Monday, 27 July 2009

Atischoo! Atischoo! We All Fall Down!

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.

To say it was slightly surreal would be an understatement especially with the amount of people gawping at us walking through the busy thoroughfare but as Mr Painter was snapping away, I felt a gleeful joy. It was like being that naughty college boy on rugby tour again. Alas I think it was too much for Rejina who quickly ran back into the hospital after exchanging bags proper, giggling her head off probably thinking "bloody hell I hope my colleagues didn't see me" (so maybe not the connoisseur after all). And so I slowly meandered back to the office, chuckling to myself, carrying a tub of chicken casserole, with the mask perched at a jaunty angle on my head.

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.


  1. hahahahahahaha! Can't believe you wore the mask on the train after. Good lord. I bumped into a few of my colleagues after and they all wanted to know what the "photoshoot" was for! Glad you enjoyed my humble casserole. Thanks for the gorgeous wine, I think I did quite well out of that(!) BTW Joe is very fired up about this dumplings at dawn business.

  2. Fantastic! Love it. Sounds like lots of fun and a delicious meal :)

  3. Gastogeek's Fiance28 July 2009 at 03:43

    Unfortunately 6am on a friday is when I do my Ultimate Fighting Champion training with the Marines. Friday sessions generally involve 12,000 squat thrusts, followed by 30 minutes of shark-wrestling and a round of cockney-tossing to build the upper body. Could we duel at 7:30 instead?

  4. Great Post Dan - and gorgeous looking food Rejina. It's almost lunchtime and I'm bloody starving looking at that. As for the face mask - Excellent! I developed a tickly cough on the train the other night, the looks of sheer horror I got from my fellow passengers were hilarious.

  5. You don't scare me with your proud boast of squat thrusts, I was raised by the Shaolin Monks of Henan Province. From the age of five, I endured regular beatings with a bamboo pole to the head, knees and buttocks. As a consequence I am tough as nails and have perfected the art of the 1 inch nipple tweak. 7:30 sounds great.

    By the way, what does Rejina make of the cockney-tossing?

  6. Haaa haaa!

    Last year I did just a couple of days training for a travel company down in Surrey somewhere. A friend I'd worked with previously had ended up there and had put my name forward.

    My training style is more informal than formal so, one of the 2 days I was there, I found a witches hat sitting in a corner in the break area during morning coffee break so I wore it for the rest of the training that day!

    I got quite fond of it so asked where they'd gotten it. My friend said he'd bought it actually for some halloween thing they'd done the previous year and I could have it if I wanted. To which one of the others said only if I wore it all the way home.

    Which I did. At the train station, on the train into London and on the tube home to N London! I did take a number of photos, which I have somewhere.

    Got some great conversations out of it AND a fine witches hat!

  7. GG's fiance29 July 2009 at 03:56

    a 1-inch nipple tweak eh? Did you learn that from Gastrogeek (AKA gastrotweak)?

  8. That sounds just like the Rejina I know.... Bold as brass and lovely with it! I was intrigued by the tweets about what you two had got up to and this sounds like a ball.

    I'm up for offering my services for a WMPC exchange sometime. Not sure I can offer the thrills of a surgically-masked-exchange though!