Monday, 21 February 2011

The end of WMPC???

And yet again there has been a lull in the movement that is Where's My Pork Chop? Just like the aftermath of a party, the good intentions and ideas behind this little project now, seemingly, lie littered on the floor amongst streamers, fag butts, chicken bones, empty wine glasses and empty tupperware boxes. As always it's fun at the time, chatting, laughing, drinking, doing the hokey cokey with my fellow bloggers. But lately whenever I go on these mad expeditions or food swaps, I keep finding myself perched on the edge of the bed nursing a fuzzy head the next day, fingers over my eyes, thumbs rubbing my temples desperately trying to get the ol' grey matter going. At the root of this particular hangover lies a simple question that I ask myself before sitting down in front of the computer. 'How am I going to write this one up then?' It's probably something that a lot of bloggers ask themselves, wanting to keep their posts fresh and original. Personally, this has meant going off on whimsical flights of fancy, scribbling down nonsensical journeys into the inner gubbings of my mind and sometimes the content is not always related to food. And as a result this has started to become a bit of a mute point when it comes to writing up a WMPC post. Brainy from the Numbskulls is starting to run out of ideas to put in the suggestion box. I don't want to say for a second that the party is over because I love meeting and connecting with people under this wonderful umbrella of food. But I think for WMPC to continue, I need to focus a bit more on the blogger and about reviewing the meals they send my way, to be perhaps a bit more succinct and not get too tied up in trying to fire off some witty parable. So there, I've said it. WMPC will carry on but in future it will be short, sharp and to the point.

And besides how could I even think about jacking it all in? Especially now that WMPC has gone international! Yes I received my very first food package from abroad (well second if you consider Scotland) way back in December all the way from Holland! Boo Yah! Man, it's a druggy cliche but the shit that Luc Martin sent me was amazing. I haven't had this much fun since the time I swallowed 12 space cakes at Glastonbury '94 and ran off to the Green Field wearing my sister's dress, screaming that I had transformed and shrunk into Willow Ufgood. It took my mates 3 hours to talk me down from an ancient oak tree that night but we still laugh about it from time to time....................... (stop it FU, stop it)

Erm yes, so I am now swapping food across the seas having engaged and bonded with Luc over the magic of Twitter. In his blog Roast Chicken and Red Wine, Luc displays a fondness for the unusual and is therefore a man after my own heart. For instance, his account of cooking hare is both funny and informative in which he praises the flavour of the animal whilst all the while highlighting the necessity of using a clothes peg when preparing it. And Luc certainly knows how to get the most out of ingredients. In return for his food packages he requested that I send him the finest black pudding in all off Laaandan Taan. After much deliberation (maybe too much) I couriered over some slices of blood sausage from Stornoway and a selection of Henderson's mini black, white and chorizo mixed puds, all purchased at Borough Market. Over a period of about 5 days, I could only watch my screen in amazement as he tweeted (with pictures) various meals, all with a black pudding element. Ribeye burgers topped with black pudding, eggs benedict and black pudding, black pudding on pizza and finally steak and black pudding...pudding. I really didn't think I had sent him that much. But he obviously enjoyed it for which I am glad as this iron-rich, colon busting package was sent in thanks for the Dutch goodies Luc had sent me a few weeks previous.

Unfortunately I wasn't so creative with the smoked salami-type sausage and pancetta that he sent me, along with some aged Gouda cheese and yep you guessed it, some black pudding. We received the package during the full on festival of gluttony that is Christmas so rather than knocking up some fancy meals like ol' fancy wooden clogs Luc, the FU clan used the meats and cheese to graze on as we were want to do throughout the whole fattening period. The charcuterie was very good indeed and survived the journey well, the sausage was smokey as to be expected but also with a nice spice. The aged Gouda really was interesting as this was quite hard and salty, similar to Parmesan in some respect and totally different to the creamier, rubbery texture I have encountered before. The closest I got to cooking and conjuring up a meal was when I fried the black pudding and constructed an open sandwich using a slice of rye bread, some of the cheese and a fried egg. Typical hangover breakfast material really but the blood sausage with delicious. Dense, iodine and supreme savoury. I am bit perplexed in fact as to why he was so eager that I send black pudding his way.

Thanks again Luc for sending your contribution over the waters and apologies to the delay in getting this post done. Believe me there have been many incarnations.

And lets get the International Preserves Exchange underway. Now that's something we could both get our teeth into.

And last but not least, let's get on with some more WMPC adventures, are you interested in feeding me?

Vac-packed goodies from the Netherlands

Hangover brekkie

Aged Gouda

Dutch charcuterie



  1. Please don't stop - reading WMPC is all that gets me through the dull dull days...... I love your flights of fancy - both your blogs are amongst the most entertaining ones our there in blogland and I read them as much for their humour as their foody content as I'm a fan of both. Next time I'm in London, I'll happily feed you :-)

  2. You can't stop doing WMPC until I've figured out what I can make for you! *muttermuttermutter* I'm always late to the party...*muttermuttermutter*

  3. Once again I run smack into the wall that divides the English language from the American language I am familiar with.

    We clearly have very different definitions of 'pudding': over here it is something like an eggless custard, maybe (though now I'm terrified that 'custard' is perhaps a slanderous comment on your family name). American pudding is smooth but not gelatinous, eaten cold with a spoon, not something one could 'slice'. I have never seen it in savory flavors; chocolate, vanilla, and butterscotch are common flavors.

    The stuff referred to by the name 'black pudding' is not something I would have ever guessed. Likewise 'slices of blood sausage' - 'Blood sausage'? Joking aside, is this something that people decided to eat by choice, or did it derive from some era of deprivation? I literally cannot imagine eating this. (To be fair, my diet isn't very representative of American diet in general; I haven't had a hamburger in over 25 years.)

    "black, white and chorizo mixed puds". I grew up near the Mexican border and I know what chorizo is: it is the leftover parts of an animal that are too vile to turn into American hotdogs. (Hrmm... does 'hotdog' translate? A horrible sausage-like thing, composed of pureed offal, wrapped in a very thin oiled-paper skin that most people just eat because they don't even know it is there? I haven't had a hotdog in more than 35 years (when I found out what they were made of at age 7 I refused to eat them anymore), but my recollection is that they are primarily a vehicle for condiments.) I am hesitant to ask, but what is the 'white' part of a white pud? And are you saying that the black, white, and chorizo puds are mixed together, or are they each mixed with something else? If so, what is the something else? I'm severely lacking context here.

    We have a meat... thing... over here called 'headcheese'. It is basically the parts of the animal that didn't even qualify for chorizo (which accepts 'lymph nodes' as valid, so that's saying something) chopped and suspended in a gelatin (aspic?) and sliced for use on sandwiches. It looks a lot like the substance you put on your 'brekkie' sandwich, but your (black pud?) substance had a sort of chunky look to it with lighter bits suspended in a darker matrix. What is that darker matrix stuff? Is it blood meal (not sure where I got that from)? Could you describe the appeal of these things, what their texture is like, what they taste like, what they are eaten with commonly? And is it a class thing, or does anyone eat this?

    Also, my opportunity to inform you of something useful: 'pud' means something *completely* different over here, though I suspect you pronounce it as though it were still attached to the word 'pudding', rhyming with 'hood'? Here the word 'pud' sounds like 'cud' and is short for the Latin word 'pudenda'. You see why we are not over-eager to associate this word with foodstuffs, and why 'blood pud' conjures up entirely different mental pictures.

    Whew, I hadn't intended to write a book, and it's probably incoherent, but a short coda might help: American language <= British language, so I don't know what you are talking about sometimes. Even when I do, I don't have the larger cultural context to appreciate it. Describing some of the horrific things we eat has highlighted the difficulty of communicating more clearly the what, why, and how of certain eating practices. If you have time, useful replies/rebuttals/remonstrations, I would be grateful for any insight you could share with us.

    On the other hand, if you find this boring, confusing, or offensive, please disregard this screed and I hope you will accept my apologies for any offense I may have caused.

    Thank you for your time,