Sunday, October 23, 2011

Comfort food!

There's "comfort food" and then there's "comfort food". And all of us, from the Prime Minister down to the old gentleman who lives down the street, has our favourites. Even people like Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson.

One that comes to mind easily is Sausages and Mashed Potatoes, or as it is more commonly or popularly known, "Bangers and Mash". I see where it has become the all out favourite in Britain particularly during the economic down-turn.

And whatever you may think, (and I can hear some of you say, yuk when you look at the photos), it is a delicious and filling meal. That is, if it is cooked properly and if it is presented properly.  And made from top quality ingredients.  Why even my dear old Mum was able to throw a couple of snags (sausages) on the plate with a dollop of mashed potato, and we kids would be straining at the bit to get stuck into "dinner".

I can't think of when I've been so disappointed at a serving of "comfort food.   Until I recently had a spot of lunch at Stallions, that is. There it was on the menu (for kids alas, but I've heard that anyone can ask for whatever's on the menu as an adult serving and expect to be served), so I figured, yes, it's bangers and mash for me today. Even if it's just a teeny tiny serve!  The wait-person checked and confirmed that I could be served with an adult size, and I sat back in eager anticipation.  I knew I'd have to pay, but it was going to be worth it.  Wasn't it?

Well it fronted up, and if I'd served this to my kids, they would have thrown the plate and its contents at me. The above photos tell a story and even though the four have come from the internet (with full acknowledgement to the owners of the photo copyrights) they also tell it how it is when it comes to serving up simple tucker like bangers and mash. Or how it should be. 

But take a good look at this photo - this is a photograph of the ACTUAL meal I was served. And before I go any further, please take note that this was an "ADULT" serving!

You'll see what I mean by "you don't always get what you expect" even though you pay for it. This meal cost me $15 - so what?  While McDonalds or KFC are known to have "affordable meals", there are many local places where you can buy a good meal (even 2 course, either soup and mains or mains and sweets) for just $13 in nice surroundings, accompanied by table linen, and a house wine (on the house). Why didn't I go to one of those? Simply because it's nice to try out something new. But again back to the photo. You can even see the "grease"or "fat" that the sausages had been cooked in, smeared across the plate (to the right). This serving and plate presentation, did not endear me to the restaurant at all.  Especially when I asked for a glass of cool water, and was told I'd have to buy a bottle.  I didn't want a bottle (a plastic bottle at that), I wanted a simple glass of cool water.  I didn't get one!

Needless to say I didn't have any lunch at this restaurant - I returned the Sausages and Mash with the comment that I certainly wouldn't recommend Stallions to any of my friends.   All I got was a snort of disapproval from the chef.

And what's this got to do with being a blog on a plus size site? Everything. Because all of us are consumers.  All of us keep these businesses in business.  All of us have to eat. It matters not that we are size zero or size 20 or 30. And sometimes we need a bit of "comfort food". But not greasy food (even the mash was sitting in grease!) thrown on a plate and served up as though it were part of King Henry VIII's banquet!  (If he'd been there, there'd would have been shouts of "off with their heads"!!!!)

We think we'll regularly re-visit the subject of food and "comfort food" a bit more often within this blog. There's nothing quite as good as a bit of constructive criticism!

Have you got any favourite places to dine out?   Let's share them.


  1. My husband and I don't eat out regularly anymore. The problem with restaurant food is that even if we don't see it, there is usually more saturated fats (or even transfats,) more sugar, and more salt than we eat. Better to eat at home more and eat out less.

    When we do eat out, there are few choices here, so we usually just go to Spangles, a Kansas based fast food place with food that tastes better than most fast food places. But that's not very often at all, every few months.

    We usually even make our own pizza so it has whole wheat crust and fresh veggies, and lacks some of the bad stuff in restaurant pizzas. And we love it!

    And we usually make our own comfort food too.

    One very odd thing I found out about myself years ago. I used to get these grim headaches, really bad. Then for some reason one day, during one of those headaches, I ate a Big Mac, from McDonalds. Very soon my headache went away. Oh, it was still there, somehow, but the pain was gone. I could just feel it hovering somehow. But no pain. Ever after, when I'd get a major headache, I'd eat a Big Mac, and the pain would go away.

    I tried that with other fast foods hamburgers and home made too, but they didn't work. Just the Big Mac worked. I do NOT know why. Maybe it's something in the "secret sauce." hahah

    Anyway, I quit having those headaches a few years ago, so haven't had a Big Mac in ages. Big Macs aren't something I'd eat on a regular basis.

    Here I've been rambling. You asked about comfort food. Macaroni and cheese comforts me for some reason. Probably not the best choice for healthy eating, but I try to at least make it interesting and nutritious.

  2. Janet, I think suddenly we become wise about eating at home (preparing and cooking included). We just don't know what's in the food that is served up in restaurants and eating places. As I maintain within my newsletter I think it's more of what's IN the food that we eat that is a danger, rather than what we eat!

    I was intrigued by your comment regarding Big Mac and headaches. Don't let McDonalds hear this, otherwise they'll use your words as a testimonial and publicity1 :)

    Would you like to receive RoseMary's NoteBook© (the newsletter) - if so please write to me direct.

    Oh, by the way, I've "linked" to Janet's Art Adventure too.