Friday, 9 October 2009

Food Terrorists

I'm beginning to think that regular normal folk might not be ready for WMPC yet. Of course, all great ideas take time to filter through into the mainstream before they accepted, I realise that. And I expected some some set backs along the way but I never considered to be met with with such a ferocious level of incredulity, confusion and mistrust. I now know how the likes of Darwin, Einstein and Emo Phillips must have felt. Genius is often misunderstood at first. However, I must stay true to the cause. People will eventually see the light. We were rumbled you see, Biggest Jim and I that is. Our exchange of food goods was witnessed in the cold light of day.


I suppose the scene was fairly innocuous at first. Two blokes sitting there by East India Dock DLR, having a coffee and a chat. We could have been work colleagues on a break. Of course, we then delve into our bags and start explaining to each other what we had brought for the exchange. The look on the third bloke's face sitting on the table next to us was a picture. OK maybe ferocious incredulity is taking it a bit too far but as he looked over blankly, with a paper cup poised just below his open mouth, you could tell that he was definitely having a "what the f....?" moment. It was even funnier when I handed over Vivienne, the fourth daughter of Veronica and said to Jim "be careful when you open the lid, it may explode". As he switched from perplexed frown to nervous glare, you could tell that the poor chap really didn't know what to make of it all. I very nearly went all Michael Winner on him, saying "calm down dear, this just a commercial" but thought better of it. It was far better to have him think that we were some kind of epicurean splinter cell getting ready to terrorise London with sourdough starters and hazelnut biscuits than tell him the truth. So we just got up and left confused guy there. Jim walked off with a variety of spuds from my allotment and the aforementioned Vivienne and I jumped back on the DLR with a tub of jambalaya and said nutty treats.

When it came down to tucking into Jim's cajun speciality in the evening, I very nearly got rumbled again, this time by my boss. As I have made mention on here before I am trying to keep this project under the radar so to speak, primarily as it would just create hassle and I wouldn't be able to speak as freely as I like. So when Mr T (no relation to "ain'tgettingnoplanefoo") came bowling in at 8PM after his usual evening preprandials, I was just setting up the plate on my desk to take some shots. Fortunately for me, he's a four bottles of wine a day man and was pretty oblivious to what I was doing, so I snuck the plate back into the kitchen in the corner of the office. Also Mr T had bigger things on his mind like the fact that the office telephone system had gone up the swanny that day and with alcoholic bravado, was bellowing down his mobile to BT. So from the safety of the kitchen I was able to tuck into my jambalaya without recourse. Just as long as I kept popping my head out and shouting things like "you tell 'em!", "damn right!" and "boy, aren't BT bastards!" with rice spraying out my mouth with each exclamation.

So what was James' jambalaya like? Well, despite the fact that I was wolfing it down as fast I could and spitting half of it back out, goading my boss on, I thought it was very good. With moist pieces of chicken thigh, plump prawns and chunks of spicy chorizo, it was certainly filling. The peppers and onions had been softened thoroughly and took on a delectable caramel sweetness which worked well against the chilli. Saying that, maybe Jim could have been a bit braver and slung some more heat into the mix but that's personal preference speaking out here. He had been worried that the rice, now a day old wasn't up to scratch but the technique of sprinkling some water over the grains before warming back up in the microwave, perked them up just fine. And whilst we're on the subject, the whole nuking of meals in the microwave really hasn't been too bad so far. A lot of contributors have expressed concern before with this method of reheating but I think that's down to memories sticking in the mind of supermarket ready-meals perhaps? If you want my opinion, proper home-made grub doesn't really suffer in the same way as mass produced trays of slop in the ping machine. Just a bit of food for thought there. I had Jim's hazelnut and sesame biscuits once Mr T thundered off for the night and they were also very good too. I could even get the hint of sherry that he added, ususual but still very good.

Thanks big fella, lets hope that the flying squad doesn't come swooping in when you go out for a coffee in the near future.

Biggest Jim's recipe for Jamabalaya can be found here.

Biggest Jim's Jamabalaya (snarfed in the kitchen)

Hazelnut and Sesame biscuit (with a hint of sherry)


  1. You're too kind! I agree about the spiciness. It definitely could have done with more punch. I didn't taste the chilli I used beforehand, so I suspect it a particularly hot one.

    The biscuits were definitely a bit of an experiment, although I'm not sure it was worth investing the Pedro Ximenex sherry I used, considering it tastes so good on it's own.

    I've used the potatoes in a potato & onion soup, plus a cottage pie so far and they've been very tasty.

    Vivienne got a bit neglected before, but over the weekend I fed her and she exploded, about the same time I was at a key moment in putting my son's cot back together after it feel apart whilst I was 'adjusting' it!

    She's back in the fridge whilst I'm in the US, so hope to do some baking with her maybe this weekend.



  2. Nice Post. You must film your boss one day for full YouTube exposure! I expect he will make hilarious viewing.

    Hmmm... and very dubious that following your rendezvous, Big Jim is now fleeing to the States.

    Keep 'em peeled people!

  3. It's interesting that no one actually flat out says "what the eff are you doing?" Terribly British. What an excellent adventure you're having!

  4. Love it. Can't wait for the next installment. I really want to see WMPC on Channel 4 some time soon. Surely someone round here can make that happen!

  5. As always, nice work Dan. And well done Jim for knocking out some extremely tasty looking grub.