Tag Archives: Food

feasting

23 Dec

london 10.19am 10C cloudy saturday 2017

i have noticed veg is very cheap this year… 20p each for brussels sprouts, carrots, parsnips,potatoes, cauliflower, brocolli, such a large variety of veg being reduced. we have been pigging it with veg as a result. in fact all the christmas favourites in a roast dinner seem to be included in this cheap deal. even the meat is cheap… or cheapish… with tesco sellling £5/kg beef joints, and leg of lamb for £5.50/kg. salmon even half priced £5/kg. (though the salmon is sold whole, and a whole fish can be very heavy). that is remarkable really when u consider it is christmas period now.

i wonder if there will be any reductions come christmas eve, when it is early closing at 4pm for most supermarkets, it being sunday. we had a feast yesterday, with simon roasting duck. but i am hoping to get bargains tomorrow, when it is the last day of trading before the shops close completely for christmas day. i am looking for reductions in meat. but if i cannot get, then i shall get a chicken, and roast it and that will be our christmas dinner. in fact, i think even if there are other meat bargains, i shall still get a chicken as i fancy roast chicken. 

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food

13 Dec

london 6.33pm 6.1C wednesday 2017

such a mild day today. this is the lowest temperature today… can you believe it? we have hit a warm spell, due to a plume of warm air coming up from the south right over south england. scotland is still cold though. that is why u still read of snow and what not there. but it is mild down here. that is why so many travellers flying with BA in heathrow are a bit angry and puzzled why BA has cancelled so many flights. i think BA has been having the same problems as ryanair, where the pilots all take leave over this period to use up their holidays, and so there is a shortage of pilots. ryanair have to cancel flights, and that makes for very bad public relations. i think BA is using this excuse of snow to cancel flights that they would have to do due to pilot shortage, but under the pretense of this snowmagedon they can fob it off and let the weather take the blame. ha.

i got an email from tfl, the london transport people asking me for my views for the pedestrianisation of oxford st. and giving me the plans for how it will look like after they have done it. the buses will be diverted to the streets running north of oxford st, wigmore st.  it will be more inconvenient for us bus travellers, because where we can take one bus , like the 23 that takes me from the paddington library straight to the virgin lounge near soho; after they are done , i will have to change to another bus. so rather inconvenient and lengthen the journey times.

i think they must be thinking of the potential for a terrorist attack using a truck or car to mow down pedestrians along oxford st , and pedestrianising it will remove that danger. so i guess it will be best to close it to traffic. 

i have been to the circuit training, this afternoon, and find it is giving me a way to strengthen my muscles. recently there has been an article in the papers of a 80yr old celebrity saying she is addicted to pumping iron. she goes to the gym to lift weights, and saying everyone who is old should do it . i totally agree with her. without realising it, i find i could not do press ups as much as i used to do. i cannot do even 10 now. such a shock really to find out how weak i have become when i first did the circuit training. now i am gradually getting the upper arm strength back.

and just now an old friend of mine called to arrange to meet and he was talking about how he is worried all the time now. afraid to fall, he said. i told him of the old ladies and weights and urge him to take up some weight training, join a gym or even tai chi… he told me an old lady friend of his has joined a tai chi class. and i hope that might encourage him to join her. he says he worries a lot now , unlike when he was younger. all kinds of things make him worry. i know health deteriorating can make people worried. he is diabetic and cannot control his suger intake, nor change his lifestyle. so he knows he has to change, but cannot do it, and so another thing for him to worry about. rather sad really. i dont really know how to help him. 

oh, i got another freebie today. a free souvlaki, given by a new branch set up in victoria near the coach station by this restaurant chain called the athenian. it was very nice, the bread is very soft and like pitta bread, except softer , and folded in it is a stick of minced meat, (chicken, or pork, or lamb,beef,  and salad and folded up and wrapped so it is easy to eat. i forgot to see the menu and see how much they normally sell it for. about £5or£6 i should think, that is the normal price. you have to fill up a form in a tablet , giving them your email address, before u can get your free food. i got there after the circuit training about 5pm, when no one else was in the queue, and when i got my food, a long queue began to form. so i am glad i managed to avoid that. there are quite a lot of freebies giving out, there is another one tomorrow and the next day. and free doughnuts too at another place.

but even the supermarkets are selling cheap food. this morning i was on the bus going to asda to buy their beef, when i read in the metro newspaper on the bus , that tesco is selling beef joints for £5 /kg. same price as asda. and tesco is nearer to me too. so i got off the bus and took the connecting bus to the tesco and saw they were selling lots of veg, potatoes 2.5kg, carrots, parsnips, cauliflower for 29p each. they did not advertise that , i wonder why… it would certainly make me go to tesco even without the beef half price offer.  so here is where advertising has made me alter my plans and shop at tesco instead of at asda as i originally intended.

now i got the beef, 1.6kg, of it, simon suggested i roast half and do a curry on the other half. i had intended to do all of it in a curry… but the meat looks so good, all trussed up and ready to roast , that i was tempted to roast it instead. i am not sure about roasting beef…simon like it rare, i like it medium rare… so how to get that then…might have to take it out and cut out a portion and return the rest to cook somemore… quite a bother really. 

actually he is right now cooking something in the oven. using the veg i bought but instead of the beef, he is reheating 2 tins of steak and kidney pie. they are rather nice, but very salty. but convenient to cook, you just put them in the oven to warm up and that is it. and if u do it like he is doing now, roasting veg along with it, it makes for a nice roast dinner. if u think about it, if u have to make it yourself it would take a lot of time and effort. here it  really suits its name of convenience food. 

 

 

 

exmouth street market

16 Oct

london12.12pm veggie pret in exmouth market. 22.6C sunny monday 2017

quite warm today, and it seems brought on by a storm coming up the atlantic from the caribbean, dragging hot air along with it but because it is hitting ireland and scotland, it is missing south of england and that is why we are having these warm dry days. they all thought it is a repeat of the big storm of 89, 30 yrs ago, but it is not going to happen. it seems even that last storm of ’89 is not really a hurricane, in that it is just strong gusts of wind, that brought down the trees, and not a continuous 80mph (138km/hr)winds which is what a hurricane is. so far i had a look at the windspeeds in the north of scotland, colintraive, and it is about 50km/hr. and it seems the devastation 30 yrs ago is now all but recovered by nature with trees growing up to hide it all. which makes me kind of remain  equable when i read about nature’s destruction. nature just grows back again… it almost seems to be the way nature works… destroy and then rebuild, almost as if destruction is part of the plan.

it certainly clears away old growth and old trees that block the light from young growth. the old is not favoured by nature, or have you not noticed that? though some trees grow to a ripe old age but they are rare. actually some experts question why old women live so long, as they dont serve any purpose once they cannot breed. so it is a puzzle that one. but maybe they do serve a purpose , one that is important, and that we are not aware of. otherwise why have that old age trait lasted so long?

it used to be that we guess it is to impart age old wisdom… for eg, old she elephants remembering all the water holes in their migration and leading the herd to them in times of drought. so maybe old women have this function. and i can well imagine them imparting knowledge of plants and herbs and healing ways… as well as teaching the young generation how to cook, sew, mend, etc. but that kind of knowledge seems to be propagated just as well in books or written records… or maybe not, i doubt it is possible to get that kind of knowledge about edible mushrooms just from books…

i see the market stalls selling food outside this veggie pret that i am in, is busy now with people coming out for their lunch and the lunch crowds building up. there are quite a number of these stalls selling food, so this veggie pret will have competition. at first i had some trouble getting online with their wifi, even with the help of one of their staff, my chrome book wont allow me to download anything, saying it has no https and so is unsafe. but after fiddling with it, a page came up to ask me to register to the pret wifi, and when i did, it allowed me access and now here i am tapping this online. haha. i got a nice latte from the voucher i got when they opened. a very nice latte which i ask them to put in a porcelain cup , instead of a paper cup.

 

 

the view outside the window where i am sitting. that stall selling those meats look very good. they are on top of a bed of salad and rice. that latte is really special. i have not had one like that before. latte is half and half milk, but she foamed up the milk so that it is like a cappuchino but with lots more milk . so that u get a lot more drink in it. the thing i dont like about a cappucino is that it can be a lot of foam and not much liquid, so that you go away feeling you would like more coffee. this latte satisfies both. i could get to like it a lot.

and they have a tap right in front of the counter, to provide the free water. with cups nearby so dont even need to use your own bottle. very useful that .

added. 3.05pm home,  21C . its a very strange light we are having. like sepia tinted. that orangy yellow looking tint in old sepia photos, well that is what the light looks like now. must be a storm nearby to give that kind of clouds to tinge the atmosphere this colour. what is stranger is that there is no wind. none.

added. i read this news article in the dailymail online talking about it. it seems the storm coming up, has drawn air from the sahara and along with it, dust , which produces this strange tint. but where is the wind? why is it so still. no wind at all.

Digital StillCamera

a door that is not a door. haha. it was near the chapel st market, one of the streets running at right angles to it. a man who looked like he was some kind of mailor parcel courier was actually pressing the button on that call box when i pass by and i said to him, it is not a door, then a curtain parted in the glass windows on the right of us, and a hand beckoned him, and he went round the corner and i saw him enter some gates and proceed up a courtyard where the real entrance was.

more ‘free’ish hamburger

12 Oct

london 11.55am 17C ed diner victoria place thursday 2017

happened to be around and online here, and saw my voucher for a free burger at ed diner, and it expires 27oct so i thought well i might as well go for it. and found out that i can order any burger, so i ordered their double burger called big ed burger. 2x 6oz patties costing £10. well, i have to buy a drink and their cheapest was plain coffee at £3. so i might as well get the most expensive burger they got.

Digital StillCamera

its well done, rather than medium rare. its very filling of course so not something i would do on a regular basis.

chicken bargains

15 Sep

london 9.04pm 14.1C drizzling night friday 2017

couldn’t believe my luck … went to the local tesco to see if i can bag any bargains, and saw there were lots of whole chicken, usually selling for £1.99/kg expiring today. its not surprising these did not sell, because they are much more expensive than the promotion chickens that they are selling at 25% off. i suspect with so many other supermarkets selling it at prices lower than these chickens it is  bound to be no one is buying these. so i hung around knowing they will bound to be reduced. they all have reduced stickers saying £2.60, from usual price of about £3.70, which price i know no one will buy especially on their expiring date.

what did surprise me was them being reduced to 55p each. that is the lowest i have seen of whole chickens being sold at the end of the day… i thought those days of £1 chicken are gone, but these are even cheaper. so i bought 3. and he was reducing other meats too, so i bought pork, and mince beef and diced beef, all for about 55p each. really amazing prices. 

and these chickens are big, about 1.7kg. and there was only one other guy there , so no big scrum of buyers fighting for the goodies. it was quite late that he started the reductions. about 8pm… and this area has a poor 196bus connection after 8pm, so that might explain why there were no one around. and maybe on a friday night most people are wanting to party seeing it is the start of the weekend after all.

i shall be able to cook all the different ways of chicken that i like, roasting, and currying it, and blacksoya sauce it… a lot of people may be put off buying so many chickens, as they dont want to be eating chicken for weeks after, but if u cook them in all the different ways and then portion them up and freeze them, u will have loads of variety to enjoy for a month at least.

times like this is when i wish i got a big freezer, than can freeze the whole chicken and have lots of chicken to eat over the following months.

compare this price , 3 chickens for £1.66 to the two chickens i bought at full price, about £6.60 earlier this month. 

 

spending money is a simple pleasure in itself.

10 Sep

london 9.04am 15.2C sunny sunday 2017

i am unhappy not spending money

i think this is a very astute observation. i happened to come on it, in my wordpress reader, and other observations mentioned also strike to the heart of the matter of being thrifty and saving money.

yesterday i talked on simple pleasures, but if u think of it, spending money is a simple pleasure and a very powerful one as well. fortunately, the amount spent is not a strong factor … though it could be to some…it is highly possible that the pleasure in spending money is the huge amounts you spend, that might be the big factor in liking that pleasure…  but even then, small amounts can ride up to a huge outlay over time. some might even think if they dont spend money they are not living a good life. that they are missing out on something. that they are depriving themselves of life experience because they are not spending money.

in the end, the best advise to save money is dont buy anything… impossible to follow of course, so the more practical advise is spend less than you earn. and you can play it out over any time span that u like. a month, a year, 10yrs… as long as when u tote it up, u spend less than you earn. but important that u feel happy about it, otherwise it becomes too much like hell.

looking back on my life i realise i have been adjusting this spending as a pleasure by incorporating it to buying bargain foods. so my urge to spend is nicely fulfilled but i get double pleasure knowing i get really good value for what i buy and at much reduced prices, and also get the simple pleasure of enjoying eating what i bought. so win-win-win all round.

another way of saving money is to make it yourself. but i realise it does not work for me. for eg, i used to bake bread, but it still means u got to buy the ingredients, than the effort of making it and the cost of baking it in the oven using electricity/gas. unless you enjoy the making of it for its own sake, i find it is too much bother and does not save much… when the supermarkets reduce their bread to so little , 10p, 5p, for the commercial breads, and 25p for the instore baked ones.

and i find i dont want to eat so much bread anymore. its the same with cakes, i just find i dont want to eat them anymore… and at a stroke i get rid of the conundrum of whether to bake them or buy them. 

 

 

colindale food hall back again

24 Jul

london 10.09pm 16.5C damp monday 2017

i read this just now, about the opening of a food hall in colindale. there used to be one long ago, run along the lines of food halls in s.e.asia. where hawkers sell all kinds of food and you can mix and match cuisine from all the s.e.asian and chinese countries… that food hall closed long ago, but now it seems this one has risen to take its place. and quite a big one too. funny that no one reported it when it opened on 10.july. this is the first report i read of it. and their 20% discount has just ended today. i think a lot of us would be interested in going there. 

399 EDGWARE ROAD,
COLINDALE,
LONDON, NW9 0FH
INFO@BANGBANGORIENTAL.COM

perhaps their website should tell us how to get there. i mean what buses go there from the colindale tube station? and that the station is on the edgeware branch of the northern line. and in zone 4. but for us going by public transport, it willbe useful toknow what buses go there. added. there is a bus from kingsbury , jubilee line to stanmore.

i may not have heard of it, but it seems the locals know of it. and it has been full up ever since it opened it seems. so maybe that is why it is not publicised so much. it has enough business allready.

added 25.7.17. it seems tomorrow 26.7.17 is the official opening. the previous 2 wks was the soft opening. 

someone posted a review of it. hope it wont be too pricey. portions not very big. a lot of nostalgia for oriental city, the first food hall there and i too have nice memories of it, because prices then were low. but it was 9 yrs ago. it just wont be the same. in those days, even chinatown was cheap. it might be useful for locals who live near there so there is no need to make the long journey into the centre to chinatown for it. and as they said, other cuisines, are also available in there. but maybe not that attractive for us who live far away to make that special journey to go there for it.