As I said in the last post, our lovely day on Sunday started at Quality Foods before we headed off to lunch and - in my case - a jog round the restaurant at The Chocolate Factory.
There is no finer store for buying spices and Asian food than Quality Foods.
(No, I'm not sponsored by them, although I am open to offers.)
Here is a picture just to give you an idea of the scale of the store:-
Our core mission was re-stocking our spice cupboard.
Stepping through the door is like stepping into a new world - suddenly we were greeted by bhangra music, the scent of coriander, the sight of fruits and vegetables that Waitrose has yet to discover and the hubbub of a street market.
On the the way through the fruit and veg there were two games for the Champions to play.
i) Name the vegetable
ii) Fruit or veg?
In case you're wondering, the obvious answer from a Google search is:-
"All fruits are vegetable (not animal and not mineral), but not all vegetables are fruit. Sugar cane is a grass."
Nope. Me neither.
Having bought our fruit and veg we moved on to the spice aisles.
Yes, I did use the plural knowingly.
Our local Tesco Extra has a section for spices which is probably 8ft long and delivers everything in handy 50g jars and - if you're lucky and feeling a bit racy - you may find one of your selection in a larger 100g pot.
Not Quality Foods.
They deliver their spices in a whole array of sizes. Here is an example of a man-sized pack:-
Herein lies one of the great debates in the Champion household.
My argument goes like this:-
'Look at the size of this pack!'
'Look at the price!'
'Do you realise you'd only get 5 of those little bottles in Tesco for the price of this pack?'
'This is the one we should buy.'
Nicola's argument goes like this:-
'We're buying this one,' as she plucks the disappointingly small 200g pack off the shelf and removes my man-sized 5000g pack from the straining trolley.
As both Nicola and the trolley breath a sigh of relief, I can't help looking ruefully back at the spice shelves and think what might have been.
I mean, Stuart-another-of-my-faults-is-being clumsy-Champion could've had so much fun with 5kg of Turmeric which not only adds flavour to food, but also dyes everything it comes into contact with an indelible yellow.
I think I was robbed of having the same fun with the spice cupboard as I regularly have with printer cartridges...
...how is it that the marketing department inspired software in the printer says the cartridge is empty and then - when you change it - the "empty" cartridge turns your hands a delightful shade of blue?
Invariably I only notice that this has happened a while later when I think 'I wonder where that blue stain on the desk came from?'
Then the other voice in my head replies, 'Probably the same place as the blue on the keyboard, the wall, the chair and the printer.'
That's just before a third voice in my head starts sounding an alarm bell and shouting, 'Don't panic Captain Mainwaring!'
Am I the only one to hear voices?