Wednesday, 9 June 2010

A Letter From Ameri......Ooooh No Aberdeen!

When I was at university, I shared a house with a bunch of guys who were a great laugh but hygiene, food hygiene in particular, was not high on our list of priorities. We were absolute slobs. And the kitchen certainly rivalled the scene from Withnail and I - FORK IT! It's a wonder that I didn't contract e-coli or something like that. Or maybe I did but I would always put the galloping trots down to the horrible but cheap 'Graphite' cider we used to drink. Anyway, one of the guys, who for the purposes of anonymity shall be named Greg because that was his name, used to get a regular package from his parents every week. It would contain a letter, some cash, couple of Pot Noodles, a few sachets of Cup-A-Soups and a pair of clean pants. Which was sweet and endearing but the whole escapade used to baffle the hell out of me. Did his parents really think that those meagre dried and totally unhealthy rations would sustain him throughout the week? Did they really think he would spend the money on decent food? And why did Greg get a clean pair of pants once a week. What happened to the other pairs? Did he wear those pants for the whole week and then throw them away? I never did pluck up the courage to ask him. Not even after a couple bottles of that crap cider.

But why am I harping on about the past (yet again). Well not that long ago, say only about a month ago, well maybe longer, I received my very first WMPC contribution by post all the way from bonnie Scotland! This filled me with no end of excitement, largely because of all a sudden I could see this project going global. Yes, first Scotland, then Wales, maybe Ireland, Isle of Man? The sky was the limit now. I started thinking that perhaps I could start to expect packages from all over the world, containing strange and exotic foods such as Armadillo Roadkill from Texas, Crocodile Curry from Thailand or Mole Crickets from Mexico. I got all these perfectly postable suggestions from here by the way. OK maybe this is all a bit much to be asking for just yet but you never know what's on the horizon. And oh to be a blogger of international fame. Sure call me ambitious, call me big headed, call me vain, vapid and vacuous if you like but seriously to push WMPC onto the world stage, well it would be a dream come true. Sigh But let's come back down to humble beginnings and have a delve into the wonderful Celtic treasure trove that Lyndsay of White Wine In The City sent me. First a little bit of background.

I originally got in contact with Lyndsay via the magic of Twitter having got embroiled into some debate over Danny Dyer of all people. I still say he's a prick Lyndsay but anyway I detected a sniff of interest from her to participate in WMPC. People should really keep their guards up really because give me an inch and I'll take a mile. So we got into this email exchange where I soon discovered that beneath the hardened shell of an maintenance technician who works for an offshore oil company beats the heart of a passionate foodie By her own definition, Lyndsay is originally a Weegie who has moved up and settled down in the fair Granite City of Aberdeen which is far more than north than I have ever been. Actually the furthest I've got in Scotland has been the Trossachs and once you've been caught by the trossachs, you daren't go any further. I digress. Frustrated by the lack of a decent food scene in Aberdeen she began to develop a strange compulsion to look and paw at food blogs when she's supposed to be dieting for her wedding. And of course she started to write her own blog which, cooking and gardening experiments aside, displays a slavish devotion to fish fingers which I think is brilliant because I love them too.

So after just a couple of days corresponding, Lyndsay sent me a tweet saying "Therr's a wee boax a goodies on therr wey, ah hope they dinnae git foosty" and low and behold the postman came knocking on the door the next day with a box labelled FRAGILE and addressed to 'Mr Food Urchin and Family'. I was over the moon. As I opened it, a soft yellow hue shone outwards, lighting up my face and my ears filled with the sounds of bagpipes. Inside there contained -

A can of Irn Bru
A packet of Aberdeen Rolls aka Butteries
A roll of Charles Macleod Stornoway Black Pudding
A squat but perfectly formed little Macsween's Haggis
A patty of butter
Some raspberry jam
Two Gingerbreadmen
And a packet of Scottish Fudge

The real nice touch was the handwritten letter from Lyndsay, giving me a brief and funny overview of everything. I was particularly tickled by her tale of having worked with an American chap who used to regularly eat 6 butteries for breakfast and more with his fish and chips for lunch. Apparently he was also a rather large chap which is no surprise given Lyndsay's estimation that they contain roughly 2 million calories a bite. Essentially this was a traditional breakfast package and she recommended creating a stack of fried potato scone, fried haggis, fried black pudding and topped with a fried egg. All to be washed down with the Irn Bru. Now at this point, I don't want to cause a diplomatic incident by saying this but fucking hell is it no wonder that Scotland is the coronary capital of Europe?! Still I am always game for eating, however unhealthy it may all sound so a couple of days later I set about frying up a storm early one morning for myself and Mrs FU. I didn't get my hands on any potato scones or farls so I decided just to slice up and saute up some charlottes that I had knocking around. And just for a touch of colour, I decided to throw in a pinch of chopped parsley, like a proper English tube. I have to say it was all indulgently wicked. The haggis was very good with warm spice and peppery notes that cut through the plump oats and lungs. The black pudding was surprisingly light, crumbly and very moreish, so much so that we sliced some more up afterwards and whacked in the pan. Cutting through the soft fried egg, the yolk escaped and oozed down into the morass which made everything taste even better. The tatties did their job in upping carb overload (and the parsley added a certain fresh zing to proceedings). Drinking a glass of fluorescent, possibly toxic orange fizz at that time of day was unusual but I do like a can of teeth coating Bru and it washed everything down fine. Afterwards, we were fairly full up but I decided to plow on with some toasted butteries and jam. Interesting, they were like a cross between a plain white roll and a croissant, very nice thickly spread with jam in fact but how you'd get through 6 of them is beyond me.

Mrs FU also reported that the fudge was some of the best she's tasted so high praise indeed. As for what the twins thought of the gingerbread men is anyone's business, I can't understand them at the best of times but they are only two years old. I think the clue lies in the fact that they demolished them in seconds.

So thank you Lyndsay for your excellent contribution to WMPC, it certainly knocked the socks and pants off what my mate Greg ever got sent to him in the post. I know you've been waiting a while for the post and I feel bad for that. I also haven't been able to reciprocate yet with a package of goodies from London but in the meantime I've sent you a signed copy of this photo which I hope goes towards some way of making things up. I am sure you'll find it much more sexier then that tube Danny Dyer.

Box of Delights

The haul and handwritten letter

Cardiac Attack Breakfast

Very buttery 'Butteries'

One is the limit


  1. Fantastic post, thanks for letting me take part.

    50 days till the diet is over, 50 days till I can eat something fried for breakfast!

  2. Awesome. What a lovely thing to do. Lyndsay sending the package I mean. The phrase 'galloping trots' is now wedged firmly into my vocabulary.

  3. Now that I know what WMPC is all about and your evil twin Dan telling me that it's still on, expect something winging your way soon.

  4. That's so cool - I remember you tweeting the picture of the finished brekkie at the time and being dead jealous.

    Irn Bru - nice :)

  5. Whitewineandsoda - thanks and thank you for the scottish goodies, btw does the nick name change just Whitewine once the diet is over?

    Helen - it was a lovely thing to do and there's plenty more phrases like that in my vocabulary

    May - wow, intriguing, I wait with baited breath!

    Meemalee - it was a fine brekkie and you didnae getnae, ha!

  6. Brilliant post FU! Your twins sound well canny.