Where have you been all my life?

Sometimes I “discover” something only to realise the rest of the world already figured it out. Like, in 2009. Or earlier.

Lately, this list has included online grocery shopping, roasted broccoli and Downton Abbey.

First, online grocery shopping. I don’t mind the groceries. It’s probably my favourite domestic chore – if I had to choose between cleaning and shopping, it’s shopping all the way. I usually just do it myself, and after Emma arrived I even started counting it as ‘me’ time. Can you imagine? An hour battling the crowds in Coles and I considered it precious ‘me’ time just because I didn’t have the baby with me? How life changes. We try to negotiate our weekends so we both get a sleep-in, we both get some alone time, we get some quality adult time sans baby, and we get some family time. It doesn’t always work so well, but we’re pretty good at making sure we all get what we need. And I was using up my alone time doing the grocery shopping. What a martyr. So, I started getting it all delivered – fresh fruit and veg from Aussie Farmers on Tuesday, and everything else from Woolies on Saturday. Of course, there are downsides, to the Woolies delivery at least, Aussie Farmers is pretty foolproof. You are trusting someone else to choose everything – this is especially tricky with perishables. We got kangaroo with a use-by date that was very soon and I didn’t realise, so we had to throw it all out. I don’t trust them to choose good fruit and veg so I ordered a punnet of mushrooms, which was already out of date. (I complained about this on their Facebook page of all places, and got a voucher and a refund. So, that was impressive.) If something’s not in stock and you haven’t ticked the box that says ‘substitution’, you won’t get anything. One Friday night I requested a delivery between 5 and 8pm, intending to use some of it to cook dinner. It arrived after 9pm, by which time I’d improvised. The bloke had been out to Bungendore before us – since then, I also don’t order any frozen items as I don’t want them thawed by the time they get here. But in general, YAY for online grocery shopping and using my me time for ME.

I don’t have as much to say about roasted broccoli, but – oh my. I prefer my vegies grilled or roasted in general. And roasted broccoli is especially genius because it can be served either hot, like with potatoes or pumpkin next to your protein of choice, or stirred through pasta or quinoa with some other delicious bits as a meal-in-a-bowl, or at room temperature as a green salad ingredient. It’s also awesome with aioli, but then most things are. It’s brilliant. Stop steaming broccoli!

And Downton Abbey, well most people already know. I avoided it for a long time because I’m totally not into British period dramas. People would tell me it was great and I smiled politely. But, oh my God, they should have told me it was like Desperate Housewives, but with servants, and better costumes, in a beautiful English castle. And since it’s from the BBC (is it? Not sure actually) and it’s set in the early 1900s you can pretend to be all cultured and knowledgeable about the history of the aristocratic classes. I inhaled the first two seasons, then had to wait for the husband to download the third, and I inhaled that. Anyone with a baby (just one baby, not a toddler as well or anything crazy like that) who tells you they don’t have time to watch TV is totally lying, or their house is pristine. There is heaps of time to watch TV, especially since you can watch anything in front of a baby and they won’t go asking awkward questions like “What’s a prostitute?” (I remember asking my mum that once) or learning how to cook meth or anything. Now I just need to watch the 2012 Christmas special and I’m up to date. I think I saw a spoiler online today about Matthew, but I’m trying not to think about that.

So, there are my three ‘hot’ tips for early 2013. Who knows what new-fangled thing I’ll review next.

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