Despite endeavours to cook from scratch, the market for chilled meals is a growing one. More people are buying these as an alternative to a takeaway or eating out. Sometimes even D and I succumb when we see something tempting.
Living alone and not always feeling tip top, my mum welcomes our hampers. She has a bird-like appetite so everything is served in ramekins that she can defrost and heat up easily. She also loves Duchy Original soup and pies. When Able and Cole offered to send her some chilled ready meals to review she was thrilled.
Apart from being delighted with the delivery man carrying them into her kitchen, she was impressed with the overall standard of the chilled packaging, which came with iced pouches (to be returned).
She rang me the next day.
“Well I’ve tried them all.”
“You can’t have eaten all three.” These are large individual man sized portions. The equivalent of six meals for my mum.
“Well I haven’t eaten all of them. I just couldn’t resist trying all of them.”
“What did you think?”
“I’ll tell you when you come on Saturday. I’ll keep a bit of all three dishes so you can taste them too.”
I sampled the three dishes on the Saturday. The meat balls and cottage pie were excellent – as good as the best home cooked. The chicken and ham pie was a bit disappointing but my mum and I are real meat pie aficionados so this little pie was running the gauntlet of the pickiest pie eaters in the East of England.
Here are mum’s thoughts on the dishes:
Pegoty Hedge organic Cottage pie with Potato Mash.
“A lovely old fashioned cottage pie not titivated up as most modern cottage pies are. 10/10.”
Pegoty Hedge organic Meat Balls in Tomato Sauce.
“Delicious tender meat. Excellent tomato sauce, not too spicy. 10/10.”
Abel and Cole organic Chicken and Ham Pie.
“Plenty of very good filling but too much pastry. Not to my taste cold but much improved heated. I would prefer just shortcrust pastry on the top. 5/10/”
Both the Pegoty Hedge meals could be frozen and were extremely good value at £3.95 each.
So thumbs up to Abel and Cole. They are also offering £50 free shopping until the end of August.
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