MUCH AS I love cooking and eating, I hate foraging for ingredients: supermarket-aisle trolley skirmishes, interminably long queues and weightlifting the shopping back to base kitchen. So when I spied a notice in my local Wellcome supermarket promising home delivery I was delighted ... but alas, it was not to be. I was ineligible because I live on the fourth floor of a building with no lift. I contemplated pretending my flatmate was disabled in order to qualify, but to avert a possible 'scene' the perfectly able-bodied flatmate volunteered to help carry the supplies. Further investigations revealed that Park'n Shop will deliver if the minimum amount spent is more than $150, with a $10 nominal charge. If the order is placed before noon they will deliver the same day. There are no restrictions on buildings without lifts, but they will not deliver to some housing estates. Registered disabled people are let off the $10 delivery charge. Hotline tel: 2550 6041. Wellcome's minimum delivery charge is also $150, plus $10, with same-day delivery if the order is placed before 11 am. No delivery service is provided for customers living above the second floor if there is no lift, and if your favourite item is on promotion Wellcome limits the delivery to five cases. With purchases of more than $150, the $10 delivery charge is waived for registered disabled customers. Hotline tel: 2870 8814. Oliver's Delicatessen offers home delivery if you spend more than $300. If you live in Central they can deliver within an hour; for the New Territories they deliver on certain days only. Tel: 2866 3628. Seibu's minimum charge is also $300, but they will deliver to Hong Kong and Kowloon only, and on certain days only. Tel: 2971 3722. City'super will not deliver free to your home unless you splash out $500 or more - and if you live in Kowloon, the minimum expenditure for qualification is $1,000. Tel: 2506 2888. The highlight of my week was my visit to French supermarket Carrefour, located just above the MTR station in Heng Fa Chuen. Carrefour offer all manner of household goods and food from all corners of the globe: Chinese dried abalone, Japanese rice burgers and American Oreo cookies. Naturally, there are French stalwarts like fish soup and foie gras. Carrefour does not offer home delivery, but if you spend more than $300 you qualify for an hour's free parking; for more than $500, it's two hours' free parking. Hotline tel: 2711 1127. At spacious Carrefour it's a joy to wield a shopping list and wheel a trolley: there are wide aisles and an in-house telephone hotline for assistance if you can't find your Wild Snow Jelly gift packs. There are live fish in tanks - not for the sake of fung shui, well not the fishes' fung shui anyway - and spit-roasted chicken with a clock telling you when the next batch will be ready ($30 per chicken). Carrefour make individually packaged creme caramels: creamy, yellow custards in puddles of liquid burned sugar ($7.80 each). Nosh readers may remember that a few weeks ago I recounted the Battle of Burned Fingers when making creme caramel at home; a cunning plan would be to serve the Carrefour creme caramels on your own plates and pass them off as your own creations. There is another Carrefour at Tsuen Wan, a Tsuen Long store will open in July and a Tsuen Muen store in September. Despite all my supermarket homework I still ended up trudging home with a sack of vegetables to make Spanish iced soup gazpacho. And for a complete Spanish-theme evening I rented the video Surviving Picasso. Gazpacho is easy to make: whizz ripe, chopped tomatoes, par-cooked green peppers, olive oil, vinegar, garlic, sugar, salt, pepper and a slice of bread and cucumber to taste in a blender ... a lot of my favourite dishes seem to involve whizzing things in a blender. (If you are tempted to whizz rather than cook, it is important when buying a blender to make sure you buy the type where you can remove the base from the goblet for thorough cleaning.) Serve the soup chilled, with ice cubes, and bowls of chopped cucumber, tomato, pepper and a hard-boiled egg (the egg and green peppers can share the same cooking water). I have always enjoyed Mrs Fields' cookies, muffins and brownies, and was delighted to see a Mrs Fields store has sprung up in Lan Kwai Fong. General manager Leung Kam said the company's eighth outlet opened last month to take advantage of reduced rents. Regardless of the economic climate, Leung maintained that people still needed to eat - cookies. Hong Kong's favourite cookie is the chocolate chip. But as we know, delivering food is not easy in Hong Kong. Leung is looking for charities to collect unsold cookies at the end of the day from the 800 cookies baked an hour at each store. All cookies unsold within two hours are put aside, and on average there are 100 cookies left at each store at the end of the day. Mrs Fields lacks the manpower to deliver the cookies to organisations who can use them. The cookies are all made from natural ingredients with no preservatives or additives, and will keep for up to a week. If you know of a charity which can use the cookies and which can collect, contact Leung on 2605 2363. And on the subject of transport, there's nothing like propelling yourself: a friend and I cycled from Mid-Levels to Stanley and returned via Kennedy Town and the Delicious Dumpling Shop at 8C Smithfield Road. This small restaurant is a constant blur of activity: staff chopping mounds of garlic and ginger, and rolling, shaping and steaming. We filled up on fat, fluffy dumplings: pork and vegetable, and the bitter, green gau choi, or chive; congee with dried fish and peanuts; and soya bean milk served in a bowl. There was no charge for transport ... or parking.