in casinos they are quite strict about letting anyone in, wanting them to apply for membership etc and proof of age. last year i was not asked for ID. but i decided to bring my passport anyway.

i was there at about 6.45pm, and i saw a (added, young) chinese guy sitting on one of the easy chairs at the foyer, waiting for something, and i thought oh dear are they that strict that they want the host to escort the guests in. then after a bit i saw one of us there at the desk so i decided to join her.

they were asking her to show ID. and i was asked for mine as well. later i overheard the receptionist saying to her that they need to verify her age, because she looked young.

later, i heard more of what happened from the others who arrived after her. it seemed she had a disabled person’s travel card, but it has no date of birth on it. and it seems anyone who looked under 25yrs old must show ID. she was 25yrs old. so she had to go home to get ID.

meanwhile i could not get my passport out of the pocket of my jacket so i gave them my freedom pass instead, and though there was no date of birth there, they all know that a freedom pass is only for people over 60yrs old.

it is strange to ask me for ID because i have long gone past looking like i am under 25yrs old. haha. last year they did not bother to ask me for my ID, but i guess it all depands on who is on the desk, or maybe whether they had a bad day or not, haha.

though the others who came told me they too were asked for ID, so this year they must have been told to implement the policy.

it seems the receptionist told one of us that anyone can come in to join in the free buffet. so lets hope they do it every year for cny.

this year the buffet offerings were not so good as last year. it was limited to plain rice, spring rolls, duck, noodles, and beef. and this year they ask us to keep our bags with reception, unlike last year. but it was still very nice to have a chinese meal . glad they got roast duck. it is not something i eat often. this is because i cant find cheap duck sold in the supermarket. tesco is supposed to have one for £5 and i want to buy it, but i can never find it in their frozen section. it is quite easy to cook one at home. 

there were a lot more chinese people at this buffet than last year. elderly people too, like they are a tourist group. and they have moved the food trays to the gambling floor instead of at the bar like last year. so you get a line of people queueing up for the food right amongst all the gambling tables with roulette wheels. it must be real disruptive for the gamblers. but there was no lion dancers like last year, no room for them actually if they are there. 

a grey day today

6 Jan

london 4.57pm 8C cloudy and dark now monday 2020

KODAK Digital Still Camera

this is the dish of rice on stewed soyasauce pork. the pork i made yesterday and just heated up, the rice i just now cooked quick with the rice cooker. i must have been hungry because i ate it very quickly and hardly felt full. it was delicious, but it has taken the edge off my hunger now so i wont get a second helping.

i was wandering around earlier in the foodcentre in victoria, and walking past the macdonalds, and kfc. i was looking for a plug outlet to charge my chromebook. while i was there, i thought i could of course use the newspaper voucher by macdonalds whcih i found in the free newspaper on the bus going there, that give me a big mac and chips/salad for £2. the thought crossed my  mind, simply because of yesterday’s offer of a free macmuffin, and before that a £1 big mac.

its one of those things where these publicity promotions  make you think of that food. that is how these promotions work. and i think most people will succumb to it. it does not seem to work on me, partly because i always remember how disappointing the last time i ate it, so salty.  every time i get tempted to buy one, i remember it and it puts me right off . and yet it is so appealing to be able to just go and buy one and eat it and enjoy it. ah well, nevermind, at least i dont experience that disappointed feeling. mind you, it was a long time ago since i ate a big mac. so perhaps they are better now, and not so salty. 

 

its a very grey day today. due to the clouds , they are grey like rain clouds though there is no rain. i guess it can make people depressed when everything looks so misty grey. 

watching tv now

8 Dec

london 5.37pm 7C dry sunday 2019

its dark out there now, and i had to look out of the window to see if it is raining or not. the shops will be closed now, at least the normal big supermarkets,so its too late for me to get the reduced foods. i dont need any reduced foods  really. 

 the so called  convenience shops are still open in case anyone needs to buy anything urgently. not that i am in need of anything. with a freezer of food it is rare that i dont have anything to make a meal at a moment’s notice.

so i have eaten fried rice with prawns,mixed with scambled eggs  and lettuce. its quick and filling. now i am waiting for a cartoon to start, it is another version of the christmas scrooge story, called a christmas carol, but this time voiced by jim carrey, doing all the voices for scrooge as well as the 3 ghosts of christmas. i dont think i have seen it before.

i have discovered that in my chromebook i can get the tv programs to show live over the internet. so even though simon is now seeing a program on the tv screen, if he is still on it, i can see my program on my chromebook.

no wonder there is no need for a big tv screen in the house anymore since anyone can see tv on their laptops. people can by- pass the tv license as they dont need a tv screen anymore. i hope that the bbc tv license is on the way out. they will have to find another alternative. the cartoon is starting now, and i can watch it over the big screen as simon can watch his snooker on his laptop. 

random musings

10 Jul

london 10.50am  22C sunny wednesday 2019

 

 

 

very garish colours of summer flowers, these are the ones growing in the communal gardens in my housing estate, now. added. i googled the image of the flowers, and google says they are marigolds. 

when i say housing estate it conjures very ugly housing, but it is not so in mine. it was built in 1898, the first london council housing. and very pretty it is too, with red bricks and the block of flats set in pattern and tree lined. it used to be millbank prison. this area must be very unsavoury in those days for them to think of siting a prison here. right next to the river too…and they boarded the prisoners to the ships that are bound for australia from the banks of the thames here too; 

just goes to show that in olden days no one wants to be near the river, as it is swampy , prone to tides and most probably because it must smell awful, as the river acts as a sewer in the old days. now, everyone fights to be near the river, with river views commanding a premium.

the picture of the hamburger is the one i took at belushi’s, when i went there for their £1 burger yesterday. it was a very dark corner of the pub, and i took it without a flash, because i could not access the flash in my camera. i am surprised it came out quite bright, when i thought i would just get a dark blob.

it was a rather nice burger, with lovely smell of barbequed beef. that smell is quite difficult to get nowadays. the reason being that many of these high end burger places cook it lightly, to keep the middle slightly red. to keep it tender. but this one even though cooked right through was still very tender, which is good of them. i think the secret is very high heat. but whatever , it was lovely to get that smell of barbequed beef. heavenly.

later i saw a chap eating a hamburger with a knife and fork, and i thought, 1) his hamburger is much smaller than the one i got, 2) they dont give us knife and fork at belushis, we have to eat it with our fingers. i suppose we could ask for knife and fork and they would give it to us, but we dont mind. 

lucky i went to wash my hands first at the toilet. usually i find it difficult to eat with the hands, but this one was very manageable. even though the bun was big, and the meat was big.

they provide lots of bottles of sauces on the table, but i did not put them on, as it just makes the whole thing very messy if u do and it does not need it really. it would mask the taste and smell of the meat and defeat the whole purpose of the exercise.

and two of the malaysian women who are regular goers of these offers were seated there allready enjoying their burger. i went there at 12.30pm, actually i arrived in the area at 12pm, but felt it was too early and went wandering in the nearby  lidl and poundstretcher shops before hand. so it was nice to have their company while we ate. they live near hounslow , west london, so no wonder they chose this branch of belushi’s, in shepherd bush, as it would be nearer them. and it was a coincidence that they chose the 12-1pm slot as well.

in the evening i thought i shall go to trafalgar square to see the opera, marriage of figaro. i arrived just after 7pm, when it starts. lots of places to see it really as the square was not full. you can even see it on the outside of the fenced area, without needing to go through security if u wish. but if u stay outside it does mean you wont be committed to staying… and that means you will be tempted to move on, like i did. there was a lot of speech singing rather than actual singing, if u know what i mean.

anyway i just wanted to wander about, and appreciating the sight of the buildings around trafalgar square, and the people and just savouring the atmosphere of being in the middle of london in this pleasant warm evening.

so i strolled along to chinatown, and sat a while in leicester square looking at the people, and then popped into two grocery stores in chinatown, before they close, and bought a flat and a thin noodle £1.15 each.

and looked at the queues forming to get into some restaurants in chinatown, and not in others. very curious phenomenon, where one place would have long queues to get in, whilst next door no one is in it. 

added. 11.37am, how nice of them, just after writing the above, i saw an email from them saying they are giving me a 2 for 1 voucher to use from now till the 20july..

chicken curry

8 Jul

london 3.07pm 22C cloudy/sunny monday 2019

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i fancied chicken and saw asda selling chicken thighs for £1.65/kg. so i went there and bought two packs, £1.80 each, about 1.15kg each, i have freezed one pack and used the other to make a curry. and ate it with cut pieces of fresh cucumber. they go together well. i accidentally tipped in a lot of tumeric, that is why it looks so yellow. its still delicious.

i have been looking at the menu of the malaysian restaurants, in the queensway area, and i see prices are about £8 a dish nowadays on average. i can buy so much with £8  and cook it myself that is why i am not keen on eating out.

i suppose most of the reason for eating out is the company, you go there with friends and enjoy the communal meal with others and bond with friends.

but nowadays all my friends have gone, and so we dont have that regular arrangement in the past where we would go to a chinese restaurant and share a meal. it used to be £10 each and we have a full meal, but i think it may not be possible to get that now. if it costs double that it will deter a lot of people from making it a regular thing.

also, when i was younger, i can eat a lot more than i can now. now i find i just naturally eat less, or it does not need a lot of food to make me feel full.

in that restaurant, i was looking over the shoulder of a malay guy who was there with two other friends. the restaurant dont have a printed menu on the window, that is why i was looking over the shoulder of this guy. and one of the others offered his own menu to me. so i had a look at what the restaurant was serving, and the prices they are charging. when i finished looking i gave the menu back.

it is now looking back on it, and seeing those 3 malay guys ,that it reminded me that was what we were doing too in the past, bringing a few friends to a eating place and ordering food and eating together and chatting away. it does remind me of the old days.

 

 

living unawares

24 Jun

london 6.56pm 24C sunny rain monday 2019.

i have just got back from another free hamburger offer , this time from burger and beyond, who are in shoreditch. they are giving out 150 free hamburgers to celebrate their success on instagram, i think i heard mention they got 150,000 followers or something. 

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its quite nice, costs normally £9. we were the first few, so were seated very quickly and were served very quickly too. that is the advantage of being the first few. you dont have to wait long for the food. its nice of them to give us free food.

its nice and hot now in london, i get the occasional sneeze and mostly itchy eyes and runny nose, but it is not too bad. so i should be grateful that it is not worse. but then they are forecasting 30C temperatures later this week, so the pollen might get to pour out then. i saw an article listing the hottest junes and it seems last year was the 3rd hottest on record. hmm, know something? i would not have known if i was not told. it is funny that i have lived through it and dont remember it was that hot.2017 was a hot june too, but i dont remember it as such. it just goes to show that you could be living it and be unaware of it all. 

7.55pm 23C rain.

i noticed it was 24C this morning when i made the first post. it has remained 24C all day, except for a jump at about 4.30pm peaking at 26C around 5pm. so while we were queueing at the restaurant waiting for it to open at 5pm it was at its hottest today. now it is raining so that has cooled things a bit. 

 

street food vs home cook

16 May

london 4.21C sunny 17C thursday 2019

 

i went to the street food market in st katherine’s wharf. i chose the ethiopian food stall,i chosed chicken. it was on a base of ethiopian bread(it has sourdough so is a bit sour) and he  poured over it the chicken cooked in tomato sauce  and half a hardboiled egg , then added on topping of  tomatoes and lentil salad, and on one side of the bowl some green beans and cabbage and gave me an extra amount of ethiopian bread on top. i forgot to give him my plastic bowl that i brought along, so i defeated the purpose of this promotion, to reduce the amount of one off disposable bowls. in fact, one of us, was so attracted by what i got, she went and bought the same thing, but used her bowl, and was given a lot more than i got… haha. 

i thought since i get it free, i shall try something different than the beefburger which is really popular with the others. it costs £8 normally. i have to say i dont notice what is different about the dish i got,  from any other chicken cooked in tomato sauce. it is not spicy and doesnot seem to have any distinctive herbs to distinguish it as ethiopian. perhaps the bread is the special feature. i am not familiar with what ethiopian cuisine is like but this one does not tell me more of it. 

i can see why the beefburger is so popular, you get double beefburger for £8. (£6 if single )and it comes with fries. long queues for that. it is by far the most popular stall. what is surprising to me is why it is so popular, when the prices are not cheaper than what the posh burger places like shake shack, etc are charging, and you can be inside a nice cafe with proper tables and chairs to enjoy it. i read here about a new shake shack coming to manila, and the long queues, and how popular it is with filipinos, so it seems burgers are just popular things to eat for all, regardless of race or country. you might say it is the universal food.

all these food stalls in the open air mimics the food stalls in asia, where they sell hawker foods.  except here it costs £7,£8…other places in london sell for £5, i am thinking of the stalls in pimlico , the chicken kebab i am thinking. so the prices depands on where it is. i think where there are a lot of office workers, is where u get the customers. but maybe i am wrong, because they seem to open from thurs to sunday. so perhaps they want to get the tourist customers too.

i am not the target customer. i can make these foods so easily and cheaply that i am very reluctant to buy them for what they charge. 

for eg, when i got back, i felt peckish, so i cooked some rice in my rice cooker and put on top of the rice a plate of red gem lettuce ( bought cheap . it is gem lettuce which has tinge of red colour at the tip of the leaves, hence the name i guess) and a piece of pork chop (bought cheap again, and cut into small strips), and the whole thing was steamed and cooked by the time the rice was done. it tasted wonderful and quite filling too.

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that is why i just dont feel like buying meals. it really is very cheap to cook your own meals, and you eat very well, and you dont need pay a lot for it, so no need to scrimp and save. 

added. 6.26pm, i came across this in wordpress, a blog talking about the ethiopan meal he had, and it seems the bread i had is used to scoop the stew up. 

life observations

26 Apr

london 3.30pm 17C dry cloudy friday 2019

i saw a dining knife in  organic waste bin in my kitchen just now. hmm, it must be quite common, to throw cutlery away by mistake or is it ? i am asking. it does explain why my cutlery set has been losing its knives and forks and spoons over the years. simon must have tipped it into the bin when he emptied his plate. anyway i retrieved it and washed it and put it on the drying rack.

glad i saw it this time, because the bin was quite empty. hmm, i wonder if i should sift through the rubbish from now on before i throw it away , just to make a quick check. or maybe i  might  be able to feel any of these metal cutlery when i empty it and fold up the pack in paper in preparation to throw it away. its been a long time since i see cutlery thrown away like this.

in the past i have caught myself doing this throwing away of cutlery whilst emptying the plate of leftover food. but during those times, i noticed my mistake and was able to fish the cutlery out of the bin immediately it happened. 

i am glad i dont buy anything now , but get all my kitchen stuff from the recycling bins where i get them free. haha.

 this morning i went to the tortilla cafe to get their free breakfast burito. it is the last of their free offer, so no more of these from now on. it was very nice whilst it lasted.

though today when i ask for the coffee, i was told he did not switch  on the coffee machine this morning so there was no coffee but there was fruit juice so i ask for a orange juice which turned out to be what looked like fresh squeezed juice with bits. it is not really freshly juiced as it came in a bottle. but it was rather nice, and this time when i ate the burito, i did not have to go to the toilet … it must be the coffee that caused  my stomach upset , i was mistaken to blame the burito . (but when i went to the seating area i saw other diners there have coffee… so i wonder if it was working earlier, and they either switch it off or run out of coffee or just dont want to give us coffee).

also the server  did not put any of the tomatoes salad pieces in my burito, she missed it,  and i noticed it makes the whole burito very wet… this time it was quite dry and much nicer and easier to eat. its very nice to eat.

on the way out i saw a guy hesitate at the back of the queue, which was not long at all, and then he moved away and on the escalator going down i passed him, and remarked why he did not get the free burito. i thought he might not have known it was free, but he said he knows, but did not feel like having burito for breakfast. i laughed and said i know what you mean but it is actually quite nice. and strangely this time it left me feeling very nicely full and not overly satiated… the only difference this time is the coffee , i did not have it;  so it must be the coffee that gave me that overly full feeling last two times and not the burito. and to think i have been blaming the burito.