Saturday, 11 April 2009

How to get dinner cooked for you

So, here is the promised attempt at food journalism, although the way I ramble sometimes who knows what you will end up with by the end of the post.

If you read my blog regularly, you'll be aware I have been known to wax lyrical about Masterchef and Heston's crazy feasts. Inspiration struck to recreate at home some of the flavour (pun intended!) of these cookery shows as part of an evening's entertainment for friends. I pondered boiling a pig in the bath, disguising potatoes as rocks and deep frying garden pests but rooted instead for the toughest cookery challenge of them all - the Masterchef invention test! Well, dear readers, what a cunning wheeze this was. Why go to all the trouble of cooking a meal for your friends when you can get them to do it for you in the comfort of your own home. Simply fill a basket with tasty ingredients at your local supermarket (or deli if you are posh and live in a town that actually has one), allow your friends open access to your store cupboards and kitchen utensils and let battle to commence. Ideally, with hindsight, I could have installed a few extra hob rings as there was a spot of wrestling stove-side but on the whole the evening was a great success. Top tip for the basket buyers out there - remember to buy things that actually might go well together (e.g. avoiding combinations like steak and custard); don't pick anything that takes too long to cook, make sure you actually have some useful content in your store cupboards (out of date packet soup and four grains of rice at the bottom of the packet is not going to be much use nor inspiration) and provide some suitable ambience. Alcohol naturally springs to mind here but you might also like to consider some musical accompaniment or other 'entertainment' depending on your tastes! When the fight for time at the cooker has been won, you can sit back and enjoy the fruits of your and, more importantly, your friends' labours. The evening was actually tremendous fun, rather tasty and, despite Rachel's protestations that she couldn't actually cook,* we enjoyed a feast fit for a Blumenthal and very sociable it was too.
If it wasn't so late at night (why do I always end up writing these so close to midnight?) I would add a menu of the evening's Tapas delights, but I need my beauty sleep. Watch this space for an update soon!

* Note to self: next time ask for Home Economics 'O' levels as prerequisite

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