Takeaways and Moans

Well, the "one of those weeks" that I was having has decided to extend itself into two! I've got absolutely nothing done. It's not only me that's a bit broken down though, the hot water side of the boiler's gone kaput! I understand that there's a rare and elusive species called a plumber that lives locally and can be tempted out of his lair by feeding him large denomination paper money; hopefully he'll turn up soon!

Anyway, enough of my problems, but whilst I'm having a moan: what is it with all our local chip-shops nowadays? The batter has a spongy layer underneath it and they never cook the chips enough. One of our local ones seems to cook everything in sump oil and the other turns buying a simple meal into an epic. You get in there and firstly they'll tell you they're waiting for fish, so you stand to one side and wait; when your fish is cooked they then tell you that they're waiting for chips! I kid you not. I'm sure that it takes less time to cook the bloomin' things at home than to go to there. Damn it, they've really only got to get two things right: the fish and the chips. They can't even do that properly. Given that they cook the flamin' things all-day everyday you'd think that they would get it right occasionally, if only by accident!

Pauline's only ever cooked fish in batter twice in her life, but she can get it right. The haddock she cooked on Thursday was superb, albeit we had it with chips and mushy peas from the freezer for convenience. The batter was just simply self-raising flour, water and salt; it was still crisp over twenty minutes after frying. It ain't rocket science.

Fish and chips

Now the Chinese Takeaway in the next village is a different kettle of fish! I swear that you could order dinner for 300 and it would still be ready in twenty minutes! They're great, deliver to your door, and the portions are so generous that a 'set meal for two' will feed four of us easily.

And so to the Indian sub-continent. It seems like every pub that closes in the local area reopens as an Indian restaurant. There's a lot of competition and very reasonable prices; because of this the local Indian takeaways appear comparatively expensive. You may as well eat in the restaurants; the cost will be similar but the food will be so much better.

"Moan, moan, moan, that's all you do. None of them are that expensive. In fact for a bloke that spends £100 - £200 each time at the butchers, they're cheap!" OK, I agree, and that's fine if you're only paying for one or two. I'm usually buying for four or more, so it can get a bit expensive. "Where's all this gobbledygook taking us?" Well, really it's just a way of me working around to telling you that I did crawl out of my pit on Saturday to cook an Indian meal for myself and my daughters, and their partners. Pauline can't stand the stuff, so had an omelette instead! I was going to buy it from the local takeaway 'cos I wasn't feeling great, but when I thought of the price I got a funny pain in my wallet so decided to cook it myself. I forgot to take pictures but Hannah plated up the leftovers so that I had something to show for it. Pretty, it ain't!

My Indian meal

There's a lamb roghan josh, chicken tikki in sauce, spiced basmati rice, chappati, and for me the star of the show: The Lake Palace Hotel's aubergine cooked in pickling style. I cut back on the oil and garlic and it was superb.

You can tell how long it takes me to write things: the plumber's just arrived!

Well, what can I say? The plumber's fixed the sticky valve that was causing the problem with the boiler and only charged me £40. I take back all I said about plumbers; he's now my hero of the day!

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There are eight comments


Tasty looking fish, and the curry sounds nice :D. I picked up a book called the takeaway secret from The Works a few weeks ago and so far the things I have cooked have gone down well, it is quite handy for stocking the freezer with “ready meals”

Halfpint, (URL) - 27-09-’11 06:51

I do really think you was being a bit harsh on the plumber in my humble opinion (not much really) you used the wrong bait; a few link of snags and a nice tasty bit of the (cider) ham would have gone a long way to get said plumber there post haste. As for the chippies it seems that the good ones are coming out to B.C. as we tend to have the prolong absent of the liquid sun shine, well at least a couple of weeks apart.
I do think it is totally unfair that you had to drag yourself out of the sack to cook but looking at the food who could blame them, as always you treat them well
Hoping this finds you in better health and spirits than the last week, keep well my friend

Robert, - 27-09-’11 10:10

I think I know the chippie you mean. I ‘ve bought fish n’chips from there twice in the last 16 years and both times when I unwrapped them they had all congealed in a gooey mess and when I tried to separate them they all broke up into an even bigger gooey mess. And the battered fish was just as you descibed; no doubt made with wallpaper paste.

You have a real plumber in the village? You do surprise me, I would like to meet him sometime.

Keith, (URL) - 28-09-’11 13:04

Many thanks to all three of you for your replies.

Keith, I won’t say online, but having seen you tonight you know the ones I mean!

Phi, (URL) - 29-09-’11 00:10

Hey Phil, Paulina’s fish batter was only self-raising flour, water and salt? they look delicious, I always use store bought but I’ll give her recipe a try. And why do they mush up the pea’s? Is it just traditional fare?, I’ve seen may a reference to it from the UK, but never mentioned over here.

DanMcG, - 05-10-’11 11:13

Hi Dan

Do you have self-raising flour in the US? If not, I think that you could add baking powder to ‘ordinary’ flour.

Ah! The peas aren’t just normal peas mushed up; they’re dried, then rehydrated Marrowfat peas – http://www.mushypeas.co.uk/aboutpeas.htm..


Phil, (URL) - 05-10-’11 17:47

Scored some mushy peas!!!
Hey Phil will in the international section of the store I spotted some mushy peas, (bachelor brand) Is it acceptable to eat with sausage for dinner? or is it a fish and chip thing….
The wife gave me that look when she saw the can, but I’m looking forward to them. thanks for cluing me in about them.

dammcg, - 12-11-’11 22:50

They’ll be fine with sausage. I don’t know what the tinned ones are like Dan – you may find them an ‘acquired taste’!

Phil, - 14-11-’11 16:45

I'm somewhat incapacitated at present so replies may take some time. Please post urgent enquiries at the www.sausagemaking.org forum.

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