Thursday, October 26, 2017

800 Words S3E2

The last episode ended with Ike making his way ashore, much to Shay's relief, and with Jan in surgery, with her suitors waiting to find out which is the father of the twins. It is reasonably obviously not Zac - the boys are so white - yet he has his blood taken along with the other two in the hope a blood test will reveal all. George really enjoys his time with the wee boys and is maye revising his attitude that he's not up for any more kids, the thing that split him and Fiona. He kind of puts his foot in it by saying it is these boys that he'd like to bring up, not one with her. Steve is all in, however - even if he's not the dad, he's happy to bring them up and is in love with Jan. She, in the meantime, suggests she has a preferred choice and it looks a bit like George thinks it is him and warms to the idea.

Woody has proposed to Tracey and now there are all sorts of plans to organise an engagement party and speculation about when the wedding will be. Monty has the job of bringing the two of them to the party but he's a bit slow and, when he's told to take them to look at a house, takes them literally. Minor humour and of course he gets them there in the end. There's been several mentions in trailers that Woody has a shocking secret, and it turns out to be the most obvious one of all - he's married - and he reacts strangely: makes a great speech and flees. George to the rescue, to talk him down.

There's a bit of miscommunication between Arlo and Lindsay: he thinks she wants him to have a baby. At least he fronts up and says it is not for him, and everything is cleared up quickly. That's not the case with Shay and Ike: he tells her he heard voices when he was out on the ocean, including that of Tangaroa (God of the Sea) and so they have to break up while he sorts himself out.  

Monday, October 23, 2017

800 Words S3E1

I love 800 Words and am very glad to see it back for a third series. The last series finished with a couple of cliff-hangers. First, Jan is having twins and there were three contenders for being the father - Zac, George and a bloke who shows up from Sydney, Steve, (Mark Ferguson, who played Darryl Nielsen many years ago in Shortland Street). Second, Ike, Steve and Zac all go off on a fishing trip but their boat washes up without them.

So these are obviously the storylines to be played out in the first episode of the new series. Jan is rushed off to hospital to have the babies, but is kept in the dark about the missing men. George is caught up in the search so Big Mac is left to look after her - he seems to be having second thoughts about his rather rash proposal, and is very happy to hand over to George when he does turn up.

As for the search, poor old Constable Tom is a bit out of his depth running it (and weirdly, Gloria decides to cut and run half way through the episode) but they're good people in Weld and don't really need him to keep them on point. Even Ollie, who has an interest in seeing Ike is never found, comes to the party and uses his drone to search the coastline. It's nerd Billy, however, who has the best answers: he has been researching shipwrecks in the museum and has an idea of where the three men might be. Being a kid, no-one listens to him but he and Arlo go it alone. As soon as I saw the life-jackets it was pretty clear they'd got ashore, exactly where he predicted, but no-one in the show seemed to see it that way and got caught up in grief. So Zac and Steve had to rescue themselves, turning up at just the right moment but there's no Ike! He'd swum ashore from where the boat capsized but there is no sign of him - which tears old Shay up enormously.

There's an amusing moment when Siouxsie turns up without any makeup, and no-one knows who she is. But she keeps Ollie going with his drone, and he finally sees Ike. I don't think there was much of an internal struggle - he maybe accepted what Siouxsie told him that even without Ike around, Shay still won't be interested or maybe he's just a decent guy - but he saved Ike's life.

Monday, October 02, 2017

Masterchef 13

Immunity challenge - Sarah, Eloise and Sam have to use waffles! They're apparently a worldwide culinary treat, yet I can barely remember eating them. except for the tragic versions you make yourself for breakfast in cheap American hotels. This is the second time round for Sarah. Eloise said "going forward". I thought I liked her! Sam’s family is big on waffles, so he’s keen. Eloise terrified, Sarah has a plan - kaya (Malaysian coconut jam) and mangoes. Coconut is the go for Sam as well. Eloise has a mighty big chicken - going to have fried chicken and waffles. No time to shake, mate! But she doesn’t know how to make waffles! Sam has test waffles already - needs to make some adjustments (more butter). Sarah has fried off some curry leaves. Eloise has a mess, not waffles. Sam has no toppings at 15 minutes in - his plan is for caramelised banana, chocolate and rum, toasted macadamia. But will they match his batter? Passionfruit pulp might be the answer. Sarah’s belting at cardamom with a saucepan because she can’t find mortar and pestle. Getting a panic on. Whisking egg whites by hand - at a million miles an hour! Don’t get in the way George. No time for a test waffle. Eloise doing karaage chicken but how are the waffles? Beautiful! Yikes - four minutes to go, waffles take six and Sarah is just putting them on to cook. A wee bit blonde, crispy enough? Wow - what a high energy round!

Judging: Sarah first.Only Shannon seems to know the origins of the dish. Not quite cooked, sadly, although tastes come through. Sam - pours his rum and chocolate sauce over, very liberal with it. Toppings are great - lots of sweetness, real crowd pleaser. Eloise - she’s played into the hands of the judges, and the look they give when the dish turns up says it all. I like the look of it, even the salad. Matt just chuckles as he eats. She’s obviously done it. Chili caramel sauce. Cafe quality food.

Round two - Eloise v Charlie Carrington (left school at 14 to cook, has worked with Shannon, David Thompson has a place called Atlas Dining - 100% cooks with fire). Matt puts the scare into Charlie by talking about Eloise’s previous efforts. Pantry choice is between healthy v indulgent! Booze tips the balance I suspect. No butter and cream on the healthy side doesn’t help. I’m really liking Eloise, despite her use of going forward. Going right into indulgence with a rich chocolate mousse and peanut butter ice cream. But eggs are on the wrong side - how to make mousse? Thickened cream might do the job, and make it even more indulgent.Uses a, iSi gun to force out the mousse. Honey roasted macadamias and a nut biscuit crumble to add textures. Ice cream has come out perfect, despite no eggs. Belts in the whiskey! Don’t fall apart now, Eloise - 1 minute and nothing on the plate.
Charlie - says he’s nervous, looking for savoury, seafood. Ha! Not his bag.Oreos, fried bread, cherries in ginger beer, chocolate ganache, cashew praline.Nothing fresh. Ah - the oreos are for his snacks. He found a mortar and pestle - where was it when Sarah was looking for it? He can hear Eloise is doing well, no fresh produce is his worst nightmare. What can he add? Mascarpone and ginger beer foam. But will it hold? Nice quenelles of chocolate.
Judging: Charlie first. “Interesting”. Clever, whimsical, pretty, cherries add tartness - but a bit non-committal, and they don’t like the foam. Shows how tough the challenge was. Eloise: it’s a big mousse! Sauce is rock and roll, a proper whiskey sauce, amazing colour, shiny mousse. No lack of commitment here! Matt - “I’m having a moment” - so delicious, so balanced, really is the complete dessert and a thing of beauty. Eloise has just outclassed Charlie on all counts! Dessert of the competition! Are they going to be surprised? Scoring: Charlie 7, 7 and 7. Eloise: 9, 9, 10! Brings a tear to my eye.