Tag Archives: rice

a typical day

24 Oct

london 5.56pm 13.5C cloudy. not completely dark even though sunset is 5.47pm but there is twilight in these latitudes. monday 2016

if we had the clocks set back on sunday yesterday,ie if summertime ends yesterday;  now would be 6.57pm it is confusing, i dont really know what time it would be. i know sunset would be at 4.47pm. instead we had an hour of daylight. not that i used it wisely. haha.

i was inside the flat and did not look out of it all that time. and i had the tv on so did not notice it was getting dark. now i had switched off the tv, since there was nothing interesting on it, and i now notice it is getting dark in the flat. and the estate lights on the buildings have come on. there was nothing to indicate sunset. it was cloudy so the sunset was unnoticed. if it was not cloudy the sunset would have shone the light right into the flat, or at least lit up the high rise building across from me and that would draw some attention. as it is, this is a typical day, with the sunset gone without anyone noticing.

people at work inside their offices will be even less aware of this sunsetting. they will just come out of their office building after work to a dark night, and plod their way to the train stations or tube stations. another day gone. even now i can see a few of them walking pass from my kitchen window. the start of the exodus. i think most offices close by 6pm. the rush will be around 5.30pm.

i think, to most this will be another monday, another working day gone, and time to head for home and dinner. most people dont hang around town on monday. it is a mild day actually. hardly any wind, and so quite warm.

most would stop by the supermarket next to the train station to buy a ready meal to heat up when they get home for a fast meal.  i saw a video of a chap cooking rice with a tomato inside the rice pot. and it turned out quite delicious, he said. so u can see, if u like rice, this is a quick way of cooking dinner when u come back tired from the office and hungry. no need to buy an expensive ready meal. i might try it some time.

i found this rice and tomato video whilst looking at bobby vee’s taking care of my baby 1961. i have heard this song being played on the radio when i was growing up. did not realise it was sung by him. he died today at 73yrs. how many of us remember the 60s? i was in my teens so dont really remember much of it. also i was growing up in a small town called muar, and was absorbed in my own world, roaming with my dog for company and exploring  along the estuary of the muar river with its  overgrown swamps of mangroves. looking at the comments this chap mentioned this song , i hear this song a lot growing up, did not know it was one of his. its strange how i can remember these songs, and yet i never remember when or where i heard them. they must have been played on the radio and i just heard and remembered them without consciously doing so.

 

basmati rice

19 Sep

london 9.35am monday 2016 18.3C cloudy

this article says iran is banning import of basmati rice to support its farmers. it imports 20% of india’s supply of basmati rice, and had put on a ban  before, leading to a drop in price in nov 2015.

ah, so that explains why basmati rice sold in london has gone up and down. recently i bought 10kg for £6.50. and that sale at that price is still going on. they say  it might be even cheaper in future . though perhaps not, if £ remains so low. but i got so much rice now, i wont be too bothered if the price remains steady. haha. its good news for us rice eaters, though perhaps not good news for rice growers.

what i am curious to know is how come britain can buy rice from india, if we have no trade agreement with it. how come we can buy so much goods from china when we have no trade agreement with it. it makes me realise that what the owner of whetherspoons pubs said was correct. he said we dont need a trade agreement to trade with a country. he said his pubs has been doing that for ages. trade agreements are a red herring.

what country insists that u  allow unrestricted movement of people for work or benefits as a condition of trade?  its unheard of, but the EU wants that as a condition for uk to trade with them. ridiculous. 

we are getting basmati rice now , from india , or thailand. so how come it is done since we dont have a trade agreement with those countries. it shows trade can happen. you dont need trade agreements.

i think the underlying wish to have a trade agreement with europe is the financial services that london provides. if access to europe is restricted the city of london might suffer. that must worry the city of london. but then the only other rival to london is new york and EU are not having a trade agreement with america either.  i think EU hope that ttip will be agreed, that would take the sting out of uk leaving the EU as new york can take over from london for european companies to link to…but without ttip, businesses in europe will suffer too if their costs rises from having to  raise finances from london or new york. it goes to show how crucial ttip is to europe, but with the americans insisting that they can be allowed to sue govts for enacting laws that restrict the US companies business  … that one is hard to swallow for the govts of EU. some people think that is an example of the dictatorship of US businesses, but actually it is a safeguard … for eg, EU can enact a law that makes sale of tobacco illegal. or restricts its sale, or impose a quota on imported tobacco… some of us might welcome it, but in terms of business, it might be illegal and the US tobacco companies can sue for loss of business. you might say , it wont happen. but the EU has shown it can cook up arbitrary laws, like the ban on the hijab, for eg. i myself do get a turn when i see women covered from head to toe in black, shading even the eyes. it is unsettling to me. but certainly u cannot forbid them to do it. in a free country u just dont dictate to others what they should or should not wear. but i guess it is understandable that europe after having suffered so many terrorists all seeming to come from people who profess to be followers of islam, might be really nervous at seeing these women. but the authorities should try to educate the populace about it… after all it is not the women who go round bombing them, but the men. if anything they should be banning the young muslim men or vet them more strictly. trumps solution, which is quite logical , if u think of it without any emotion. all of the terrorists are young men who profess to follow islam. logic suggests that they should be focused on and targetted. ah well, putting it into practise and making sure only the guilty are affected is not possible, perhaps. we just cannot see into men’s minds and hear their thoughts so that we can find those who mean us harm.

i wonder how i got from basmati rice to terrorists…ah well, just as well i am not in charge of the country. haha. i shall just go back to pottering around in my life and enjoy my life.

if the price of rice goes down to £360 a tonne, that is = 0.001p a kg. is the maths correct? it is really so low?so selling it to us for .65p a kg is a huge markup. well, its a 600x markup… the retailer really makes money out of this. the farmer is the fall guy if u ask me. on the other hand, the only labour is during the planting and the harvesting. the rest of the time the farmer is just sitting around waiting for the rice to grow though he might have to keep the pests away haa. but he does not really get much for his efforts. the retailer is the one who profits. 

 

 

its ok to eat rice again

23 Aug

london 29.6C sunny tuesday 2016 .

i have read in the past about how rice is bad for you. as usual i have taken that with a pinch of salt. haha. and today i read in the daily mail a report saying 

We’ve been warned for years that carbs are the enemy and need to be avoided if we want to lose weight.

But new research suggests that one type of carbohydrate won’t make you pile on the pounds – and could in fact help you control and maintain your waistline.

Unripe bananas, whole grains, beans, white rice and even pasta are all part of a class of carbs called ‘resistant starch’.

so it looks like it has come full cycle again and it is ok to eat white rice again.

it just goes to show what basic research has stood the test  of time. those so called resistant starch used to be called complex carbohydrates, as opposed to simple sugers which contain one or two saccharides).  

complex carbohydrates are broken down into glucose (a simple suger). but the process takes time so the release of sugers takes place over a long time. it means there is no big sudden jump of suger in the blood which triggers a lot of mechanisms , insulin spike being one of them, to deal with it.

Digital StillCamera

Digital StillCamera

this rice cooker must be about 35yrs old.

added. 6.53pm people have talked of adding salt to rice, i came across this article saying salt is essential for us. the fight is about  how much is too much. as usual, the sound radio ramble on for a long time. ( it is the reason why i dislike video and sound recordings. i prefer if they just write it down and make their point succinctly. once they start talking people tend to waffle on , not to mention there are all those adverts that they force u to see through to the end).

1500 mg of sodium amounts to 0.75 teaspoons or 3.75 grams of salt per day, while 2300 mg amounts to one teaspoon or 6 grams of salt per day. Most people today are eating much more than that. The average intake of sodium is about 3400 mg, most of it coming from processed foods.

i wanted to know why they keep asking us to cut down on salt if it is essential for us. since the body can eject excess salt from the body, there should not be any downside. but they say salt causes hypertension, and high blood pressure.

at 20.3secs into the broadcast, it tackles this. 15oo mg a day is recommended. 2000-4000mg/day daily range that most people fall into . they say too high and too low salt intake can lead to cardio problems.

i have noticed whenever the govt wants to change our behaviour, they target the manufacturers. asking them to reduce salt in their product, or suger, or fat… but no one targets the consumer. ask them not to buy or eat those things so much. ask them to half the amount they eat, so that means buy half the amount than they are used to. … i think the govt never does that because it would destroy the market demand for those products and that means less profit for the companies and that means few profits for the govt to tax and so reduced govt revenue…!

been buying rice

27 Apr

london 5.52pm 10.9C cloudy. wednesday 2016

i bought a 10kg bag from tesco last night, when i went there to buy oats. they actually have this sale on for quite some time and i have not bought any because the sale goes on till  21st june and i think i have plenty of time to wait. however, yesterday i bought one. because i have only one 5kg pack at home and was afraid i might run out. added. 7.53am sunday 8.5.16. it was allready quite good bargain at £10 for 10kg, but yesterday it was further reduced to £9 for 10kg. so i bought another one. it is a kohinoor brand, and if u think there is a catch somewhere i could not see it. the expiry date is 2019.

i read recently about poor harvest due to the drought in thailand and india, which is allready raising the cost of rice, but it might all go right again if the rains comes on schedule this monsoon. thailand is releasing its stockpile of rice, but so far, price of thai rice is still quite high. perhaps a lot of the rice is spoilt, by rice weevils , so there is not as many to flood the market. 

but as luck would have it i looked this morning at who is selling cheap rice and found asda selling 5kg rice for £4. i was there on monday and did not notice it. either that or they only now put that lot up for sale at this price.

when i went there this morning i saw they have loads of that rice , some for £4 and others for £4.5o for 5kg. the brands are rather unknown, ashoka, which i found was the same brand which i got for the same price last year. so i bought 2, because that was as much as i could carry. ( i searched my blog and found this post about buying that same brand last year. it was on 18 May 2015.

later after my lunch, i went back there and brought along my trusty wheeled shopping bag and bought another 3 bags. so i am all fixed up with rice now, should last me about 7-8months this lot. 

so it looks like they are starting the sale of cheap rice . the tesco one i bought is, granted, a more expensive brand, koh-i-noor, which usually sells for £14 for 10kg. they have extra long grains. but though they look nice when cooked… the taste (or rather the no -taste, because i think rice takes on the taste of whatever dish u eat it with ) is the same as the others , as far as i can tell. some rice gives off a nice fragrance when it is cooking but it doesnot seem to linger on the rice when it is cooked. 

and a lot depands on how much water u use , too much and it gets soggy , nevermind how expensive it is in the first place, it will end up the same as cheap rice if u add too much water. really cheap rice needs a lot of water to cook. if u put in too little, it wont cook properly and if u put in enough to cook it, it becomes soft and mushy, at least that is an observation of mine with those 40p/kg basic rice that u can buy. they are very cheap, but like i said, they do get mushy.  

 some people like soft rice, and i remember as kids, we always get soft rice, because that is how my mum cooks it. ( i suspect my mom can only afford the cheap rice but i certainly love to eat it, when i was young. which kinds of confirms for me that when u are young, u dont really develop any refinement of taste, all you care about is if that assuages your hunger, if it does, it is good. haha)

it is only nowadays when i am used to basmati rice which cooks with less water and ends up with  discrete grains of rice so that it looks nice, that i am liking it that way. 

Digital StillCamera

Digital StillCamera

a very fancy looking package with that koh i noor rice. but i am not influenced by the packaging.

Digital StillCamera

Digital StillCamera

 

found things

8 Nov

london 9.56pm sunday 15.8C

not sure if my weather website is correct, but 15.8C at this time of night is really mild. yesterday i was browsing the supermarkets and saw morrisons were selling basmati rice 10kg , 2packs for £15. that is rather a good price. i tried to find out from the website if it is only basmati and not a mixture of inferior rice with basmati, as sometimes they do, and sell at a lower price. but there was no information. 

i was tempted to go and buy it, even though i might discover it is mixed rice;  especially since i saw their pork is also £2/kg.

this sunday, today, i will be going to the library at paddington to read the sunday papers and then i go on to another library. and i remember this sunday is remembrance day and so whitehall will be closed to buses.

so my plan was to take the bus number 2 to my stop and get back to take the shopping trolley that i have found years ago but never use. i would need the trolley because i intend to buy 20kg of that rice and it will be too heavy to carry. i dont have a bag for that trolley, because when i found it, it was missing its shopping bag. i only found the frame, but it has a seat that you can drop down, and i was so taken by that design that i kept the trolley anyway.

but guess what, i was walking from the paddington library to catch the bus to the other library and i passed a pile of stuff dispersed on the pavement. someone or some thing had disturbed the bags of stuff. and i saw a shopping bag lying there. i walked off and only realised that i could do with that, and returned to pick it up.

it turned out to be really useful. as it can be fitted over the trolley i found and it was stable. i was thinking of using a laundry bag as a shopping bag, but this one is better. so i got my rice and was able to transport it back without breaking my back. haha.

i can manage to carry 15kg, which i did the last time i bought so much rice. it was at asda in the old kent road. that cost £4 each 5lb bag. and so the weight was distributed nicely between two hands. that was why i could carry them. but this 20 kg really is heavy, even with the trolley i could feel the weight. ah well, i shall be ok for rice for 6 months now.

fortunately, the rice is unmixed and all basmati rice. otherwise i wont have bought it. in fact, i nearly did not buy it because there was only one bag on the shelf. and it was £9 if u buy just one. i asked the staff if they would let me buy the one bag for the reduced price, but he said no. i was returning it to the shelf, when i looked across the aisle and saw a stack of these bags on the other side. well i was very glad i saw it. the journey was not wasted after all. i could not find their pork for £2/kg but that does not matter as i got the rice. so that was my rice saga today. haha. 

Digital StillCamera

Digital StillCamera

Digital StillCamera

Digital StillCamera

Digital StillCamera

Digital StillCamera

 i haven’t thought much about shopping bags before this. its something we see around us all the time and so is invisible in a way. now i find myself looking at other people’s shopping bags esp if they are on wheels. i must say i like this one i found it is so colourful, and i hadn’t realised they can be so bright as most times i see quite dull versions.

the ideal home exhibition.

1 Apr

london wednesday 2015

yesterday, my friends came for a day trip to london to visit this exhibition in olympia. they bought £15 day rtn tickets by train to london. but they got free entry tickets to the exhibition. it seems they offer 600 tickets free entry but u got to book months ahead to get them.

i know they were here in london, and will be meeting with them for dinner  later, but one of their friends have not turned up and so they got a spare ticket so he ask me if i want to join them. so i said yes, and hopped on a 36 bus to hyde park corner, and took the 9 bus to olympia. it was a slow bus ride, even then it took me about half hour but i was in no hurry.

i could take the tube to high st kensington and catch the bus 9 from there too.

the annual event started in 1908. i am surprised it was that old. i have never been there even though i lived in london a long time. i had the impression it wont be interesting to me as i am not interested in the home market at all.  but i was wrong. it took up two massive halls, and there were many exhibitors, and free samples of food to taste, and lots of things going on. it goes on till 6 april. 

this is the recommended ways to get there on their website.

The nearest station to the venue is Kensington (Olympia).

Please use London Overground services from either West Brompton (via the District line), Shepherd’s Bush (via the Central line) or Clapham Junction (via National Rail services).

You can also travel to Earl’s Court on the District or Piccadilly lines and exit the station via the Warwick Road exit for an event bus service from bus stop C (runs 8 times an hour).

At weekends a District line service will run between Earl’s Court and Kensington (Olympia) every 20 minutes.

funny they dont suggest using the numbers 9, and 10 buses. too slow maybe.

we used it to get to meet friends for dinner at govinda’s, near soho square. they are the hare krishna vegetarian cafe. delicious food, the last time i was there was ages ago, when it was £3.50 for a lunch time small thali,

now dinner prices are £6.50 small thali.( i wonder whether they still include a free pompadom, ask them to find out, and if so that would be great as you can help yourself to 3 relishes to go with it.)

however, i decided on the curry and rice £5, and was really delighted and surprised at how simply delicious the rice was, and i got a lot more of it than if i ordered the thali. (the veg curry was nothing special though.) i could just eat that rice on its own. if i have known i would be tempted to substitute the curry and just have more of that rice. it is full of aromatic spices, i wish i know how to home cook it.

i read in their website takeaway menu that they have a rice only dish for £2.25. if it is that rice i had, i would go for that.

one of my friends,john, says he got so bloated on rice when he was in india, he has decided to restrict it. so he ordered the small thali but without the rice, substituting it with the nan bread.

another friend of ours decided he will treat us both, and paid for the meal, so i dont know how much john’s meal costs. he bought a ‘cheesecake’ like dessert later. there was no cheese,  and we tasted it, and are forced to admit it is delicious, very more-ish.

i can see my friend enjoyed his small thali , which belies its name really. there was enough food there. and they provide self service water too, which i think is great. without service charge or other extra costs, it is all self service,it is a very good price for a satisfying meal in a place that is so central. 

added. yesterday the mobile phone came into its own. we would have got lost many times without it.

this morning, i checked my electricity usage and its a new record. i used only 0.8kwh yesterday.

it is april fools’ day today so dont believe everything u read in the papers today. i actually dont like the practise of writing a spoof article … it may well be believed and cited as proof in the future when an unsuspecting researcher finds it. there are never any corrections the next day to say clearly in print that it is a fake, and to put the record straight on that. so one day in the future it will appear in text books that we in the 20century actually believe that spaghetti grows on trees. or a researcher might even say, in the past, spaghetti grows on trees, but those trees got extinct due to global cooling ( warming or both depanding on how far into the future u go) haha.

added. here is an article listing the 20 greatest april fool jokes .

i have been eating a lot of salads this summer

17 Jul

london thurs 2014

Digital StillCamera

The reason is the supermarkets giving such good prices for them. today i read an advert by morrisons of 3 for £1.50 offers for celery, tomatoes, courgettes, plums, 4peaches, and pineapple. whilst tesco have a long running offer of 2 for 75p for celery, beetroot, lettuce.

I am waiting for my chromebook to charge up fully before i go off to buy them.

And their cheap prices makes it the reason why i am eating so much salads.

john came to visit me for the naked bike ride and he bought salad dressing for the salads. and i find i like them. usually i make my own french dressing using olive oil, mustard, and vinegar, but this salad dressing is rather nice. so now i am eating my salads with salad dressing but i have finished john’s bottle, and now going to buy my own. however, i am puzzled how they are different from mayonnaise.

 except for the price, mayonnaise is so much cheaper, i dont see or taste the difference.

there is a small amount of egg in mayonnaise, but so small amount it might as well not be there.

so i am settling for mayonnaise as a dressing. it comes in a bottle with a wide neck so easy to spoon every last bit out, whilst the salad dressing comes in a plastic bottle which u can stand upside down but the contents never settle and u are left with bits at the bottom which is impossible to get out. 

I have a weekend magazine that tells me how to make all the different types of salads, using rocket, and such like, but i find i am just happy to eat salads using only lettuce, tomatoes,beetroot, cucumber salads all the time. somehow i never get fed up of them. l wonder why? they are just so easy to make and the ingredients are available everywhere and like now, on special price and so cheaper. 

 Added. morrisons were selling 10kg basmati rice for £10. so i bought a bag. there was a time about 5months ago when rice price rose, to £12 for 10kg, or more. but thank goodness prices seem to revert back to £10.

though sometimes like what happened recently you might get lucky like i did, i got a 4kg bag of basmati rice for £1.95, reduced just because there was a tear in the bag.