Not long ago, in a blog not very far away, a wise man they call JW10 posted of Horse:
He told tales of burgers and ready meals invaded by horsemeat – invaded so cunningly that no-one could tell!
Well, since JW10 unleashed this scandal, 60% of us have changed how we shop! We don’t trust food any more - we're fleeing Processed Meat in terrified droves and some hitherto eaters of flesh are even going for vegetarian options! The end of the world is surely nigh…
Except, of course, for Vegetarian ready meal brands, sales of whose burgers, mince and sausages have suddenly soared. Flavoured with hints of chicken, beef and not horse, they’re made from a form of fungus, you know.
A form of fungus. What's so trustworthy about that?
George and I don’t eat huge amounts of processed food because we like cooking. Mid house-move though, we lived entirely on ready meals and jolly nice too in their tempting plastic trays.
The first ready meal I remember was MadeByVesta – a veritable revolution in the sixties. At the time I’d never cooked anything except Chocolate Krackolate Cakes for school fetes (always a best-seller), but was inspired to make one of these miracle ready-curries for family tea. Add boiling water, it said, give a quick stir and leave to fester – no need to stand guard or stir again. I'm sure that's what it said...
Mum and dad’s pan never recovered, and I gave up cooking.
Until, in bedsit-hovel days, I found Cup-Noodle and Pot-a-Soup. Nice and quick between work and gallivanting. Pour in boiling water and they’re… really edible. I became addicted - sometimes adding, for an avant-garde twist, a tin of processed peas – sublime!
Even today, many find joy in pot and cup – only this week we met someone who’d tried his first Noodle ever, and found it Was Good. Someone else we know delights daily in the taste and convenience of soups in a cup. (A busy local TV celebrity who generally cooks cordon bleu).
My own habits changed and I discovered (for gourmet gatherings) Boil-in-the-Bag. That first Chinese Feast was a Triumph! Except for the prawn balls, which turned out to be Not-boilinthebag and ended up bobbling around in the pan with strips of their molten plastic... However, thirty seconds under the grill Worked Wonders.
These days, cooking is always a joy, and I owe a goodly part of my expertise and quick thinking in the face of trauma to the eyebrows of Fanny Cradock:
Inspirational. And it is She who's (Wikily) credited as the originator of the Prawn Cocktail!
But what now of the horses?
Well obviously - it's all been a huge emotional upset...