It is a fact universally acknowledged that an item of food bearing the words ‘pierce film lid several times’ will, at best, just about scrape adequacy. Nobody should be under any illusion about this; any subsequent comment on the quality of said foodstuff should be made within this context.
As far as microwaveable meals go, then, my Thai prawn curry (Tesco’s. Or maybe Sainsbury’s, I forget) was very good. Which is to say that, in the grand scheme of food, it was pretty poor, but it just about did its job. The instructions were needlessly complicated, requiring the ability to co-ordinate a fair few tasks. One minute prior to the time at which the dish was to be deemed ‘piping hot’ – i.e. the point at which I was finally permitted by the packaging to ‘consume’ it – I was instructed to peel half the film lid back, and to douse the rice portion of the tray with a tablespoon of water. It ended up being too watery.
The prawn portion of the dish, however, was flavoursome and fairly satisfying. The portion size was too small though. I would have ordered more, or asked for a deduction from the bill, but I was sitting alone in my kitchen so this was sadly not possible.
And what does ‘piping hot’ mean exactly anyway? Not all pipes are hot. Bagpipes, for example. Or the historian Richard Pipes. Looking at him on a Google Image search, I doubt anyone has ever described him as ‘hot’. The meal thus gets deducted a couple of points for brazenly displaying this misnomer on its packaging.