Thursday, 20 October 2011

Food Glorious Food!

A little musing from my kitchen.

Here are my holy grail products, the ones I will never substitute anything else for - I'd rather go without them than eat/drink anything else:

Illy coffee, decaf only as the real stuff sends me haywire, cranky and depressed after one espresso

Bonne Maman Raspberry conserve - all hail the only home-made tasting jam on the market

Kerrygold butter - "would you put a bit of butter on the spuds, Andre" - if you weren't in Ireland in the early 90s you'll never know.

Heinz ketchup - toddlers will eat anything if this is blobbed beside it
Bachelors baked beans - still can't understand why they're still single if they're this tasty. Hey! They should pay me for that slogan!
Mc Vities Rich Tea and milk chocolate Hobnobs. Don't come near me with a fake Rich Tea, I can smell them a mile off

Cadbury's Bournville cocoa powder for baking and drinking. Pretend you're a 50's housewife with this in your cupboard. "Oh aren't we so glad the rationing's over and Father can drink his cocoa every night now, not just Sundays"
Vegemite- forget Marmite, Vegemite's a whole 'nother ballgame. On toast, in soups, casseroles, pasta sauces... that's about all I've used it for.
Hellmans mayonnaise - All together now "good food tastes better when you put it all together..."

Crespo black olives - tinned, not jarred. These should have their own Facebook Fan page, the only preserved olives with the texture of fresh.

My BIG FAT NO-NO's. Not in MY Kitchen, I know my food, thank you,I don't buy rubbish!

No Margarine / butter substitutes / dairy "spreads"
Ditto fake cheese, only real stuff, begone plastic shiny gloop
NO Diet / low fat anything. Such a con.
Ditto miracle cure yogurt drinks. This tiny bottle will save your life. Hmm.
Formula milk. Let's save the debate for another day.
Baby "food". Never feed your child something you wouldn't love to eat yourself.

Tesco Online Shopping Review

In the last couple of months I've had about 5 deliveries from Tesco Online. There are a few questions I want answered.
1. How come, despite having "favourites" listed, does it still take me on average 2 hours to complete every order online?
2. How can they get away with delivering a Sunday newspaper minus the supplements?
3. Who took the other box of tissues from the twinpack I'd paid for?
4. Who ate my croissants, twice?
5. Where's the cute guy who delivered the third order?
6. Why do they substitute products when I ask them not to, and not list them as substitutes?
7. Why can't I order alcohol to arrive after 12pm, or whatever time the Catholic church deems appropriate, even if my delivery slot spans 11-1pm?
8. Why must I phone the UK to discuss problems with an Irish order? And pay for the call!

Despite these questions, I'm still a fan of the idea. I like having my groceries brought into my kitchen, saving me the time and hassle of shopping with a baby and a 3 year old. I'm the kind of person who goes into the supermarket for a litre of milk, and returns 2 hours later, having spent 150 euro, and forgotten the milk. I think I've just answered my first question above. I'm a browser. I'd rather spend two minutes perusing the options, to save 10c, than pick up the first product I see. I like to have an intimate knowledge of everything in my basket. I'm also a vegetarian, so I need to read some labels, and you can't with online shopping, you have to have blind faith. So there's good and bad.

Antonio, Antonio, wherefore art thou Antonio?
A lifetime ago, when I was the mother of one, we had a lovely local greengrocers run by the Portuguese Antonio. He always had a smile, a Donald Duck impression, a free apple or packet of babycorn for us. He loved my son and won him over with his friendly exchanges. Now we have a Tesco Express.

(Which is where I went the day my last online order arrived, to pick up the items they'd forgotten.)
There's talk about the empty greengrocers becoming a bakery. I think I'd be in carb heaven if it actually materialised. I miss Ann's Hot Bread shop, the smell of sugar and baked bread and the jam/coconut/cream/cherry confections we'd get as a treat.Where have all the bakeries gone? Sucked up by the supermarkets. It's not the same. Do we really believe "Sean's Brown", with its rustic homely scattering of oats on top was ever made by Sean? Maybe once in 1986 that is.

The germanic brothers Aldi and Lidl Schmit or whatever, are great friends of mine. Nowhere else offers me a bottle of decent rose for under a fiver. Or a 10 pack of toilet rolls for under a tenner. Heil!

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