Category Archives: Technically Food

Technically Food #2: In Which Mammy’s Own Cottage Pie, by M.S. Hardtack

Greetings and salutations, internet. It is I, your culinary adventurer, M.S. Hardtack, back again to report from the front lines of irresponsible eating.


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Pictured here is what I have tastefully named Mammy’s Own Cottage Pie. A friend made this pie for me to presumably ingest.Before I decided to turn it into a fine whip (pronounce the h) using my plastic fork it was stratified and differentially colored and uneven and resembled more closely some forgotten medical sample. At one time it had a layer of mashed potatoes, some dark meat-substance and a healthy thick skin of processed, cooked, melted, refrigerated, congealed, microwaved and re-melted cheese, but then I sort of beat it with my plastic utensil until it looked like this. Don’t ask me why, it’s my goddam cottage pie and I’ll do whatever the hell I want to it.

At any rate, I gotta be frank: it smelled better than Jesus Christ’s Own Salty Aftershave ™.  It smelled beefy and salty and cheesy and then beefy again. The four and half minutes I had to wait while I microwaved the living shit out if it was the longest four and a half minutes of my Monday morning. At last I removed it from the microwave and was able to tip the plastic container in a way that I was able to slide this food-slurry straight into my waiting gullet. In addition to the usual ratings I am here to say two things only:

1.  Microwave this for NO MORE than four minutes before pouring it down your neckhole or risk a blistered esophogus.

2. Permitting you did not microwave this for more than four minutes you will agree that this foodstuff is almost the ultimate combination of flavor and convenience. The next step is to put it on a stick.

Below, the usual ratings:

Flavour: 9/11

Meat, cheese, spice. Lines your gut-tubes like cheap caulk. Taste is somewhere between Grandma’s Lasagne and the pizza you don’t remember buying but is still next to you in bed when you awaken, choking on your own sick, at 4 am.

Texture: 11/11

Yeah, that’s right. Eleven. For that paste. What, you got a problem with that? Listen: Food-as-paste is the future. I am in a position to know that in the year 2914 food aesthetic will be dead. Yes, I may be a time traveller from 900 years in the future. Yes, I am a goddamn trendsetter.

Presentation: 1/11

…look, don’t bust my chops. When you are going for ease, sacrifices are made. See below: “Hassle”.

Hassle: 1/11

A “1” means this was essentially hassle-free. If necessary, one can eat Mammy’s Own Cottage Pie with their stupid hands, shoveling it into one’s maw like a fucking animal.

Je ne sais quoi: 5.5/11

I think this dish is reminiscent of François Pierre de la Varenne’s famous mille-feuille, if it had been made with human fat and goat hooves and cooked in a rusty iron drum over a tire fire by a gas station attendant with syphilitic insanity in the dead of night under the star-choked skies outside of Gun Barrel City, Texas.


Snooty Addendum: Because I do stuff like this and think stuff like this and eat stuff like this, statistically, a solid amount of you all do, too. The difference is that I am a sort of time-travelling writer/scientist ingesting such food-like substances for your explicit benefit whereas you are reading this because you’ve finished jacking it and have run out of things to do. You should be ashamed. ASHAMED.






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Technically Food #1, in which I ingest Quorn Vegetarian Chicken Burgers, by M.S. Hardtack

A quick introduction:

My name is M.S. Hardtack. Mr. Patrick has kindly given me this space on his blog to cut loose and really get my views out there. And the thing I have views the most about is EATS.

It’s a pretty well-established fact that I enjoy putting food in my mouth and swallowing it. I am not a picky eater. I will eat or try to eat almost anything, but usually end up eating the thing it takes the least effort to prepare.

There are many blogs that focus on haute cuisine or at least blogs that focus on making food appear haute or at the very very least making it taste something like what we imagine haute food tastes like. All over the internet people are feeling haute haute haute.  These gastrocookonomics blogs help you show off your cooking and/or try to make you feel like a huge cock of the walk. They are designed to teach and delight in the best possible way using color photographs with soft lighting and camera angles. You will not find that here. This food may be hot but it will never be haute, and the pictures of the food will be like the food: shit.

To that end, my section of this blog will be devoted to Technically Food. Technically Food is the food we’re not supposed to like to eat but that we eat anyway because it’s convenient and contains the necessary calories for our continued immediate survival. I guiltlessly enjoy Technically Food and Technically Food-like Items (see: Cheese Food Product) and while eating I sometimes like to consider what they say about us as a culture of ravenous ingesters. My other half (who if she is reading this should know that she is beautiful and utterly faultless) is a fantastic cook chef cook. I enjoy her cooking so much in fact that I have wholly forgotten how to cook myself, which means that when she is not around to satiate my tireless maw, I am left to scavenge in cupboards for sustenance I can consume with the least amount of effort and/or hassle. I am going to eat and enjoy a selection of these foods and document said eating and enjoyment for your enjoyment.

Food will be rated on flavour, texture, presentation, hassle, and je ne sais quoi, on a scale of 1 to 11, with a snooty addendum about what this says about you (me) if you (I) eat it.

Let’s get started.

Today’s Special:

Triple-Stack Quorn Vegetarian Southern-Fried Chicken Burgers on Tiger Bread. With Ketchup. Obviously.

These burgers had been sitting in a bright orange plastic sack in the bottom of my freezer for only about three months, so I knew they were right in that window of being perfectly aged, like a good cheese, wine, or woman. Retrieving the orange sack from the freezer was relatively easy, only requiring me to open the freezer, bend over, reach in, grasp the sack with my fingers, retract my hand, stand up, and shut the freezer–not too much to ask for sustenance–but opening the sack itself necessitated the use of scissors. (It was too stretchy and I just, like, couldn’t be arsed to tussle with it. I would have had to do that thing where you punch a hole in it with your index finger or thumb, but in doing so endure that stretchy-packaging curse where at the apex of the push your knuckle sort of doubles back on itself and pops a bit for a half a second before, you know, penetrating the membrane. This will certainly affect its hassle rating, Quorn. Sort it out.)

When the packaging was FINALLY open, I dumped the pale, shrivelled, ice-encrusted QUORN VEGETARIAN CHICKEN BURGERS ™ into my trusty black and battle-scarred baking tray, whacked them into the oven, sat down on the floor, pressed my face against the glass of the oven door, and waited. Being that they contain no meat and are already once-fried, I only left them in for 52 minutes. When they were ready, I whacked them out (I whack things all over the place, it makes life more exciting) and whacked them onto the counter before whacking some tiger bread onto a plate (which I had whacked only just previously out of the cupboard) and then I whacked the whole thing together. It looked like this:



 There is one on the top because wouldn’t fit in in the sandwich. There are four within the sandwich and one without. It was the last one and I wasn’t going to leave just one useless burger in the bag, was I? What do you want me to do? Anyway there is a bite out of it because I was hungry which is the reason I was cooking to begin with so come off it.


Yes, that is ONE sandwich with a tiger-bread mídelle and definitely not two sandwiches stacked one atop the other with some bread whacked in the middle. What can I say other than: I ate this for supper. Following are my impressions.


Flavour: 6/11

I mean, it was like chicken, sort of, only without eating the flesh of a real-life chicken that had probably been torn, terrified, from its cage and then executed, plucked, dismembered by an unfeeling machine and frozen for months and months and months. The ketchup and tiger bread probably make up 4 of the 6 though.

Texture: 9/11

Flaccid, yet crispy. A delicate, evocative balance.

Presentation:  11/11

I did it myself and it looks fucking great.

Hassle: 5/11

How does this rating even work? Is, like, a low number better, or a high number?

Je ne sais quoi: 7/11

It’s like, I’m filled with regret, only I’m not, because it’s vegetarian. Plus I was able to eat this one-handed, leaving my other hand to carry on with tasks of urgent, international importance.

Snooty Addendum:  If eating this shit makes us feel like we’re not actively sucking the marrow out of the planet’s bones with rampant agricultural production, great. At least vegetarians are still as lazy as the rest of us.


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