This is from a pamphlet, of cheese cookery, probably seventies, that I picked up for 49p.
Look at their happy faces. The publican and his wife/ husband (they both look like men to me). Standing happily in front of their pumps and rack of tankards this pair look the right people to listen to when it comes to pie making. But wait! Look at the ingredients. Frozen mixed vegetables. Instant mashed potato. This is not a recipe for a publican from a quaint centuries-old Cotswold inn, with pie recipes running through their veins like, er, blood? Like blood? I’ve lost this metaphor somewhat. Never mind. No, this is no traditional recipe; this is a recipe for landlords who want to make a token effort to food, but don’t want to splash out on frivolities such as a chef, ingredients or a kitchen. It’s a few levels below Wetherspoons in the haute cuisine stakes. It’s perfect!
There was a point, just before I added the frozen vegetables, when this seemed like it might work out (this point was when it was just a bowl of hot mince). Things went astray from there, though it was not apparent how badly astray until it came to eat the ‘pie’.
I opened the oven to find this:
I’ve been trying to think of a way of describing that image for a few days now and really can’t find the words. What IS it?
The food went onto a plate. Somehow it looked even worse:
I tried not to think about the appearance and started eating. There were many problems with the dish
- Utterly bland. I made it taste of salt, by adding salt
- The vegetables, carrots in particular, were a weird combination of chewy and too wet. I can’t really describe them, but they freaked me out
- The instant potato. The texture was odd, the flavour non-existent, but more importantly I felt very very odd for TWO DAYS afterwards. I woke in the night with a fever, had utterly bizarre dreams and generally wanted to go on an extensive programme of detoxification as a result. 98% potato, sure, but what the hell was in that remaining 2%?
I will not be making this ever again. The beer was nice though.
Pubbed by Alix