La Vie En Rose for 2010 February

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[Comments] (2) Please cosume me! : In general I ignore sell-by dates and the like, but some of them are so ridiculous that I can't believe anyone takes them seriously. For instance the jar from which the pickle I am now eating came says on the label: consume within 5 days.

Really??? I thought the whole point of pickles is that they can withstand a nuclear holocaust.

This is funny because in general I find Brits are a lot more relaxed about what goes in the cupboard instead of the fridge, whatever it says on the label. Eggs are the most famous example. Ketchup. Brown sauce. Chutney. Tabasco. Soy. Lemon juice. Hard grated cheese. Well, it's all in the fridge now. One of the benefits of having my own (sort of) kitchen.

[Comments] (2) A tale of two tomatoes: I have been thinking about tomatoes a lot lately. It started with the tesco delivery missing out the 21 tins of chopped tomatoes I had ordered. Long story short it ended with a call from the manager to apologize and I discovered I am becoming British because instead of demanding the tomatoes delivered for free an my convenience, I accepted his apology. At least I got the original delivery charge refunded.

This afternoon, on my way back home from collecting a brita filter from freecyle, I stopped at the large sainsbury's I love to hate in dalston. My main objects were tea (which Tesco also didn't deliver-- actually I prefer tea from sainsbury's because their own red label is free trade, tastes great and is super cheap) and a filter for the brita, which incidentally I forgot to buy. I also thought I would get some tomatoes since the cupboard is sadly lacking in the department. Then I got to the tomato aisle and remembered this article I read on the guardian about how they are switching their chopped tomatoes from tins to tetra-paks.

I have been having a crisis of conscious since my upstairs neighbor (currently playing the same three chords over and over, but I am doing my best to be equally annoying by blocking him out with amy winehouse.) told me tetra-paks can't be recycled here in Hackney. It turns out they can, but in the meantime I have learned that they are actually really hard to recycle and it's hardly worth it. So I have been torn about what to do about juice and tomatoes, and decided for the benefit of easy recycling to switch from my beloved tomato passata (40p for 500 grams) to canned tomatoes which are slightly more expensive (except when they are on offer, which is why I ordered 21 cans in the first place). But now it seems Sainsbury's has foiled even this small effort. Oh well. In the meantime I bought two cans of whole tomatoes figuring I can put them through the food processor.

I think the best solution would be to grow a years worth of tomatoes over summer and can them. But considering the result of my gardening efforts last year, this is extremely unlikely to happen...

British reserve: There was nearly a riot in the post office today. The queue snaked all the way around and back again. I went in to change some money (going to Amsterdam tonight!) and waited for 10 minutes for someone to come up and say "2 min." and then for another 15. So I wasn't very happy about that and the people in the queue were not very happy with how fast it was moving. Then a guy started ranting and after a few uncomfortable minutes others started murmuring "he's right, he's right."

Might I have joined the riot? Possibly. I was not impressed by how long it took someone to come off their coffee break to take my money, and not to mention today I got a "You were out" sheet in the mail. For the record, I was NOT out and neither were at least two of my house neighbors. I had heard that sometimes lazy posties don't bother with the packages and just give the "you were out" sheets as a matter of course, but I didn't believe it till now. Now I have to go wait in that massive queue to pick up my package and pay £1 for the pleasure. From now on I'm having everything shipped to work.


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