Saturday, January 20, 2018

Cooking Up A Storm

I went a bit mad as I had a free delivery on loyalty points. 
As I wrote yesterday, on Wednesday evening I did a supermarket order online and scheduled it to arrive between 09.00 and 12.00 on Friday morning. I woke up at 07.00 to find a list of items they were out of in my phone messages. Each item came with a suggested switch which I could accept or reject. I accepted all but one item and there were two others that they didn't have but had no suggestions for. No problem, I could live without these three items.

I sat smuggly in the warmth of indoors on Friday morning while a thunder and lightning storm raged outside. It was pure luck of course. I only do an online order about once every three months when my loyalty points give me a free delivery, but only for online orders. I take this opportunity to stock up on cleaning stuff (an 8kg bag of laundry powder for example, toilet cleaner, Fairy Palmolive?, etc...). toiletries, paper goods, and non-perishable food, along with my regular weekly shop.

Pickled cucumbers, latkes, vegetable noodle soup,
and a shepherd's pie (uncooked).
I did have to pop into the small and more expensive grocery around the corner on Thursday because there are always things I forget. Right after buying them I remember that you can add to your order online. But still, I'm not going to let the supermarket packer decide which colour hair rinse I'm going to use and the grocery always has a convenient loss-leader of three 500g bags of pasta for 10 shekels instead of the 4.90 each at the supermarket.

And I popped into the health food shop for some ground flaxseed and some nutritional yeast. I came out with rather more than that and this cost a small fortune.

There are pitfalls with online ordering, not least that I'm working in Hebrew which is not my first language, but I've learnt how to avoid most of them. For example, all the pictures are the same size. So you obviously order the packet or jar that costs 7.50 shekels instead of the one costing 11.90 only to find out when it arrives that the 7.50 was for 250g and the 11.90  was for 500g. I've learnt to read the quantities carefully and they also give you the price per 100g on most things which is very helpful.

Yummy pesto
I went a bit mad this week as I've been lazy recently and eating too many meals of crisps and sandwiches. Partly because of the cold weather, partly because I'm tired when I come in from work and in no mood to cook, and partly because DD has such a small range of acceptable food that it takes all the pleasure out of preparing something nice. However, new year, new leaf, and I was determined to have healthy things that I can pull out of the freezer in the morning and heat up for supper.

I thought I was being so careful. I scrutinized the quantities, I read the labels to make sure I was getting real food and not processed imitations, I took into account that extremely cheap/kg produce is often heavy so one or two can cost more than you bargained for. Although most of the order was fine, I did mess up on a number of things.

* I thought I ordered 2kg of potatoes but it turned out to be 2 sacks totaling about 10kg.
* I did order 2kg of cucumbers but who knew cucumbers are so light. And for some reason, I accidently ordered the organic cucumbers that are double the price. Let's hope organic cucs last longer as I've rather a lot to get through.
* Too many bananas. You've heard the expression - the shelf life of a banana? So have I but I forgot. I see frozen bananas for smoothies in my future.
* When I choose one cabbage and one cauliflower, I buy a small one of each. I now have two vegetables in my fridge the size of bowling balls.
* I ordered 1kg of cheese off the block. DD likes grated cheese on her salad and on her pasta. I thought of asking for it to be grated but then I thought I might like to slice some of it for a sandwich, so I left it as a block of cheese - or so I thought. They only sliced the whole lot! DD went mad. I've been trying to slice it into really thin strips for her salad. It works but it's not the same.
* I thought I ordered 2kg of avocado but I got 2 avocadoes. Small ones.

The shepherd's pie ready to eat with a cheese topping. 
The first thing I did when the order came at 11.55, was to make us both salads for lunch, heavy on the cucumber. I then pickled a big jar of cucumbers whilst boiling a big pot of potatoes for mashing. Once you have mashed potatoes the world is your oyster. I didn't even have a plan. In the end they became two shepherd's pies with a vegetable bottom instead of the shepherd, and a cheesy potato pie. One shepherd's pie was for lunch today with more salad and the other two items in the freezer.

Some more potatoes became latkes. Five out of ten made it into the freezer. A pot of vegetable noodle soup for the weekend and a very big pot of pureed vegetable soup for the freezer. Two jars of pesto - one in the freezer one in the fridge. At this point I removed the ice trays from the freezer to make more room.

Thick pureed vegetable soup for the freezer. 
One of the things I rejected was dark soy sauce instead of light soy sauce. As soon as I've picked some up we'll be having stir-fry. I fancy coriander dumplings for the soup, roast cauliflower, and mushroom stuffed cabbage leaves in tomato sauce. However I've done enough cooking for one weekend so this will have to wait.

Meanwhile I've set myself a challenge of not buying anything more until the end of February - except salad ingredients and grated cheese, and the light soy sauce, and DD's Shabbat treat. I've told DD there'll be no more crisps for a couple of weeks to encourage her to help me get through the bananas.


  1. WOW! That was a lot of work! I have been contemplating using some of our online services but have to admit - I've been a bit nervous about making the same sort of quantity mistakes! :-)
    If the bananas star tto go bad there's always banana bread!!

    1. I suddenly thought that I'd not heard from you for a while Margie. I was worried about you. Glad to have you back. The thing is, if the weather is bad, it's a lot more convenient if slightly less efficient regarding what you actually get. Good idea about banana bread - I love banana bread.

  2. Online shopping was more or less non existent in Munich so it has been nice to be able to use it now we are back. That is a LOT of potatoes!!! :D xx

    1. I'm almost through the first bag and we didn't even eat potatoes today. Lots of it is cooked up in dishes in the freezer mind you.