Ahhh Sainsburys. We used to have a bit of a customer-corporate love affair back before Theresa May became Prime Minister.
I’d write to them and express my love for them such as:
It’s been a while. I just wanted to drop you a note to say how happy I am that we have re-kindled our relationship, and that I was wise to give you another chance.
I did at first notice a few things were not the same. Your gorgeous Sainsbury’s Tomato Ketchup Smile was not quite tasting the same as before. I wasn’t the only one to notice as my ex-housemate that always did his washing up, every single time, honestly, (a good soul otherwise) also thought there was a difference – another Sainsbury’s Tomato Ketchup convert thanks to yours truly. Now I’m not sure if we were imagining it, I don’t notice it any more so many just in one batch?
I am not keen on the Sainsbury’s spices either. The spices themselves are fine, but now there is just one large hole in the lid, which makes it harder to use sparingly.
Finally, your pitta bread eyes have changed too. At first I didn’t like them. But now I actually prefer them. Though as I am trying to get my body even sexier for you my love, I have had to cut out my bacon and egg pitta bread sandwiches on the evenings.
Also during the summer, I had some disappointing strawberries and avocados. I didn’t want to say anything at first, as I didn’t want to jeopardise our tentative reunion.
Thankfully I don’t have to worry so much as I have moved away from the soulless hole that is Bracknell, to the centre of the universe. No, not Slough – London.
I note that though I still don’t get chicken that lasts a whole week, I have yet to register any displeasure until this week. And even better – I have a Sainsbury’s Local just 7 minutes walk away so I don’t have to get all my fresh food on a Saturday. Oh and they are always crazily friendly and happy – as if they have some MDMA in their water supply but I highly (pardon the pun) doubt that.
So this week I ordered some ripe and ready mangoes and some ripe and ready pears (blooming expensive ones!). Neither are ripe. Neither are ready. Which is better than having gone off, I will leave them in my bowl and eat them next week, albeit I spent a day yesterday trying to eat rock hard pear that I had cut up.
But things should be more as they are advertised. It’s like dating a girl and finding out she is only 15. Not cool at all. Not even in the 1970’s, stripey boob tubes and all. You know, when I was a teenager I really wanted to know what a boob tube was – it sounded erotic. We had no internet so the mystery went on for many years. Then I found out it was just a strapless top. For girls. Don’t worry – I have way too much manly chest hair to wear one.
So on those images I bid my dearest farewell and look forward to many more years of joy and happiness together.
Do keep in touch.
By the way, are you going to Hull next year? City Of Culture 2017.
And they’d write back:
So good to hear your voice again, I’d just like you to know that whatever we did, whatever we said we didn’t mean it, we just want you back for good.
I realise we had to endure a rocky patch in our relationship back in Bracknell but let’s put that behind us. I’m glad my colleagues you have encountered in your local store have been friendly, helpful and generally high on life. What a credit to the company.
I’m disappointed however that you’ve been catfished by the mango’s and pears online. No-one likes to be duped by an online description and I’d like to assure you this was never our intention. I hope this hasn’t been as much of a disappointed as the anti-climactic 70’s boob tube discovery.
I’ve sent you an evoucher as a gesture of goodwill for the various issues recently. Simply enter this code at checkout and you can have £5 deducted from your next online shop. Perhaps you can use it towards ordering a little treat on us.
We appreciate the time you’ve taken to contact us and we too hope for a long and fruitful relationship.
Alas, customer service is sooooo 2016. I don’t think you can e-mail them now – even my Twitter message from 22nd April remains unanswered, “Will I ever be able to get a food delivery again? I’m so fed up of having to go food shopping every day!”.
I’ve noted during this crisis that some companies have been predictably shite – Wetherspoons take a bow. Others, like Sainsburys, were less predictable – zero customer service, fruit and veg aisles being blocked, no online delivery for people that have been having online deliveries for about 15 years. SOME OF US HAVE ALWAYS WANTED THE FUTURE.
I know I’m being harsh on Sainsburys as it isn’t their fault that older people keep insisting that we can go back to a time when neither the EU or the internet existed and they do amazing ketchup. Try their ketchup – you’ll never buy Heinz again. You trust me, right? You know, maybe we can fight Coronavirus with Spitfires.
And don’t get me started on British Airways who have £572 of my money and who are refusing to give it back to me, however I can exchange this for a flight which will be far more expensive than what I originally paid – £572 will probably get me to Newquay in 2021, not Tokyo.
Anyway I logged in last week on the off-chance of a delivery slot, and I was successful for the first time in over two months. Finally I could start rebuilding my Brexit stockpile. Have you noticed that Brexit is starting to creep back into our lives? Behold the joy – and it is useful to have a reminder that Boris Johnson is terminally fucking useless.
Well, at least I’d get some head from Boris.
Brief serious point – maybe the public will now realise the value of serious people being involved in politics. Or maybe we’ll just go all native, destroy globalisation, have worldwide food shortages and then another fucking world war. Maybe I should buy a 3D printer so I can help print Spitfires for the war effort.
Have I ever told you about the time that me and a friend got talking to two German girls in a pub, and my friend mentioned that his Grandad went to Germany once…and then started making aeroplane and bomb noises, followed by “Spitfire”. There are multiple reasons for my lack of sex life over the years and not all of them down to my resembling John Prescott.
Fuck, if we did start electing serious politicians, what would I write about?
Perfect place for heading when you think of one
On that note, maybe I should start talking about the roast dinner.
So this is the latest and probably last in the series of roasts from supermarkets – where I bought the constituent roast dinner items from the same supermarket which required the most minimal of effort – in other words something anyone can replicate. Well, except people without ovens…if having only one oven is a sign of being a pleb then I don’t know what having no ovens is like.
I say last because I have reviewed Waitrose and Morrisons already – Tesco and Asda remain, but I think I’ve had enough misery already. M&S I refuse to do because I’m a shareholder and don’t believe I could review fairly. Yeah, my worst-performing stock by some distance. Good pants though.
The first task is to see what own-brand gravy is available – not helped by a non-performing filter on the website which thought Bisto was a Sainsburys brand – maybe that was a sign? Sainsburys did their own chicken or beef gravy. They had beef joints but I couldn’t envisage myself not doing any preparation to it – I’d had chicken for the first two supermarket roasts yet I could feasibly do chicken gravy with pork or lamb.
After a short browse I discovered the existence of a Sainsbury’s British Pork Shoulder Joint, Stuffed with Sage & Onion that I have just copied the name of. Perfect – already had herbs on, namely sage and parsley I think, and had stuffing inside. Always good not to have to do the stuffing yourself. Oh and rated a 2.7 on the Sainsburys website, which seems to be a good score – relatively.
Coupled that with Sainsburys Yorkshire puddings, a green vegetable medley and some Taste The Difference roast potatoes – and we could have a…dinner.
Dinner took around 1 hour and 40 minutes to arrive – as this is how long Sainsburys advised to cook the pork for. In hindsight I should have allowed it to cook a little longer but it was approaching 8pm, I only had one glass of wine left and other things were in progress.
Starting with the tender green medley which required either microwaving or steaming. The latter is beyond my neanderthal means so I used the trusty…well…rusty microwave. Yet what happened when I opened up the bag?
Yes, ladies, gentlemen and fill in the rest depending on the level of your transphobia – PEAS. And, of course, as per their feared lack of discipline, they have got everywhere – bursting out of the bag and scattering all over the kitchen shelf for when my housemate cleans the kitchen this weekend. And no doubt still for when I clean the kitchen the weekend after.
For microwaved vegetables, they were fine. The tenderstem broccoli was a little crunchy, the runner beans rather mushy. The peas are still under the microwave.
Next up were the Taste The Difference Roast Potatoes with Goose Fat…wait a minute…
DO NOT BLAME ME.
A BIT LIKE ONLINE DATING.
I STILL HAVEN’T MESSAGED MY SPANISH MATCH BACK.
I HAVE NO IDEA WHY I AM TYPING IN CAPS LOCK.
So the chips were damn fine chips. Crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside – you could tell these were not from Iceland. You could also tell that they were not goose fat roast potatoes. You could say that I could taste the difference…sigh.
And if you think chips are bad, you should see what one of my favourite followers put on her roast dinner the other day:
Damn, I’m hungry right now and it is barely 7am. Anyway the frozen yorkie was kind of fine. Better than an Aunt Bessie, but still felt a bit tearable.
You know, I went to Sainsburys yesterday to get some air conditioning, which I feel is within the rules now. I also attempted to buy some food – queued up for ages to use the self-scanning machines, then realised that I have downloaded a self-scan app. So used that, went to go scan the QR code at the checkout and nothing happened. Had I paid? Who knows.
So I went to the queuing area and asked someone who told me I hadn’t and that I had to get to the back of the queue which was now twice as long. I walked out and went to Waitrose instead. Boring story, but a perfectly timed annoyance – its as if Sainsburys knew I was writing about them.
The pork would have been much better had I cooked it longer, but it was a decent enough lump of meat. The stuffing had a crispness where it had been exposed to the elements – though a slightly gooey softness inside.
There was plenty of flavour to the pork, particularly coming through from the herbs so this was decently enjoyable.
Alas the gravy had little more flavour than it had viscosity. It did have some flavour to be fair, but more of nutmeg. Why? Mostly I noted it for being transparent and watery – a pretty miserable affair. Also when it was being microwaved (hey, that’s what the instructions said), it made a noise similar to a car going over speed bumps, which was slightly disconcerting.
I’ve had worse roast dinners…from Waitrose and Morrisons, and also those old normal places when we were allowed to venture across London without wearing a gas mask and an NHS identity card.
The chips were probably the highlight, which isn’t the greatest compliment for a roast dinner, but only really the gravy was substandard.
Maybe a 6 out of 10.
As I mentioned earlier, this is probably my last supermarket roast dinner – I don’t feel willing to demean myself further with a visit to either Tesco or Asda.
There are still options. There’s at least one place left on Uber Eats and I heard a rumour of a nearish pub doing roasts on collection – though it would be cold by time I had walked back home. Maybe I’ll branch out. Maybe I’ll take requests. Or maybe I will just stop writing.
Even when pubs and restaurants open up, this is almost certainly going to be with social distancing, so much less table availability – and favouring large pubs with beer gardens. How many of them do you know in central London?! That is also assuming that I’d be allowed to travel by tube to get there…and only in a suffocating mask to stop me spreading one of the 14 new cases a day in a city of 9 million people, all of which are probably in hospitals and care homes, neither of which I visit. Also it is going to piss it down all July.
There are many logistical challenges ahead. There is probably a point of hopelessness at which I just give up and furlough this blog…I hope it doesn’t come to that but I’ve gone from having a to-do list of 122 places to a to-do list of 2 places and I’m fucking fed up of being stuck in the same radius that I can walk until my bladder is half-full.
Let’s end with a happy memory.
I won’t be back next week.
Loved & Loathed
Loved: The wine I had bought. It was less miserable than other supermarket pre-pared roasts.
Loathed: Gravy tasted of nutmeg and was transparent. Awful.
Where now, sailor?
Random roast review: The Prince’s Head, Richmond