Tag Archives: fruits

black grapes

23 Feb

london 9.12am 8.8C fog saturday 2019

yesterday i bought some black grapes from lidl. 500mg for £1.25. actually asda was selling grapes, black, red and ordinary 2x 400mg packs for £2. and i had gone to clapham junction to buy them, but i entered the lidl next door first, as it was the nearest to the train station, and got all my shopping from lidl instead. those two supermarkets are so close to each other, i am sure they poach each others customers all the time. 

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i have never bought black grapes before. in fact this is the first time i became aware of them, because there were so many of them on sale.

the black grapes are very sweet. not as crunchy as the other types. the red grapes can sometimes look like black grapes, depending on how deep the red is. so i think that is what these black grapes are, they are just red grapes with a very deep colour, so they appear black. taste wise, they are like any grapes…except sweeter.  so maybe the black grapes are really very ripe red grapes. they are so nice, i have almost finished them allready. 

i think the green grapes can be sour, so i wonder if green grapes are just unripe grapes… in most fruits, a red colour indicates they are ripe. 

thank goodness for the lidl and asda , they make tesco and sainsburys with their £2 grapes look overpriced.

i met a guy shopping in tesco last night, and he had bought loads of golden delicious apples in his shopping trolley,(he says he has a large family and so the fruits have to keep) and we started chatting and he said he finds the fruits in lidl goes off very quick. and i wonder if lidl sells fruits that are allready ripe, and maybe that is why they are cheaper than the other supermarkets who sell their fruits unripe, and can afford to let them remain unsold for a bit longer and so sells them at a higher price because they are not interested in a quick turnaround.

with lidl, those fruits have to be sold quick or they become over ripe, hence they sell them cheaper. and maybe when they sourced the fruits, the farmers may let it be sold cheaper simply because they are getting riper, and cannot keep.

that is why i find when i buy from lidls, the fruits have just reach that stage of ripeness that makes them most delicious. and that means i eat them quickly, rather than keep them for ages. it is something i like to do too, to be able to eat them straight away, rather than wait for them to ripen, which i have to do if i buy from tesco.

i remember once buying easy peel fruits from lidl , 2 huge bags of it because they are so cheap; and ate  all of one bag  on the bus back, because they are so ripe and bursting with juice that i could not stop eating them. those were the most enjoyable satsumas or clementines,(i never can tell what they are) i have ever tasted.


6 Jul

london 2.07pm 30C sunny friday 2018



does not feel that hot outside. i just came back from the library, and even though it says 30C now, i did not feel it was that hot. some days when it was below 30C you can feel it very badly, very sweaty, and the air has this oppressive feel to it, but today it was not so. perhaps the library was cool, and the bus was cool, and i was under the trees near the tate britain where the hollyhocks are. and traffic around here is very low.

in the past when i see people with curtains drawn, i used to think what pussies they are because it is never so hot that we want to keep out the sun warming the place up. but today i had to draw the curtains in my living room, to prevent the sun heating it up too much. so i have joined the ranks of the pussies who keep their curtains close. also, the bright sun coming in makes it really difficult to see my laptop screen.

i suppose we should all enjoy this heat, but i think too much of a good thing is not good. but whatever… life is what it is, and if it wants to make a heat wave over uk, so be it. 

32.1C sunny 4.58pm.

cannot quite believe my weather website saying it is 32.1C.added 9.16pm, it seems it hit 33C today

i was out just now, went to the asda just as an excuse to go out. it did not feel that hot. though there was a lot of glare from the sun reflecting off the walls of the buildings.


i got a pack of strawberries, asda was selling a lot of them,  but they were not very sweet.  those i bought were reduced from 98p to 69p for 300mg. the sales woman was just putting them out on display when i was there. that is why i decided to replace the one i got from the £1.09shelf for it. when i got back and ate them, they were still very good, not bruised or soft… i thought that by now they should have ripened a lot, but they were not sweet. there were lots of packs at unreduced price of £1.09p. they dont look bright red, so maybe not ripened fully yet.  added. 9.18pm. i saw an advert on tv just now saying they were £1.29p. so why the disparity with the actual price in the shop?

 i have thought there will be lots of summer fruits, like cherries, strawberries, raspberries, etc, glutting the market; but it is not so. or rather, only strawberries seem to be abundant. and if what i ate is typical, it is not sweet. i wonder why?

i have heard so much about english strawberries being small but sweet. but not the ones i ate today. perhaps it is not typical of the batch, or it might be too early to be picked. ah well, that is the thing about fruits. if you dont pick them early, they get too ripe when they arrive at the shops and they go all soft and blotchy and look too ugly.

long ago we used to go to the farms to pick strawberries, and i would pick and eat them… i think you are not supposed to do that. you are supposed to pick them and then have them weighed and you then buy them. but that time, i was new to uk, and so i thought that was the whole idea of it, wasn’t it? pay to go into the farm and eat as much as u like…now i realise it was not supposed to be like that, and i was glad i was not caught out and be scolded for it. haha. but perhaps in those days, things were cheaper, and what we paid to go in, paid for whatever we could eat as well. there were maize plants as well, and i remember the fresh corn eaten off the cob was so sweet. before that, i have never eaten fresh corn, having only eaten them when they are cooked. i never knew u can eat them raw.

i have fond memories of the fruit gluts that we can get in malaysia when the time for it comes round. like for eg, the durian glut, oh how we can gorge , an orgy of gorging on the fruit. or when it is rambutan season, or duku, langsat. and in times of old, mangosteens. the latter is no more now, gone are those happy days when mangosteens are plentiful. it is a sad fact, that only when it is over, and you look back on it, do u appreciate how good it was. during the time when it was abundant, i never realise how good it was, nor that it will be gone in future. i wonder what are the things now that we take for granted, which are abundantly available, will become so scarce that we wont be able to enjoy in future. 

and i noticed the £1 offer for the 1kg lancashire farm yogurt is now over, and they are selling for £1.40 now. well, all good things must come to an end i suppose. 

added. 9.36pm. you see what i mean when i say good things come to an end. i just got an email from talk talk, telling me that the free sim for my mobile phone where i got free calls will end 8 sept. if i still want it it will cost me £3 a month. unlike now when it is free to me. but i dont think i want to pay for it. even though they said they will give me 4G. it is 3G now. frankly i have no idea how much better it will be , as i dont know what the 4G means. but i dont make a lot of calls even now even thought it is free. i hardly use up the 200 mins i get free each month.  so no point i think.

i stick with talktalk because of the free broadband included in the package, and it is the cheapest package around at £20 a month. i am happy with that because the broadband allows me to access catch up tv, and hd and the free tv programs in hd. that is good enough for me, not forgetting it allows me to be online all the time on my laptop. its got to the stage now that i cannot do without broadband. it has become essential. i can remember in the past i would be saying broadband is not important and i can live without it. not anymore , i am hooked .

haha. i will miss the free calls on the phone, but they are not essential.

enjoying buying reduced price food

7 Jun

london virgin lounge haymarket 2.51pm 20.7C cloudy/bright thursday 2018

i went to shoreditch box park, because i got a email saying they are giving away bottles of iced tea, today and tomorrow. well i wanted to go out and thought it is a nice incentive and a destination.

i got a mango flavoured tea, and of course with the flavour you dont really get to taste the tea. they got other flavours too. lemon and something else which i did not catch. they were giving away slices of fresh melon too. which i much like, more than the tea haha.

we in london, do get promotions like this where they give away samples of their products . i am all for it. haha. and they dont mind people taking more than one too. not that i wanted it. they are sweet, they have to be, i think, otherwise people just wont like them.

not a lot of people like to have sugerless tea like me. personally i think if u are a true tea lover, you will want to taste the tea, and that means no suger. i am not a true tea expert, as i cannot appreciate the different types of tea. i dont seem to be able to tell the difference. i just like drinking it and dont mind what tea it is.

i guess you can guess that i dont like flavoured tea. putting fruit flavours in them, or lavendar, or what have you does not attract me. 

i got lucky today when i went to chinatown afterwards. i always pop into one of the groceries stores there to see if they have reduced chinese chives, and i have not been lucky before but today i was surprised and pleased to see 5 packs of chives reduced to 33p. usually they cost £1.65 each for 150mg, so this is a bargain, (in fact, it is the first time i see them reduced to 33p each. )and i took all 5. they can be freezed and very useful for stir fried noodles. they impart a certain flavour to the dish that is distinctive and makes cha kueh teoh tastes authentic. they are quite a strong smelling vegetable. and can put people off, maybe that is why they are being sold so cheap today. as they age they give off a stronger smell. 

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and as i made my way to the virgin lounge, i stopped by the tesco nearby and saw they were selling large pineapples for 49p each, and lettuce gems for that price too. so i bought both. i like that now and then when they get reduced i can buy them to eat. i think if i were to eat them all the time i would get bored with them, but now and then makes them more delicious. added. 5.46pm i ate the pineapple, and it is very sweet. even though on the outside it is very green. and i realised this… that if u buy them when they are reduced , they have lots of time to ripen, and actually become just the perfect time to be eaten. 

 i have been wondering what i would be doing if i were living in malaysia instead of living in london, and wondering if i would have a nice life in petaling jaya, where my family home is, or even in penang, if i were to go there to live. and i was thinking i doubt it, because i shall be doing exactly what i am doing now, and that is surfing the internet and reading the papers and reading novels, except in malaysia i have to buy those things, rather than get them free here. and i wont have the pleasure of buying reduced priced veg, goods, or get freebies like they are giving out here. also, transport for me is free, and that makes it so much more mobile here than in malaysia where it is not free, but also the bus services from my family home to kl, or other parts of PJ is not frequent and crowded. 

i thought maybe i shall be enjoying eating out more, if i were in malaysia, seeing eating out in the hawker stalls is so much cheaper, but i have a sneaking suspicion that i wont . this is because i know that when i was there long ago, for 6months looking after my father, i never did go out and eat a lot of the hawker foods. in fact i found i crave salads, not something i crave when i am here in london; which is easy to get here in uk, but quite expensive in malaysia. the usual salad vegetables with dressing that u can get so easily here in uk, is quite a rarity in malaysia. i think because salad vegetables like cox lettuces, iceberg lettuces, are expensive in malaysia. and also i find i want to eat steaks when i was there. it is strange isn’t it? i dont crave steak that much when i am here in london. maybe it is just the perversity of human beings, to want something when it is not easily available. 

i mean how else to explain why malaysians like to buy and eat apples , oranges, grapes etc there when they have all the lovely local fruits. and apples and oranges are imports, and cost so much more, and not fresh either. it is the same as people here liking pineapple , bananas, lime, melons, when they are scarce in winter and even if available in summer are not local either. 


apple pie

12 Jan

london 12.29pm 7.3C cloudy. they are saying it should be raining now. no sign of it. thursday 2016. added oops, i happen to look out of the window and it is raining. so the forecast are right then. haha.

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last night tesco was selling bramley apples cheap. 38p for 4apples. and shortcrust pastry 500mg for 28p. so i decided to make apple pie. interestingly i forgot to add suger to the apples, and have to sprinkle it on the pie top instead. but it still tasted lovely. i forgot to sprinkle cinnamon powder in the apples too, but it dont seem to affect the pleasure of eating it.  usually bramley apples are very tart, but after roasting they sweeten. i have noticed this of other vegetables too, roast carrots, parsnips, onions, all seem to taste very sweet after roasting. this time, my apple pie did not collapse into itself as the apples inside it cooked and shrink. i wonder why this one did not do so.

 added 18.1.16 i realise why it does not collapse. it is because there were quite a lot of extra pastry left over and instead of throwing them away i just put them on the lid, that strengthens it, i think which is why the lid did not collapse when the apples inside shrunk. 

added. 5.06pm 3C. rain. quite heavy rain and the temperature has suddenly taken a dip just now, it was about 6C a short time ago. cant say we notice the cold inside the flat. it feels very mild. there is no snow in london, as it is too warm for it. i think this rain will keep people in their houses. somehow when it rains like this, i dont feel like going out, and i daresay a lot of people will feel the same as me. it would be nice if we did have snow. maybe in the early morning tomorrow, we might wake up to a white scene outside the window. hope so. 

added. 7.04pm, it has dipped to 1.6C but is now back up to 2C. i wonder if this is the lowest it will get to, if so, than my hopes for a white snow scene tomorrow will be dashed.

market forces

3 Aug

london 11.38am 21.4C sunny wednesday 2016 the night temperature has been 19C throughout. i think it is very mild.

i went to lidl again this morning to buy peaches. they change their value 6 fruit and veg  every thursday and i think i must have caught them over the changeover. the marked price of the peaches are 59p for 1kg, yet when i went to pay, i was charged 49p for 1kg.

so it looked like these ones i got are meant for tomorrow.(i shall see if tomorrow the prices reflect this) they are smaller so there are more of them in the pack, and just about ripe… which means they should be eaten quick. maybe that explains why they are cheaper. at these prices you can buy 2or 3 packs easily and many shoppers in lidl are, like me, doing that. ( i have just eaten 3 of them, one after another. they are that easy to eat and just ripe too. haha. )

i noticed they are from spain. perhaps with the £ going down, these peaches are not being bought in the normal advance purchase so they have been lying around not sold , until now when they become so ripe the producers  are forced  to reduce their wholesale prices so that they can be sold  and lidl is able to get to grab this bargain.   certainly this year peaches (and nectarines too because they too are on sale in lidl for the same price)have been the cheapest i have seen and all because of lidl.  the other supermarkets are still selling their peaches at higher prices.

this should be the normal way , when there is a glut during summer they should sell these fruits cheap so that we all can taste them… but it does not happen because the market controls the sale, and regulates the supply . this year that mechanism must have been thrown out of kilter from our brexit, and the £ dropping so much.

so far tomatoes are not cheap… so i wonder who is controlling their supply. but tomatoes are a tricky fruit to grow. they are very fussy growers. simon tells me his mum grows them in her garden and some years they  get a glut other times nothing or they dont ripen.

while i imagine fruit trees will continue to put out fruits. haha.



a lovely long border of these flowers, which are weeds really but the gardener has planted them. its near the swimming area of the lake in hyde park.. taken by ian, that is why they dont enlarge to a bigger size.


5 Aug

london 7.10am wednesday 2015 17.1C sunny

i have eaten ripe peaches last week, bought from aldi, 50p pack (of 5) and they were so delicious that i went back yesterday to buy some more . this time they were larger and so 4 to a pack. i have forgotten how delicious peaches can be. though u have to wait till they ripen. when the flesh falls off the stone seed that is the time to eat them. peaches have such a strange looking skin. the label says they are ‘sweet love’ from spain, white flesh.

here is a link to 10 strange and rare peaches.

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7 Aug


I did not intend this post to be about praise for aldi.

I was about to talk of the hot weather we were having, and why i find myself being very sleepy at the middle of the day because of it and wanting to take a nap. it does make me miss out on a lot of things, because unlike europe where everything close down for their afternoon siesta, here in uk, and london everything stays open. it is one of the nicests things about uk that i like over and above europe.

I was on the bus to the supermarket earlier today and the hot weather seems to be affecting the kids a lot more than the adults. certainly the kids on the bus were all dozing off.

though reading a blog , i see europe is having a glut of summer vegetables and big bulgy tomatoes that we dont get here.

I have noticed they do have these big tumourous tomatoes, but they taste like tomatoes and are no different in taste from smaller tomatoes, so their size is the only difference.

they go well with buffalo mozzarela in a tomato salad, in that they look very nice, but of course u can have it with small tomatoes and they taste just as good. but i know some europeans like the look of things.

perhaps the beefy tomatoes also taste different. but i think they only look as if they taste different. certainly i have not noticed any difference in taste, partly because the olive oil dressing and basil herb masks any taste they might have. maybe that is why they are not so popular here in uk, certainly i dont see many of them on sale in the supermarkets.

i remember the european summer fruits, like the peaches that i bought in capdagde are just delicious, they are always just ripe and bursting with juice and comes off the core very easily. unlike peaches here in the supermarkets , where it is either not ripe yet, or too ripe. And no matter what state they are in they are never juicy or sweet. and they are not cheap either. That is something that europe has better than uk. but it seems the downside is that come winter, in europe, the range of vegetables on sale is severely restricted… at least if i read that blog entry correctly.

whilst here in uk, we get veg all year round, no exciting summer vegetables, but the staples like brocolli, lettuce,plain tomatoes, cauliflower, cucumber, celery are always available. not very exciting perhaps but people know they are there. And human beings being creatures of habit, we like eating what we are familiar with. maybe that is why in summer the supermarkets just dont bother to bring in other types of vegetables. people just dont buy them. if they are not familiar with it, they dont buy. that is my impression anyway, maybe it is a false impression.

but just using myself as an example, i too dont buy fancy vegetables that i dont quite know how to use. also some of the ones, like rocket , i find bitter and not very nice. as for kale, forget it, it is really a difficult veg to cook, and tastes of nothing and looks worse. haha. 

in fact they found out that people who plan their meals, stick to the same dish for each day of the week and repeat that for years. so if it is monday it must be lasagna. or if it is lasagna today, it must be monday. haha. 

this morning, i was browsing the daily mirror and saw a advert by lidl, where they featured celery for 50p, so i decided to go there, but since it was in peckham, i decided to go first to the aldi , and there i find celery was 45p. as well as lots of other veg for 45p instead of the usual 50p in the other supermarkets… except sainsburys strangely. for some reason, sainsburys are not caught up in reducing their price. i wonder why? their customers dont seem to be bothered that their stuff is higher priced. what makes the sainsbury customer so price insensitive i wonder, when we hear so much  of tesco losing business to the likes of aldi, and having to reduce their prices. i was browsing in sainsburys recently and went away without buying anything as their prices were so much more. it is why i have not bought anything from sainsburys for ages. i have a feeling i will not bother to go there anymore. do others also feel the same way about sainsburys as i do? 

in fact i ended up buying all my veg at aldi, and dont bother to stop over at asda or lidl, and caught the bus straight back. aldi never advertise these prices, so i was not aware of it. instead they advertised fruits at 69p, which i was not interested in, as i know those fruits are not as juicy as in europe. i am glad i decided to go to aldi first in spite of not finding anything in their reduced priced adverts. 

I have come to the conclusion that i shall go to aldi first thing, before i go to the other supermarkets, unless they have really good offers. 

Added 8.8.14 read today here that the russian embargo of fruit and veg imports from europe starts today for a year and the article says it means europe will have cheap fruits and veg as apples and pears from poland gets diverted.  coupled with the good weather making the harvest in uk for fruit and veg the best so far, let’s hope it will filter down to us and we get cheap fruits and veg, though the cost of transporting those goods may up the prices. it is not good news for the farmers. they might let the fruit rot. what else can one make out of apples and pears… cider?