Friday, November 30, 2012

come dine with me 2012 - PMP style

Last weekend we ate, ate a bit more & just when we thought we'd had enough we ate some more! It could only mean one thing, it was time for our (hopefully) annual Come Dine With Me dinner party with Phil&Jane & George&Claire.
If any of you know me you'll know I don't cook. I went to uni to learn but ended up meeting Art who was great at cooking & fed me while I did his washing! Perfect! Not so perfect when you leave Lufbra though without even being able to boil an egg!
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We went first (partly to get it out of the way & party cos I wanted to cook the main courses the day before so they were ready & also had time to marinade). Thursday saw us up until 1am cooking & we'd only managed 2 out of the 3 dishes. I've realised I'm a pretty stressy cook & the slightest thing makes me flap! The worst point was when we were making one curry & cos it was from an Indian cookbook the wording wasn't very clear & we ended up putting the lamb marinade into 4 cups of oil & it just sat there swimming. I've never done it before so didn't know if the oil just cooked away or what (stop sniggering please! :P) so we waited a bit & when it didn't really do much Adam took the bull by the horns, tipped the oil away & carried on cooking it just like a normal curry sauce & saved the day. Phew! Our other 2 dishes were from an  English Indian cookbook called Miss Masala & were far easier to follow & didn't take long at all (which was good cos the final dish I had to rush home from work to make on Friday before everyone else arrived!).
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By the time the gang showed up everything was all tidy & we had the Hindi playlist on the ipod! Our menu was as follows:

Starter:
~ Papad & dips
Main:
~ A Tasty Thali (Paneer Butter Masala, Tadka Dal & Gosht Shahjehani with rice & papad)
Pudding:
~ Gulab Jamun, Masala Chai & Indian sweets (I forgot to serve these!).

I was all cool calm & collected till it came to serving up the main course. We'd tried to be clever by cooking the rice beforehand & keeping it warm in the oven. I'd added water to it to stop it drying out but then we suddenly realised we didn't have a sieve. We tried everything from using a new pair of tights to the tiny holes on a cheese grater but it was no use (surprise surprise!) so we had to cook some fresh rice which delayed our main course serving a bit. Boo! I ended up getting so stressed out I gave myself a nose bleed! I tell you what next time we cook (IF we ever cook again) we'll plan something a hell of a lot easier!
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All too soon it was time for the dreaded marking. Phil & Claire had made the score cards (guess who's the Graphic Designer?!) While we washed up they whispered about our score & sealed it in an envelope ready for Sunday's unveiling! As you can see from the picture above I got into the spirit of things & hoped my outfit would make up for whatever went wrong on the night!

Saturday was the turn of George & Claire who had gone for a Caribbean theme.
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Their menu was as follows:

On arrival:
Sky high Caribbean  rum cocktails
Starter:
Rasta griddled Aubergine
Main:
Martinique coconut chicken curry
Pudding:
Ginger pecan and rum chocolate Brownies

There was a slight change in plan to the starter when a lot of us realised we didn't like Aubergine so we had corn on the cob with a peppery butter instead! Their meal was really yummy & I loved the touch of the ice that they'd dyed into tropical colours though the brownie was too much for me (it was supposed to feed 20 & we had most of it on our plates!)

Last but not least it was Phil & Jane's turn. Now this was Adam's night to drive so I ended up making the most of the gin cocktail & ale & didn't get many photos! Yoink! But their menu was:

Mothers ruin on arrival   
Starter:  
Scotch egg & pickle
Main:  
Beef and ale pie, spuds and veg. 
Dessert:
Crumble and custard. 
To finish:  
Stand at ease, port and Rosy Lee (or coffee).


It was really tasty & I loved the home made Scotch Egg which for me was the best dish out of the whole 3 days.
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After dinner & our sneaky marking it was time to announce the winner. Phil poured the bubbly while we all waited with baited breath to see who would be the winner of the golden meat tenderiser! Drum roll please.....
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It was George & Claire with 16/20. Phil & Jane got 15.5/20 & we got 14/20. Not bad for our first properly cooked meal eh?!
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Despite coming last we agreed we'd all still be friends (!) & enjoyed our glass of bubbly before crumbling in a tipsy heap once we got home. Great way to start the week eh?! So glad it's the weekend again now, it's Adam's birthday & we're putting up the tree! Woop!

Ttfn x

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