At the Mail was this:
A friend in hospital wrote, about this below: “Cold meats Moroccan couscous salad, and potato salad:”
And this is one of Rossa’s [she bakes her own bread]:
That one at the top at the Marston chain branch – even with the champas and other accoutrements – that was never £45, let alone £9 worth + the glass of champas.
And this is what gets to your ever more scrooge-like blogger. Why go out? Answer – to get out of the house and for the ambience. I ask what ambience there was at the Marston’s pub on Christmas Day with that crowd and that level of service?
Plus there is a sad truth, perhaps far more truthful these days than of yore, that no one cares any more, certainly not a worker on minimum wage, perhaps a student thawing out that meal and bunging it in the oven. If you can’t trust them with your car, how can you trust them with your food?
They can’t go too far wrong with that meat platter but what of a festive spread? Let’s proceed now to a bog standard lunch for a worker on boats:
That was a piece of breast, sliced, cooked with sage, mashed potato with rosemary, garlic and creme fraiche, plus a Russian coleslaw. Apart from the mash, which took some work, the rest is food chain standard. The chicken, by the way, turned out succulent.
As I said, it was a quick worker’s lunch, no embellishments but even were a sauce to be drizzled across the chicken and some greenery shoved onto the mashed-tatty, plus a couple of cherry tomatoes, even were the mash replaced with roast potatoes as I plan to do today, the total cost to me would come to £1.20 [chicken], £0.40 [tatty], £0.20 [coleslaw] £0.10 [extras]. Equals £1.90. Plus my time at minimum wage, given that little time is actually spent doing this alone, plus electricity. Equals around £1.00. Call it £3.00 all up.
Charge double in a modest eatery and it’s still £6 or £7 max. Bread and wine brings it to £10 Chez Higham.
£45? Even £20? Plus I know this one’s not going to make me sick, having washed hands and benches, all utensils are clean, no one’s spat in it, it hasn’t fallen to the floor and then been picked up, it’s all fresh, within its use-by dates, even though the coleslaw is bottled, it was handled by utensils, not hands. Plus no chemicals, except what was used in the growing of. And that was proper breast, not water-filled.
To me, both the economics and taste are a given for home cooked. The killer argument for me is not trusting someone in a back kitchen to do it to that standard, given the wages, the lack of care today and so on. For me, it’s a high-end eatery or home, that simple. and even then I don’t trust the high-end eatery.