The Urban Guide to the Countryside
Cornwall Edition

Muddy tries: ready meals! (yes really)

29 Apr 2016

You know the feeling – late home from work, kids yapping at your heels and totes starving. But what to do? If you’re a regular Beach Retreats visitor, or shop in the deli in Rock, you might already be reaching out to Angels in the Kitchen – the delightful duo who specialise in creative, custom made oven ready meals delivered to your door (or deli, if you live in Rock).

Kirsten Walters and Sarah Hugo (that’s them below) met at the school gates but were chums years before they realised they shared love of food and a desire to offer a range of culinary services that were little bit different.

thumbnail_Kirsten Waters and Sarah Hugo

Why can’t I look this good on the school run? 🙁

Based in mid-Cornwall, they are perfectly positioned to take full advantage of our delicious Cornish larder. Naturally the focus is on locally sourced, seasonal produce from reputable suppliers and all food is cooked from fresh in small batches.

But its not just for us locals – if you’re due down here on holibobs, you will want to know about their food on arrival service – they’ll fill your freezer with delicious handmade meals to enjoy throughout your holiday. Just pre-order online before you leave home, and ta dah! pop in the oven whilst you unpack after a long journey.

Well I’m not here on holiday, I work from home, and well erm am just a bit lazy, but I’m sure that last point qualifies me to test out their wares.

Mr MC and I fought over the chicken curry – not a full of row mind, but a bit you’ve-got-more-than-me. Tomatoey, garlicky loveliness with our own bag of microwave rice (don’t roast me guys) – though you can buy that as a side. It was so full of flavour and the chicken succulent. Ten out of ten Tim.

IMG_3448
We also tried the Cornish fish pie: salmon, white and smoked local fish in a spinach and cream sauce topped with mashed potato, cheddar cheese and parsley. I should have added a salad garnish here – a few leaves would have gone down rather nicely, but I’m afraid I was too much of a gannet – take a pic, down the hatch!

IMG_3449

My  veggie sister was down for the weekend, and as a willing victim volunteer, I tested out the roast veg lasagne on her (I only did this as it contained peppers and I HATE peppers!). Lucy unsurprisingly, relished her lasagne, but she was appalled at my presentation – she promises it tasted a lot better than my flopped out serving would suggest.

angels veg lasag

What can I tell you about the chocolate brownies? Well  I have to admit, I sent the kids to bed early so I wouldn’t have to share. That’s all you need to know.

angels choc

I refuse to call these beauties ready meals, though, technically, that’s what they are. The food is, quite frankly my dears, fabulous. It’s fresh, home-made tasty (only way better than my home-made obvs) and approx one gazzilion miles away from the poor quality, sky-high fat and salt micro-meals I used to eat as an impoverished student.

And oh wow – I need to tell you about their latest venture – the Angels are offering a personal chef service dining experience in the comfort of your own home or self-catering holiday accommodation…what what what? Isn’t there something a tad decadent about having a private chef?  Hell no kitty! Why save the caterers for big birthdays and bar mitzvahs (or in my case a hen do in Norfolk 2007)?

A great alternative to eating out, this is your own dinner party with someone else doing the dinner, while you do the partying – no flapping, burning the sauce and spilling cooking sherry down your pinny (as you swig from the bottle – c’mon, It can’t be just me?) – and no no expensive taxis or need for babysitters, plus (and this is the really good bit) the cleaning up is done afterwards. Just relaxing, drinking, chatting, drinking, eating, and drinking. Whether it’s an intimate dinner for two, a special family celebration, or just because, no menu is too small or too big for these talented ladies, everything from a proper sit down meal, to canapés and buffet food – even a BBQ or pop -up, so they are firmly at the top of my shebang list!

As you can see, they’ve got the whole presentation thing going on too:

cauliflower soup with black pudding and truffle oil

cauliflower soup with black pudding and truffle oil

citrus and mackerel salad

citrus and mackerel salad

They do desserts too!

angels deserts

L-R: sage panacota with black pepper honeycomb; Cornish cheeses; blackberry and lemon posset

THE MUDDY VERDICT: 

I tried the technically ready meals, so I can’t personally rec the dinners parties – yet! But if the food is anything like the stuff I cleverly reheated, its a no-brainer. Be warned though, the Angels are incredibly personable, and you may be inclined to pull up a chair and have them join you.

Good for: those who love real food but don’t always have the time to cook from scratch, new parents, harassed parents, working late parents, holiday makers, special occasions, elderly relatives, parties, stocking up the freezer (ie for vegetarian sister visitors).

Not for: Those who won’t relinquish the potato peeler. Those that have time to batch cook. Those in denial (ha!).

£££: The ready meals are comparable to takeaway prices (only better obvs) – sides: £1.95 -£4.95, mains: from £6.95 per person; Angels private chef service is comparable with local restaurant prices – but without the babysitting and taxi fares, so I’d say bloody amazing value.

Angels in the Kitchen

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside -
Cornwall Edition