Monday, 5 August 2013

Culinary adventures of a Wargames Trader.


"I don't remember eating THAT !!"

When I'm not working I do like to cook. I'm no galloping Gourmet (remember him?)  but I haven't killed anyone either but the point is I do take an interest in food.Which tends to mean I avoid Macdonalds/Burgerking/KFC like the plague- mostly because the s***e they sell tastes like it already has.that malady.
 I'm not even completely convinced that pizza is actually food- unless I make it myself  or see it being made- not that I'm not fond of the occasional thin crust Italian type  or perhaps a decent Calzone but God rot all stuffed crusts( I know where I stuff them!) deep dish  pineapple encrusted monstrosities. King Ferdinand of Naples would spin in his Grave..
 So Gentle reader you see the quandary I'm in  when I get to a show and feel a tad sharp set what are my choices- well often something that looks like a model of a land fill site- and tastes like it too or if you are lucky Bacon butties underfilled with underdone bacon as flaccid as a politicians backbone. Some of the most deeply disgusting food that I have ever forced down my unwilling gullett has been had at Wargames shows. In 21 years  and more of  going to such events  if anything the situation has got worse rather tyhan otherwise..
 I can recall shows back in the day- usually of the smaller more intimate type where the food albeit simple was often home produced by the organisers- or more likely their WAGS ( or mums  possibly ) .At its best it was very good- sort of "Cricket Club Tea"  Gone are those heady days and even then they were the exception rather than the rule. Nevertheless some shows managed acceptable "Char and Wads" or edible Bacon Butties.
 Over the years this has become less and less common. Food at shows even at its best is only adequate- you might get a respectable Bacon Buttie in a morning after the unload  but lunch is fraught with danger. In this respect Gordon Gecko was wrong. Lunch is often for the strong of stomach and the non-existant of tastebuds. Take a recent event. Morning Fine Bacon Buttie OK - fresh Roll Bacon a bit Flaccid but I've had much worse. Jim was a bit more scathing about his suasage buttie.
 "Like 2 Durex filled with Pus"
 Now aside from the fact that my coffie tasted like a liquid Brillo pad I survived "breakfast"
 Lunch ... Ah yes Luncheon... what a delight awaited us....
I suspect it was Menued as "Pizza and Chips"  but mine looked like a Nuclear Fallout zone- still glowing bright orange and limp ..apparently it had needed a crew of two just to get it to the (paper)  plate. Having said that it wasn't the worst I've ever had- that prize goes to a show a few years back when the chips were so foul that I didn't notice I'd sugared rather than salted abd ate them anyway...
Some- but by no means all - venues charge outrageously for this simply because they have a captive audience. I've had burgers of an unsurpassing mankiness flat beer in plastic bottlesand dishes of  stuff that looked as if I'd already eaten it once- and this sort of stuff is not just a British problem.
 Not that I expect anything to be done- I'm not even sure that anything can be done except either starve or take it like a man!!
 But wouldn't it be nice if.....


  1. I normally take my own food to shows now, can no longer stomach so of the stuff offered at shows

  2. ...or take your own expertly prepared sandwiches.

  3. A wargamer marches on his stomach. My local club, being a branch of what used - in 'less enlightened' days - to be called a 'Working Men's Club' the tucker is actually quite good. My standard lunchtime fare is the cheapest available, possibly: Sos and chips, with lashings of salt, pepper and vinegar, washed down with Coke & Cloves (or, very occasionally since I am almost, but not quite, teetotal, a handle of Speights Old Dark). If inanition is becoming life-threatening, that is to say, I haven't eaten for a couple of hours or so, I'll lash out a bit on the all day breakfast or similar.

    You gotta eat right, whatever your favorite type of victuals. Even burgers are good, done right (i.e. includes gherkins and yoghurt). But if the provender on the plate looks as though it has had a long career already in the catering industry, then I'd just as lief go hungry (at great damage to my public persona - I'm apt to get querulous when mealtimes are late). ...

    1. I was just thinking: if you're pushed, a beer or a stout is actually not a bad food substitute - for one mealtime, say, that would otherwise be blighted by some sort of pre-digested pap that you would, in compassion for the worms, hesitate to heave onto a compost heap...

  4. Taking your own isn't really an option when I have my chaps to consider- not only that I'm dammed if I'm getting up even earlier to make sandwhiches- and day old sarnies- well I can get those at the show!
    Its the single day shows that tend to be the worst, for a weekend event we can usually find a respectable resturant in town- given that you never eat in the Hotel. Over the years we've found some respectable eateries i9n the various towns we've been in . From a grubby looking Italian place where the Pollo Alla Cacciatore was to die for to a splendi Indian place we use every year and in a different town a recently discovered Chinese restaurant that the local chinese community use- so it has to be a bit good,
    As Ion says a beer can substitute- but then not every venue even has a bar.
    At Club level we do very well- meeting as we do in a local pub where the landlady also regales us with hot beef sandwiches.
    Personally I feel that the inventiotor of the microwave oven has a lot to amswer for. He alone has put back the cause of low level culinary taste a quarter of a century at least.
    Of course it would also help if the venue caterers actually got in enough food but I suppose thinking is asking too much.

  5. As a later aside I found the food at the Recnt Border Reiver far better than average- Afine Bacon Buttie in the morning- from a nearby van - though I could have peed stronger tea- and a very acceptable Salad roll for lunch - full of cruchy salad- far better than the usual limp yesterday rejects of other shows.
    Twas a good show too.