My mother always cooked, and the nearest we ever got to convenience food other than tinned fruit, was the occasional treat of fish and chips from the local shop. I too have always cooked at home and very rarely buy anything ready prepared. The very fact that I do not now have to wash the dirt off potatoes or pick slugs out of cabbages prior to cooking as happened in the past, is the nearest I come to convenience!
There's a lot of hype and nonsense about convenience foods anyway. Take frozen oven chips/French fries for instance. Costing anything from about £1.20 to nearly £3.00 and taking up to half an hour to cook is hardly time-saving really. I buy a bag of cleaned potatoes, select out two large, or three or four small, do not peel, (as the peel contains much of the flavour), toss in a little rapeseed or olive oil, shove in the micro-wave for ten minutes to soften then spread on an oiled baking tray. The oven has been pre-heating while I prepare and fifteen to twenty minutes later, hey presto!
Whereas before I used always to fry in deep vegetable oil first on a high heat to seal, then low to cook through followed by a hotter blast to crisp, I now just use a hot setting 180. Shuffle around once or twice on the tray (the chips that is!) and you are guaranteed beautiful crisp chips, cooked in the same time or less than 'convenience' chips and at a fraction of the price. This method of course also works for sweet potatoes and parsnips.
By the way, whoever decided to put chips with lasagna or chips in a sandwich? Carbs with carbs? Ideally it should be carbohydrate with vegetables or salad. The answer (I suspect), is greedy restaurateurs with no real regard for nutrition and food balancing but who seize the opportunity to fill a larger plate with a cheap ingredient to generate a bigger customer spend, or are they just pandering to customers ignorant of food facts? What do you think?
Just writing about them has made me decide to cook some right now. Crispy golden home-made chips with a couple of rashers of bacon and a fried egg. Choice!