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Nutricious Comfort Food

Discussion in 'Cookery' started by modelmaker, Apr 29, 2011.

  1. Si N. Tiffick

    Si N. Tiffick Occasional commenter

    They do this already! I know Tesco and M&S do, so prob the other supermarkets do, too. I thik the M&S versionis called Simply cook?
  2. modelmaker

    modelmaker Senior commenter

    Thanks Belle. I already do something very similar that my wife goes bonkers over. Haven't included ketchup or worcester sauce though. I'll try this next time.
    This is interesting. I rarely shop in M&S and I haven't seen anything like this in our Tesco. I suspect it's because I already cook and head straight for the various ingredients. How do they promote it? Is it a set range of products or does it vary depending on recipes of the week?
  3. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Thanks Belle. I already do something very similar that my wife goes bonkers over. Haven't included ketchup or worcester sauce though. I'll try this next time.Also, replace the ketchup with sweet chilli sauce, replace parsley with chopped coriander and add a finely chopped chilli and you have chilli burgers!
  4. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Don't know *** happened to my qoutes then! [​IMG]
  5. Si N. Tiffick

    Si N. Tiffick Occasional commenter

    It's a set range. I couldn't tell you what the meals are as I've never been tempted to buy a meal "kit". Probably for some, these have some merit, in terms of what has been discussed here already e.g. is a ready made sauce better than no cooking at all...
  6. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Morrisons do these meal kits too. I prefer to always make my own.

  7. True Nick...but it's about leading the horse to water, isn't it? When thinking about costs...even a packet of frozen chicken thighs, a carton of pasata...a few onions, carrots and mushrooms and dried spices, with boiled rice...seems like a HUGE deal to someone who'd rather bung a ready meal in the microwave.
    I really feel we should return to good old fashioned cookery lessons at school...ingredients subsidised by the LAs if necessary. 'Food technology' my ars.e!
    Forget about food packaging, marketing, labelling and E numbers...and all the stupid topics, tests and posters. Just show kids how to make simple and nutritious dishes they can take home..teach them to use spices, herbs for flavourings, how to cook rice and pasta...how to make simple sauces...and how to test if chicken and meat is cooked. Show them how to prepare fruit and how to make fruit into delicious low-sugar puddings. Show them how to make baby food too....how to puree natural foods they've cooked. Then of course teachers can stress the value of minerals, vitamins, food values etc...A 'feeding a baby' topic would have lots of educational value...more use than designing a carton for orange juice. Teach them to brown mince and drain off the fat...silly basics which many will never learn at home.
    Their parents may be lost causes but if we make cookery fun and hands on - practical subject again - it gives kids some hope for the future. They'll feel confident around food and a cooker at least.
  8. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Absolutely! Food tech just encourages the use of fast food when they need to know how to cook food and feed a family.
  9. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    Quite agree. I fear that educating children and hoping for the best might be our only option. Jamie Oliver and the like have been trying with adults for years now and haven't really gotten anywhere.
    Otherwise, we have truly lost our way with regards to food and eating in this country. Recently, on holiday in Crete, in a bar for lunch I asked for the daily special which was 'boureki pie', a local speciality - mainly because I'd never heard of it and wanted to see what it was. It was delicious - a sort of gratin of potatoes, courgettes, onion and local cheese. Anyway, the people who worked in and owned the bar and the other bar customers were extremely pleased to see a Brit tucking into their dish and became very proud and inlflated! People were approaching me from all over the bar and asking me if was enjoying their speciality and were chuffed to bits that I was - the chef and the owner even came out from the kitchen to speak to me. Incredible. What was funny though was that it sparked a long lasting but friendly debate between a large crowd of people of a broad mix of ages as to which was the correct cheese to use in boureki pie (insofar as I could understand anyway - my Greek is non-existant!) - a debate that was still rumbling when we'd paid and left half-an-hour later. Could you imagine that happening in a bar in Britain?
    Similarly, I've had many experiences in France, where the locals, young and old, have enthusiastically directed me towards their local dishes. Go into a bar in Marseille and ask a load of youngsters to describe to you the perfect bouillabaise and you'll get 10 different versions and likely spark off an argument. Go into a bar in Oldham and ask some twentysomethings to tell you all about hotpot or a bar in Swansea and ask about cawl and you'll get a load of blank looks. That in itself says a heck of a lot.

  10. Love this story!
    As others have said, buying spices just to get a tsp would probably put people off, but there are sets I;ve seen with all the bits and bobs in you need to make a meal. I suppose if you bought it, made the meal and liked it you would then buy the individual ingredients.
    And saw this in the weightwatchers magazine at a meeting this week:
    I think the things in Tesco are more like stick the meat in the oven, then pout this sauce over.
  11. Pouting ??
  12. modelmaker

    modelmaker Senior commenter

    It's true though, isn't it?
    Just before Christmas last year, in the snow and on my travels with a colleague, we were talking about food and found we both had an affinity for rabbit. It turned out the hotel/pub we stayed in, somewhere close to Boroughbridge had rabbit stew on the menu so we both took the rare opportunity to have some. It wasn't bad at all.
    As we finished our meal, the owners sat next to us to have their meal and while they waited for it to be served, we commented on our dinner, asked if it was something they regularly served and so on. It turned out it was, but before we had the chance of discussing rabbit stew in any detail, the conversation had turned to Council inspections, Health and Safety regulations they'd been forced to spend money on, VAT and the like.
    It was all like Groundhog Day over again. I could have had a similar conversation with our Financial Manger in the office.
    This surprising gem of a place that actually put rabbit stew on the menu appeared to have been ground down sufficiently by the system they were losing their passion for real food and were more concerned about the injustice of beaurocracy preventing them doing their stuff.
  13. Aw, Modelmaker, way to bring a girl down! I've been meaning to read this new post in this hotlisted thread for ages and your story is so different from the one I loved!

  14. lilachardy

    lilachardy Star commenter

    Today in the supermarket, I noticed in the "Reduced to clear" section, there was a packet of 3 cheese and onion pasties marked down to 13p.
    I also noticed that the two carrots I bought cost 13p.
    If you are lazy or have a tight budget, it's a no brainer, isn't it.
  15. Nope.
    Well, I would buy the carrots, but most would buy the pasties.
  16. anon468

    anon468 New commenter

    Fair point lil, but it does depend on what's in the sin bin at that particular time, doesn't it?
    I remember one evening going into Tesco and finding the following for the collective princely sum of 15p:
    3 trimmed organic leeks
    1 medium swede
    2 turnips
    2 avocado pears
    I bought a couple of carrots and an onion (I get the spuds for free, but let's guess they would be about 10p) for 20p and made a muckle pan of soup for less than £1 (allowing for the stock cubes and pearl barley). Which yielded a good 6 bowlfuls.
    The avocados I ate for lunch over 2 days, with salt & pepper.
  17. But manashee - you place importance on food.
    Also - when I was on benefits with my two kids, I often was torn between the cheap ****, which would fill them up, or the cheap veg which would make for a soup o r a veg bake. Sometimes, you don't want to serve up yet another veg bake or soup. You do find yourself tempted to treat them to something, even if it is not the greatest nutritional meal. And I sometimes found myself gagging for a bit of ****, as the strain of stretching good food on a low budget could really play on your nerves.
    I always took the harder option, and stretched my food, but many, many families won't - if the **** is just as cheap and takes less cooking.
    What many of us here consider a naughty treat, is standard food for many families as it is not always more expensive than good food (or even cheaper!).
    Look at the **** frozen pizzas you can buy for a pittance. How are you going to get a Jeremy Kyle viewer to make their own pizza? JO didn't even manage that.
    Many who have enough money, don't cook either. As they "have no time".
    IMO, it tends to be those who earn their money, and do not have much of it, who place more emphasis on what is put on the table (exceptions allowed, of course - not all very poor people eat ****, not all rich people do not cook themselves).
    Conversely (and I am being provocative here) - chavs will not sit down at the table as a family to eat together. But the higher up the pay scale you get, neither do those families, as the parents are either not there, or the children are ferried from one hobby to another in shifts.
    It tends to be those in the middle, the average, who do.
    This is purely anecdoctal and not backed up with any statistics - although I do seem to remember reading something about it.
  18. anon468

    anon468 New commenter

    Oh God, yes. I'd be as tempted by the cheap cheese & onion pasties as anyone!
    It takes effort to cook (and wash up the pots), but sod all effort to bung a few pasties in the microwave. And cheese & onion pasties taste gooooood.
    As you know, I'm watching every penny at the moment and I can totally see things from the POV of the terminally skint. Being out of work and living an unstructured life makes you care less and more inclined to say 'sod it' where food is concerned.
    I am firmly of the view that fresh food (veg, fruit, chicken, fish) needs to be govt subsidised to make it a heck of a lot cheaper so that people can and will make better choices about what they cook and eat.
  19. modelmaker

    modelmaker Senior commenter

    I'd love this to be the answer but it wouldn't work without education. I've watched programmes on TV where they ask kids what various fruits and vegetables are and the kids don't have a clue. They recognise a pasty when they see one, just as they do a Mars bar. How it becomes either is a mystery they have no need to explore. It's always there, but what you have to do with raw ingredients isn't.
    It seems to me you have to somehow you have to inspire the people who buy these things about the pleasure of nicer tastes, the thrill in creating them, and then educate them about the healhier aspects of cooking from scratch once you've got them hooked.

  20. lapinrose

    lapinrose Star commenter

    That is precisely what I did when I was asked to do a maternity cover last year. There was no SoW in place, so I wrote my own, taught the kids to use an oven, make bread, cakes, soup, cheese sauce, tomato sauce, unfortunately the budget was low and lessons short so no time to do meat cooking. But I made a start as many of the pupils reported back on cooking the same dishes at home after learning them in school.

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