Monday, August 24, 2009

come dine with us...

over the past few months joe has gotten really into the channel 4 reality food thing come dine with me. despite myself, i've also ended up pretty much hooked on the show too, and between us we came up with a plan to stage our own family version here at home.

if you don't know the programme, the format is fairly simple - four strangers each take turns to host a dinner party for the other three, who mark their cooking and general hosting out of ten, and once the marks are added up the winner gets £1k.

we've competed for a grand prize of 20 quid, and whereas the tv contestants have to provide a three course meal, we decided to dispense with the starters and just make main courses and puddings...

sue kicked things off with this jamie oliver-inspired chicken with banana and swetcorn [that's right, banana...] followed by a rather fine fruit cobbler...

joe followed his mum with a chicken and ham pasta dish [taken from this book] and an incredibly rich [but still quite light] chocolate mousse cake. [the cake went down very well indeed...]

eddie went next with a main course of sundried tomato and cheese sauce pasta with chocolate pancakes to follow...

i closed things with a chicken tikka massala [which contained one large chili too many i think, though the boys bravely ate as much as they could!] and maple pecan tart for pudding...

the results were close - sue and i tied for last place with 19 points, joe finished second with 21 and eddie triumphed with a mighty 22...
i am now utterly stuffed, but it was all great fun and we'll definitely be doing it again sometime soon :-)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

[probably] one last plug before greenbelt...

"Not long to go now and we are looking forward to the visual arts programme coming together after a year of planning.
As well as all our exhibitions that you can come to see, we've got lots of things you can take part in so here's a round up of what you can do & what you need to bring with you to the festival...

photoflash swap:
bring a photo [preferably mounted] to the hub on friday when you arrive where we are having an exhibition of everyones images over the weekend. then on Monday you can come back & swap your pic for another one in the exhibition.

(shhh!) :
a little moment of space on Saturday afternoon in the hub to come & be creative - knitting, drawing, writing, reading - whatever, with a mellow dj set playing in the background.
But remember - Shhh!, no talking just creating ! Some materials will be provided or bring your own.

greenhaus :
Bigger and better this year, we have 27 classes. [Take a look on the festival website for the full line up]
Last year the classes were booked up very quickly so this year we are changing things a little & its first come first served, choose your class & then queue up outside cottage rake before the session is due to start.

self portrait :
Back again this year, bring yourself and an open mind and have a go at your self portrait, teachers will be on hand to point you in the right direction and you might just surprise yourself.

comic book portfolio surgery :
Following on from the Marvel Comics panel, an opportunity for all you budding illustrators and graphic novelists to get advice from some real life comic book professionals. Bring a selection of your artwork along to the hub.

art for all
Billy Childish one of our Visionaries artists and Speakers has created a limited edition print for us and we are giving 100 of them away free. Visit 6 of our visual arts venues to collect a rubber stamp on the back of your daily diary then come to the info desk in the hub to collect your print..."