Deb: We went up to a beach house on Lake Huron with our dear friends, Sandy and Greg. (Beach House story: part one; and Beach House: part two). They are big fans of a TV show called Chopped on the Food Network and asked us if we wanted to play the “home version”. For those of you who don’t know Chopped, the basic idea is that each team gives the other team three edible items for each course and they must come up with an appetizer, main course, and dessert. They do have the use of a pantry to help, but the three items must be featured in each dish.
So we set out in teams to try and live up to the standard. Sandy and Greg were one team and Colin and I the other. We loved it so much that we did one final challenge featuring girls versus boys. The fun part of our home version was that we were not judging, just enjoying the challenge. So here is how we played:
We put our three items in a box and presented them to the other team. They had a few minutes to talk through their dish while preparing the cocktail of the day. They could, if they wanted, use one of the three ingredients in the cocktail, but it also had to be used prominently in the dish.
First challenge was to Colin and I. Here are the ingredients that Sandy and Greg gave us:
113gram can of hot and spicy Vienna Sausage
I can whole chestnuts
Second challenge we gave Greg and Sandy. Here are the ingredients we gave to them:
Patty pan squash
Onion soup mix
For the last challenge, the boys gave the girls:
Small bag of potato chips (half eaten I might add)
1 small pepperoni
And the girls gave the boys:
Bag of Cheesies
Some kind of nut. (I do not remember exactly what kind of nut and neither does my husband. But it was in fact, some kind of nut.)
This was the most fun game. Not only did we enjoy the creativity of all the challenges, but despite some wonky ingredients, they all tasted fantastic. Did I mention that one of the cocktails had bok choy in it and one of them had Cheesies?
As many of you know, I am not with the cookery-okery, but I am with the presentation. I rock the plate but not the pot. So that was what I brought to the party. That, and lots of chopping. I am on my way to mastering the bull cook. Kind of. Not really. Trying though. The others brought real culinary skill. The only request I made of my husband for the next time was that he at least pretend to tell me what we are making. He agreed.
Barbara: Deb, you didn't give yourself full credit here: you also took every one of these stunning photos! Look at you getting all pro on us!
You told me about this fantastic game after your trip to the beach house together. Sandra and I also spoke about it. I have to say, the idea absolutely galvanized me. It sounded like an eater’s delight. And the way you guys described the delicious foods you produced with this eclectic mix really blew me away. I looooooove food and almost every variation thereof, when it’s inventive and delicious, all the better. That said, I also—despite my comfort and relative ease in the kitchen—told Sandra of my insecurity when it came to the thought of a challenge like this one. She assured me that it was easier than it sounded and that I would be fine—and that it would be exciting and fun to try. You guys have planted a seed: we definitely entertain enough here (not to mention our fabulous BabyFest get-together) that this might have to make our “menu” one day!!
Oh, and Happy Labour Day, everyone!! xo