REBECCA T

12
Dec 17

TFTACOXS* – December 12: M&S Chestnut Roast Wrap

FT + WOBS SANGER ADVENT CALENDAR1 comment • 44 views

59faebb31c327e00013f411f_marks-and-spencer-vegan-plant-basedIf buying sandwiches from a pharmacy seemed alien to me, I wonder what I would have thought about department stores selling them. I learned what Marks and Sparks was on the same tram journey back from Meadowhall that I learned what aubergine was (it was being used to describe a pair of unpurchased trousers, rejected for their colour). I had already learned that pants meant undies, and trousers indeed pants. Piece of cake, this English.

Nowadays, I solely consider M&S Simply Food, indeed. Thanks to their taunting adverts and fancy scran, I tend to think of their lunches as a tiny treat yo’self indulgence. Their first vegan wobs offering is a wrap – red pepper tortilla filled with carrots, spinach and chestnut/mixed grains, with grape & cranberry chutney to glue it all together.

Ewan wasn’t overly impressed with the textured tortilla, and found the contents unevenly distributed with many too-carroty bites, overall rating it disappointing. That wasn’t a problem with my wrap, but it was pretty small and not very filling. I did like the use of chestnuts – very xmassy – but I found it a bit too virtuous and not quite within the spirit of the xmas sanger.

9
Dec 17

THE FREAKY TRIGGER ADVENT CALENDAR OF XMAS SANDWICHES – December 9: Boots Parsnip Fritter and Butternut Squash

FT + WOBS SANGER ADVENT CALENDAR2 comments • 67 views

My first ever taste of a Boots sanger was in Sheffield nearly twenty years ago. I was still learning which shops sold lunch goods convenient to my work, and seem to recall being mildly surprised you could get sandwiches from Boots, although I don’t know why. I suppose I was still noticing the differences between Wisconsin equivalents as I’d only recently been installed permanently in the UK, and I couldn’t think of any pharmacies in Wisconsin that also sold lunchtime meal deals.

38035199655_9283a98b2b_zI was particularly grateful for an option that wasn’t the usual cheese or egg based offer, the Mexican bean wrap. I think this may be the first time I’d ever seen Mexican-stuff-in-a-tortilla called a wrap rather than a burrito (or used as sandwich bread: whoa), but I was happy to sample something new. I was sadly disappointed – it was cold and bland. Nonetheless, I was grateful that it existed when I was lacking in lunchtime veg options. Upon reflection, the thought of a cold burrito makes me want to gag, so it’s really no wonder I didn’t dig the bean wrap and still don’t.

The fact that there are no less than eight vegan xmas sandwiches sampled for the calendar makes me very happy indeed, although I haven’t had the chance to try them all (yet). I haven’t had cause to settle for half frozen disappointment-flavoured lunch in a long time, so I’m very surprised to find that the Boots offering is my favourite so far.

It’s sweet but not overly so, the shredded parsnip matching well with the butternut squash. There’s chutney – just enough, not too gloopy, and a pretty decent granary bread to rival Pret’s. It also helps that it’s £2.75 or £3.39 in the meal deal. I had some of those baked crisps and juice which would have been £2.30 more – huzzah, the meal deal pays off!

Ewan also rates this highly, commenting on the competing textures and flavours. However the curse of the too cold Boots fridge struck Kat, who missed out on the full sanger potential, noting that it was ENCASED IN ICE.

21
Mar 15

Breakfast bang-bang: cereal/bagel

FT + Pumpkin Publog3 comments • 295 views

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Leslie Knope: Why would anybody ever eat anything besides breakfast food?
Ron Swanson: People are idiots, Leslie.

Michael Bluth: What have we always said is the most important thing?
George-Michael Bluth: Breakfast?
Michael Bluth: Family.
George-Michael Bluth: Oh right, family. I thought you meant of the things we eat.

I almost never have breakfast on weekdays. Given the choice between even five extra minutes of delicious, nourishing sleep or some toast, I’ll always go for the sleep. When I get to work, I’m straight onto the coffee and now my brain considers this a meal.

Weekends are different. Weekends are for doing not-work things like ignoring the housework, failing to reply to personal emails and thinking really hard about going outside for a lovely walk. Therefore I end up going out to breakfast most weekends and am always on the lookout for somewhere new and interesting.

Louis CK introduced me to the glory of the bang-bang: going for a meal at one restaurant and then immediately going to another for a second full meal. This idea is insane; the episode of Louie featuring the Indian/Diner bang-bang was impossible and therefore hilarious. Lou’s a big dude but there’s no way he could have managed to eat that mountain of food. A breakfast bang-bang, on the other hand, is achievable and only slightly gluttonous.

23
Jun 14

Game of Thrones S04E10: The Children

FT + The Brown Wedge4 comments • 290 views

Well, friends – here we are at the end of the series. Most of the loose ends have been tied  up, and  I take back last week’s grumble regarding frustrating cliff-hangers. For the most part, I’ve been vastly impressed by the showrunners’ interpretation of A Song Of Ice And Fire, particularly their ability to condense hundreds of pages, axe dozens of characters, change fairly significant details and still remain totally loyal to the best parts of the plot. I still find this show highly problematic and wish some things had been done differently, but I don’t think it’s necessary or wise to flog a dead Dothraki horse. The Children provided resolution to the major story arcs, sent nearly everyone across their own personal Rubicons, and looked frigging impressive while doing so.

14
Jun 14

Game of Thrones S04E09: The Watchers of the Wall

FT + The Brown Wedge2 comments • 226 views

It’s wall-to-wall Wall action this week, with Jon Snow ‘n’ Pals finally facing Mance Rayder’s United Army of Free Folk. There’s not actually a lot of story to tell (or recap) to be honest. It is, however, visually a stunning episode, reminiscent of S02E09’s “Blackwater”. On the plus side, it’s fast-paced and packed with fierce battling and derring-do, but on the bigger minus side, the cliff-hanger ending was beyond vexing in a way I can’t elaborate on without massive spoilers for possibly the last episode or maybe even next year. This is the crux of my beef: the Wall’s storyline has been moving glacially all season and even with an entire show dedicated to this story arc, where things happen loudly and bloodily, the end is unsatisfyingly vague and it’s just not good enough, dammit!

7
Jun 14

Game of Thrones S04E08: The Mountain and the Viper

FT + The Brown Wedge3 comments • 376 views

Aw jeeze, Lester! A beloved character dying is all part and parcel of GoT, and dying REALLY horribly is the doom cherry on the grimcake, I know this.  I also know there’s only more awfulness to come, but this week’s show made even the most hardened fan flee to the internet for support groups.  Whether you read the books or not, and even putting the Red Wedding aside – this episode smarted. It also felt frustratingly perfunctory at times.

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May 14

Game of Thrones S04E07: Mockingbird

FT + The Brown Wedge1 comment • 186 views

Ooh, it’s all going to kick off spectacularly and soon! This week is all about the build-up and the antici….pation. If only previous table-setting episodes had been like this – and I’m not just saying that because it was a Tyrion-heavy show, thought that certainly helped matters. The last three seasons have given us Big Moments for episode 9 but knowing what I know and based on Mockingbird, I think the last three might be packed with shriek-worthy, help-it’s-killing-me moments.

17
May 14

Game of Thrones S04E06: The Laws of Gods and Men

FT + The Brown Wedge1 comment • 337 views

We’re on the home stretch now with only a handful of episodes left. This week was another hour of rapid-fire scenes catching and setting up, with the last thirty minutes focussed on the Story A proper. I thought it worked better than “The Lion and the Rose”; this was almost entirely down to the acting chops of one Mr Peter Dinklage.

10
May 14

Game of Thrones S04E05: First Of His Name

FT + The Brown Wedge3 comments • 190 views

This week kind of felt like a slog, to be honest, despite zipping back and forth between locations and characters at a rapid pace. I almost felt like nothing happened by the end of the episode, even though clearly many things transpired. I suspect this is because I have impossibly high standards, and because this week was a Tyrion-free show.

3
May 14

Game of Thrones S04E04: Oathkeeper

FT + The Brown Wedge5 comments • 550 views

I was really happy to see the title of this week’s show, as it was (and still remains) one of my favourite moments in the whole series. Not to say that last week’s episode doesn’t still frigging smart, but I’m too delightedly confused to dwell on it, because this week the “experts” as The AV Club would have it (i.e. viewers who have also read the books) were thrown out of their complacency by the closing scenes. I was also really impressed by the fact that although there’s not much thrilling onscreen action and derring-do, the story remains compelling and leaves me, like a good ASOIAF chapter, desperate to know more.