I feel like I’ve been a bad blogger of late – there’s just been a LOT going on and not enough time…what with Birthday week (yes, I get a week), a market last weekend and a rather large distraction and commitment in the form of this – A Come Dine With Me competition between my friends and I.
If you’re not familiar with the show (though if you’re not, I dunno what rock you’ve been living under for the past 5 years) Come Dine With Me is a reality TV show, started in the UK. Five strangers, over the course of a week, cook each other a three course meal at their own houses, which is scored by the fellow contestants. The winner gets a cash prize. It’s fluffy, can be funny, and very good viewing when you’re feeling seedy on a Saturday morning and just want to spend three hours mindlessly lying on the couch under a blanket, whilst they play the omnibus.
So several months ago – whilst on a weekend away with my friends Andrew, Briar and Jenna – we were having a few wines on a sunny deck, and somehow, as you do on these kinds of weekends, came up with the idea to have our own mid-winter Come Dine With Me competition. Actually, I think that THIS photo was about the exact moment that the idea was born:
Oh wow, look how warm and summery is was there. We don’t have shoes or coats on or anything.
Anyway – so a few months later and by SOME miracle, this thing is actually happening. Usually these half pissed schemes never come to fruition – you know – the kind that are all enthusiastically, like, “HEY HEY, SHHH, HEY YOU GUYS. So we totally have to go shares on a boat and sail to Sydney AND form a band and we can record an album whilst we’re sailing and, fuck you guys, it’s gonna be groundbreaking stuff. No no no, I mean it, you guys, we DEFINITELY have to do it. THIS IS HAPPENING!!!”….uh, then it never does.
Well this time the plan actually happened.
However as a result i’s been quite a stressful week, for as usual, we all left things to the very last minute which meant that at the same time as prepping for a big market, I was also meant to be planing my menu, a rad night and generally trying to get my shit together.
Then, boo….my guilt kicks in, and then I feel bad that I’m dropping balls elsewhere. Which for me, means other pursuits and projects, such as writing and blog upkeep.
SO! What I thought I would do is just make the competition part of the blog. I’ll tell you what I’m up to, then each day give you a brief update on how each night went.
Yeah? (okay, I have a slight sinking feeling that I am now creating more work for myself on this already tight, anxiety ridden week, that will probably result in some kind of emotional breakdown come Friday, but what the heck, if I’m gonna crash and burn I might as well do it so that the internet can see, right?).
We met a couple of weeks ago to draw our nights. You know, so we can be nice and organised (haha ha):
The draw came out like this:
Andrew – Monday
Briar – Tuesday
BREAK ON WEDNESDAY
Me – Thursday
Jenna – Friday
We thought we’d take Weds off as we’re all working full time and needed a break day to recover, detox, and give Thurs & Fri competitors a day to buy fresh produce and prep for their nights.
We’d decided to play it like the TV show, and lock in our menus the weekend prior to the competition so that no-one can change their menu mid week, be influenced by others and everyone is on a nice level playing field.
Also – we were all putting in $25 each, to make a cash prize of $100 for the winner. At the end of each night, the three guests will photograph a mark out of ten, which will be kept a secret, and the results will be revealed at the end of Friday night.
Here we are at the pub on Sunday with our sealed menu’s and cash…
Which brought us to yesterday, Monday, Andrew’s night.
The rule is that we can’t open that day’s menu until that morning. Which is proving to be a great motivator to get out of bed.
Andrew made a restaurant called Fire and Ice and, urgh, look at how good his menu was. The competition is gonna be brutal.
It was a big night, and it was a big task for whoever went first and Andrew set the bar impossibly high…especially as he called in his very talented brother to play us the Marimba as entertainment. Sheesh. And my GOD, the ice creams that he made…they won my heart (dessert tends to have that effect on me).
Anyway – here’s some photos from last night for you to perv over…I gotta say, it was just bloody lovely having someone cook for me.
Menus for the week sealed, ready for reveal.
Thumbs up for steak
Bit of improv uke from Jenna
Andrew MADE a quad of icecreams; fejoa sorbet, salted caramel, chilli chocolate and tamarillo. ZOMG.
It’s a BBQ’d banana!
Team ‘Come Dine With Me’- still friends at the end of night one. L to R: Me, Jenna, Andrew and Briar
Stay tuned for more updates as the week progresses!