There are many wonderful dishes made around the world using dried peas in a variety of ingenious ways. Britain's contribution is to soak marrowfat peas overnight, boil the little buggers into a gloopy slop, add salt and colour them a lurid, radioactive green. There should be no earthly reason why any one would ever willingly eat this; yet if I'm having fish and chips they simply have to be accompanied by mushy peas.
I was going to include a recipe for them but, really, what's the point? You're only going to go and buy a tin of the stuff. And, quite frankly, so am I. In the supermarket, dried marrowfat peas were £1.96/kg. An own label tin of mushy peas was 57p/kg. I went the deluxe route and bought a tin from Harry Ramsden's for 45p. I should declare that I foppishly enlivened the peas with mint, lemon juice and black pepper. This is dangerously close to the other option - a purée, using frozen peas or petit pois. There's a story that a man in Lancashire once served this to a group of family and close friends. I understand he now lives in Bangkok. I include his recipe - serve it at your peril.
I've also included a 'cheat's' recipe for tartare sauce using a good quality bought mayonnaise (which is a long-winded way of saying 'Hellmann's').
The last time I went to a chip shop I had haddock, chips and mushy peas and it cost me £10.50 (I ate in; a takeaway would have been £8.50). The meal was shite - the chips were dry and undercooked and the batter was translucent and flabby. The meal here, including allowances for each and every ingredient (assuming the oil is re-used a few times) cost about £3.50 for one person. And was delicious.
_'Hóka-héy, today is a good day to die!' - Crazy Horse, as reported by the Leavenworth, Kansas Weekly Times, 18 Aug 1881.
While I wouldn't go quite as far as the legendary Lakota chief, I can definitely say that I've been feeling quite boomps-a-daisy recently.
For one thing, on Monday I went to dinner with other human beings for the first time since 2005. Not just anybody mind - I spent an evening with the lovely and delightful duo of @PeckhamRyeEats and @gi_nav. And not just any restaurant - we went to Pizarro. This is one of those all too rare restaurants - great food served in warm, hospitable surroundings - that you take instantly to your heart. I don't think I disgraced myself either. I even covered the tattoo on my forehead with foundation (Mac Studio Finish, as recommended by The World's Greatest Feminist Theologian @VhatYouTalking). Not that I think there's anything wrong with 'The Ass Daddy', but you never know with some people, do you?
_Although it pained him to do so, Huey, AKA @BambuniNunhead, pointed out to me the other day that my photos are a bag of shite. He's right of course. I can't even blame the camera, cheap though it is. I just haven't got a scooby. So I'm sorry if the one above lacks the 'wow' factor. Because 'wow' is definitely what is called for here.
This is kind of my default takeaway order but, especially as any order for free home delivery usually has to hit the £12-£14 mark, it's something of a rare treat. So I thought I'd make it at home.
SHORTLISTED FOR FOOD BLOG OF THE YEAR 2014