Saturday, 27 June 2009

Hot In The City

The recent hot and muggy weather this week has really got on my nerves. I'm fed up of walking out of the house, cool and fresh from a shower yet by the time I get into work I'm a sweaty scummy mess. I don't know what it is but when it's hot, the city of London seems to envelope you in this film of grime and grease. I recently heard the expression "I got totally KFC'd taking a walk this lunchtime" and I know exactly what they mean.

So yesterday when I took a 5 minute sauna, sorry journey, on the tube to meet Niamh of Eatlikeagirl who was contributing a meal for the second installment of WMPC and had been very secretive about it, the last thing I had on my mind was curry.

And yet of course that's what she had made me, a curry.

Now don't get me wrong, I love a curry, hot ones too but the prospect of plowing and perspiring through a fiery dish on a day like yesterday did unnerve me a little and wishing that I brought a spare shirt. But don't worry Niamh, your Prawn Curry came through just fine and if it meant stripping down to my pants to have a second helping then I would have gladly done so! (Now there's an image to torment the soul!)

The great thing about this curry was the equal combination of tomato and coconut milk, giving a nice balance of fruit and cream. The blend of spices was delicate and the chilli gave away just the right amount of heat with the coriander sprinkled on top adding some freshness. So this was more of a flavoursome curry rather than the full on 'burn your bum in the morning' type one I was worried about. The cardamom rice was also delicious and the prawns were still still sweet and tender, I did wonder how they would fair in the microwave. Super effort.

For this delectable dish, I swapped two tickets for the Taste of London that had come my way gratis, though after reading blogs about the event, I don't think I'll do that again, some of the food looked great. So sorry Niamh, if you take part in WMPC again, you'll have to make do with a turnip from the allotment.

Prawn Curry

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Tonight's dinner Matthew, comes from........

Somebody answered the call! Somebody answered the call! Yes, it looks like WMPC is going to get off the ground! Woop Woop!




OK, I'm not quite telling the truth here. I did in fact email a couple of food bloggers that I've met before and asked directly whether they would like to take part in this little project and to my joy they all said yes. So for the next four weeks at least, I am going to be well fed, I am so happy about this.

So first up is Dan of Essex Eating who provided his very delicious Chickpea and Chorizo Stew for last night's desk dinner in exchange for lunch which was double pie and mash at Clarks in Exmouth Market. This was Dan's meal from the night before and of course, one of the great things about stew is that it always tastes better the day after you made it. After a blast in the microwave, this one definitely ticked all the boxes. The sauce was nicely picante and very moorish with lovely big chunks of chorizo and little nibbles of pancetta throughout. Dan also provided some boiled potatoes dressed in olive oil, great for mashing and moping up (so yes I had mash twice yesterday). All in all, very filling and very appetising.

I do have one small problem though, after oggling every morsel going to my mouth, my work colleague wanted to know where I got the 'ready-meal' from. "Not Tescos surely?" And with that I wondered, should I let him know what I'm up to and go down the route of sharing the food that others are already sharing with me? Was he ready for such concept? Would he get it?

"Nah", I thought, taking the last mouthful, let him stew.


OK so what's this project all about?

Well basically, in my role as a dynamic print manager for a small dynamic print company based on the outskirts of the square mile, I have to work two late shifts a week and can often wind up getting home in the early hours of the morning (booooo!)

To make matters worse, when it comes to dinner time, I normally end up traipsing to the local Tesco's/Sainsbury's/M&S or get something delivered in and wind up back at my desk eating rank, overpriced, unappetising food (double booooo!)

If that's not bad enough, whilst eating said crap food, I'll often torment myself by scanning lovely food blogs, looking at mouthwatering photos or reading on twitter what people are cooking up for their night's meal, thinking "wow I would love to try that!" (triple f***ing boooo!)

But then I came up with this idea, would people be willing to share some of their culinary delights with a stranded food blogger and provide him with dinner once a week? And, as an aside to Food Urchin, would this make a fun and interesting mini-blog?

First of all, I don't expect freebies, I want to contribute in some way, with a cash donation or goodies (bottle of wine?) and secondly I don't expect all the cheffy bloggers out there to slave away and just to cook a single meal for myself, all they'd have to do is factor in an extra portion from one night's meal and I will collect it the next day. Meeting up and exchanging wild garlic with fellow foodies was easy enough so I'm sure the logistical side of things wouldn't be a problem.

At the end of the day, the main objective is to meet other enthusiastic epicurians, to review the food they cook and to have fun doing so, all in the spirit of altruism. I'm not setting out to be critical or send people up as I don't want to bite the hand that feeds me (though I may take a different view if I wind up in hospital with food poisoning).

Who knows, if this idea takes off, we could start a new revolution, with people sharing their food, exchanging dishes across the land. We may never have to wander into a Tesco Metro or garage forecourt or dodgy kebab house ever again!

Well, I'm kinda hoping I don't have to anyway. If you are interested in taking part then please email:

PS The title is a line from a dodgy sixth form play I was in where the principle character was a misogynistic alcoholic father figure, who would come home from work at dinner time and demand from his wife "Where's my pork chop?!" As earnest efforts at social-realism go, it was pretty poor but I still laugh whenever my mate, who played the role, shouts it out in restaurants.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

So Where Is My Pork Chop?

© Victoria Dolidovich (
Foodie stranded in a culinary wasteland, can you help?