Tag Archives: substitutions

Shopping and The Saint

We’ve just been to pick up the shopping order from TESCO. There were a couple of things that weren’t available and one substitution.

This was bagged rocket (or arugula if you speak American). Yes, I shouldn’t be buying it, for a number of reasons, including expense and ecology, but I try to eat a variety of things and at least you can taste rocket. Well, not this week, because they substituted it fro lamb’s lettuce. They could have substituted organic rocket (though it may have made their price guarantee squeak a little), or watercress (another salad you can taste) or even the “peppery” salad, but no, they substituted it with the lamb’s lettuce. It will do, but it doesn’t look like the obvious substitution to me.

They don’t leave it to the discretion of the packers to do the substitution, they use an algorithm. Heaven help us if the robots ever take over – I cannot even begin to imagine what life will look like once we fall int6om the hands of the algorithm-wielding little metal menaces. That’s another good argument for not living to be a thousand.

The strange thing is that when I check rocket on the website, it is available, and lamb’s lettuce isn’t. Probably because they’ve been fobbing all the rocket customers off with lamb’s lettuce.

Easy answer is to give salad a miss until we can start growing our own again.

I watched The Saint at lunchtime. At the age of 8 I thought this was the best TV show ever made. Today, 55 years later, the tale of a mad scientists breeding giant ants in a Welsh cave system, though dated and not great literature, didn’t impress me quite so much. However, to be fair, it was far from the worst thing I’ve seen on TV recently.

The clock picture is to mark the occasion of me getting round to altering the clock in the car, after the clocks went back at the weekend. I kept meaning to do it but never got round to it. The story of my life.


Fun with ASDA

I ordered a red rose and a Valentine card from ASDA. They were in stock when I ordered last night. Now they are out of stock. I am in trouble. Could they not at least have substituted the card for another?

I ordered parsnips – they are sending diced carrot/swede. You can’t roast them quite the same and swede is a very different thing to parsnips.

I ordered Lemon Cheesecake, they are sending ES Pudding. I don’t even know what that is.

I ordered Stilton, they are sending St Agur. One is made within 30 miles of here, the other is made in France. One is the King of Cheeses, the other is French. I think you get my drift.

I ordered bake at home baguettes, they are sending sandwich thins. In other terms that is like ordering a shark and getting a goldfish. same family but completely different. I still haven’t forgiven them for sending gluten free baguettes last time. That’s like ordering bread and getting cotton wool. Exactly like ordering bread and getting cotton wool.

I ordered ASDA Indian tonic Water. They are sending ASDA Soda Water. They could send somebody else’s tonic water but that would cost them money. So they send me something I don’t want. I would rather pay extra for something I want, rather than be foisted off with something I don’t.

I ordered Jam Doughnuts. They are sending Custard Doughnuts. Custard? Are they mad. Apart from the fact they look like a bursting boil, does anyone over the age of six actually eat them?

The only acceptable substitution is the pasties and I’m not convinced about that.

I would love  a return to those carefree pre-Covid days when all you needed to do to get a week’s shopping was to walk round a shop with a trolley, brushing up against fellow shoppers and greeting neighbours as you walked down the aisles.

I decided to use the photo with the sunset that looks like the end of the world. If you can’t get Stilton Cheese it might as well be the apocalypse.


A List, and a Letter I Will Never Send

Next time I write a to-do list towards the end of the evening I am going to include Number Eight – fall asleep and sleep past midnight in my chair, Number Nine, wake up feeling like rigor-mortis has set in and Number Ten – make sandwiches in the early hours of the morning.

If I’d done that I would at least have achieved three of my objectives.

As it was, I didn’t even reach Number One – write sarcastic letter to TESCO. We had a delivery at just after 8.00.  It gives us time to relax and cook before bringing the shopping in from the door. There were no brown cobs with this delivery, and  a few other bits and pieces of omission or change that I found a little annoying, but that’s the price (plus £4.50 for packing and delivery) that you pay for not jostling with the germ-ridden denizens of our local supermarkets.

The prize for the most bizarre substitution ever, and the reason for my planned outburst of sarcasm.

It was going to be along the lines of –


If you opened your sandwich box in the Executive dining room, looking forward to a lovely cheese cob, only to find a mere heap of cheese and pickle, because your grocery supplier couldn’t be bothered to supply any bread rolls, and had failed to find a suitable substitute, I bet you’d be disappointed, and wonder how people can stay in business if they can’t even supply bread rolls.

If you then reached for your delicious finale – an easy peel citrus (as they call small oranges these days) and bit into a lemon, I imagine you would become quite annoyed.

I am, I confess, more than quite annoyed that you substituted lemons for my order of easy peel citrus. I was tempted to pack one for my wife’s lunch to see what happened, but am, frankly, too frightened.

Remembering last week’s non-delivery debacle, I think I will be going back to ASDA. They are useless, but not quite as useless as you.

I am, yours etc…

Of course, I won’t send it. I never do…



I had a food delivery from ASDA today. It was a lot better than the last internet order from ASDA, and the driver was a source of much information. He told us, for instance, that during the height of the panic-buying people were buying so much food that on one delivery run he was only able to fit three deliveries on the van. No wonder they ran out of both food and capacity.

For a while I started to feel sympathy for ASDA. Then I began to unpack the order and look at the substitutions.

I had ordered two packs of bake at home baguettes. I did this because I want to finish off the baking at home and be able to have fresh bread in a week’s time. It’s nine days until the next delivery.

I didn’t get that. They substituted ready-cut white bread rolls, the sort we call burger buns in the UK. They are never good quality bread. And, being cut, they are already well on the way to being stale by the time you get them. Poor quality, stale, soft, cotton wool and unappetising. We have limited freezer space and though we have frozen one pack we will have to eat the other as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, eating them will delay the eating of the sliced loaf we also ordered, and that will start to go stale, or even mouldy, before we finish it.

There is nothing like a nice, crusty, warm baguette. And, as we say in the UK, the substitute buns are nothing like a nice, crusty, warm baguette.

Who thinks a pack of burger buns are an acceptable substitute for a nice crusty baguette?

If they were out of vinegar would they send me battery acid as a substitute. They are, after all, both acids, but they have very different effects when sprinkled on chips.

I also ordered a couple of Sicilian Lemon tarts as a treat for dessert one night. They sent profiteroles. I like profiteroles, and if I wanted them I’m quite capable of ordering them. But I wanted the sharpness of Sicilian Lemon tarts, even though I doubt that the lemons have ever seen Sicily. We had the profiteroles tonight – they were short of chocolate and cream. I don’t know about you, but I don’t buy them because of the choux pastry, I want chocolate and cream. Or, to be accurate, I want Sicilian Lemon Tart.

Better than the bread substitution but not ideal.

Then there was the coriander. I wanted fresh coriander leaves for some recipes I’m going to try. So I ordered fresh coriander leaves with soil so that they would sit in a pot and last a week or two. I thought I was getting a pot too, but they have stopped doing that so they save plastic.

What did they send?

Did they send cut coriander, which would give you the flavour without the longevity? No.

Did they send Ground Coriander or Coriander seeds from the spice section? No.

They sent me flat leaf parsley. As I had already ordered some, I now have two lots of flat leaf parsley.

So, no coriander, and a double helping of parsley. If I’d wanted two, I would have ordered two.

I really should stop believing them when they say they have things in stock, and I should start saying that I don’t want substitutions. Then, of course, I would end up with no bread and no pudding.

To be fair, I should say that they did substitute a couple of things which were more expensive than the items I’d ordered, and didn’t charge me extra. But I’m not feeling very fair after the bread substitution, or last week.