Friday, 6 September 2013

Cheesy Peas, Pasta Please and Fast Show memories

An amusing pasta dish from a very British comedy that brings back memories of getting to know the internet and the UK.

Television show: The Fast Show, comedy, UK, 1994 - 1997

What does it mean to me?
The Fast Show is a comedy sketch show with many memorable catchphrases such as 'Scorchio', 'Suits you sir', and 'Does my bum look big in this?'.  The show does exactly what its name says.  It is fast and funny and silly.  No sketch lasts long.  Great for people with a short concentration span.

I arrived in London from Australia in 1997.  My first job that lasted longer than a week was at the BBC website known as beeb.com.  I was a temp - everyone was temporary or seconded because they weren't sure the BBC website would last and punters would complain about using their taxes for a website!   I started a mere six months after the BBC started its website.  It was an exciting time.  I worked with the Comedy Zone team.

There was lots of energy and ideas bouncing about the huge open plan office.  The Comedy Zone and Top Gear zines would compete each week to see who was most popular.  It was a great introduction to British culture and a reminder that although we see lots of UK television in Australia, there is also a lot we don't see.  It was also my introduction to the internet - I had only been on it once before I got the job (and .. um ... was quite creative with talking about my experience before I got the job with the production team not the techies)!

One of our featured comedies was The Fast Show.  I can hardly remember the content though I think it might be similar to that in this legacy Fast Show site.  Though I hadn't seen the show or known the shows they spoofed, I got to know it quickly.  (I also took responsibility for recommending comedy programs to watch each week though I didn't know many of those either).  I felt like I was in the thick of it.  We had a drink with the stars and went to see the live show. Then I was ready to move on.

Since then I often see the stars on British shows, such as John Thomson in Cold Feet, Arabella Weir in Posh Nosh and Mark Williams as Mr Weasley in Harry Potter.  I also occasionally see older shows and they make sense of Fast Show sketches.  Monkfish was Taggart.  Dave Angel was Mike Reid.  And I can't heart Steeleye Span singing 'All Around My Hat' without thinking of Bob Fleming.

Food featured:
I chose to make cheesy peas in honour of the sketch of the same name.  The sketch is a spoof on silly shouty advertisement and those stodgy British meals that come in a packet.  It amused me to make it.


Recipe notes:
I had a cauliflower cheese sauce in the fridge so it was quite an easy meal to make.  I pureed some peas and left the rest whole.  With the peas, the sauce needed extra seasoning and I found celery salt (more on that soon) gave it just the flavour it needed.  I served it tossed through wholemeal spaghetti and topped with rocket and cherry tomatoes.

Random notes:
We had heaps of cheesey peas sauce leftover.  E had some the next night with rice and thought it was even better with rice.  My favourite way to serve the cheesey peas sauce was on a bagel with rocket, roast beetroot, fried onion and tomato chutney.  Messy but delicious.  A perfect easy weekend meal.

I am sending this to Jac's Pasta Please blog event that I am hosting this month.  (According to The Daily Mail, pasta is the world's favourite food.)  The Pasta Please theme this month is Long Pasta.  I'd love you to join in and send me a vegetarian dish using long pasta by 28th September.  More information on my Long Pasta announcement page.


Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
One year ago: Raw broccoli salad and other eats
Two years ago: Quik wok - fast and friendly in the city
Three years ago: PPN Tofu-Ricotta, Zucchini and Pumpkin Lasagne
Four years ago: Gravy Train Cafe - yummy yabbering in yarraville
Five years ago: PPN: Soy bombs with two tomato sauces

Cheesy peas spaghetti
serves 4-6

600ml cauliflower cheese sauce
1 tbsp potato starch
2 cups frozen peas
1/2 tsp celery salt, or to taste
500g wholemeal spaghetti

Cook spaghetti according to packet instructions (mine took 14 minutes).  Meanwhile mix cheese sauce, potato starch 1 cup frozen peas and celery salt.  Puree with a stick blender and check seasoning.  Either microwave for a few minutes, stirring every minute until it has thickened slightly or heat in a saucepan until thickened slightly.  Stir in remaining cup of peas and heat slightly until peas have defrosted.  Mix with drained spaghetti and serve.

On the Stereo:
2 Contrebasses: Michel Donato and Guillaume Bouchard

This post is part of Vegan Month of Food September 2013.  This year for Vegan MoFo I am cooking recipes inspired by favourite tv shows - and veering off topic occasionally.  Go to my Vegan MoFo list for more of my Vegan MoFo posts.     

15 comments:

  1. That headline sounds like a poem. AND I remember I loved this show as a teenager. This can't be a mere coincidence, but an idea for tonight's dinner. :)

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    1. Thanks Malitsu - it is a really easy meal idea - hope you enjoy

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  2. that's a great story :) And I have to make that sauce!

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    1. Thanks Veganopoulous - yes make the sauce - it is delicious

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  3. I love your MoFo theme! Your recipes all sound so delicious and I know that this will be a huge hit with everyone in this household. I never heard about the fast show and it's probably too hard to understand for us non-native speakers. Even though I like this kind of stuff in my own language.

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    1. Thanks Mihl - I am not sure the show's humour even translates so well into other nations like Australia and America because it is about such British stuff - so I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't so easy to understand in German. So pleased you are enjoying the theme!

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  4. I've never heard of this show but it sounds like it would be good for a laugh. I'm sure I bookmarked this sauce from Susan's blog and saw someone else posting about it other day too - I must try it soon. The pasta and bagel look really good!

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    1. Thanks Mel - it is a fun show though it is one of those that gets better as you get to know the characters - highly recommend this sauce

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  5. I loved reading this and that glimpse into your time at the BBC. I haven't ever watched The Fast Show but we do get some UK TV via a slightly circuitous route to allow us to watch it despite it not airing here! These peas also seem very British to me and putting them in a bagel is an inspired move.

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    1. Thanks Kari - I was really surprised just how different the UK TV landscape was to ours. I quite enjoyed making this dish because it did seem so British and always struck me as rather silly but I love peas so it was quite yummy

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  6. What an exciting time to be part of the BBC. The pasta looks yummy with the peas, great idea of using up the leftovers too

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    1. Thanks Katie - it was very exciting and looking back always makes me remember not to take the internet for granted - yes I was pleased to get a mofo meal, a pasta please meal and use up leftovers all in one dish :-)

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  7. So many of your shows I've never heard of! But my mum was really strict with tv when we were growing up, so that might be why.

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    1. Thanks Hannah - strangely enough I thought my mum was quite strict with tv so I am surprised at how much I remember - some I watched at friends' places but maybe she wasn't as strict as I thought. I have tried to give a brief description at the start of each post as covering UK, American and Australia tv means there will be few people who know all the shows I watch.

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  8. I'm so jealous you got to work at the BBC!

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