Tag Archives: junk food

Sausage Roll Review and Thoughts on Being a Vegan

On Sunday, Number Two Son emerged from work clutching sausage rolls from Gregg’s. It wasn’t quite the way I’m trying to live my life, but who’s going to look a free sausage roll in the mouth? Or is that a gift horse? I often get the two mixed up. Anyway, my new lifestyle is only a couple of weeks old and you can’t overturn sixty years of dietary abuse just like that.

It was, in the manner of these things, a bit greasy and the meat lacked a bit of texture, but I do like a sausage roll and managed every last crumb without really stretching my capability for absorbing junk food. I’ve had worse.

It turns out they were Gregg’s new vegan sausage rolls.

I hadn’t a clue, and would be happy to give them full marks for snack food.

I now have a list of “accidental” vegan snacks, though I’m not sure that I really want to start eating loads of biscuits and crisps just to save a few animals. If animals don’t want to be eaten, they shouldn’t taste so good.

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Potato & Chickpea Curry

It’s strange to think, though, that in certain respects I’ve been vegan all my life.

Pot Noodles, crisps, Mr Kipling, ginger nuts…

Who’d have thought they could all be vegan.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not going to become a vegan, but I am making changes to my diet, and if I happen to be in Greggs I may well have a vegan sausage roll.

 

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I went to McDonalds for breakfast a couple of days ago after my blood test. I’m drawn to junk food, and have no excuses. While I was there I indulged in several of my favourite pastimes, including procrastinating and eavesdropping.

Can you guess who I was eavesdropping on? The clue is in the title.

I’ll pause for a moment while you work it out. I bet Derrick gets it. He has that sort of mind.

Any way, there they were, talking loudly about husbands and work and friends and children. All pretty standard stuff, even though I did have to smile at the irony of a conversation that dwelt at length on diet, low-fat recipes and the merits of various slimming group leaders. McDonalds is not generally associated with slim people. Despite this they semed passionate about the idea of dieting.

This is an example of why I shouldn’t really listen to the conversations of other people, as I felt a growing urge to tell them they’d be better off staying out of fast food outlets rather than going to Weight Watchers.

Conversations can be a bit dull at times, I know mine often are, but then it became unexpectedly entertaining.

One of them, it seems, is in the habit of taking confidential papers home to shred them instead of shredding them at work.

“Why’s that?” One of them asked.

“Because they have a cross-cut shredder and it cuts the paper up into little bits. The one at home leaves nice long strips.”

“What difference does that make?”

I waited with bated breath, expecting some gem of wisdom relating to document  security and confidentiality.

“My pet rabbit prefers the long strips.”

 

Another Fat Lady...

Another Fat Lady…

Have you worked the title out yet?

It’s based on the bingo call for 88 – two fat ladies…

 

Words, words, words

I need 250 words and I’m struggling so find them. Well, that’s not strictly accurate, I have access to a head full of words but they need putting down in the right order, and it needs doing quickly because I have other jobs to do.

Biblioperigrination is always a good word but it has limited use – partly because there are only so many stories you can tell about books wandering round a house, and partly because it’s one I made up, so few other people understand or use it. I could cite previous uses, but that would involve me…

… for evidence of previous use see this link on biblioperigrination. It suddenly occurred to me that I could use the Reader function to search for it. It was a lonely post, sitting there on its own, but at least it saved me searching through months of posts.

This leads on to tsundoku. It’s not such a lonely search as there are a number of people who have blogged on the subject before.

I’ve just consigned 43 words to oblivion. I didn’t like the way they fitted, and as they were all common words (as in plentiful, rather than in sitting round watching horse racing from Kempton Park whilst drinking supermarket lager straight from the can). Other race courses and cheap alcohols are available.

Having said that, alternative venues and drinks may not convey the same picture. Watching racing from Goodwood whilst drinking brown ale from the bottle conveys a more summery and 1950s picture – I almost expect the Larkins to pop up somewhere.

Before I go on, and I admit I can go on a bit, my knowledge of the racing venues of the UK is not based on years of building up interesting material for my life story, just on years of dealing in collectables. Race courses issue passes to their members and these passes are collected. You need to know the courses, their size and if they are still open.

My knowledge of cheap alcohol, on the other hand, is based on a more hands-on approach, and a wide-ranging testing programme that has left me with several gaps in my memories of the 1980s. My current attitude to drinking, which is one of the few things about my lifestyle to draw approval from my doctor, is actually the result of accidental aversion therapy.

A similar approach to curry, kebabs, chips and fried chicken has yet to show any result. Well, not entirely true. It has yet to show any positive result. Again, alternatives are available – burgers, baltis and bacon cobs being the more northern form and tripe and trotters taking us back to the 1950s again.

My extensive knowledge of junk food has just frightened me.

However, by the magic of blogging I have now produced over 450 words, and telling you this has just added another twenty to the total. I can now bring this post to a close, apologise for the lack of photographs (food is never around long enough for  a photograph) and get off to do the washing.

I’m tempted to bring it home wet, as Storm Brian is providing some pretty brisk drying weather.

 

 

 

Desert Island Blogs (3)

The moment of truth. The acid test. The place where cliches come to die…

Part 1 was easy as the three bloggers have all become part of my daily life over the last few years and with eight slots that still left five. Part 2 was harder. The blogs are also part of my blogging life, but the choices had to be made against a background of declining availability. I’m happy that all the choices are good, I’m just concerned that I only have two slots left to go and more than two blogs to fit in.

From Lancashire we moved to Lincolnshire. In phonetic terms it wasn’t a great change, but in terms of weather it was a revelation. In Lincolnshire they have weeks where there is no rain.

They also had a village school that looked like it had been undisturbed since the old Queen’s jubilee. It had two rooms, dip pens, inkwells, a pot-bellied stove and a map where the Empire was still coloured red. There’s one very much like it in Retford Museum.

My penultimate choice is Beating the Bounds – a blog about walking and nature and family and the area around Lancater. I’ve just been reading one of his posts and it’s like entering a different world – lizards, damsel flies, beetles, birds, butterflies limestone pavements, bilberries, Are You Being Served? and the Song of Soloman have all featured recently.

A blog that can weave cheesy seventies comedy and the King James Bible into one story has to be one to watch. Add trips to the Lake District and Silverdale, deer in the garden and digressions into books, science, art and history…

After Lincolnshire we moved to Peterborough, which is where the family stayed. My Dad and sister are still there. There are far too many memories to even start. One of the most significant features is that the place is cluttered with Magpies now, but when we lived there we only saw Magpies when we visited Lancashire. Same with Buzzards. There are Red Kites round Peterborough now often to be seen circling over the A1 and the city tip. We had Lapwings, Yellow Wagtails, nesting Long-tailed Tits in the rough grazing around the house with newts in the back garden. As the area has been developed over the last 50 years these have all disappeared.

Final choice is difficult.

It goes, after a ecrtain amount of heart-searching, to Helen. She’s currently experimenting with bokashi (or fermented Japanese compost if you prefer it in English). She’s a couple of weeks ahead of me, which is good because I can learn from her experiences.

The blog captures the true up and down moments of growing back garden veg, making compost, learning about permaculture, earthworms and volunteering. And much, much more, as they say in the adverts. Her broccoli is currently looking skeletal after a butterfly attack, She’s taking it well, as I try to do, because let’s face it, butterflies need to eat too.

It was touch and go here, and it was hard to exclude The Snail of Happiness. So hard in fact, that she seems to have managed to get in despite my decision. When you grow veg, cook ethically, raise chickens and crochet blankets for refugees it’s always going to be tough to keep her out. So I sneaked her in.

That’s about it for now. All that remains are the bits and pieces.

I can have Shakespeare and an “appropriate cultural or philosophical work”. I don’t want The Bible because I know how it ends, so I’m going to opt for The Stripping of the Altars by Eamon Duffy. It’s the story of the Reformation, and though I’ve read and enjoyed The Voices of Morebath I’ve never tried the bigger book. It’s been on my shelves for a while but I haven’t actually opened it. When I have plenty of time to sit and wait I’ll have a good crack at it.

I intend building a tidal fish trap and digging a pit to see what meat drops into it, hopefully a pig. I’m certainly not going to run round chasing things. I’d better learn how to make a salt pan and smoke fish too. By the time I’m rescued I’m intending to be fit, well fed, brainier and, probably, sick of fish.

The book to read for pleasure is the collected version of the Chronicles of Narnia. I could probably make do with the first six, as I’ve often thought The Last Battle is a miserable piece of writing.

Finally, the luxury item.

What else could it be but another blog – I’ll go for the Nottingham Food Blog by Marcus from the Bread Group. We have baked much bread together, and managed to eat most of it, though I never did get the hang of rye bread.

It will be nice to read about the junk food of Nottingham while I’m away. He also writes about his devotion to the fast food of Chicago, so it’s never a boring blog, even though I do wonder what a blood test would reveal. I’d like to see him start testing porridge and salad to make sure he hangs around a bit longer.

And that, is that.

I’m off to look for a desert island now.

Closing music.