Why did the chicken cross the road?
This morning I dragged my sorry ass out of bed at 4.10 am so that I could catch a train at 5.06 in the pitch dark. It was freezing.
It was so early, there were only seven of us on the platform catching the train into the city – only the second service of the day. I was off to join ABC 774 FM's Breakfast celebrations at Federation Square of the impending opening of the Beijing Olympics.
I won the opportunity to enjoy a Yum Cha breakfast as part of the Breakfast Show (with presenter Red Symonds and three dozen or so other listeners and such) by calling the radio station and offering to eat chickens feet (Yum Cha style) live on air during the feast and talk about it. I was pretty excited when they said yes. Having to be there at 5.30 am did put a bit of a dent in it though.
I normally enjoy eating chicken feet – it is quite the delicacy – but I knew that it would get the attention of queasy white-Australians, who still hold many aspects of Asian peoples' food in total horror, and get me a free lunch. Or breakfast.
And you know what? I milked it and got a free meal. Not unexpectedly, there were no chicken's feet on the menu for yum cha this morning, nor any sliced tripe with honey and ginger, or any sticky rice in lotus leaf parcels (I do draw the line at shark's fin, though). These are the kinds of things that Chinese families, and those assorted others who have had their culinary horizons opened beyond Melbourne's pretentions, usually enjoy about Cantonese style yum cha. Pity. Still, I enjoyed myself a lot, and the food was good. And I got to see, and meet, the people behind the voices I hear on air nearly every morning.
I wonder if 774 will offer witchetty grubs at a bush tucker feast next. Would you believe, I ate mangrove worms just the other day?
[Image (cc) by alasam]