Until recently I didn't used to eat Lunch. Instead I'd go down to the gym for a workout or, if the weather was good enough, out for a run. My job was somewhat sedentary and so I figured I needed the exercise. It also helped me to lose over a stone in weight, a stone I could afford to lose. Recently I stopped working, well, paid work that is, and so the opportunity to use the gym disappeared although, I can still always go out for a run whilst summer refuses to go away.
However, now that I have more time on my hands I find that I'm working harder than I ever have but this time all physical work. I'm spending time in my garden that I have been meaning to spend for ages, getting it into the sort of shape that I've been intending. It's amazing how much energy you use up with a spade, a fork and a pick-axe (yes, it's that sort of a garden!)
The result is that I now get very hungry around lunchtime and, leaving it until my evening meal is not a proposition I relish. OK, we've got lots in the house but, my all-time favourite Fast Food remains Fish and Chips and fortunately we have a decent chippy in the local precinct that's [supposed to be] open at lunchtime. The other day I was there at the time they advertise being open but there was no signs of life and no sign saying why they were closed when they were supposed to be open.
So, what to do? Well, although only a small shopping precinct, about ten premises, one of these is a Sainsbury's Local. It used to be a Shaw's Supermarket but they sold out to Sainsbury's about a year ago. We've had some issue with Sainsbury's especially over their competing unfairly with out local newsagent/Sub Post Office. They do, however, offer a very convenient place to get those odd things you need when you didn't realise you had run out. Obviously their range is not as extensive as the big stores but they do have a reasonable line in instant meals.
I was trolling through the cold cabinet looking for something instead of fish and chips when my eyes alighted upon Sainsbury's [Traditional] Bangers & Mash. At £1.69 it looked like it might fill the bill, and my stomach.
The package consists of the ubiquitous film sealed plastic tray, with two sausages in an onion gravy on one side and a dollop of mashed potato on the other. The package described the sausages as Cumberland, of which 48% is pork. That sounds pretty much like most British sausages, the fillers consisting of such as fat, water and flour plus various herbs and spices. The mashed potato does actually claim to be made of potato, which is a good start, plus butter and spices.
As normal, you pierce the film and sling the whole thing in the microwave for three minutes. When it comes out, only the mash looks a little anaemic. It looks quite watery but, before you put it back in for a final blast, you give it a stir with a fork and that does at least bring it back to the point of looking a bit more like mash is supposed to look. You give it final blast of about two minutes, depending upon your microwave and then it's ready.
The sausages in onion gravy actually looks quite presentable. There are real whole pieces on onion in the gravy and the taste is quite good. The sausages are firm although the filling is quite even, not the sort of chunky chopped sausages most people would associate with Cumberland. The taste is very acceptable though.
Most disappointing is the mash. Although stirring it does get it to the point of resembling mashed potato, the constituency is thin and not at all like the sort of mash your Mama used to make (assuming she was anything like mine). However, as a part of the whole package it's good enough.
OK, this is, after all, an instant meal and is never going to win Britain's Best Quick Food award but, to fill a gap at a very reasonable price and quickly, it does the job. I shall probably have it again, always assuming that I can't get my Fish and Chips.