Lie back and think of England(‘s true queens)

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul’s Drag Race UK 2, TV, TV Recap

Yes, yes – I sound like a broken record, but 2020 really was a complete dumpster fire. And while honestly, 2021 hasn’t really made a strong case for itself yet, the fact that the Ru is giving us not one but two seasons of Drag Race in January gives me hope that it will, like the PSA says, get better.

Much betta, even.

Given how stellar the OG batch of UK queens were for Drag Race UK, I am positively drippin’ for their arrival so they can destroy my frock with another batch of whistle tones, circular saws, sustained mediocrity, hodge podge and most importantly, silver dresses and red wigs.

Join us Sunday for yet another round of culinary comfort with the first boot.

Image source: BBC.


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The Viviännchen

Baking, Dessert, RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race UK 1, Snack, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK ten queens walked into the Werk Room in sunny old England, thrilled to be part of the very first season of the icon show. And boy was this season iconic. From Gothy’s meow on the runway, followed by Scaredy Kat birthing herself before exiting the competition, Vinegar Strokes hodge podging out the door third and Sum Ting doing wrong on Snatch Game after a stellar series of runways.

Then, you know, Frock Destroyers happened owning literally all of the girl groups challenges that have come before them, sending poor Crystal home followed by the iconically shady Blu before Cheryl bottomed out in fourth place, leaving Baga, Divina and The Vivienne to fight for the crown.

And fight they did.

With three wins a piece, it all came down to the final challenge before Baga was eliminated leaving Divina and The Vivienne to lip sync their way to the top, with the latter ultimately taking out victory.

From the very first challenge, The Vivienne came in with the focused fire usually reserved for an All Stars winner. She was polished, she was determined and most importantly, she was fierce. And the one time she was down, she turned out one hell of a lip sync which is the skill that ultimately secured her victory.

She was obviously over the bloody mood to be crowned the first winner, particularly given the competition was so tight.

I’ve known The Viv for years. We ran in the same circles on the club scene, quickly becoming firm friends thanks to our similar sense of humour. Once we both got sober, we leant on each other for support and used to catch up for cups of tea and some freshly baked The Viviännchen. So I knew it was the only way to mark the occasion of her victory!

PHOTO 1

Sweet, crumbly, delicate and light, these biscuits fill you with a life affirming warmth. More importantly, they are delightfully easy to make and as such, are the perfect treat to quickly whip up for your friends.

Enjoy!

PHOTO 2

The Viviännchen
Serves: 1 current reigning queen and her wannabe scouser friend.

Ingredients
225g marzipan
80g icing sugar
100g almond meal
30g flour
1 egg, separated
1 tbsp rosewater
blanched almonds, to top

Method
1 medium egg yolk , mixed with 1 teaspoon water

Preheat the oven to 150C.

Break marzipan into 1cm cubes and place in the bowl of a stand mixer with the icing sugar, almond meal, flour, rosewater and egg white. Knead with your hands until the dough comes together before transferring to the stand mixer to combine on low for a minute or two. Wrap and transfer to the fridge to chill for an hour or so.

Once chill, break off small balls of dough about the size of golf balls and place on a lined baking sheet. Repeat the process, leaving a gap for expansion, until the dough is done. Next step, press three almonds into the top of each cookie, pointed end towards the top. Whisk the egg yolk with a little bit of water and brush to glaze. Transfer to the oven to bake for fifteen minutes, or until golden.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool for fifteen minutes before devouring, victoriously. Knowing you’re the UK BeBe.


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Divina de Campo Boy

Burgers, Main, RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race UK 1, Snack, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK the final three were tasked with writing a verse in the ru-mix to Rocket to the Moon and then lip sync to it and dance on the mainstage, with the trio all slaying the performance and looking like a million bucks on the runway. They were joined by the eliminated queens who returned to watch the lip sync for the crown, but record scratch only two would be performing as Baga was eliminated from the competition in third place.

With that The Vivienne and Divina took their places to lip sync for the crown to Wham’s I’m Your Man and I know I say this a lot, but damn did they turn it out. Divina hit every syllable, The Vivienne served comedy and both of them positively glowed as they ate up the stage and proved why they earnt their places in the top two. And why this race was so damn close. They criss-crossed the stage and had the judges in hysterics before The Vivienne glided to the front of the stage on her knees in a full on ball gown.

Which I would argue is what pushed her over the edge, ultimately handing The Vivienne the inaugural crown.

While Divina was bummed not to take out victory, she was thrilled to have pushed herself out of her comfort zone and get to showcase her skills to a whole new audience. Plus, she truly owned the season with her whistle tones, which is a true win.

I’ve been friends with Divs for years, going to school together and trashing on Thatcher while we whispered about boys and hid our identities thanks to her hideous policies. It wasn’t a good time nor am I making light of it, but having a friend to go through all that with was a godsend and really forged our friendship. And I’m so grateful to be able to congratulate her on her success with our Divina de Campo Boy.

Spiced sausage, the tang of mustard and pickles and the kick of sriracha work together to create a glorious sandwich. Add to that the crunch of the roll with the delicate bread and creamy lettuce, this true is a holistic taste sensation.

Like Divs well rounded bag of skills.

Enjoy!

Divina de Campo Boy
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g andouille sausage
½ cup Shayonnaise Swain
¼ cup wholegrain mustard
1 tbsp Sriracha sauce
salt and pepper, to taste
4 6-inch crunchy baguettes, split in half lengthwise
8 butter lettuce leaves, torn, washed and dried
6 bread and butter pickles, sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
fries, to serve

Method
Bring a skillet up to temperature over medium heat and once scorched, cook the sausages turning every few minutes or until cooked through. This should take about ten to fifteen minutes. Once cooked, remove to a paper towel to rest.

While you’re working the sausage, combine the mayo, mustard and sriracha with a good whack of salt and pepper and stir to combine.

To assemble the sandwiches, slather each split bun with a generous heap of sauce. Layer the lettuce on the buns, top with pickles and onions and then cut the sausages into chunks and add those too.

Then devour, with or without the prize. Wait, I mean fries.


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Baga Chipz

RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race UK 1, Side, Snack, Street Food, Tapas, TV, TV Recap

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK the queens were tasked with making over their mums and sisters, with Cheryl read for being basic, Baga reading her mum for being old and blind. Divina and her sister meanwhile turned it out – power of three – taking out the win, while Baga and Cheryl fought valiantly, with the latter finally bottoming out of the competition.

The final three returned to the Werk Room positively over the moon to make it to the end thought admitted to missing Cheryl. With Baga opting to toast to Cheryl by imitating her accent. The Vivienne praised her for being so charming and kind and was glad to get to know her better. Baga was thrilled to make it to the end with the others, admitting that lip syncing has put a fire under her. Which Divina jumped on, mocking them for bottoming when she has never had to lip sync for her life. The trio praised the performances of their families, with Baga issuing a statement to apologise to her mother and forgive her.

Oh and all three of them are rightly confident in themselves taking out victory.

The next day the trio returned to the Werk Room, still buzzing to have made it to the end. After admiring their matching collection of badges, Baga threw some shade at Divina before Ru arrived to announce that the final three would be put to the test writing verses on the ru-mix of his hit single Rocket To The Moon and performing it live on the mainstage in front of the judges in full Strictly Come Dancing cos-play. Oh and then appearing on a podcast and lip syncing for the crown. You know, something lowkey and casual.

The trio split up to write their lyrics, with Baga inspired by Gaga to be a little bit serious and have a message. Oh and she is nervous about the choreography. The Vivienne admitted that she is terribly nervous, given this is pretty much the girl group challenge which was her only weakness.

Baga was first to join Ru and Michelle on the podcast, admitting she was just hoping to make it to the third week. Things quickly got serious when Baga explained why she has a difficult relationship with her mum, having grown up with her nan and not really having the same connections others would. She spoke about hiding behind comedy and thanked Ru for giving her the polish she needed to go out and take over the damn world. With Ru and Michelle sharing how much they love her.

Divina was next, positively jubilant, sharing that she visualised getting this far. Ru praised that she made it this far because she works hard and is talented before Divina admitted she struggled with her need to be perfect and how the show helped her get over that. She spoke about letting The Vivienne get into her head but explained that they moved passed it and she knows that she shouldn’t have been distracted by Viv not noticing her growth. Divina spoke about working hard for her mum, husband and ultimately, audience and damn I love her. Particularly since her one question was to ask for the crown.

Rounding out the chats was The Vivienne, with her giving Ru some dialect training before talk turned to her journey with sobriety and how falling into her K-hole made her life harder. Then she travelled overseas for work and didn’t touch anything and started to find herself, ultimately finding herself and snagging herself a fiance. The Vivienne praised Ru and Michelle for embracing the UK style of drag and doing them justice before praising her sisters for being sickening performers.

The group ventured off to learn the choreography with Curtis and AJ Pritchard with Divina serving Katya flex, doing the splits and showing her skills while the others were terrified. As Baga struggled through the choreography, The Vivienne vowed to never do Dancing with the Stars … until their dance partners arrived and all our basements flooded in unison. Baga was tasked with a tango dance break and she was shitting herself like she was Scaredy Kat. Divina was given the cha cha and well, she completely slayed the choreography, complete with partnered cartwheel. The Vivienne meanwhile got the samba and worked her arse off to get the steps down and redeem her performance in the girl group challenge.

Coronation Day finally arrived with the girls excited to get ready for their final performance. Talk turned to the worst outfit of the season, with everyone crowning Vinegar’s paper look as the absolute worst. Divina was proud of everything she has achieved in the competition, while Baga admitted that she is shocked by how hard it was but thrilled that she got to show a different side of herself. Meanwhile The Vivienne knew she would do well, but still felt like top three is a dream. The trio admitted that they’re thrilled to be standing at the end together and most importantly, couldn’t tell who the biggest competition is.

On the mainstage the trio positively killed their performance with Baga working through her nerves and hitting every move, serving comedy and nailing her verse. Divina served acrobatic moves and proved why she is adam star as she was splitting over the stage while hitting every damn note. And well The Vivienne, did she make-up for the girl group challenge. Rocking out every step and running every note with ease.

On the Final Three Eleganza Extravaganza runway Baga served Rose Nyland realness, despite going for a Marilyn inspired mint number as she soaked up her final turn on the runway. Divina served Union Jack realness with gloriously warm make-up, which you know is going to thrill Michelle. Finally The Vivienne arrived in a glorious champagne coloured sequined realness and well, this look truly sends the message that she is here to take out the win.

The judges praised Baga’s performance throughout the season and loved her ability to inject comedy into everything she does. Oh and apparently she missed some steps, but I didn’t notice. Maybe because I’m not a dancer? The judges loved everything Divina did in the challenge and praised her for exceeding their already high expectations. But Michelle didn’t praise the make-up, which shocked me. By the time it came to The Vivienne, the judges continued their glowing praise telling Viv that she proved without a doubt that she is a complete star. Dancing be damned.

Ru then grabbed the baby pics and got the girls to give their younger selves some advice with Baga reminding herself to work through the pain and know that life gets better and you’re going to be a damn star. And it is important to show your emotions and to maybe cut down on the ciggies and booze. Divina told herself to remember to not take on anyone else’s problems and to try and relax and enjoy the moments. While The Vivienne spoke about how great her family is and while you may make the wrong decisions throughout your life, focus on what you want to do and work hard to get there.

And rounding out the panel, Baga was asked why she deserves to win over the other two with her avoiding the questioning by praising her sisters and admitting to just be thrilled to make it this far. Divina meanwhile spoke about her wealth of talent and how she hasn’t really faltered throughout the show. And The Vivienne spoke about how strong of a queen she is and more importantly, she is personable and able to be a strong ambassador for the show and make others feel good about themselves.

Backstage the girls were gagged to see the eliminated queens who quickly praised them for making it to the end, before Sum Ting announced they would be deciding the top two. Which was a lie, but let’s focus on how cute they all are? The queens praised Vinegar for not being hodge podge, Baga spoke about missing Cheryl, with Chez admitting that she is proud of them and knew they deserved to make the end over her. The Vivienne asked whether everyone felt they deserved their eliminations, with Gothy sad she didn’t get to show off more while Scaredy was still ok with the performance given it was her first gig. Crystal admitted to being jealous she wasn’t still competing before Blu brought some shade, telling Baga she should have gone given she wasn’t prepared to lip sync. Before getting genuine and telling them that they inspire her and she is so proud of them and Crystal echoed the sentiment, telling them that if they have any doubts about their star power they need to get over it because they’re amazing.

When the trio returned to the mainstage, Ru gagged them all by announcing that only two of them would be lip syncing for the crown with Baga sadly being eliminated in third place. While poor Baga had to suffer the indignity of being pushed to stage right (or left, I don’t know which side is which, thanks GPS) despite a killer run in the competition, she was proud to have made it to third place. And thrilled to see me sneak up behind her side of stage and pull her aside to catch-up while The Viv and Divina battled it out. We laughed, we cried and we had a very very good time reconnecting and toasting to her killer run on the show. While smashing a big ol’ Baga Chipz.

I know, I know – it is far easier to buy your own chips but when they taste this good, you soon find they are worth the effort. Fun fact, these chips are so damn crunchy that Ru had to stop the music and yell at us to stop eating like they were masks to our Valentinas.

Enjoy!

Baga Chipz
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
5 potatoes, washed and dried
1 tbsp kosher salt flakes, plus extra for seasoning
vegetable oil, for fryin’

Method
Using a mandolin, slice the potatoes wafer thin – about 2-3mm – and place in a bowl of iced water. Once they’re all done, drain and rinse and return to the bowl with fresh water and the salt. Leave them to soak for an hour or so. Drain, rinse and drain again.

When you’re ready to go, get oil heating in a large saucepan until it comes to 180C. In batches, fry the slices until they’re golden before draining on paper towels. Repeat until all the potato is done.

Season with salt and devour, in a baga or not, I don’t mind.


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Cheryl Hole in One

Drink, RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race UK 1, TV, TV Recap

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK the queens were tasked with coming up with their own brand of bottle water before filming commercials for then. The Vivienne ounces back with a messy housewife, while blu was filthy and Cheryl started strong but quickly faltered. Viv won, before Cheryl destroyed Blu and sent her from the competition.

Backstage the girls were heartbroken to lose Blu, none more so than Cheryl who had to kill her bestie to stay in the competition. Talk quickly turned to who would be the new shady queen with Chez suggesting to Baga that they could just leave it to The Viv and Divina to continue to fight it out. Viv and Baga asked Cheryl how she felt to perform in front of her idol, with her talking about how amazing it was for her. But Chez being Chez, she couldn’t let a nice moment linger and instead opted to point out that she didn’t think Blu should have even been lip syncing. Obviously that turned things on Baga as the queens asked why she wasn’t prepared for the lip sync, with Baga assuring them that while she didn’t have two lines down, trust and believe you would have got the performance of a lifetime from her if she had to.

The next day the top four jubilantly returned to celebrate how far they’ve made it before Baga welcomed The Vivienne into the triple badge club. Despite being the only one without a win, Cheryl was still on cloud nine from the girl group challenge and Cheryl Cole’s appearance. Oh and Baga talked about how painful it was for her to bottom for the first time. This was interrupted by Ru who arrived to host a mini-challenge bitchfest. With puppets. Because everyone loves puppets. Baga was first to pick her puppet, snatching The Vivienne from the gloryhole. Divina snatched Cheryl, The Viv got Divina and Cheryl was left with Baga.

After dragging up their puppets – of course The Viv gave Divina a red wig and an almost-silver dress – Baga did an uncanny impersonation of The Vivienne, in the shadiest way possible. Cheryl roasted Baga for being unprepared for her lip syncs and delivering sub-par runways. Divina was as mean as she could muster, thought rightly mocked Chez’s subpar track record while The Vivienne read Divina’s bad wigs and chalky make-up. And obviously her laugh. Ultimately Divina took out victory, which Chez claimed as her own given she needed to take whatever she could get.

With that out of the way, Ru announced that for this week’s maxi challenge the girls would be making over women in their families. Namely Baga’s mother Josie, Divina’s sister Carys, The Vivienne’s mum Cassie and Cheryl’s sister Gina. Who is already as iconic as her brother. While Cheryl was just glad it wasn’t their mother. Ru explained that they would need to transform their relatives into sickening drag queens, with strong family resemblance.

The queens quickly got to catching up with their loved ones with Divina explaining that she has struggled to get out of her head throughout the competition before her sister gave her an update on her pregnancy. Cheryl’s sister was obviously ready and willing to do whatever is needed to finally give Cheryl a win. Though given she was keen to go with bodysuits, despite Michelle’s preferences, she may be in trouble. The Vivienne told her mother that she can’t bring her down and better had shaved her minge and well, I love it. Particularly how cute her reaction was as she tried not to kill him. Rounding things out, Baga was nervous about going from Baga Chipz to Baga Shite and well, it just doesn’t fill me with much hope.

Ru arrived for a kiki, dropping by Divina and her sister first. She was thrilled to find out Carys is pregnant before talk turned to the angel inspired looks they’d be rocking. We learnt that the duo are two of seventh and I live for Carys because my parents too, opted to stop at perfection. But all Divina could focus on is the fact Ru asked if she was worried about anything? Meanwhile at the Chipz Family table we learnt baga was obsessed with Drag from childhood. Oh and that baga hasn’t painted anyone else’s face before, while her mum was nervous about letting Baga down. Though Ru told her she can’t embrace baga more than she did herself, so to relax.

Meanwhile over at Chez’s table, they were giving Ru the full Hole as we learnt she was the one that taught Cheryl how to beat her mug. Oh and both of them are super confident given their resemblance, though Ru was quick to point out she really does need a win given she is the only one without one. Finally, he dropped by The Vivienne’s table where we learnt Viv too was a childhood drag fanatic before her mum spoke about how despite what their family may think, they love Viv and damn, that is more touching than it sounds.

Meanwhile Baga was trying to give her mum a bit of a peptalk to help bring her confidence out and well, let’s just say, Baga, you’re in danger. Divina and her sister started practising their walk before Cheryl and her sister got up to show them up. The Vivienne and Baga pulled their mums aside to assure them that choreogprahy isn’t what matters and that all they need to do is guarantee that they all look like members of their drag families.

Chez continued to bring the comedy, pointing out her sister pretty much looks like a drag queen so it should be a piece of cake for them. Sadly, that acted like a non-Monsoon jinx as a zipper broke while trying on their outfits, leading to them resorting to their second choice.

The Viv and her mum decided to imitate Ru and dropped by Divina and her sister to find out what they’re doing, with Divina pointing out she is going with the red wig but is going off brand and swapped sequins for gems. Viv showed off their black outfits before Divina pointed out that Vivienne and Baga’s confidence is shaken as they’re terrified for their mothers. Cheryl too was growing nervous, catching up with Baga and her mum to talk about their looks. Zipgate came up, with Cheryl admitting that the longer it goes on the more anxious she gets. It led to a beautiful moment with Baga reminding her that she is the ultimate underdog and has always excelled and as such, needs to focus on that.

Is it too late to request a four-way crowning?

Elimination Day arrived and well let’s just say, Chez was still stressed about the challenge and didn’t want her sister to feel guilty. While Baga too was focussed on making sure her mother knows that any failures are his. Everyone got to work getting ready with Cheryl mocking Divina’s make-up skills, while The Viv and Baga gave their mother’s tape facelifts and had wholesome discussions about how their confidence grows in drag. The Vivienne noticed that Baga and her mum aren’t as close as he and his, so tried to help them bond and again – adorable.

On the mainstage Cheryl and her sister Sissy Hole were gloriously showgirls and proved that bodysuits can often be great, Michelle. The Vivienne and The Mother were glamorous in a rich old lady version of Dr Evil and Mini Me given the height difference. Divina and her sister Delisha looked glorious serving sexy twin mamas in white, bead gowns while Baga Chipz and Sacka Spuds rocked the runway with confidence but sadly, Baga really can’t do make-up on someone else. I mean, neither can I, but I don’t need to.

The judges lived for the Hole family, despite Sissy acting like Posh when the Spiceys were dancing. Oh and obviously, Michelle hated the spangled bodysuits but loved everything else. And the family resemblance. The Vivienne was praised for really bringing the family resemblance and clearly making her mum feel like a million dollars given how much fun she was having on stage. Divina and her sister were praised for killing literally everything, with the judges admitting it was hard to tell which one was the contestant and which was the family member. Oh and they lived for the pregnancy jokes. And then came Baga. Oh no, poor, Baga – the looks were read for being rough around the edges and having no similarities. While that was fine, Baga then started being ageist and blaming her build and well, I just wanted to hug poor Josie.

Backstage Cheryl served up the drinks to toast to their family members with The Vivienne praising her mum for doing so much for others and being all around delightful. Divina thanked her sister for her fearless performance, with everyone excited for her to show her little drag baby in the future. Cheryl was grateful that her sister served all the choreography and being amazing, while Baga’s mum loved that she couldn’t see anyone and as such was confident. The Vivienne told Baga to apologise to her mum and she tried to but ended up making Josie cry instead, with Divina stepping in and praising her for performing and giving her all and reminded her that it is Baga’s fault if she lands in the bottom.

Ultimately Divina joined the triple win club while The Vivienne saved herself as Cheryl and Baga were forced to fight it out in the lip sync. And fight they did. Though given it was to Tears Dry on Their Own by Amy Winehouse, I’m sure you can guess who this number favoured. While Cheryl turned it out swishing the hips and selling her personality, Baga was in her element, leaning into the disappointment of landing in the bottom to give the performance a moody edge which was enough to give her the win. But more importantly, they both worked together and you could tell how proud of each other they were which was the true win.

Oh Chez, bless her heart, despite being one of the best makeovers she knew that her passion for bottoming would be hard to overcome and as such, took her elimination in her charming stride. Now, as you could probably guess, I’ve been a dear friend of Cheryl’s for years and actually originated the role of Nicole in her Girls Aloud tribute band. While a deportation issue led to my expulsion from the group, Cheryl still kept in contact with me and we became the best of pen pals. And as such, I knew our signature writing Cheryl Hole in One would be the perfect way to toast her success.

Let’s be honest, alcohol is always the answer to dull the pain in my eyes – let my therapist make of that what they want – but when it tastes this good, surely they’ll make an exemption. Robust, tangy and gloriously refreshing, it is the perfect palate cleanser heading into the finale.

Enjoy!

Cheryl Hole in One
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
2 shots Scotch whiskey
1 shot dry vermouth
¼ tsp lemon juice
a few drops of bitters
ice, to taste

Method
Place everything in a cocktail shaker and do as the song says, and shake it like a polaroid picture.

Strain into a cocktail glass. Down.


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Cordon Blu Hyburgea

Burgers, Main, Poultry, RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race UK 1, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK the queens were divided into two girl groups and honestly the charts say it all with the Frock Destroyers doing as their name suggests and completely annihilated the competition, stormed the charts and claimed the first ever triple win. Despite being on the losing team, my girl Cheryl finally had her star turn, leaving The Vivienne to lip sync following her first sign of weakness. And lip sync she did, fighting hard to retain her place in the show leaving poor Crystal to be booted from the competition.

Back in the Werk Room, The Vivienne was disappointed that she let herself down, though Blu was glad to see her knocked down a peg. Speaking of Blu the shady little producer asked The Vivienne who she would have picked had she won the reading challenge, with her shocking Chez by saying she would have selected her and then went silent. Much to Divina’s rage, who was sick of The Vivienne sleeping on her and the bounty of skills that she has. Which Baga agreed that Viv was undervaluing. While the drama subsided, The Vivienne approached her to apologise … though Divina felt they were backhanded and shit started to get real. She then listed out that she would have selected everyone but Blu in the challenge before Divina listed her myriad of skills while Baga awkwardly hid behind furniture and hammed it up for the cameras while Blu and Cheryl Hole were stuck watching on like children of divorce.

The next day the mood was less somber, wait no, Divina was still feisty and angry with herself for wasting time giving a shit what The Vivienne thinks. Before it broke into fisticuffs, Ru arrived with the Brit Crew to play a little game of BBC, where they were required to identify if the Brit Crew were rocking boxers, briefs or going commando. I was going to try and keep track of the queens and their scores, but we’re all the winners as the boys kept knocking their junk as they pulled their pants down. The Vivienne did an impersonation of Kim Woodburn though, which is all I took away from things while so light-headed. Ultimately Divina was crowned the victor – added another feather to her cap – gifting her a video call with the iconic Katya.

Before we got the call with Katya, Ru announced that this week’s challenge would require them to film a commercial for a bottled water company. Which terrified Cheryl as she has no idea what to do and didn’t want to go back to the bottom. When she spoke to Blu and they brainstormed an Alyssa-esque diva water to give people the Essex vibe, which The Vivienne shadily tried to talk her out of and told her to step outside of her box. And despite kinda knowing that that is what they were trying to do, Cheryl tried to come up with plan B through Z. Viv and Baga were gossiping about Cheryl needing to finally have a moment this week when Ru arrived to get Blu into piss play, filling her with nerves. Blu’s concept was about bottling her vanity and leaning into the weird creepiness, despite Ru not really loving it. Have a lovely day, though!

Frontrunner Baga’s concept was all about water making people ugly to stop people being horny, which Ru hated and told her to make the damn water chip flavour. The Vivienne’s concept fared much better *insert token Baga GIF*, focusing on rehydrating thirsty women. Cheryl settled on the British version of GoGo Juice for the club kids, which Ru loved … before reminding Cheryl that she is the only queen without a win. Though he turned it around with a peptalk, so yay? Divina was so far ahead of the pack that she was already working on her costume, settling on DD-Sea water. Before I got to reading her lack of knowledge about desalination, talk turned to her and The Vivienne’s feud and her reminding Ru that for some reason people don’t want to acknowledge that she is a threat.

Oh and then Ru dropped that this week’s guest judge is Cheryl Cole and the look on Cheryl Hole’s face was honestly too pure for this world.

With Ru gone, The Vivienne confronted Divina about what she said about her to Ru with Divina pointing out that she was asked and answered a question. To her credit though, The Vivienne shut it down, reminded her that she knows that she is fierce and asked to move forward.

Blu was the first one to film with Graham and straight up masturbated her bottle. Which was a vibe and mood. Cheryl was next, putting the Brit Crew to work with removalists duties and being completely batshit crazy and wild. In the best way possible. The Vivienne slayed as a miserable housewife, complete with chucking her baby and wetting the Brit Crew as much as they do my basement. Divina’s commercial was an epic and appeared to bore everyone, so will likely be amazing. Baga then wrapped things up, stuffing her gob with a tonne of battered sausage, which makes no sense but I think I like. Though maybe that is the Brit Crew’s bulges?

Divina excused herself to make her video call with Katya before being surprised by the icon in the flesh who gave the greatest advice and hot damn I miss her and wish she would return to claim her rightful crown.

The queens danced into Elimination Day before making a hard pivot, talking about alcohol and other drug use. The Vivienne then shared that she was an addict and it took three friends dying to finally wake her up and let her hit rock bottom to get her clean. And now she is two years sober, which is something she should be really proud of. As she should be about her name dropping the organisations local to her that are making a difference.

Pivoting really really hard, the queens graced the Rainy Day Eleganza Runway, with Divina going from the killer in I Know What You Did Last Summer to a stunning bumble bee outfit. Cheryl was at risk of rusting in a stunning metallic number. Baga entered with a bird on her head, in a less SJP style. The Vivienne looked like a sexy Samara from the ring, complete with gloomy cloud while Blu opted with a shiny, sparkly Harajuku look.

We then got to the commercials with Divina’s ad turning out as amazing as I assumed; it had a message, it was funny and she made the Brit Crew squat. Oh and the judges also loved her corseted raincoat reveal. Cheryl also died meeting her namesake, despite telling her that Girl’s Aloud’s breakup ruined her. After gushing at her hero in the most beautiful way, we learnt Cheryl’s commerical was as wacky as it seemed, though again, Brit Crew twerking is always a win. While the ad was panned for not going anywhere, the judges loved her outfit despite it being five inches too short.

Except for Cheryl Cole who was making Cheryl’s life.

Baga commercial was classic Baga AND featured the Brit Crew rubbing their dripping chests and finished with Baga burping. Though Michelle hated it and thought her look wasn’t as polished as the other girls. The Vivienne’s commercial was sexy, smutty and hilarious, and her runway received universal praise. Particularly juxtaposed with her commercial look. Poor Blu’s commercial was rather beige, despite the sexual connotations and political digs. Because it went nowhere. Though her look received universal praise.

Backstage Cheryl was still on cloud nine from meeting her namesake, despite being read by the judges. The Vivienne was glad to bounce back, and Divina was thrilled that she stood by her convictions and stuck with the concept. Baga however had given up, sure that she would be in the bottom two and hadn’t learnt the lip sync song. This enraged Cheryl who felt like she couldn’t handle the heat, before The Vivienne told her some hard truths and made her focus on the task at hand, get her head in the game and learn her damn lip sync.

Ultimately The Vivienne completed the ultimate comeback, snatching the win while Baga narrowly avoided the bottom leaving Blu to battle Cheryl … IN FRONT OF HER SHERO. And holy shit did she deliver! She felt the beat in her pussy, she flipped, she nailed every letter of every syllable in every word, smashed her death drops into the ground and even poor Blu knew it was over halfway through, hugging her bestie and letting her live her best life.

Despite just exiting the competition, Blu was positively jubilant at what she had managed to achieve and as such took it in stride. I guess storming the charts really is a killer silver lining! While I haven’t known Blu as long as the other girls, we have been friends for a few years and actually inspired her first Titanic themed runway. You see, I was working at the Titanic museum in Ireland – pretending to be a descendant of the Captain – and Blu came in with her school group. While the teacher saw right through my lies and outed me in front of everyone, Blu lived for the drama and we became the fastest of friends. The only way I could repay her kindness was by promising to make her a Cordon Blu Hyburgea whenever she wanted.

Cheesy garlicky chicken is amazing, as are burgers. Put those things together and well, I’m in heaven. Kinda like a chicken juicy lucy, this burger is on point – just be mindful not to completely scorch your mouth on the cheese.

Enjoy!

Cordon Blu Hyburgea
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
500g chicken mince
salt and pepper, to taste
2 slices ham, shredded
½ cup swiss cheese, grated
olive oil
2 Brichosher Bunsbergs
2 tbsp Shayonnaise Swain
2 tbsp marinara sauce
1 tomato, sliced
a couple butter lettuce leaves, washed and dried
2 tbsp parmesan, grated

Method
Combine the chicken mince in a bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper. Mix well to combine and divide into four equal portions.

Flatten two portions out, divide the ham and swiss cheese and place in the centre of each. Top with the remaining portions and close to seal.

Heat a lug of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and once nice and hot, add the patties and cook for five minutes of until cooked through and nicely browned. Flip and cook for a further five minutes to ensure that the cheese is nice and gooey.

To assemble, split the buns and smear each with some mayo and mariana. Layer with tomato and lettuce, sprinkle on some parmesan and finally, top with the patty and close her up.

Serve immediately with freshly cooked fries and, obviously, devour.


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Couscous Crystalad

RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race UK 1, Salad, Side, Snack, TV, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK the queens participated in the inaugural UK Snatch Game, with politics taking the focus as The Vivienne and Baga Chips stole the show as Donald Trump and Maggie Thatch. While Sum Ting and Crystal bombed as icons David Attenborough and my dear Rue McClanahan before the former was sent from the competition. Much to the pain of one Ms. Geri bloody Halliwell.

Back in the Werk Room Cheryl was sad to lose her friend, though felt that Sum Ting’s time had well and truly come. Crystal meanwhile was heartbroken that she had to beat sweet Sum Ting to stay, though was glad to be able to prove herself in a lip sync. The queens started to untuck and congratulated Baga and Viv on their win, despite Cheryl and Blu questioning whether it was worthy of a double victory. Though sadly neither were willing to say who they thought should have had it by themselves. Crystal brought it back to Divina and asked her who she felt talks over her all the time, with Divina telling Baga and The Vivienne that they keep talking over everyone and she feels like they are trying to throw everyone off their game.

The next day Cheryl was excited for another week of mediocrity, while Baga and The Vivienne tweaked their double badge nipples. Talk turned to Cheryl’s passion for bottoming, before Ru arrived to open the library and task the girls to read each other for filth. Baga kicked things off by accusing Cheryl of using the Eiffel Tower as a dildo and Blu being the prostitute love child of Casper and The Milky Bar Kid. Divina got revenge on Baga and The Vivienne for being trash, Cheryl called Divina a horse, The Vivienne called Crystal vapid, Crystal slayed with poo jokes – The Vivienne proving you can polish a turd – and sweet Blu called out Cheryl’s overbite and backrolls like her hero Alyssa Edwards, and still slayed, despite breaking a prop covering Baga’s face. Ultimately though, it was Crystal’s scat play that took out victory.

Before Ru departed, he announced that this week’s Maxi Challenge would see the girls split into two girl groups to record their debut and farewell track Break Up (Bye Bye) under the tutelage of MNEK. As she won the Mini Challenge, Crystal was given the chance to select her team, snatching The Vivienne and girl group superfan Cheryl. The teams split up and Cheryl was thrilled to be forming a girl group, while The Vivienne was looking forward to working with Cheryl and getting to know her better. Cheryl meanwhile was super confident, given her major moneymaker was in a Girl’s Aloud covershow. Over at the other side Baga was nervous about working without The Vivenne, though looked forward to throwing herself in with her fellow Frock Destroyers. And they vowed to destroy their competition, Filth Harmony.

Each team started to write their songs, with The Vivienne nervous as she is the only one that can sing on her team. While the Frock Destroyers gossiped about their rivals and how badly Crystal will be overshadowed on her team.

Filth Harmony arrived to record their song, with MNEK proud of how well The Vivienne sang though were very concerned about her lack of spelling ability. Cheryl was totally in her element as the personification of the ba-ba-ba-baaaooooouu noise, which is beloved by Pitbull. Cheryl then did some ad libs for inclusion throughout the song and honestly, she alone should make the other team nervous. Well, until I heard Crystal’s singing, which got some awkward silence from MNEK. Cheryl though was living, calling herself the Beyonce of the team. Which is honestly true.

The Frock Destroyers owned their recording from the moment they arrived dressed in matching turbans. Baga then showed off some impressive pipes, Blu surprised herself with how strongly she sang and then impressed me with her smut. And Divina, well, she fucking can do whistle tones and holy shit, give her the damn badge right now. Sorry Filth Harmony, you’re fucked.

Speaking of Filth Harmony, Cheryl was hard at work on the choreography and had no interest in taking any feedback. And honestly, I am team Cheryl on this one, as she is carrying them this challenge. When it came to the Frock Destroyers, Divina was less of a choreog-tator and made sure everyone was comfortable with their moves and could nail everything. Back in the Werk Room both teams tried to get in the other’s head, though the Frock Destroyers confidence seemed far less misplaced than the other team.

Elimination Day rolled around and Cheryl was still thrilled by the challenge before Crystal brought the mood down and asked how school was for everyone. Blu and Crystal said that it sucked, despite not being outright bullied. Divina spoke about all her insecurities coming from her formative school years. She then taught us about Maggie Thatcher’s abhorrent law which made it illegal to ‘promote homosexuality’, meaning teachers couldn’t step in and as such, erased the queer community. To warm our heart though, she broke down telling a story of how her own students cussed out a girl in his class that called her a faggot, knowing it meant life was better for future queer kids. She then reiterated that idiot’s beliefs are just that, but their lives are reality and they are all worth it.

And just crown Divina now, because I love her.

Ru, Michelle and Graham were joined by Little Mix’s Jade Thirwall, as Filth Harmony made their farewell debut and while The Vivienne started out strong, she faded fast. On the flipside Cheryl was living her best life, nailing every syllable and keeping the judges in hysterics. And while Crystal was good, it was clear that Cheryl owned this performance. Then Frock Destroyers happened, coming out in matching outfits to the opening bars of Divina’s whistle tones. And they owned the week. Baga quoted herself to the delight of Michelle, Blu gave her best performance yet and Divina, as previously mentioned, is a global treasure and has more talent in her pinky toenail than we could ever dream of having.

On the Day at the Races runway The Vivenne slayed as Alexis Carrington and Pretty Woman’s love child, Cheryl stuck with her Essex roots and I loved it, while Crystal was the best of the group in a skin tight floral outfit from toe to gimp mask. Baga was quintessential Baga with a ball of flowers for hair, Blu was stunning with a horse head for hair and Divina stole the show as the sexiest jockey with a horsetail pony.

The judges felt The Vivienne stumbled for the first time, with that cracking her armour and allowing her to show some heart. Cheryl broke down before the judges even told her how much they loved her in the challenge, explaining that this is the first time she has felt like herself in the competition and was thrilled to do well. Despite Michelle hating her outfit. Crystal received universal praise for her runway despite it not nailing the brief, though they all felt she faded away in the performance. Once again Baga received universal praise, though was happy to share it around and lift up her teammates and let Blu take full responsibility for the killer band name and attitude. Baga broke down because of how great the praise was, feeling like she isn’t the front runner. Blu too received universal praise and the judges were thrilled to see her finally arrive at the competition. And then Divina got the most glowing praise of all, with the judges loving everything about her. Though Michelle was concerned about her ashy make-up.

Backstage The Vivienne and Crystal looked like they’ve come back from war, with Vivienne breaking down and showing her human side finally. Blu tried to remind her about everything she has achieved in the competition, while Cheryl assumed they would put her in the bottom just because of her runway. She then asked Crystal how she was feeling … and then spoke about her passion for girl groups and again, I love Cheryl. And her inability to read a room. Divina steered things back to Crystal and gave her the chance to work through her feelings, while The Vivienne brokedown, gave them a farewell message and pulled everyone in for a friends forever hug.

The girls returned to the mainstage where for the first time in Drag Race herstory, the Frock Destroyers were given a three-way victory. Which honestly just feels right. Cheryl was congratulated for owning her performance and was sent to safety, leaving The Vivienne and Crystal to battle it out lip syncing to Power by Little Mix. Despite fading away during their earlier performance, there was nothing holding The Vivienne back, hitting every letter and owning the entire stage. And that is no shade to Crystal, who also slayed the lip sync. But there was no way that The Vivienne was willing to go home and that passion and fire showed. As such poor Crystal was eliminated and The Vivienne lived to fight another day. And I pity anyone that has to lip sync against her in the future.

Crystal being Crystal she was bummed to leave the competition but took it all in her stride, simply grateful to be given the opportunity to show off her talents. As you probably could have guessed from my thirst, I first met Crystal while stalking her. I saw her in the street one day and was overwhelmed by her beauty, immediately enrolling in the same course at University and trying to endear myself to her. While it failed, we did become the best of friends and as such, I knew that the only way to cheer her up would be with a Cous Cous Crystalad.

I know you don’t make friends with salad, we all know that, but somehow this one manages to defy the odds. Fluffy cous cous, sweet sundried tomato and creamy feta join together to wipe away the post boot pain.

Enjoy!

Couscous Crystalad
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
1 ¼ cups vegetable stock
1 ¼ cups couscous
2 garlic cloves, minced
400g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
½ cup flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 red onion, diced
½ cup sundried tomatoes, cut into strips
½ cup baby spinach, roughly chopped
1 cup broccoli florets
2 lemons, zested and juiced
2 tbsp olive oil
½ cup feta, crumbled
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Bring the vegetable stock to the boil and pour into a bowl with the couscous. Stir and cover with cling wrap and leave to cook for five minutes.

Fluff couscous with a fork and leave to cool.

Add everything else to the bowl, stir to combine and devour.


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Summer Pudting Wong

Dessert, RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race UK 1, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK the queens were tasked with turning trash into treasure from a car boot. But not just any car boot, the boot of the iconic two-time runner-up Raven. Despite such an inspiring owner, Vinegar optes to be inspired by a toothbrush and then when that failed, a book, while Sum Ting was sadly just a little bit beige. On the other end of the spectrum was Divina who absolutely slayed in a Vivienne Westwood inspired laundry bag, taking out victory while the other duo were forced to lip sync with Sum Ting sending the West End performer home.

Back in the Werk Room Divina was feeling her oats, though tried to hide it as they all paused to pay their respects for Vinegar and her hodge podge ways. The Vivienne changed the mood, congratulating Divina and thanking her for helping everyone out with the challenge. Talk turned to listening to advice, with The Vivienne asking if Sum Ting would consider listening to her from now on. Given she tried to tell her that her outfit was shite. Cheryl asked if they will all continue to be friendly and helpful as the game goes on, with The Vivienne the only one admitting that she will likely turn into a monster. While Divina shared that she will likely stay friendly … to people’s face, knowing it’s the best way to play the game.

The next day Divina joined the badge club, with Blu confident that she is going to win this week. Confident bordering on cocky, Baga asked Cheryl how it felt to ride the bottom again with Cheryl – again – assuring them that this week is where she will show them. Divina pointed out that Blu and Baga were called out on the runway last week and told to step their bussies up. Blu countered that she did and plans to make an incremental improvement this week too, while Baga warned everyone that that was the challenge she was dreading and now there is nothing that will hold her back.

RuPaul interrupted the discussions to announce that this week’s challenge is the one they’ve all been waiting for – SNATCH GAME. Which honestly should have been called Skankety Skanks like the British/Australian version of the OG, but I digress. Crystal was thrilled to have made it far enough in the competition to compete in Snatch Game, before joining Baga and The Vivienne to discuss their characters. Baga locked in Margaret Thatcher … before we cut across the room where Divina de Campo was telling Blu, Cheryl and Sum Ting that she would be playing Margaret Thatcher. Terrified about a face off and knowing that Baga has more impersonations in her arsenal, Divina confronted Baga who had zero qualms about the idea of duelling Thatchers.

They then had a more genuine conversation, with Baga explaining that she has no decent outfits for any other person. And while Divina would argue Baga’s Maggie outfit was also terrible, she graciously stepped aside and decided to do Julia Child. AND THEN GAVE BAGA HER MARGARET THATCHER OUTFIT TO WEAR. I mean, this is some next level kindness right there and I fear it will come back to bite her.

Ru returned for a walk through with Alan Carr where we learnt that Blu would be playing the delightful Mary Berry from Bake Off. Ru was concerned that Blu may not have strengths in comedy, though reminded her that now is the time to start standing out. Divina shared that she was debating between Julia and Posh Spice, though neither seemed to wow the judges. Crystal settled on playing my love Rue McLanahan as Blanche, while The Vivienne wowed the boys with all three of her characters – Donald Trump, Kim Woodburn and Slilla Black. Meanwhile Sum Ting was tossing up between David Attenborough and Nigella Lawson and while Ru appeared to like the latter, sweet, crafty little Blu tried to guide her towards David so that she would be the only baker on the panel. Cheryl too guided her towards David, though that had more to do with the fact she was unprepared for Nigella.

The girls were joined by Stacey Dooley and Lorraine Kelly, with Divina going with Julia, Cheryl playing Gemma Collins and The Vivienne settling on Donald Trump. From her very first moment, The Vivienne took control of the stage and was the one to beat. Though Baga was nipping at her heels and keeping Ru laughing. Blu took Mary Berry down a very filthy path and was surprisingly strong, Sum Ting had the accent down but didn’t bring the jokes. And Crystal was Crystal, dressed kinda like Blanche. The Vivienne and Baga had the panel and Ru in absolute hysterics, bouncing off each other well. With Blu the only one that actually managed to stay up with them. Oh and before you think that I forgot about sweet Divina, she was there but never really stood out.

Elimination Day rolled around and The Vivienne and Baga were feeling super confident, while Sum Ting and Divina were terrified. And Blu was terrified about how poor Mary Berry will react to her performance and floated a televised apology. Divina was feeling nervous about the runway, knowing she kinda sorted bombed Snatch Game. While painting her face, she, Cheryl, Crystal and Blu spoke about their husbands and fiances, with Blu sharing that she is upset that Northern Island doesn’t have gay mariage (though it did just finally pass). He was sad that he and his partner couldn’t marry and how hard it must be for young kids to grow up without seeing it as a possibility.

On the runway Blu served one ball realness, eyeball that is – slaying with a bloodshot gown and a whole head eye. Baga was a letdown as a futuristic bond girl, Cheryl was a technicolour delight with breathing tubes out of her belly button, Sum Ting Wong was Oops I did it Again-era Britney Spears with a robot face and Divina well and truly made up for Snatch Game with an ethereal blue bottle garden nymph. Crystal brought that spark she was missing as Rue, sawing her metal garments with full Shape of Water prosthetics. Much to the terror of Geri Halliwell. And The Vivienne looked like a brown Who dressed as Beyonce’s pregnancy announcement.

Ru confronted Blu about lying about not being funny before sending her and Cheryl to safety … for the first time for poor Chez. The judges loved everything about Baga’s Snatch Game performance but agreed that her runway was pretty bland. Sum Ting’s performance was read for filth, except from Geri who is literally the sweetest thing and just loved that Sum Ting is the reason Sir David will tune in to Drag Race. And everything Sum Ting did. Divina admitted to sucking at Snatch Game as the judges labelled her as the supporting cast. She did receive universal praise for her runway look before making the judges laugh at her Posh Spice. And filling her with regret for not going that route. Crystal’s spooky look was praised, though her Blanche was read for filth. The Vivienne rightly was praised for her Donald Trump – one of the best Snatch Game performances ever – though her ill fitting leotard brought down an otherwise killer look.

Backstage the girls congratulated Cheryl for being safe, before Divina kinda lost control regretting her choice to hand over Margaret Thatcher to Baga. Baga then started to talk over her, leading to Divina calling her out for talking over her and then pointed out that that will stop and she will now treat the competition as such from now on, rather than helping everyone out and being a doormat. Crystal was disappointed in her Snatch Game, though hoped the runway will keep her safe. Sum Ting was nervous about being in the bottom for her boring runway, before Baga and The Vivienne gave her a pep talk and told her to bring it and not be afraid to ask for help if she needs it.

Ultimately Baga and The Vivienne were crowned joint winners, while Divina’s runway saved her from the bottom. Leaving Crystal and Sum Ting to battle it out to Spice Up Your Life to see another day. While Sum Ting stuck close to all the Spice Girl moves, Crystal leaned into her Weird Science runway look and injected some wacky, creepiness in her performance. And totally slayed, keeping sweet Geri in hysterics. As such, Crystal saved herself while poor Sum Ting Wong was eliminated from the competition.

Though before I got to cooking for her in the Werk Room, we were interrupted by Geri who couldn’t let her go without letting her know how much she connected with her on the stage. With her kind, clean, joyous fun.

I let them have their moment and reminded Geri that I will boot her from the Spicys again if she doesn’t leave the damn Werk Room and let me have my damn moment. Which she graciously did, apologising as I got to catching up with my friend Sum Ting.

We first met at our office day jobs, but I could see Sum had Sum Ting More to offer the world and just like that, her character was born. So I think that makes me her drag mother? I don’t know. What I do know is that only a mother would know the exact thing to cheer her up after her boot, which is my Summer Pudting Wong.

Now, I have a checkered past with puddings both fruit and pulled, but I can assure you that this one is delicious, despite the conceit being a bit weird for non-Brits. But let me tell you, bread dipped in sweet, sweet juice is delicious. Add to that, a muddle of bright berries and you’re well and truly happy.

Enjoy!

Summer Pudting Wong
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
175g raw caster sugar
150g blackberries, washed and dried
150g blueberries, washed and dried
600g raspberries, washed and dried
300g strawberries, washed, dried and tops removed
8 slices white bread, a little older if possible with the crusts removed
½ cup cream, whipped, to serve

Method
Combine the sugar in a large saucepan with ¼ cup sugar and place over a medium heat until dissolved. Bring to the boil before adding all berries, minus the strawbs, reducing the heat to low and cooking for five minutes, stirring infrequently, or until softened.

Remove the berries from the heat and strain them over a bowl to release the gloriously deep red juice.

Meanwhile cut 5 slices of bread in half on a slight angle and two into 4 triangles. Line a pudding basin with clingwrap and moving quickly, dip each slice of bread in the juice and line the bowl with the whole slice at the base and the halves forming the sides, pushing together at the joins to form the skin.

Mix the strawberries through the cooked berries and transfer the mix into the lined basin. Dip the small triangles into the juice and cover the top of the pudding. Wrap with cling to seal and transfer to the fridge to chill overnight. Reserve any juice for later.

When you’re ready to eat, transfer to a plate, carve and serve with excess juice and freshly whipped cream. Then, obviously, devour.


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Vinegarette Strokes

Condiment, RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race UK 1, Sauce, TV, TV Recap

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK the queens were tasked with starring in a sumptuous costume drama which was much betta than an acting challenge in the UK. Downtown Draggy led to a couple of killer performances as Baga slayed her way to victory ahead of Divina. Sum Ting lucked out by being on the winning team, while Blu was a little bit beige and Scaredy Kat was one note, landing them in the bottom on the losing team. With the latter sashaying away from the competition.

The queens returned to the Werk Room to discover Scaredy’s shady ageist mirror message, though praised how brave she was for coming into the competition as such a newbie. Everyone congratulated Blu on her killer performance, before she shared that lip syncing has lit a fire in her belly and she is ready to show everyone what she is made of. Talk turned to Baga’s killer performance before Cheryl checked in with everyone to see who they thought was the best Bond girl, with Vinegar, for some reason, thinking it was her. Before anyone could smack her down, Blu and Crystal checked if Cheryl was ok after everyone called her fake, with her admitting that she feels like she is being kicked while she is down. Though plans to shit on everyone. I assume not literally, but who knows.

The next day Ru arrived to test the girls skills on the pole, with a maypole quick-drag mini challenge. As the queens cobbled together chaste, country outfits, Baga looked like Vinegar’s Bond Girl look – aka a librarian – as they commenced skipping around the maypole, until Divina’s dance break saw her pound the puss straight into the floor. She was followed by The Vivienne twerking, Crystal going balls to the pole – literally – with some pole dancing, Baga went crab walking, Blu was terrifying in the best way possible, Sum Ting channelled a sumo, Vinegar served tatas and the Cheryl deathdropped and owned the room like the second coming of Alyssa Edwards. Which is particularly awkward given last week. Rightly Chez took out victory, which gave her an advantage heading into the main challenge – designing a high fashion look made out of junk. FROM RAVEN’S TRUNK.

As the Brit Crew – swoon – wheeled out Raven on the boot of her car, Ru explained that they would loot the car to create their looks. And as the winner of the mini challenge, Cheryl had 15 seconds to grab stuff before the other girls joined in. Cheryl grabbed a bucket of gloves, before the remaining queens jumped in and tore the car to shreds. I mean, they were literally pulling the fabric off the chairs. Once the car was torched, talk turned to who was feeling confident with Crystal acknowledging that she studied costume design at uni. Divina too was feeling confident, and opting to do corsetry with some laundry bags. Sum Ting ripped up her own jacket to use as a pattern, while Vinegar was modelling her look on a toothbrush. Which made The Vivienne desperately try to hide her laughter. Vinegar admitted that she has all of her costumes designed for her, so was feeling very nervous. On the flipside, Blu was confident in her sewing skills while Cheryl was trying to hide that she has no idea what she is doing with a glue gun. The Vivienne was going to drape videotapes, which sounded terrible, however she was far more concerned with how Sum Ting was going to pull off tailoring on her first try.

Ru made her triumphant ru-turn to check in with the queens, with Divina charged for victory after her breakdown the previous episode. Ru told her not to be so hard on herself, given she slayed the previous challenge. Baga shared her look would be scrubber chic made head to toe of steel wool, before talking about her passion for car boot sales. Cheryl was using rubber gloves as the basis of her skirt before Vinegar outlined her inspirations were toilet seats and toothbrushes. Ru explained that her looks have been a bit hodge podge and she needs to bring a little bit more glamazon.

Crystal shared that she was nervous that her degree would make herself be judged more harshly, while Blu was feeling the pressure to do Ireland proud and threw some light shade at Ru. The Vivienne was far nicer to the head judge, though given Ru heaped her with praise for turning looks every chance she got, of course she would be. The Vivienne explained the differences between UK and US drag, supporting Charlie’s claims that UK queens sing live. And well, Ru thinks that there is going to be something wrong with Sum Ting Wong’s look.

With Ru gone the queens discussed his feedback, with Vinegar mildly offended to be called hodge podge however she was humble enough to ask Crystal for feedback. And feedback she gave, telling her that her looks have been terrible and the one she is putting together is shite and she should probably start from scratch. In a far nicer way. On the other side of the room, Baga and The Vivienne went Thelma & Louise in the car while Divina thought it would be easier to just help Vinegar pack rather than finishing her outfit.

Elimination Day rolled around and Crystal was full of confidence, while Divina couldn’t stop laughing about Vinegar’s outfit. While everyone started to get ready, Vinegar tore up a book to make a new dress before Sum Ting shared that she would be lost without her in the competition, breaking down and hugging in a touching moment of friendship. Honestly. Divina and Blu spoke about the former’s start in drag, with them realising that Blu was in primary school when she started. Divina explained that the internet wasn’t really a thing and there were no make-up tutorials and hot damn, I feel old. The Vivienne, Crystal and Baga discussed Sum Ting’s beige looking outfit, not selling fashion or car boot sale. Everyone then looked at Cheryl’s outfit, realising it is glove fingers glued to bin bags and while she knew it wasn’t the most fashionable moment, it was very Cheryl. Oh and Divina is sick of Baga and The Vivienne’s confidence as it borders on smug.

Ru, Michelle and Graham were joined by Dame Twiggy on the judging panel, with Divina opening the runway slaying as the love child of David Bowie and Vivienne Westwood. Baga’s steel wool look was a bit of a mess, but her charm sold it well. Blu looked like a technicolour baby Chad Michaels in All Stars, Sum Ting channeled Vinegar’s Bond Girl look, The Vivienne was fierce, Vinegar was, I hate to say, just a bloody mess while Cheryl was a fingerbanging bumblebee and Crystal slayed as a work of art goddess. Baga was shocked that three outfits were worse than hers, going to safety with Blu while the rest of the girls were critiqued.

Divina received universal praise for a killer concept that was executed to perfection, Sum Ting was read for filth for a bland look, despite being able to articulate the concept well. The judges ate up everything The Vivienne did, with Michelle appreciating the way she put her own stamp on a look that has been done multiple times. Vinegar was read for filth, though charmed the judges through the process. Cheryl’s performance was praised, despite the fact her outfit was pretty terrible and led to Michelle calling out the girls for not learning to sew before coming into the competition. And then Crystal, obviously, received universal praise.

Backstage Baga was shocked to be safe and praised Blu for killing the competition. The other girls arrived and Vinegar was heartbroken to likely be lip syncing against her best friend. Or you know, Cheryl, the likely lip sync assassin. The Vivienne told Sum Ting she should have taken the other girls advice, which pissed off Sum Ting who was happy to potentially go home, given she loves the outfit. Talk turned to Michelle reading them for being unable to sew, with Cheryl pointing out that that isn’t what she does. The Vivienne agreed that she doesn’t sew either, but she learnt because she knew that she would need to. Somehow Vinegar thought she could read Cheryl’s look too, which was a mood. Particularly since Cheryl was selling her outfit to even her worst critics.

Ultimately Divina was crowned the winner of this week’s challenge for being more fashion than Crystal’s, while Vinegar Strokes was joined in the bottom by Sum Ting Wong. Shocking everyone, including Cheryl. It was the battle of the boleros as the besties lip synced to The Eurythmics’ Would I Lie to You. Despite being up against a West End performer, Sum Ting hit every syllable and owned the lip sync from the very first bar and saved herself, while Vinegar sashayed away.

As you can imagine, I am a dear friend of the total slag that is Vinegar, so I was gutted to see her go so soon. But damn did I enjoy reading her for filth with some casual shade. We laughed, we cried and wondered if maybe she would finally take a bigger role in Jamie before I surprised her with a cooling cup of Vinegarette Strokes.

Sure, a vinaigrette isn’t something you would usually want to chug however it is a bit of a backstage tradition that we started treading the boards together in the west end. Plus, when it taste this good, it really could double as an oily cocktail. Health advice be damned.

Enjoy!

Vinegarette Strokes
Makes: 2(ish) cups.

Ingredients
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
⅓ cup honey
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 shallots, finely sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp thyme leaves
2 tsp rosemary leaves, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Place everything in a mason jar like a cool hipster, add a good whack of salt and pepper and shake to combine.

Then down if you’re brave or pour over a fresh garden salad if you’re normal.


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Scaredy Kit Kat

Dessert, RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race UK 1, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK Ru and Michelle took a trip across the pond to meet 10 charming British queens and oh girl, this is going to be a fun season. The first mini-challenge tasked the queens with posing with their own severed heads, leading to some football and birthing before baby queen Scaredy Kat shat herself to victory. Meanwhile on the mainstage Gothy struggled through her nerves, Vinegar didn’t connect with anyone and Michelle was so shocked by The Vivienne’s nose that she convinced Ru to bequeath her the first win of the season, while poor Gothy backed her way out of the competition. Literally.

We followed the queens back to the Werk Room where the reality that all but one will be eliminated has sunk in. They gathered around to praise Gothy as the icon that she is – I mean, she said it best, she is the UK Porkchop – and discuss how they all just felt the urge to mother her. Baga in particular, as she offered up her royal tit to keep the young one going. Vinegar meanwhile was less loving, just thrilled that she managed to survive the lip sync and still be in the competition. As Vinegar shared her pride at being the first to win a lip sync, Cheryl spoke about feeling part of it, given she was cheering from the back. Which  immediately annoyed The Vivienne and ooohhhh girl, I think we might finally have some drama as the game. Is. On.

The next day the queens returned to the Werk Room where The Vivienne was proudly wearing her literal victory badge – no prizes on the beeb, ok? – as a show of power before they were interrupted by the arrival of Ru. Before outlining this week’s challenge Ru wheeled out the very fine Brit Crew for this week’s mini-challenge, where the queens would have to line up their fellow competitors based on whether they were tops or bottoms, unaware that they’re all bottoms. Wait, no, it is based on who they view as competition.

The Vivienne went first and ranked Vinegar as the biggest competition, followed by Baga, Crystal, Divina, Sum Ting – much to her disgust at being so low – Blu, Cheryl and dead last she popped Scaredy Kat. But gasp, Ru is fucking with them and this is not a mini-challenge and instead, The Vivienne and her least threatening competition Scaredy Kat would instead act as team captains in a regal production of famed drag period piece – don’t tell Manila – Downton Draggy. Scaredy Kat was first to select someone, opting for Divina – much to her chagrin – Cheryl and Blu while The Vivienne went with Vinegar, Baga and Sum Ting Wong, leaving a gutted Crystal as the virgin that can’t drive, forcing her to Scaredy Kat’s team.

Sum Ting on the flipside was thrilled to be on her team, last choice be damned! They have last week’s top three and a bonafide West End star. The Vivienne knew that in order to do well in a team challenge, she needed everyone to do well so got to work assigning roles based on what the girls felt most comfortable with. Sum Ting got a Mariah Carey-esque role, before talk turned to Scaredy Kat and the girls agreed that she is not to be underestimated and they know that she is destined for greatness. Speaking of Scaredy, her team was less structured and instead all grabbed for their roles before gossiping about the other team automatically assuming that they have the challenge in the bag, and as such, need to prove themselves. Not that Cheryl is worried though, as she has been doing shows since she was knee high to a pig’s eye.

Ru made her triumphant ruturn for a quick walk through with the queens where she learnt that The Vivienne’s team were choosing to go with the name Team Slag. They then shared that Baga would be stretching herself to play the help while Sum Ting showed off her so-terrible-it-is-actually-terrible American accent. Speaking of accent work, Ru checked in with the other team where Crystal spoke about her so bad it’s good British accent. In other events, Divina was shocked to be cast as the old slag, before Blu shared that she was going to knock it out of the park. Despite being stuck in her head.

Team Slag arrived to film their scene with Michelle, with The Vivienne kicking things off by forgetting her first line. The Vinegar struggled to read, Sum Ting got to start mounting a member of the Brit Crew – relatable, no? – before Baga arrived and chewed up the bloody scenery, channelling Dick Van Dyk on crack, dressed as Mrs White. While she was missing her lines and confusing Michelle’s direction, she was so damn hilarious I don’t see how she loses. Particularly next to Sum Ting who was bombing. Badly.

Scaredy Kat’s team didn’t fare much better, with Cheryl forgetting her lines and Crystal’s accent work read for filth by Michelle. In the second scene Divina arrived and valiantly tried to save things, completely slaying, though next to Scaredy Kat anyone would look good. Even Blu, who couldn’t remember her lines in their final scene. Frustrating the hell out of Divina, knowing that she has been brought down by everyone else’s shitty performance.

Elimination Day rolled around with Scaredy mistakenly thinking the team did well before Blu and Sum Ting Wong got together to talk about how badly they did in the challenge. Like Scaredy, Cheryl was feeling good about her performance though told Blu that it was obvious that she was nervous in the challenge. This angered The Vivienne, as she was sick of hearing her run her mouth and act over the top for the cameras. At the other mirror Vinegar was talking to Scaredy and Sum Ting about whether they had come out. Scaredy spoke about not having come out nor identifying as anything, before Sum Ting admitted that her parents not only don’t acknowledge her being gay but have no idea that she is a drag queen. Nor know his partner of five years.

On the mainstage the queens served Bond Girl Glamarama, with The Vivienne channeling Grace Jones by way of IBS, Sum Ting looked good, albeit a little confusing and Vinegar Strokes went with HR realness. Baga was inspired by my girl Liza, Cheryl started off in a boring old gown but went with a reveal of a shimmering leotard, with one nip out. Which is always a win for me. Crystal slayed in a bondage inspired look, Scaredy went with a WWII inspired fighter pilot which made up for her lacklustre performance in the acting challenge, while Divina slayed serving soviet assassin realness while Blu rocked an ill fitting outfit, though had three tits, so I live.

The Vivienne’s team’s episode of Downton Draggy slayed from their opening line … until Sum Ting arrived on scene, and despite being better than expected, was completely dominated by a killer Baga. Who again, needs to win this competition. Scaredy Kat’s episode was far better than the filming would have you believe, though Scaredy and Blu were obviously the weaker performers of the team. While Divina dominated. From start to finish. Ultimately The Vivienne’s team took out the challenge, with Baga handed a very well deserved victory and Sum Ting saved by the skin of her teeth.

Of the losing team, the judges loved Cheryl’s runway and thought that she was solid in the challenge, though could have done more. Crystal’s performance warmed up throughout the episode and she received universal praise for her runway. Everyone loved Scaredy Kat’s runway, though were disappointed by her performance and the fact she painted her character as a cat. Divina received universal praise for both her performance and the runway, though she still felt she should have pushed herself further. Blu’s runway was praised, though her performance was deemed forgettable. Which is never a good thing.

Back stage the safe girls decided that Cheryl should be in the bottom, if for no other reason than the fact she is playing the role of Alyssa Edwards and not being herself. The bottom queens joined them and Cheryl immediately chimed in to admit that she said Sum Ting should have been in the bottom, which led to Sum Ting sharing that they all think that Cheryl is being fake. And Vinegar, who has worked with her, admitted that she doesn’t know who this person is. This led to her breaking down, as she admitted that she has been too scared to let her guard down and end up in the shadows. Crystal shut everyone up and pointed out that there will be some girls that are upset and they should stop talking about them and let them feel their feels rather than fighting. Meanwhile Divina was shocked how emotional she was, Blu felt alone and Scaredy just wanted to learn the bloody lip sync.

The queens returned to the mainstage where Divina and Crystal were deemed safe, while Cheryl narrowly avoided the bottom two, leaving Scaredy Kat and Blu to battle it out to survive. Blu came out firing as soon as the first bars of Bananarama’s Venus started playing, and while Scaredy killed it with her own aesthetic and style, Blu’s experience on stage won out and she was deemed safe, leaving poor Scaredy to sashay away from the competition.

While she was disappointed not to make it all the way, Scaredy was gagged that she made it on the show and past the first episode despite not having performed any gigs before. As such, it was less a comisatory tone and more one of celebrating my sister. What didn’t you know I’m part of the Kat Club? I’m her great great great great drag-grandmother, Kitty Litta so it was wonderful to toast her success with the crisp snap of a Scaredy Kit Kat.

You know I have a passion for not leaving the house and instead making my own version of readily available foods. But when they taste this good, who can blame me? Crisp wafer slathered in dripping chocolate? There is nothing better.

Enjoy!

Scaredy Kit Kat
Serves: 1-6.

Ingredients
500g milk chocolate
200g dark chocolate
10-20 chocolate wafers, cut in half lengthways

Method
Combine the chocolate in a bowl and melt together in a double boiler until smooth and glossy.

Pour the chocolate half-way up a rectangular mould before adding in the strips of wafer. Top with chocolate and give the mould a good tap to remove air bubbles. Repeat the process until done.

Transfer the moulds to the fridge to set for ten minutes before removing and storing in a cool, airtight container. Or you know, devouring like a sane person.


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