Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I blame masterchef

... for the decision last night, after I had come home from a meeting at the school about Wilderness Week in December, to help Joel make gnocchi. He said he was going to cook while I was at the meeting (Paul was out), but I think he slightly underestimated the time it takes to boil potatoes and knead dough, etc., and hadn't actually started when I got home at 8.00. Anyway, we had a great deal of fun, made a great deal of mess, and made a couple of discoveries. First: you don't want to make the gnocchi too big, or they become a bit too solid. Our gnocchi were getting bigger and bigger, and I explained to Joel that scribes often wrote in larger handwriting at the bottom of the page (oh dear: not letting that teaching moment go by!). And second: that we are not immune to the influence of this most-watched television programme.

We didn't watch it all the way through, but we certainly watched the final. We now give instructions to each other about "plating up", and like other annoying television watchers all over the country, give "positive criticism" to each other's cooking. Hilarious.

Mind you, there was a lot of guff written and said about the popularity of this programme, and the way it provided wholesome, family entertainment all could enjoy, when obviously the main points to make were
  1. it brought families together around the television, not the dinner table
  2. the real fun was the thrill of schadenfreude: whose sorbet is grainy; whose pie crust has collapsed; whose fish is not cooked.
  3. it still encouraged the reality tv horror of encouraging us to like and dislike people on superficial grounds (Chris's stupid hat; Poh's beautiful pink cheeks; Julie's tears).
The great irony is that in Wilderness Week, the year 9 kids all head off to various hiking and camping trips for a week. Joel's five day trip to Wilson's Promontory (sleeping in tents at Tidal River and doing their own cooking, with three big day hikes) is one of the lighter treks. One of the mothers was ascertaining there'd be fresh water so the kids could soak chick peas during the day. Joel's friend's mother and I just looked at each other. But maybe after masterchef, they'll all be making gnocchi down there. Actually, that reminds me of a lovely thing I learned in Italian class: gnocchi is of course a plural, but if you want to tease someone, like calling them a noodle, you can call them a gnoccho.

And what do I want to learn now? I want to learn how to temper chocolate. But even just saying the phrase is a good deal of the fun here.

2 comments:

Mindy said...

Is it wrong that I was glad Chris didn't win, purely because of the hat?

Stephanie Trigg said...

No, makes sense to me. That and the smirk...