My poor, sweet Darnell – oh how my heart bleeds for you!
Despite what Fransesqua would have you believe, there is nothing worse than being the first boot. I mean, not only did we learn that the first cut is the deepest from my ex-lover Cat but in Survivor it also means that you don’t make the merge and NOBODY wants to date you if you don’t make the merge.
This may come as a surprise, but I am friends with – or at the very least a frenemy of – the entire cast of the current season, so witnessing one of my closest friends entering loser lodge on day three was always going to be tough. But Darnell? He is one of my top five BFFs in the cast!
We first connected a couple of years back when I was doing research for a script I was developing for a live action Postman Pat movie. I had some success with my early research while following Diane Ogden for six months, but Darnie was like a breath of fresh air after the horror that was the six hours I spent trundling about with Dan Foley.
The bond with Darnell was instant and while delivering the mail together over those few months, I learned that our friendship would always be there, neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night could get in the way.
He learned that shitting is natural and it is more than ok to do it right out the front of your house. I just didn’t think he would take my advice with him on the show and aqua dump just outside the shelter.
As you could see, Darnie was quite emotional and confused as to why they kept
Bye (F)Alecia another week (I tried to save him with the worm but it didn’t work), but after a batch of my Darnell HamilWontons he was back to the upbeat guy I know, encouraging me to go for my dreams. I don’t know if he knew that my dream is to marry Probst though, in his defence – again Jeff, sorry for storming your tent, with my own pitched tent.
Spicy, sweet and glorious – these wontons are calling to be devoured in their soft, pillowy homes. As aggressive as that description sounds. Darnell said his gut doesn’t lie … he just didn’t realise that it was saying the wontons were done and to come drown your sorrows with me, not to shit out the front.
500g chicken mince
6 shiitake mushrooms, finely chopped
5 shallots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp grated ginger
¼ cup coriander, finely chopped
1 tsp Chinese five-spice
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp honey
60 round wonton wrappers
Now listen carefully because this is pretty complex. You ready?
Place everything but the wonton wrappers in a large bowl, mixing well to combine.
Place the wonton wrappers on a clean surface, keeping covered with a damp cloth to avoid them drying out and going as crusty as the Brains think Debbie and Joe are. Working one at a time, place about a teaspoon of the filling in the centre of each wrapper.
Slightly wet the edges, pull the edges in to create a coin purse or meat filled sack (honestly I tried to avoid that being dirty but couldn’t) and twist the around to seal at the top. Place on a lined plate or tray while you repeat the process until you run out of meat, or wrappers.
When you’re ready to cook, place a large pan/pot filled without about an inch of water over high heat and bring to the boil. While heating, line a steamer (bamboo or metal) with baking paper. When the water is ready, place the steamer in the pot and fill with about 8-10 dumplings, depending on the size of the steamer. Cover with a lid and steam for about 8 minutes or until cooked through.
Serve with sriracha, soy, hoisin or sweet chilli and let the pain of following in Diane Ogden’s footsteps and being the first boot disappear.