I was minded by Stay Puft’s post regarding the blatant hypocrisy of Sham. E. Chakrabati to give some thought to how the other half actually lives. I currently have little or no experience of this, I know few rich people now and the ones I have known have tended to make sure that when they spend time with us “plebeians” they dumb themselves down to our level, rather than trying to take us to theirs. At least that was something like the case 20 years or so ago.
I think things might be slightly different now, our wonderful new order, many of whom make their money directly or indirectly from the public purse seem to have migrated into a world that is defined not by breeding and class (in the real sense of the word) but by the selective geography that money can bring. They have created a world for themselves that we can occasionally glimpse but can never be truly part of, unless we join their insular, metropolitan elite gang.
I am not saying that I know this for a fact, it is more of a hunch that once the heights of the new posh are attained the people that have paid for it can be pitied, talked about, ridiculed and indulged. What they can never be is mixed with, apart from at very well organised and policed occasions where the possibility of reality rubbing off is almost completely removed from the equation.
I posted on the blog, on Sunday evening, not long after I had viewed Sham E’s mealy mouthed explanation about why she spends £18k a year on educating her child (but would deny me the right to send mine to a Grammar school), about what we were having for our evening meal and asking others what they would be eating. I had lots of answers, as usual a mix of the frank, the silly, the witty and some that made me quite envious, which started another train of thought.
What would the Sham E’s be having? What would the fragrant Owen Jones be tucking into? Would Mr I’maliar Brown be in his pinny (as I was) rustling up a tasty morsel for his lady wife after her long day at the ABBC distilling her hate and vitriol?
Throughout privileged Britain, in Tatton, Islington, Waveney, parts of Herefordshire and Buckinghamshire and even further afield the new nouveau riche would all be enjoying their black quinoa and line caught sea urchin fillets, eating their blue wagu beef steaks, and pontificating over their essences of 30 different chocolate foams served in an aspics virgin nest (you get what I mean).
What they certainly wouldn’t be eating is a £3 chicken from Morrisons. I know you have to wonder how anyone can make a profit selling a chicken for £3 and you don’t have to wonder, too hard anyway, about the conditions that chicken lived in before it arrived on the plate, but I digress.
I pride myself on being able to cook a bit and a £3 chicken is a bit of a challenge but by following some very simple guidelines and being lucky enough to have some ingredients to hand you can produce a meal fit to grace the table of the most overpaid NHS Trust executive in Britain.
For the Main event
A £3 Morrisons Chicken
A bunch of fresh herbs (thyme, sage, rosemary, oregano)
A good tablespoon of rapeseed oil (Aldi do a good one)
½ A Lemon
Salt and pepper.
Pre heat the oven to 200 deg, wash and dry the chicken, insert the herbs and the lemon into the cavity, place the bird in a ceramic roaster, pour over the oil, season, put in the hot oven, turn down to 170 deg after 20 mins and cook for about another 50 mins.
For the Accompaniments;
Make a big bowl of mixed green leaves with radish, sweet pepper, onion, cherry toms, beetroot and whatever else you fancy (I call this an English Salad).
Peel some potatoes and cut into small bite sized chunks and par boil for 6 mins or so.
Open a bottle of whatever you fancy, beer wise and put the wine in the fridge to chill (if white) or on the table if red.
Once the chicken is cooked put it somewhere warm to rest (wrap in foil), turn up the oven to 200 deg and put the potatoes in the chicken fat to roast.
Take a couple of pound of Bramleys (free ones are best) peel core and slice, cook them down with a drop of water and the juice from the other half of the lemon and a tablespoon of sugar. Put into a pie dish.
Make a batter with 4oz of butter, 4 oz of caster sugar, creamed together, 2 eggs and 6 oz S/R flour with a splash of milk, pour the batter over the apples, put it in the oven when you take the spuds out (turn down to 180) and you will have a 2 course meal fit for anyone to eat that will serve 4 or 5 hungry people.