March 8th, 2002

opinion, eye

of shopping trolleys, and cake.

I discovered today that the new Sainsbury's in Kingston has the most advanced anti-trolley-theft device I've ever encountered. Rather than having a system where you put pound coins into the trolley to encourage you to return it, or a locking device which activates if you try to push it over a grid by the exit of the store, its trolleys feature no less than two magnetically-activated wheel locks - one on a front wheel and one on a back wheel. And the entire slope leading out of the store must have metal under the pavement tiles, because taking the trolley up there locks the wheels. This was very annoying, as my mother and I had gone shopping without the benefit of (a) a car, (b) a healthy adult male, (c) a stronger-than-statistically-average adult female. We only live just round the corner from the new store, but it was too far to walk carrying the shopping we had, so my mum decided we should borrow the trolley to take it home, and then return the trolley to the store along with our recycling, because the supermarket has newspaper and bottle banks. This, however, proved to be impossible.

Shopping was rather frustrating. I kept finding desserts I liked the look of and finding they were full of dairy produce. Not fair. I totally fell in love with a lemon cake I saw, but the little allergy box on the back declared that it Contained Milk, so I decided it would be a bad idea. In the end, I bought a load of ingredients and came home to bake my own cake, which wouldn't Contain Milk. Now, I didn't have a recipe for lemon cake, so I decided to make one up. I figured that all I needed to do was to use my basic banana cake recipe and add a load of lemon juice. However, one of the ingredients of the banana cake recipe is bicarbonate of soda. I mixed up most of the stuff and left it to get the flour, and turned round to find that my cake mix was fizzing! Oh dear! Citric acid + sodium bicarbonate = Mount Vesuvius in minature.

The cake wouldn't taste of lemon at all if it hadn't been filled with lemon curd, but it's nice.
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black, shiny

of premenstrual syndrome and its joys

If you had a calendar and either (a) intimate knowledge of certain parts of me or (b) a tendency to rummage through the contents of my bin, you would probably have noticed that my mood cycles fit a PMS pattern. It's a shame it took me so long to work that out.

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