Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Cheese and Tea

Seeking houses;  Well LS sent me a link for mains gas in England, and there is only a small patch down in South Cornwall, focused around Truro and Torquay, so it is back to the drawing board, though he did mention there are some new German oil radiators on the market to explore.  Today we go to a funeral, so it is rather sad, I hardly know the person but he is a friend of LS's and we have met him at times walking down to Asda, his battle against cancer is lost and his wife is left bereft.
Yesterday we had our two monthly visit to Sainsbury, such small things as coffee filters (seem to have been made obsolete now), my Dove Organic bread flour, and various Japanese bits and pieces, plus a made up sachet of fondue mixture, which I occasionally treat us to.  In fact it tastes much nicer if you buy the two cheeses and make it yourself, but I don't drink white wine so it becomes more expensive homemade. The trouble with buying cheeses in this country, and here I am talking about gruyere, emmenthal, brie and camembert, is that their European equivalents are so much more cheesier (and smellier of course), in other words so much more flavoursome.  Gruyere the town is very pretty and you can visit the cheese factory there,  the family went there a couple of years ago, and they are off to Switzerland this year to meet Karen's aunts, luckily not in the old caravan but staying up in the mountains somewhere in a chalet.  One of the weirdest things of course to LS is that my daughter's cousin Marc runs a sushi factory, in the middle of this landlocked country.  Not my choice of food, though I have been treated to an expensive version, whereby you sit at the counter at the restaurant whilst the sushi chef prepares these nibbles for you, and I did not let LS down by pulling my nose up at these raw treats!
Stop wandering off the track.. to return to coffee filters, why can't we use the simple method of making coffee? the answer is of course at Currys, look at all the fancy coffee makers on the market, they come in all colours and different types of coffee making, no more the steady 'plop' of a percolator on the stove, or even the old 'cona' coffee we had as a child.  A scientific wonder, the coffee contained in two glass circular apparatus, warmed by a bunsen burner, the coffee would steadily rise as if by magic...  I have to buy my 'loose' tea now from Twinings and have it sent by post, why? because it is more convenient to put tea in teabags, yet what happens if you don't want teabags, your choice becomes limited.

The Story of Manuka the bear


  1. You won't get mains gas in much of Wales either Thelma. Once you are away from the big cities/towns, no chance! Why do you have to have gas?

    I don't drink coffee (yuk!) so no trouble for us not to be able to get filter papers. Have you looked online? Ahem, Amazon seem to stock them . . . I don't know if you prefer not to shop with them, but there are individual stockists just using Amazon as a front, so to speak. Then there's eBay of course . . . and they also do loose teas, but not sure which particular one you use.

    I hope the funeral went as well as these things do, and that there were some happy memories to share of the departed.

    1. I realise that gas has been the back bone of heating all my life, so must be addicted to it ;), though maybe living in lowland England it has always been there. Actually, Twinings are good with their discounts, got 25 per cent off my last order. What I am complaining about is that choice is taken away when you go to the supermarkets...

    2. Hi Jenny

      You’re right about gas – it’s on the way out for sure, and eventually (maybe not in our lifetimes) electricity will be the only form of energy in most of our homes. Meanwhile (in our lifetimes) what are the alternatives? I don’t fancy oil – too expensive, too nickable and the supply chain not at all guaranteed. The new generation of wood burners seems like a good alternative for heating parts of the house, and maybe supplying hot water as well (heard yesterday that a conventional open fire, such as the one we have at present, loses 60% of the heat it generates up the chimney – 60%!). Economy7 has kind of fallen out of fashion over recent years but the idea is a sound one. It’s not easy to actually store electricity so the electricity suppliers are only too happy to sell off their night-time surplus at a reduced rate. The problem has always been that the old storage heaters were bulky and didn’t do the job very well (the very first house I owned in England had one in the kitchen the size of two big refrigerators – by 10pm on a cold winter’s day it had run out of heat!). The new generation of storage heaters though are slim and efficient and might be worth considering. Then there’s the perennial issue of good insulation plus some home generation through solar panels (dislike wind turbines I’m afraid).

      T’s right about the decrease in choice in supermarkets – I’ve seen it happen over the years in the local here and there’s no doubt in my mind that it’s shelf-space motivated (pack ‘em high and sell ‘em cheap). So, when a few years ago we could get loose tea, now everything comes packed as tea bags. Ditto coffee which now comes ground or instant with maybe only two or three varieties of unground coffee now available. These £100 + coffee machines are a nonsenses – like printers you’re paying through the nose for the refills once you go down that road. Best way to make coffee is to grind it when you want it (don’t even need a machine to do that) then filter it into a coffee pot (don’t even need papers for that either – for years I used a reusable cotton filter). Back to my gripe about supermarkets. Long spaghetti got ditched here a couple of years ago simply because the supermarket shelves were not deep enough and the packets had to be placed horizontally. Anything that doesn’t fit on the shelf gets ditched, so for years there was no wet fish counter at our local supermarket – now, through popular demand, there is though it must cost the supermarket a lot extra for deliveries and to get someone to lay the fish out on the ice every morning.

      As for Am*zon... don’t get me started ;-) Rant over and time for lunch :-)

    3. Hi, welcome Mr.Grumble, as you have just said, you forgot to moan about the petrol stations as well, don't let that hold you back, getting everything off your chest makes life easier ;) X