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Tuesday, 14 October 2008

The pasta bake, the tofu, and the fish

motorway services
When you're on the motorway in England, and when you either a) want a burger, or b) require the use of the lavatory, you stop at what people here call a 'motorway service'. The food served here is also either a) very expensive, or b) ludicrously uninteresting, or c) why did I even stop here anyway?
If, for any reason (and there are so many), you don't want to pay the price of a small horse for a burger, there is another option of getting a steak bake from a convenience store in the service centre. It looks like this.
this is tasty
the steak bake looks like this
We took a drive from London to Wiltshire last weekend. It's officially autumn now.
This means that instead of 1 sunny day a month, there is now nil sunny day a month. It might also sometimes be windy, foggy and cold. This shouldn't stop you from putting on your shorts and sunnies though, because it's probably as hot as it's gonna get at least for another 12 months.
Went shopping in Swindon. There is a huge shopping centre where quite a few of the big brands have their outlet store. Some of them are actual bargains, while some of them put complex maths on their discount signs to fool you (in the word of Mr. T).
An example goes like this.
Buy one shirt of £25, or THREE for £100! BARGAIN!
There was a food court in the shopping outlet, and for a food court, it had quite a few good choices to choose from. I took a picture of Harry Ramsden (fish and chip chain) so that you'd have an idea of what it looks like.
this is what it looks like
this is what it sells. fish. and chips.
The KFC's here do meal deals. I had the Zinger Meal Deal which had 1 Zinger burger, 2 hot wings, 1 portion of baked beans, 1 small fries and 1 regular drink. All for one individual to consume in one meal. Champion.
winner
What I made for dinner:
in the oven, cooing 'eat meeeeee'
Ovens were made for pasta bakes. A pasta bake in an oven is like a grasshopper in a field of grass (happy and full of pasta). If you don't know what a pasta bake is (and that is highly likely unless you were a poor malnourished student in northern England), it is basically pasta that is mixed in a sauce (usually tomato based), mixed with tuna (usually in the bargain bin), mixed with onions, and mixed some more for good measure (because if you can't afford the ingredients, you just keep mixing). This is then baked (after quite alot of bargain cheese is sprinkled over the top).
When the pasta bake is out of the oven (chirping away), it looks like this.

this is the slightly more nutritional version

After being inspired by a restaurant in town serving mince over handmade noodles, I made mince over noodles. But with some added creativity, and tofu, it became Mapo Taufoo Noodles.

mapo tofu over noodles
It probably won't win any awards for looking too much like good food, but it is.

2 comments:

Awesome said...

aha, so thats how its like on long journeys in UK; a branch of the same and not much patronised foodstalls from London to the outskirts along the highway.so for more delicious, i supposed you just look around the next nearest town for wider selection.
goodpoint at least we now know what a micro baked meat pies liiks like, but not mentioned how thw taste ha ha. taste taste and did the food warm you up, make you feel top of the world after a maybe dull journey??

monchichi said...

The taste is, well, the pastry is very hot when you bite into it, and sticky and gets stuck in your teeth. The filling is also very hot, taste wise, not much. Just a brown, blandish tasting sauce, no garlic, no spices, nothing. Just a brown sauce, with some mince in it. The whole thing when eaten is just quite hot and quite bland, but surprisingly quite high on the comfort food factor.

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