Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A cautionary tale

We made a bad mistake a few months ago, when we signed up to some
online advertising for Mrs C's counselling business. We were cold-
called by a tele-sales person, who basically mis-sold some
advertising to us. Not realising this at the time, we signed up
to a year's contract for the advertising, which would have meant
paying out over £400. The salesman had invited us to try out the
service on a temporary basis, which turned out not to be the case.

The service may be good value if you haven't yet set up a website
for your business, as you could put a lot of info in the advert
about the business. It also helps boost your Google rating. However,
I've obtained a tremendous boost for two websites I've set up, by
using And there are other sites, which will
do the same for free.

We also agreed unwisely to making direct debit payments from one
of our credit cards ... something we'll never do again, as you
can't easily stop payments from a credit card (though it is

We faced a lot of hassle trying to get out of this contract, after
we realised that we were being overcharged for the service, but now
we've almost reached a satisfactory conclusion ... the advertising
has stopped and we're negotiating a refund of the bulk of our
payments to date.

My almost son-in-law in London, who is a top salesman, told us never
to believe anything a sales-person tells you on the first meeting ..
and to take your time in assessing what's on offer. To which I would
add, think twice about handing over your credit card details to a
sales-person, on the first point of contact.

Next up ... a photo of the food I served up to Mrs C this evening.

Skimping on the veg, don't you think?

Oh, no, no, no, no, no, yes ... er no.

We just love eating the stuff ... there are 2 veggie sausages under
that mound of mainly organic veg ... we like the Cauldron brand of
sausies, which I think taste very like the real thing.

We love eating red cabbage, cooked in Delia Smith's way (with apple,
onion and spices, plus a sweet and sour "sauce"). Here is her recipe.
You will see that she recommends slow cooking it in an oven at 150
deg C for over 2 hours.

I agree with Robert Ehrlich who wrote about the benefits of pressure
cooking in the Green Kitchen column in The Times. Why cook the
red cabage in an oven for 2 hours when you can do the same in a
pressure cooker in 10 to 20 minutes?

I used my pressure cooker yesterday to cook 450g of shredded red
cabbage (plus all the other ingredients, halved in quantity). I
added 200ml of water to the mix, which was too much with hindsight,
as I had to reduce the liquid down afterwards separately in a pan.
Next time I'll try about 75ml additional water.

Cooking time for the red cabbage mix ... 10 mins at full pressure,
switch off the gas, and allow the pressure cooker to cool for another
10mins before taking the lid off. Brilliant result. Mrs C advises
leaving the braised cabbage overnight in the fridge, and eating it
the following day, as the flavours improve with keeping.

Mrs C and I managed to eat half of the braised red cabbage this
evening. We've frozen the other half to eat up later in the week.

We've got a fabulous yellow rose bush growing over our back fence.
courtesy of our neighbours. It's in full bloom at present, so I
couldn't resist taking yet another photo of it to show you ...

I've found out that this is the Canary Bird shrub rose.


OpenID anewwayoflife08 said...

I love quorn, have you tried it?


10:55 AM  
Blogger justin said...

Hi LOM ... yes, we go through phases eating Quorn. We go for the chicken-style chunks in stews and the like, and also the Swedish-style "meat-balls", which are great with Nigella's home-made tomato mix/sauce which she uses for meat balls. We can't eat more than three of these balls at one go.

6:28 AM  
Anonymous LOM said...

Ive never tried the meat balls, I will have to give them ago

9:45 AM  
Blogger justin said...

If you've got Nigella Lawson's book, Nigella Bites, her tomato sauce recipe is on page 100. Dee-licious.

6:24 AM  

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