There's nothing more I love in life than a good old fashioned dare. You have to be careful though, some dares can get you into trouble, such as running through the streets of Romford wearing nothing but a pair of Dr Martins. The police gave me a thorough ticking off for that one. Some dares can even be quite dangerous such as abseiling down the side of a Parisian hotel using just bedsheets tied together for rope which were attached to a radiator in my room four floors up. The gendarmerie, my rugby coach and my parents gave me an absolute bollocking for that one I can tell you. However, these are the excesses of an exuberant youth, I've calmed down a hell of a lot these days, I'm a family man looking to live the quiet life now. But still, its good to buck the trend once in a while and revisit the dare especially in the face of hysteria. I blame Rejina from Gastrogeek for the latest one of course, she put the seed inside my head prior to meeting up for today's episode of WMPC.
When organising a time and date to meet Rejina through a plethora of emails, I discovered that she worked right next door to Borough Market and so I expressed that she was really "jammy" to be so close to such a foodie mecca. Her response was "not jammy, just infinitely more likely to catch swine flu!" which gave me food for thought. In this current age of panic, should I really be transversing the capital's byways and public transport system all for the sake of a meal? Should I really be putting myself at risk like this just so I can type out some witty gems and stake my claim in the world of food writing? Furthermore, I could inadvertently become a carrier and wipe out the food blogging community forever, they are a sickly lot at the best of time, the alcohol consumption weakens the immune system you see. Still at least that way I could scoop up all the blogging awards that are up for grabs. I seriously thought that at the very least I should get one of the surgical masks just to be careful. But then I got a grip of myself and told myself not to be so stupid, there's no way I'm going to get one of those awards*
Of course when we did meet this morning, I reminded Rejina of the swine flu comment and said "hey wouldn't it be funny if we did this exchange wearing masks!" and her eyes lit up. "That is a fantastic idea!" she beamed back and before I knew it we where in the outpatients department at Kings College Hospital where she works, with the bestest of straight faces trying to snaffle some from a nurse. Rejina did all the talking whilst I lurked in the corridor (had I met a 'dare' connoisseur I wonder?) and before long she came skipping out clutching two. And so from there we nipped around the corner to the main entrance of the hospital and collared some poor decorator on his lunch break to take some snaps.
"I'm not going to get into trouble for this am I?", he asked with a slight look of apprehension on his face.
"No, no, no, you be just fine, just take loads of photos. And quickly. And make sure you get the hospital sign in the background!", I rattled back.
Can you spot the old lady in the background? She wasn't impressed.
The casserole was a perfect example of good home made grub that Rejina says she simply threw together. It was tasty and filling with lovely moist chicken, potatoes and carrots. The peas in particular were very good having remained fairly sweet and the one herb dumpling served up was utterly delicious. I say one because I found out that her fiance had nicked the other one that Rejina intended for me when packing the meal. I feel quite pained by this and have told her to pass on the message I wish to challenge him to a duel on Blackheath Common this coming Friday, 6AM. Tickets will be available. And yes I'll admit to licking the plate clean making the best of the yummy gravy, well there was no-one else in the office so who cares.
For this wonderful dinner I exchanged a bottle of Matahiwi Sauvignon Blanc, a fine gooseberry smacked bit of glug from Malborough, New Zealand.
Excellent dinner and daring-do Rejina!
Chicken Casserole with NHS issue swine flu mask
*After all this flippancy, I'm bound to get the dreaded pig lurgy now.....oops.