Yuraita Guaii

Condiment, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under 2, Sauce, TV, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Drag Race Down Under the dolls played the Snatch Game and thankfully raised the low bar – outside Anita and Etcetera, obvi – from last season that even famed nice person Bindi Irwin had to rubbish. Continuing in the tradition of celebrated producer Alexis Michelle and Queen of All Queens Jinkx, Hannah slayed with a member of the Garland-Minneli clan. And while Yuri and Spankie were just as good, Minnie was far and away the weakest as Ellen despite the fact she would have killed as her back-up, Jeanne Little. Ultimately Hannah won, while Bev narrowly saved herself after a painfully boring Snatch Game, sending the iconic Minnie home.

Backstage the mood was sombre outside of Bev, who was thrilled to take the title of lip sync assassin after eliminating a second icon. They then discovered that Minnie’s exit message thanked Spankie, Yuri and Kween for being so kind, which obviously pissed off the dolls she called bitches. Essentially. Thankfully Hannah pivoted and said she would cry into her tears, while Spankie was delighted that Minnie did one final pot stir. Talk turned to their track records, where everyone noticed only Bev and Kween were without wins, and while everyone seemingly knew Kween’s victory was inevitable, Bev was also ready to prove herself despite everyone sleeping on her.

The next day Yuri was ready to have fun and be silly, while Beverly reiterated that she is here to prove herself. And did a very long monologue about how hard she will fight. Which led to everyone taking micro-naps, while Yuri summed things up simply by pointing out that Bev had been in the bottom the most and well, that’s just that. Before anyone could pick their jaws up from the floor, Ru dropped by to open the library – or libo, I assume – for the reading challenge. Bev kicked things off very sexual, until Kween read her as not interested. And I love every moment of it. Yuri was so silly and charming, despite hating every moment of it. Molly was hit and miss, but at least it was funny. Kween then arrived and destroyed literally everyone and everything and while I normally just focus on her looks, she is just so fucking good. Spankie did some accurate word association before Hannah closed the show very strongly. But yeah, Kween was the only person that could have won that – she was amazing.

Oh and for this week’s Maxi Challenge, the dolls would be keeping the shade alive as they diss their bandmates on their verses on the new song Bosom Buddies. Then record the song with Michelle before performing them on the mainstage. And well, Bev was ready to shine. Ru then gave them the chance to choose their own groups, with Kween quickly grabbing Hannah and Spankie and well, just like that, it was decided. Leaving the rest as the leftover group. But given Bev was feeling like the dancing diva of Brisbane, she was ready to drag them over the line. Kween, Hannah and Spankie locked in the name BAB’Z – or Bad Ass Bitchez – living for the song, while over with the other dolls, Molly and Bev were worried about how many words Yuri was hoping to spit while dropping the beats.

As BAB’Z were living their best lives, being silly and camp and building their chemistry, Beverly whipped Molly and Yuri into shape learning the choreo. And by choreo, Molly felt like it was a bit of a show choir, asHannah tried to hide her giggles from the other side of the room. While Kween and Spankie just lived for their general dynamic. When Bev, Molly and Yuri asked the other girls to do their choreo live in front of everyone, it led to a delightful blow-up between Kween and Bev as they both triggered each other and went to 1000 with everyone else kinda unsure how it escalated to that point.

BAB’Z were up first to record with Michelle with Hannah delighting as Michelle read her via lyrics, though ultimately slayed. Spankie meanwhile has some damn pipes and nailed every note, while Kween was perfect from start to finish as she channelled that rage from her fight with Bev. The Hung Divas – which is an iconic name, TBH – traded out with Bev giving delightfully ocker rap, with not much sass according to Michelle. Yuri meanwhile was on the struggle bus from start to finish but since I love her, it was charming. And then Molly gave Mr. G vibes as she nailed it in one take only. Much to Bev and Yuri’s nerves.

We cut to rehearsal where Kween was ready to slay as she whipped BAB’Z into shape, giving charm and flips and kicks. And well, when she shared that she was galvanised, happy and ready to finally shine in the competition, I wanted to cry tears of joy. On the flipside, watching Yuri struggle in The Hung Divas’ rehearsal made me sad because I love her. While Bev grew more and more desperate about trying to nail the choreo.

Elimination Day arrived with Bev confronting Kween about their drama the day before, with her explaining that their group felt like they were the unwanted outcasts and she was trying to playfully challenge them. In turn Kween called her out for projecting on her and whispering and taking things a little too seriously. Eventually though, they both apologised and were ready to move on. As they split up to beat their mugs, Kween started to spiral, stressed about the drama and worried about her issues with Bev while Spankie tried to encourage her to breathe and push it aside so she could star. And while she assured us that she will do what needs to be done, given it is what she always does, I am still heartbroken to see her sad at a time when she is clearly poised to shine.

And shine she did, as BAB’Z opened the show and absolutely slayed. They felt like a cohesive girl group, they all shon and sold their personalities. They were camp, they were funny and well, did what needed to be done. When it came to The Hung Divas they all gave killer bright looks and their song was super fun, despite Yuri clearly not being the strongest of dancers. But when she is clearly having fun, does that matter? Given I love Yuri, I vote no.

On the Belts, Buckles and Chains runway, Kween opened the show in a sexy belted, bondage outfit in honour of Mean Girls and her niece. In all the right ways. Spankie gave a sexy, slutty Barbie and well, I love it despite knowing Michelle will hate the lack of pants and its bagginess. Hannah was gothic and sexy, serving Gaultier realness. Bev meanwhile gave Britney’s denim outfit, after dark, Yuri was perfection as a chained snake while Molly closed the show giving yellow and black rocker madam, but make it Elvira.

The judges lived for everything Kween served this week, with Rhys particularly loving the fact she finally owned herself and her place in the competition. Spankie was read for an ill fitting look, though given Rhys and Ru felt it was on brand, they loved it as much as her performance on the girl group. And well, Hannah received universal praise for everything she did this week too. Even charming as she explained her low-rent lyrics. Bev received wall to wall praise much to her delight, while Yuri was read for struggling with her inner sabo-teur, though the judges explained that they love her. While Molly was praised for nailing the runway and rehearsal, despite there being some stumbles in the main performance.

Backstage the dolls were feeling a little confused about who would be in the bottom, given they all received wonderful critiques. Though Molly and Yuri were fairly sure they would be the ones lip syncing. While Bev suggested that maybe they would all be saved for doing well, which is nice, despite Yuri just wanting to feel her feels. The ring of a phone interrupted them as Sophie Monk dialled in – not Courtney Act, FYI – to send her love and give them a pep talk and well, despite myself, I can’t help but love that icon with all my damn heart.

#JusticeForBardot.

Ultimately BAB’Z were deemed the winners of this week’s challenge while Bev was sent to safety alongside them, leaving Yuri and Molly to lip sync for their lives to Chains by mother tucking Tina Arena. And while it was tragically a remix, both the dolls served the hell out of the song, giving emotion, camp and hitting every damn lyric. But when the song kicked it into the epic Tina money-notes, it became Molly’s show as she gave us everything. And then some. Which tragically cost my love Yuri her place, as she exited the competition.

She was crying, the dolls were crying, I was crying and then she gave us iconic words to live by, live fast, eat arse. Which honestly, is now my motto. 

Backstage I managed to spot Yuri enter the Werk Room through my tears and immediately pulled her in for a massive hug. There was something just so lovable about Yuri, as she exudes joy and fun throughout the competition. Kinda like a young, kiwi Katya? No matter what it is that made me get a stan card, Yuri now has a fan that will fight anyone that talks shit about her. And while she may have been nervous about my energy, she appreciated the sentiment as I ranted about how robbed she was before dishing up a big bowl of Yuraita Guaii.

While paneer is great, as are all curries, raita is truly the heart and soul of any and all visits to an Indian restaurant. Poppodum too dry? Raita. Curry too hot? Raita. Need something in your mouth? Raita. Spicy, creamy and oh so fresh, it is, to me, perfect.

Enjoy!

Yuraita Guaii
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
1 ½ cups Greek yoghurt
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp ginger, minced
2 tbsp coriander, roughly chopped
2 tbsp mint, roughly chopped
1 lime, zested and juiced
½ tsp garam masala
1 lebanese cucumber, seeded and diced
1 tomato, diced
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Pop everything in a bowl. Stir. Serve. Devour, obvi.


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Caesharonne Salad Dressing

Condiment, Drag Race España, Drag Race España 2, Sauce, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race España 12 iconic new queens entered the Werk Room, ready to live up to the hype generated by their first season sisters. As good as they all were, somebody had to go first as the delightful Marisa Prisa stumbled at the first hurdle. My sweet zaddy Ariel soon followed before Samantha Ballentines was felled on her third go in the bottom. Jota was the next to go before Snatch Game took out the immensely talented Onyx. Diamante soon followed before Sethlas was cut on her first time in the bottom before Juriji narrowly missed out on getting to the top.

Since everyone nailed the makeover and were sent through to the finale.

After a gruelling final challenge, Marina was eliminated in fourth place before the top three lip synced for the crown. And while Estrella and Venedita are both stars, Sharonne demolished the competition and did everything she could to guarantee herself the crown. And you know, cementing herself as having the best track record of all time.

Ever the consummate professional, Sharonne was humble as she claimed victory thanking everyone involved in the show and her new sisters for being so kind and supportive. By the time she was dedicating her win to her actual sisters and mother for being the shining queens of her life, I was pushing out a single tear Lisa Rinna style.

As she exited the stage, I pulled her in for a hug and congratulated her on such a dominant performance throughout the season. Week after week she delivered a stunning performance, was kind and loving with her sisters and all around was a delight to watch. And as such, I was filled to victoriously guzzle Caesharonne Salad Dressing with her!

Now I know I spend a tonne of time bitching about seafood, but I fell in love with caesar dressing before I learnt what the black chunks were so thankfully have continued to love it. Anchovies be damned! Plus, I have a passion for salty, creamy sauces, so I will look past it.

Enjoy!

Caesharonne Salad Dressing
Makes: 1 cup.

Ingredients
6 anchovy fillets, drained
2 garlic cloves
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 egg yolks
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp olive oil
½ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated

Method
The fateful day I learnt about the whole anchovy of it all, I was working in a cafe and making a huge amount of dressing. As such, my method is the commercial quantity version using a food processor or blender.

Start by blitzing the anchovy and garlic together with a pinch of salt over high speed. Reduce to low and blitz in the egg yolks, followed by 2 tbsp of lemon juice and all the zest and the mustard. Increase speed to medium and pout in the olive oil a few drops at a time, not rushing the process otherwise it will split. Add the vegetable oil in a very slow and steady stream until the dressing is thick and glossy.

Add the parmesan and blitz further, before seasoning and adding more lemon juice if required. Then either drizzle on a salad, or drink triumphantly.


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Maryanne Picoketchutney

Condiment, Sauce, Survivor, Survivor 42, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor 18 new castaways were marooned on the islands of Fiji, ready to repeat all the tricks of last season. But hot damn did they have more success. Despite tragically losing Jackson before the first immunity challenge, the Ika tribe arrived at tribal council ready to play. Sadly for Zach, that was as far as his game went. More importantly, it also broke Maryanne’s heart as he was the literal embodiment of every white man she has ever loved. We then lost Marya, Jenny and Swati in quick succession, before Daniel blew up his game and set up the demise of Vati post-merge.

Speaking of which, the fake merge cost Lydia her game before Chanelle became the queen of the jury. Ika lost Rocksroy and Tori in a double tribal council before Omar took control by getting rid of Hai and Drea. In turn, that painted a target on his back and got him booted by Maryanne’s epic 3-2-2 play. This then led to Lindsay getting booted before the fire making challenge took out Jonathan, leaving Romeo, Mike and Maryanne to face the jury at final tribal council.

Despite Romeo putting in a strong showing, he came out of the experience with nary a vote while Mike’s subpar performance scored him only one as the jury gave Maryanne a resounding win for not only a game well played, but for dominating final tribal council.

After the cast finished filming the on island reunion, I quickly pulled Maryanne aside to toast her success. While she had a wild yet somehow quiet game at the start, she expertly read the room and was able to reset once she realised how she was being perceived, leading her on a path to greatness. Pulling off some epic moves at the right moments to not only get her to the end, but earn her the win. More importantly, she also was an epic and engaging character that will go down in the pantheon of legends. But for now, we’ll always have Maryanne Picoketchutney.

I always had a fear of the bright yellow pickle that lived in my fridge as a child, but thankfully with time comes wisdom and as an adult, my love affair began. Super tart, a little bit sweet and lightly spice, this is the perfect accompaniment for any occasion. Particularly a win.

Enjoy!

Maryanne Picoketchutney
Makes: 1.5L.

Ingredients
500g cauliflower, cut into small florets
200g zucchini, cut into a fine dice
100g green beans, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 onion, diced
2 tbsp sea salt
600ml malt vinegar
3 tbsp English mustard powder
1 tbsp coriander seeds
2 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp turmeric
¼ cup plain flour
⅔ cup raw caster sugar
2 bay leaves

Method
Combine the cauliflower, zucchini, beans and onion in a bowl with the salt. Cover and leave to steep at room temperature overnight. In the morning, rinse under cold water and drain.

Whisk 100 ml of vinegar with the mustard powder, coriander, mustard and cumin seeds, turmeric and flour to form a paste.

Combine the rest of the ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat, whisking until the sugar dissolves. Whisk in the mustard mixture and cook for a couple of minutes, or until starting to thicken. Add the drained vegetables and cook for a further couple of minutes.

Ladle the mixture into sterilised jars and seal immediately, storing in a cool dark place until opened. Then devour, immediately.


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Romesco Saucobar

Condiment, Sauce, Survivor, Survivor 42, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor 18 new castaways were marooned on the lush islands of Fiji where one by one they were eliminated, starting with the tragic loss of Jackson and Zach within the first few days. They were followed out the door – yes, this is happening – Marya, Jenny, Swati and Daniel before three became one as the tribes merged, or so they thought, as once again, the merge was a bit of a gag. That cost Lydia her game before the official merge saw Chanelle ascend to the throne as Queen of the jury. She was soon joined by Rocksroy, Tori, Hai, Drea and Omar before the final five were sent to a new beach to start over. Despite winning an advantage for the challenge, Lindsay couldn’t take out victory and landed on the jury bench before Romeo narrowly snatched final immunity and took Maryanne to final tribal council with him, leaving Mike to earn his place and sending Jonathan from the game to become the final juror.

The final three awoke on Day 26 to watch the sunrise, proud to have made it all the way to the end and to get the chance to argue their case. Though Mike was worried about how he would be able to convince the jury of his game, despite all of them giving confessionals about really needing him to own the fact he is the biggest snake left in the game. Romeo meanwhile was proud of playing from the bottom the entire game, with the jury admitting that his ability to persevere and outlast everyone has been very impressive. Maryanne meanwhile was readying herself to scream all of her achievements from the rooftops and while the jury were thrilled to see Maryanne make it to the end, they worried about her ability to articulate her superior game. And TBH, focus on the task at hand.

With that, the final three arrived at the final tribal council where Probst quickly explained the proceedings for the evening. Omar kicked off the discussion about their social games, praising all of them for making it to the end and encouraged everyone to outline what they did to deserve the win. Tori spoke about Mike’s passion for trust and integrity, while Maryanne was charming and fun while Romeo was quiet, asking how accurate her read was and whether she missed anything. Mike leant straight into his love of trust, while Maryanne countered that she has always taken the game seriously, desperately trying to downplay her threat level as all the young people kept getting voted out when they tried to make a move. While Romeo just agreed that yes he was paranoid, but that he kept throwing hinky votes out to keep people riled up.

That sadly upset Hai, who accused him of gaslighting him and ugh, Hai destroyed him. Despite his attempts to apologise and them ultimately moving on, I still worry for Romeo in this final tribal. Giving him hope, Omar asked Mike about some of the other times he lied that he hadn’t copped to, including the blindside of Drea. While Mike tried to talk around things, Chanelle jumped in to call bullshit on the situation, leading to Mike getting more and more desperate as he tried to explain that he only crossed people that crossed him. Which Hai pointed out was mainly Omar feeding him lies. Jonathan tried to get Mike to fight before Drea cooled things down and reminded everyone that they all lied, but the fact of the matter is that Mike’s social game was just on point.

Talk turned to Maryanne’s sloppy social game pre-merge, with Maryanne admitting she hadn’t realised how much her tribe hated her before the merge but once she realised, she rightly course corrected. Lindsay then gave Maryanne the chance to explain who she pulled in herself, with her highlighting her skills in taking out Omar. And while Jonathan tried to take ownership of the move, she slapped him down and rightly took credit. Because trust and believe, it was her moment.

Rocksroy kicked off the physical portion of the game, with Maryanne talking about her contribution around camp, weaving fronds and prepping the fish. Mike meanwhile highlighted his work ethic, powering along all season to look after his tribe. While Romeo admitted he has never camped and just learnt to swim, and as such, he is proud of himself for persevering and finally snatching immunity at the final four.

Drea kicked off the strategic portion, telling the final three that this is what will decide her vote. She asked each of them to outline their biggest move with Romeo talking about his fake immunity idol and winning the final challenge. Oh and that he took Maryanne because she didn’t have a strategy. Mike meanwhile spoke about orchestrating the blindside on Hai, with him admitting that sometimes his emotions got the best of him before he realised mid-sentence that he wasn’t as honest as he thought. Maryanne meanwhile shut it down, explaining that getting rid of Omar set her up with a bunch of final three combinations she could navigate. She then outed her idol, impressing everyone by keeping the secret and clearly articulating how removing Omar is the thing that took her to the end.

Romeo meanwhile broke down, disappointed to have had to play the game from the bottom and to not show his real self throughout the game. Though he was proud to have never given up and make it to the end, and to finally be able to live his life as a proud gay man. Mike spoke about being proud of himself for overcoming the generational barriers, competing with the younger kids and making the bonds to get to the end. While Maryanne once again dominated, sharing how she learnt to stand up for herself and to not self-sabotage, which is why she voted out Lindsay. She cried about having to turn on a friend, though finally knew that she had to take the risk of getting rid of her, to give herself the best shot at winning.

With that the jury voted and once again, everyone was gagged to discover that Jeff would be reading the votes right then and there in the middle of Fiji. Sadly for Romeo, none of them were for him as he found himself becoming the second runner-up of the season.

As Jeffy pop and co reset to film the reunion, I pulled Romeo aside and gave him a massive hug for all that he achieved throughout the season. And for giving a surprisingly dominant performance in the final tribal council. Romeo perfectly articulated how he managed to navigate the game despite being on the bottom the entire time, while also going on a massive journey to self-acceptance. Which is not bad for 26 days of work! And while it didn’t jag him the win, it was more than enough to win him my heart and a big ol’ ramekin of Romesco Saucobar.

A little bit tangy with a touch of earthiness and punch of sweetness, this Spanish sauce is the perfect accompaniment for pretty much anything. Make it a bit thicker and you’ve got a punchy dip, thinner and it works perfectly with some charred chicken.

Enjoy!

Romesco Saucobar
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
150g chargrilled capsicum, drained well
½ tsp sweet smoked paprika
¼ tsp chilli powder
20g flaked almonds, lightly toasted in a dry pan
1 lemon, zested and juiced
5 large garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Method
Pop everything into the blender and blitz until smooth.

Decant and either down, dip or drizzle on something and devour – your choice!


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Sichuanyx Chilli Oil

Condiment, Dip, Drag Race España, Drag Race España 2, Sauce, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race España the dolls starred in los Javis’ neauvo rusical Holy Drag Camp! And well, while we literally saw the entire show, the quality held up and I kept my complaining to a minimum. Despite having a killer voice, Juriji struggled while Jota disappeared into the background as her sisters shone. Oh and Onyx was just there, but given her character was a painting, there wasn’t much she could actually do to stand out. While Sharonne continued to deliver killer performances, it was Estrella who was rewarded for killing each week as she took out her first victory of the season. Juriji and Jota landed in the bottom too and while Jota put everything on the line, Juriji absolutely slayed the lip sync, saved herself and sent sweet, young Jota packing. 

Backstage Diamante couldn’t give a shit to have lost their youngest sister, while Juriji paid tribute to Jota’s bravery and how talented she is at such a young age. Despite not lip syncing, Onyx was disappointed to have received negative critiques from the judges, while Sharonne desperately tried to remind them how talented both the bottom queens are. While Diamente, again, just wanted Juriji to wake up and put up, though was hopeful lip syncing was the push she needed. Everyone pivoted to praising Estrella on her well deserved win, before Diamante gave them all one final wake up Pearl moment, which is a pretty confident thing to do for safe.

They then all made out and snuggled and yeah, my basement was and continues to be, flooded.

The next day the dolls were doing their best animal impersonations, which is a vibe, before speculating what challenge they would be facing this week. Supremme soon arrived to put them out of their misery by immediately throwing them into this week’s Mini Challenge where they would have to recite poetry in front of a big fan. More importantly, the Pit Crew arrived in mesh underwear, so obviously I stopped paying attention on anything else. After they all hornily reached into the Pit Crew’s sacks to grab a poem, they had 20 minutes to merrorise the poem and get into some quick drag before the Pit Crew wheeled out said fan to blow on their face while they recited their erotic poetry.

As is oft the case when the Pit Crew around, we all proved to be winners, though apparently it was Onyx that took out victory for keeping her dignity, winning a huge haul of sex toys.

Supremme then dropped the big news though, as the dolls learned that for this week’s Maxi Challenge they would be playing Snatch Game! The dolls quickly split up to start prepping their looks before Supremme dropped by to learn who everyone would be playing with Diamante hilariously doing wrestling mask RuPaul – don’t get this franchise cancelled, Diamante! – Marina will be playing Antonia Dell’atte, Onyx shared she would be doing Jauna de Loca or Valencia’s neighbour, which got a big reaction from Jruiji, given the latter is her number one choice. Sharonne will be playing Veronica Forque – who died after the show was shot, thus her receiving a tribute at the top of the episode – while Drag Sethlas will be Carmen Lomana, Estrella meanwhile was playing Paquita Salas and Venedita will be Miguel Bose.

We quickly pivoted to set where Jedet and Eva Hache were lined up to star as guests, and while it is always harder to get the references in foreign franchises, it was clear that Sharonne and Juriji were slaying the game. While Onyx was well and truly bombing, alongside Diamante, who made RuPaul as proud as Trixie before her. And while the rattlesnake noise tells me she was bombing, I lived for Drag Sethlas vocal fry as Carmen Lomana. Oh and Venedita’s wackadoo, anti-vaxxer was hilarious in a way that transcended language.

Dia de eliminacion arrived with Diamante terrified about landing in the bottom, while the dolls were proud of how funny Juriji proved to be. They then split up to get prepped for the runway and for some of them, hopefully save themselves from their terrible performances. Onyx opened up to Juriji and Drag Sethlas about her depression and the struggle to accept her weirdness as her strength. Marina and Estrella joined the conversation, talking about how great it is that they can all be themselves and are celebrated for it and ugh, again, they are all too sweet.

Supremme, Ana, y los Javis were joined on the panel by Goya winning actress, Maria Leon for the Spanish Dolls runway where Marina opened the show as a neon, plastic disco delight and damn, she looked good. Diamante was a voodoo ragdoll, Sethlas went nude, serving genderless Barbie realness, while Onyx was perfection as a porcelain doll. Sharonne was serving perfect face as a pillow doll before revealing herself as Teela from Masters of the Universe. Juiji was a glam, goth porcelain doll, Venedita was perfection as a Matador souvenir doll, while Estrella was a creepy, crazed paper doll before revealing herself to be a sexy blow-up doll.

Ultimately Marina was sent to safety alongside Estrella before the judges read Diamante for being terrible in Snatch Game, which is something she freely agreed with. The judges wished Sethlas chose her other Snatch Game option, before Onyx was read for being completely stuck in her head, though they loved her runway. Sharonne once again received universal praise for everything she did this week, particularly for nailing the characterisation of Veronica. Juriji too received universal praise, with the added bonus being that she surprised the judges with how good she was. Oh and they lived for everything that Venedita did this week too.

Backstage the safe dolls were busy chatting away when the tops and bottoms joined them to talk things through, with Diamante sure that she would lip syncing. While Sharonne admitted the choice between Sethlas and Onyx joining her is a tough one, with both sure it would be them. Juriji meanwhile was proud to show off her skills while the dolls questioned if there was anything Venedita can’t do!

Despite Juriji and Venedita giving very strong performances, it was Sharonne who took out her second win of the season. At the other end of the pack, Sethlas narrowly avoided the bottom leaving Diamante and Onyx to lip sync for their lives. As soon as Arrasando by Thalia kicked off, both the dolls went off. They hit every lyric and danced around stage and while Diamante gave the more traditional, ballroom-style lip sync, I was living for Onyx’s silliness and campy moves and as such, I was absolutely heartbroken when she was told to sashay away.

Like Onyx, I am riddled with self-doubt and each day is a struggle to self acceptance so when we met up backstage, I quickly pulled her in for a massive hug. I mean, yeah, I also find Onyx ridiculously attractive, so the hug was just as good for me as it was for her, but I knew she needed to remember that she is talented, loved and to know other people could see it. And while it may not seem like it, I feel my Sichuanyx Chilli Oil truly proved it to her.

As hot and spicy as Onyx herself, this oil packs such a deep, earthy punch. Perfect for dipping, drizzling and in a state of disappointment, I guess, drinking, the oil’s warmth carries on long after it passes your lips and acts as a delicious hug for everything that passes. Food wise, obvi, because it is spicy.

Enjoy!

Sichuanyx Chilli Oil
Makes: 1 ½ cups.

Ingredients
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cinnamon stick
4 star anise
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns
2 tbsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp chilli powder
1 tsp salt

Method
Pop the vegetable oil, cinnamon, star anise, bay leaves and Sichuan peppercorns in a saucepan over low heat. Cook for about half an hour, or until lightly fragranced. Crank the heat to high and cook for a a couple of minutes before removing from the heat.

Combine the chilli flakes and powder, and salt in a bowl and strain the oil over to combine. Stir and leave to infuse for a couple of hours before serving. Or devouring.


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Trufelle Howaioli

Condiment, Dip, Sauce, Survivor, Survivor 42, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, the Vati, Ika and Taku’s were dismantled however like last year, Jeffrey wanted to play things a little coy and delayed the merge. Through the power of a terrible twist that was once again trying to masquerade as time travel. After Jonathan doomed his group by leading them to victory, Rocksroy went to hourglass island where he rightly opted to give himself immunity. After Tori cussed him out for stripping her of her immunity, she then went and won it back in the first individual immunity. Which doomed everyone’s plans as she was public enemy number one, meaning out of nowhere, Lydia found herself felled and just missed the jury.

The tribe returned from tribal council, grateful to have officially made the merge and to be a part of the jury. Though according to Mike, that is as far as Romeo, Chanelle, Tori and Maryanne will go since they are left right out. Chanelle caught up with Hai, heartbroken to realise she hasn’t played the killer game she thinks she has after being left out of the last vote. Drea meanwhile was ready to drop Romeo like a newborn giraffe due to his growing shiftiness, while Lindsay was assuring Maryanne that they are still aligned and she will look out for her. Despite that assurance, Maryanne was still gutted to be on the bottom of the tribe and opened up about how it reminded her of being left out in school as a weirdo.

The next day Mike was working hard to get to know his fellow tribemates, knowing that as the old guy of the tribe, he needs to make sure people like him. And given he kindly sat and learnt about religion from Omar as he prayed and instantly made him fall in love with him, I think he’s going to be ok. At the very least, he warmed my cold dead heart.

My love Probst appeared to hide a little beware advantage on the sit out bench as the Kula Kula tribe arrived for the reward challenge. After telling us he’d be disappointed if the advantage went unfound like it did last season, he explained to the tribe that in teams of two they would swim out and retrieve five buoys in an obstacle course and then shoot them into a basket. Oh and the winners get PB&J and chips. And while Drea was chosen on one of the teams, she shared that she hates PB&J and as such, she was offered to tap out with Maryanne. Obviously Drea quickly snatched another advantage while Maryanne obviously lost the reward given she went to Drea’s former team which was decidedly lacking in Jonathan’s, who quickly got his team out to a lead. While Omar quickly shot four of the five baskets in a row, he then missed while Joanthan tagged out with Rocksroy and quickly shot all of their baskets in a row.

Meaning Maryanne shoulda just sat out and at least got an advantage.

Back at camp the victors were thrilled to discover their sandwiches and quickly smashed them, while the losers bonded over how much fun they had in the challenge. And how damn close it was. The groups combined and rehashed the order they wanted to take the outsiders out before Omar shared with us that he was also keeping said outsiders happy, pretending to try and keep them safe so he always has options should the alliance break.

Drea meanwhile was going hunting for her advantage, which was five paces away from the well hidden under a coconut. And that she needed to cover her tracks or get caught red handed. Which is what happened, since the producers hid the damn advantage in a pot of red paint like icons. While she desperately tried to clean her hands, she learnt that her latest haul is the Knowledge is Power advantage, which would grant her the power to steal one of the other idols – or any old advantage – in the game. As she returned to camp, Tori was worried she was bleeding when she saw the red on her hands. And while she lied and said she was painting something, the fact that their tribe flag was yet to be touched and all the paints were sealed, she knew there was something dodgy going on.

The tribe met up with Probst for the latest immunity challenge where they would each balance on a narrow perch and hold a buoy between sticks. Well, everyone that chose to compete because Probst was willing to give them a bag of rice if enough people were willing to sit out of the challenge. The tribe offered two people, which annoyed Probst who then offered nine. Lindsay and Drea said they were happy to sit out, with Maryanne agreeing that she would also be willing to sit out, leading to Jonathan getting Probst to offer the big bag of rice if four people sit out. Which was enough to get Maryanne crying and make people feel bad about her choosing to sit out when she is on the bottom, leading to Omar agreeing to forgo the challenge too. And damn, she is going to emotionally blackmail herself to victory, isn’t she?

Turns out Hai should have been one of the people sitting out given he dropped within a second, quickly followed by Rocksroy and Mike. Romeo soon followed while the remaining trio made it to ten minutes. Tori and Jonathan started to wobble though managed to save themselves before Chanelle dropped out of nowhere. While Jonathan saved himself multiple more times, he eventually dropped and handed Tori her second immunity in as many episodes. Once again throwing the majority’s plans into chaos.

Back at camp Hai was thrilled to have jagged the rice without having to sit out and gladly started locking in the vote against Chanelle, since Tori had immunity. He and Mike went person to person while telling Chanelle that the actual plan was Romeo, in the hope she wouldn’t play her Shot in the Dark. While Mike assured him it was all a ruse, Romeo started to get nervous and checked in with Drea to find out why things changed between them since the merge. Tori told him that Rocks told her that his name was floating around, leading to him telling Rocks what she said and well, his paranoia started to drive everyone insane. As such, Hai tried to flip the vote on him and while everyone was keen, Mike was very against it and desperate to keep the target on Chanelle. Since she has been nothing but shady to him all game.

At tribal council Jonathan spoke about the fact he was very firm about the people sitting out of the challenge being off limits in the vote. Tori mentioned that while she is safe, it is always hard to not be in the majority since they want to focus on making unified choices. Romeo told everyone they need to stop deluding themselves before Hai clapped back and spoke about not wanting to align with paranoid people. Like Romeo. Drea talked about how aligning with people is dangerous given their bad moves can reflect on you too, before Chanelle and Mike spoke about being unsure who they can trust and what is the right choice to make.

Talk then turned to being in a car and well, it was wild and confusing, though I live for Maryanne talking about holding on to the little middle seat to try and stay in the game. But yeah, who cares about cars, you know they are cursed in Survivor like pizza is on this blog. In any event, the tribe put the car talk into park and voted, with Romeo narrowly avoiding the boot as Chanelle was sent out of the game to become the Queen of the Jury.

As she arrived in the empty Ponderosa, I quickly congratulated her on a game well played. I mean, sure, she tanked it a little after her trip to ship-wheel island, but she still managed to navigate to the jury and most importantly, rule over it as the Queen. With that, I toasted to her success and filled up our royal cups with a fresh batch of Trufelle Howaioli.

At this point in my life, my mantra could easily be, if there is truffle in it, it is in me. Does it make sense? Not so much. But given how good this truffle aioli is, who cares? Creamy and packing a beautiful punch of truffle, I’m in heaven.

Enjoy!

Trufelle Howaioli
Makes: 1-2 cups.

Ingredients
½ cup Shayonnaise Swain
½ cup sour cream
1 tbsp white truffle oil, plus more for drizzlin’
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 lemon, zested
salt and pepper, to taste
½ cup parsley, roughly chopped
¼ cup rosemary, finely chopped

Method
Pop everything in a jug or bowl. Stir until well combined. Adjust seasoning according to taste.\

Cover and pop it in the fridge for at least an hour before devouring, in a glass or with some Jud Beerza Battered Fries.


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Nam Jimbo Dressing

Condiment, Dip, RuPaul's Drag Race: UK vs the World, RuPaul's Drag Race: UK vs the World 1, Sauce, TV, TV Recap

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race: UK vs the World, the top eight – it is true, despite the fact they only started with 9 – threw a ball to celebrate all things Mama Ru, with the final category requiring them to whip up an outfit that Ru herself would wear. Given it was a design challenge, Cheryl, Baga and Juju were absolutely terrified. Though the latter was confident with her plan to just pick a colour she knew Ru vibes with and to hope for the best! As she spiralled backstage, Mo encouraged Cheryl to focus on the task at hand and well, it was super sweet. On the mainstage Michelle told Juju to hurry up and arrive, while Jimbo and Janey received universal praise and rightly landed in the top. With Janey taking out victory in the lip sync and eliminating Cheryl from the competition.

Backstage Janey and Jimbo were on cloud nine after their wins, while Juju was just thrilled to be saved, despite it meaning poor Cheryl had to go. Blu opened up about how heartbroken she was to lose such a bright spark like Cheryl, though admitted it was the fair thing to do given she was far and away the worst in the challenge. The dolls sat down to kiki with Juju thanking Janey for the save, before talk turned to who Jimbo picked with her admitting that she chose Jujubee for being the biggest competition. After a hilarious bit pulling yet more food out of her cleavage. Annoyed, Juju then told the girls that she and Jimbo had actually made an agreement to save each other during Untucked with all the dolls completely gagged by how shady Jimbo seemingly was. And well, Jimbo girl, you’re in danger. Unless Baga wins, since she confirmed with Jimbo that their alliance was for realsies after they all split up.

Things were far more zen the next day with Janey proudly showing off her badge to her sisters, while Blu was just jealous she too couldn’t go from bottoming to the top like she does on her favourite weekends. Blu continued to produce the season, asking Juju how she felt about Michelle critiquing her for not going arriving yet with Juju admitting that she has officially woken up thanks to the statement and was ready to turn it out. Monique interrupted proceedings to ask the dolls to start calling her Mo, as she wanted to officially change her name to reflect a more genderless aesthetic. And I live. Particularly since Juju then asked for them to call her Amber.

Before anyone else could jump on the trend, Ru arrived to open the library – now in three different languages! Maybe four, depending on how much Jimbo learnt from Rita Baga, I guess. Janey was up first and savaged Baga’s plastic surgery, Pangina was adorable as she destroyed Jimbo’s lip syncing skills before Jimbo was brutal, first with Ru, then Pangina and finally Mo, for being a whore, smelling and being a whore respectively. Baga went for Jimbo’s age while Mo was just terrible. Like so terrible it became good and then bad again. Thankfully Juju followed and had everyone in hysterics with her filthy, brutal reads. I mean, is she wrong to call Baga Princess Di-arrhoea?! Then Blu went IN on the girls, while wanting Janey to come in her. Despite Blu’s last ditch push for victory, Juju won her THIRD reading challenge – damn you, Yar-lexis for ruining her perfect record – and well, it was very well deserved.

Ru then announced that for this week’s challenge, they would be putting on a rusical for the judges called West End Wendys: the Comeback!, a harrowing tale of washed up performers competing in a Broadway themed talent show. For you guessed it, a comeback! And as Juju won the challenge, she was given the honour of casting the whole damn thing.

As soon as Ru disappeared the dolls sat down to listen to the rusical with all of them agreeing there were no bad parts. Given Juju wanted to be kind, she offered to let everyone pick their parts, after she had taken her role. However when Juju admitted she wanted the role of Lally Bowelz, Baga got very, very angry. And it was not a very, vey good look. Given Baga was so fixated on the one role she couldn’t have, Mo and Janey got shady and made Baga audition and read her for filth, despite doing Liza on the reg in her shows. 

While Baga continued to mutter about wanting to be Lally, Pangina snatched up former child-star Widdle Orphan Fannie, Blu was typecast as slutty-nun Mariah Gon Trappy, Mo was ready to go sweet as Dr Spank-n-Spurter, Janey jumped at the chance to play Meryl Streep while Jimbo jagged Dodo the Dog. Leaving an irate Baga with the worst role of Tracey Fatberg. With Mo hilariously calling out Baga for being super bratty and as such, tough titties girl, you need to move on.

The dolls split up to get prepared with Baga continuing to be irate while Jujubee finally realised Baga was actually being serious when talking to Blu and well, it was funny just not a joke.

The queens joined Johannes Radebe to work on their choreography with Pangina up first and well and truly feeling the pressure. Though she shouldn’t be nervous given she is an absolute hilarious star. Baga was up next and still pressed about her role, and that was before she found out she had a tonne of steps to learn and not enough brain capacity to do it. Juju went next and appeared to struggle her way through the choreography, though I’m desperately hoping it is a fake-out edit. Though at least she appears to have charmed her way into getting Johannes as a boobyprize, I guess.

Blu proved the role of a horny nun is the one she was born to play, while Mo was asked about her ability to pull off tricks and despite her past performances on the mainstage, she was ready to cartwheel and split everywhere. Just after she stretches, because something definitely went cleek during rehearsal. Janey was thrilled to challenge herself as Meryl, though was wishing for more dance given that is her background. And well, rehearsal was rough because she was told to stop holding back on the dance as she was clearly coming across as flat. And this better be a fake-out. Jimbo closed out rehearsal and opened up about a neck injury which was news to all the girls, though given she was barely moving, I kinda believe her.

Elimination Day arrived with the general vibe being much betta, as Mo asked Baga whether she had calmed down. Juju checked in with Jimbo to see how her injury was, with Jimbo admitting that it felt better though she had considered lying and telling the girls she was still injured to lull them into a false sense of security. And well, Pangina just felt the entire thing was all kinds of shady.

Ru, Michelle and Graham were joined on the judging panel by Viscount Bridgerton himself, Jonathan Bailey, for the world premiere of West End Wendys: The Comeback. And well, it continued in the tradition of Drag Race UK rusicals of being equal parts fun, camp and stupid. Pangina was demented and perfect, despite hating her role Baga was solid and sold it and Juju was solid though I feel she shouldn’t have taken such an in demand role, because I definitely think someone could have done more with it. Sadly, liek Baga. Blu was hilariously horny and oh so good, while Mo was sexy, camp and delightful, even as she tripped mid-cartwheel, before Janey stole the damn show as Meryl Streep. I mean, she had the mannerisms and energy, and was just so damn magnetic. And well Jimbo was a glorious dog, though got lucky with the Defying Gravity parody song because there wasn’t much else.

On the Dot Dot Dot Runway, Jimbo was an alien delight in a black-spotted green raincoat. Juju was trapped in a spotted snake with clashing colours and Blu wore a horny, velvet dress with a bunch of spotted faces all over it. Janey was in a glamorous Mugler-inspired yellow spotted gown, feeling her Catherine Zeta-Jones realness, Mo gave sexy Sulley from Monsters Inc. realness while Pangina stole the damn show in a gorgeous white gown splattered in rainbow dots, complete with a chinese lantern inspired headpiece which words do not do justice. Baga then gave Pretty Woman at the polo, but sloppier.

Blu and Baga were sent to safety before Jimbo was read for not going far enough with the role, though the judges did live for her impeccable runway. Juju was praised for doing a good job, though read for not giving enough as Baga smirked from the back. Oh and the judges hated her look and felt it was far and away the weakest, leading to Ru encouraging her to step it up because they love her. Janey received universal praise for everything she gave in the performance and for making it effortless. Graham felt there was something wrong with the outfit, though couldn’t articulate it. Mo was praised for her magnetism, though they wished she didn’t get in her head when she makes mistakes. And they LIVED for her runway. Pangina too received universal praise from start to finish, both the performance and the runway. Ultimately Janey and Pangina were deemed the top two while Mo was sent to safety, leaving Juju and Jimbo in the bottom together.

Backstage Janey and Pangina were thrilled to still be sitting in the top while Baga was still not over getting a shit role that she didn’t want and as such, was glad to be safe. While Juju quietly cried, Pangina went to her side and called Baga out for being a brat and told her the tantrum was not cute which led everyone to jump on and agree with her. Leading to Baga apologising to everyone and vowing to be better. 

Juju meanwhile started straight out sobbing, disappointed to not be able to knock it out of the park given she thought she did good. And this time, she can’t lip sync her way out of it like she has in past seasons. Jimbo seemingly missed the judges critiques, saying she shouldn’t be in the bottom and as such, she was shocked. With Baga admitting to us that Jimbo deserved her place in the bottom, despite the fact they were besties.

When Pangina and Jimbo caught up, she talked round and round in circles while Pangina wished she would get to the point. And when she did, she just pointed to her killer track record and the fact Juju isn’t hitting her marks. Juju meanwhile was telling Janey that she still has a fight in her and doesn’t want to go home, before pointing out Jimbo had picked two lipsticks to go home and that they were hers and Janeys. Though Janey questioned whether voting out Jimbo is playing the same shady game she played. The safe girls agreed Jimbo’s track record was flawless, though Mo admitted she just doesn’t trust Jimbo. Juju then told Pangina she will always have fight in her and honestly, did better than Jimbo in the challenge they’re being judged on this week while Jimbo reiterated to Janey how much she wants to be here.

After picking their lipsticks, Janey and Pangina legged it to the mainstage where they battled to We Like To Party (Vengabus) by The Vengaboys which was, in a word, ICONIC. I mean, I once taught my niece the worst dance to the song and she still does it and well, she too is an icon, so this all makes me so happy. But I digress. Both the queens gave a killer performance, though it was truly Pangina’s show. I mean, she jerked off when the vengabus was coming, she vogued the house down and even rocked out streamers. While Janey gave great disco moves that were perfect for the song, there was no taking my eyes off Pangina, who rightly took out the win. And then gooped the queens – and the judges – by sending Jimbo home.

As she vowed to get Ru and her little dog (Michelle) too, begging the question, did she create exit lines based around each questions or did she just get lucky that it coincided with her performance as Dodo.

While Jimbo opened up and shared the answer to my query when we caught up in the Werk Room, like Bebe, out of respect to DeLa, I will never share the response. Though I will share how grateful she was to have a dear friend like my waiting to cheer her up. As you know, Jimbo and I have long been the dearest of friends after fighting over the same jumbo breastplate in a store. While yes, we both ended up in jail for 24 hours, that time bonded us for a life and knew the only thing that could dull the pain of being this year’s robbed queen is a fresh, zingy Nam Jimbo Dressing. 

While this is normally something you’d serve with some sort of Thai finger food, Jimbo and I play by different rules and as such, are completely down to have something as delicious as this as a drink. Hot and spicy, tangy and packing a herbaceous punch, it truly does engage all your senses.

Enjoy!

Nam Jimbo Dressing
Makes: ½ – 1 cup.

Ingredients
2 green chillis, tailed and chopped
6 garlic cloves, sliced
2 shallots, roughly chopped
2 limes, zested and juiced
2 tbsp peanut oil
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp grated palm sugar
¼ cup fresh coriander, roughly chopped

Method
Ok, so this is another tough one so like Scar always says, be prepared.

Pop everything in a blender, blitz and pour into a serving bowl. Or you know, shot down like a bologna slingin’ icon.


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Jaypricot Bruno Jam

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Blood V Water, Condiment, Sauce, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, Sophie made waves after joining the Water tribe – geddit? I’m here all week – spitting fire about Sam to her husband. At the reward challenge, she doubled down on her rage where she beat up Sam in scenes reminiscent of the ‘stop stop, he’s already dead’ moment in The Simpsons. Nina once again beat up Sandra to win the reward for the Water tribe, which was a cheese player that they had to enjoy at the Blood tribe. In front of the losers. This gave Sophie the opportunity to rage at her former allies and then Sam, for allegedly turning everyone against her. The next day Ben won immunity for the Blood Tribe all by his lonesome sending Water back to tribal council. While Sophie was the obvious target, her sister KJ hatched a plan to blindside Khanh instead while he was distracted. Turns out there was a bigger blindside on the cards however as Alex quit the game due to his injured back.

The next day the Blood tribe were lazing about in the water as Jesse joked about how he isn’t sunburnt but instead was just feeling super rosy. We then got a supercut of Jesse living his best life around camp and absolutely delighting his tribe and ugh, Jesse is my king. Despite also being young enough to be my child in an early-teenage pregnancy situation. I’m not good with maths, but I’m guessing I would have had to have been a father at 12. So unlikely, but possible. In theory.

But I’ve digressed.

We checked in with the Water tribe where Mark was regaling KJ with tales of life in the army or overthinking things at tribal council? I honestly got confused by the trajectory of their conversation. Sophie reminded us that against all odds she is still in the game and is still glad to be reunited with her sister. While Alex quit the game and ruined their plans at the last tribal council, Sophie realised that as Khanh is still one of the biggest threats it may actually be better to team up with him than vote him out. Sadly for her, he had no interest and immediately reported back to Josh and Jordie that Sophie came to him to announce his idol was going to be flushed and he would be voted out immediately after her, should he not join forces with her.

Oh and she reiterated doesn’t want to ruin KJ’s position in the game, despite her chaos.

Over at the Blood tribe, a lizard was wandering around camp and creeping out Sandra before talk turned to what they thought happened at the last tribal council. With everyone hoping Sophie was sent packing for good this time. Sandra regaled us with tales of her previous experiences in the game, talking about how much harder the conditions are in the Australian outback. She also reminded us that the only times she has been voted out have been on Day 16 and as such, the closer it gets to that day the more stressed she becomes.

But using that logic, should she make it to Day 17, she is either winning. Or at the very least, being booted on Day 39. So yay!

Sandra caught up with Sam, Amy and Michelle by the well, talking about who they should vote out one of the boys with Sandra trying to push to get rid of Dave given he wrote her name down before. Sadly for her though, nobody was interested in that. Plus, it was actually Sam who voted for her. Back at camp, Sandra asked Dave why they were enemies before joking about the curse that forces people that write her name down to lose the game and as such, he should regret his previous choices.

Which actually means Sam should regret it. And won’t win. 

Being close with Dave, Amy didn’t want to lose a potential ally and as such, pulled him aside to warn him and float the idea of getting rid of Sandra instead. As they joined up with Jay in the water, Sandra, Sam and Michelle watched on from the hammock and quickly identified the trio as the current biggest threat and suggested they vote them out back-to-back-to-back. Knowing they need numbers to execute that plan, Sandra and Michelle caught up with the alpha males to float the idea of splitting up said power trio and while Croc knew it was a good idea, he also wasn’t confident enough in his position to trust it. We then heard more about Croc, learning he applied to Survivor to get back his sense of purpose after retiring from the NRL and finally secure an individual win, rather than one as part of a team.

Speaking of teams, the tribes caught up with Jonathan for the reward challenge where water filled Blood in on the circumstances surrounding Alex’s exit. As for the challenge, they would work in trios to run down a ramp and into the water to wrestle for a football with the one to get it back up their ramp scoring a point for their tribe. For a club sandwich, which is fitting given our speedo kings of yore. In the first round, Mark, Josh and Jordie faced off against Croc, Jesse and Ben, the two latter looking glorious in their speedos as per usual. The entire round was chaos as everyone wrestled and tossed their ball with Chrissy screaming at Jordie to just get up the ramp and wait, which ended up securing their win.

Round two was Nina, Chrissy and Sophie against Amy, Michelle and Sandra with Nina continuing her winning streak against her mum, scoring the second point for Water despite Amy nearly breaking away with the ball. Jordan, David and Jay were up next against Mark, Khanh and Josh with Jordan and his speedo once again starring as he tackled anyone and everything, allowing Dave to score a point for Blood. Croc, Jesse and Jordan were up next, facing off against Mark, Jordie and Josh and once again my speedo kings were absolutely ferocious, however sadly, they couldn’t land their ball and instead Water took out yet another victory.

Back at camp the tribe were thrilled to discover they had each won a club sandwich, rather than having to split one which is what I assumed was the situation for some reason. Everyone quickly grabbed their snacks and juice while Khanh gave them the foodie description of their sangas. We then got a supercut of everyone near orgasming as they feasted on their sandwiches, with Mark thrilled to finally have time to pause and think through what is next for the tribe. While he still thinks getting rid of Khanh is critical, Sophie’s volatility is more concerning for him and as such he felt she needed to go first. He then flipped a table to check if there was an idol clue under it, sadly not in homage to Teresa Giudice.

Meanwhile over at the Blood tribe, they were talking shit about the sandwiches to try and make themselves feel better about their loss. Jordan tried to remind them not to stress and instead focus on winning immunity. Not wanting to wait however, Sandra, Michelle and Sam ventured back to the hammock and continued with their plans to get rid of Dave. While Amy, Dave and Jay went hunting for idols. Right in front of the tribe. Spooked, Sandra got up and joined the hunt with Amy, Michelle and Sam spotting a red pole near a tree at the same time. Yet somehow, Amy managed to spot the idol and knock it off without anyone seeing her. Begging the question, how? Like, HOW?

The tribes joined up with Jonathan for the latest immunity challenge where they would each have to swim out to a cliff, climb up a net, release a ball and then race it back to the start to shoot into a basket with the first team to five winning immunity. Jordie got Water out to the earliest of leads, however Michelle managed to close the gap as she scored the basket quickly at the other end. Add in Ben speeding through the water, he managed to catch up with Josh. While Water continued to have more time shooting their baskets, Blood always managed to close the gap until Khanh tired in the water and allowed Sam to overtake him while Khanh struggled more and more in the water. Sadly, Sandra struggled with the basket allowing KJ to take back the lead for the tribe once Khanh delivered the ball. While Croc started to close the gap again on his swim, he struggled on the netting allowing Shay to extend Water’s lead as Mark joined Croc in the water. Mark then whipped through the course, before  Nina scored the final point and secured immunity for Water.

The medics were then called in to check on Croc as Chrissy went into mummy mode, coaching him through his breathing and making sure he was ok. The NRL great then spoke about how he didn’t want to let his team down with everyone assuring him, they love him and he should be proud of his performance. Because that challenge was brutal.

Back at camp Sam tried to perk everyone back up, reminding them the other tribe are well fed while they are not. After that, things quickly descended into chaos as the hammock crew returned to rocking before locking in their vote for Dave. As such, Sandra then approached Croc to woo back the alpha male alliance, while Sam worked on Jesse and Jordan. And while everyone readily agreed to boot Dave, we also have way too long left of the episode, so something has to give.

Amy meanwhile was already feeling the paranoia that comes with having an idol before approaching Jay to loop him in on her fears that Sandra has turned the tribe against Dave. As such, Amy approached the alpha boys to talk about voting out Sandra instead, particularly because she plays a great under the radar game and the longer she lasts, the more fearsome she gets. Amy, Jay and Dave all split up to lock in the votes for Sandra, though Amy knew that there would be major problems should they try and take a shot at Sandra and miss. Meanwhile Croc, Ben and Jordan were relishing their role as the swing votes, weighing up whether booting Sandra or Dave would be better for the long term games. 

Back at the hammock however, Sandra, Sam and Michelle continued to strategise with the latter confessing that she spotted Amy finding her hidden immunity idol and floated the idea of switching the vote to get rid of her instead. Which Sandra was obviously all in on.

Sandra then approached the alphas again to loop them in on the new information, suggesting they split the vote between Amy and Jay instead to force Amy to flush her idol. While everyone quickly agreed to the plan, Jordan immediately went to Amy to tell her that everyone knows about her idol and as such, told her that she needs to play it tonight otherwise she is going home. While Amy continued to push for Sandra to go, she followed up with Sam, Jesse and Jay to loop them in on the new plan. Ben soon joined them and assured her that he, Jesse and Sam are all with her and will be voting out Sandra tonight.

While Sandra was making jokes about checking how to spell ‘Amy’ before deciding Jonathan will figure it out if she gets it wrong.

At tribal council Jordan spoke about how brutal the challenge was, Ben opened up about being blindsided at last tribal council, though Jordan agreed that getting rid of his ally did create more harmony in camp. Talk turned to the post-challenge scramble with Michelle opening up about how chaotic things were, with Sandra agreeing that everything changes on a dime. She then went in talking about how Amy and Jay who would usually speak to her ignored her all afternoon and as such, she knows she is going to be getting votes. She reminded them it was a better idea to keep people happy and thinking they were safe because otherwise, you can’t pull off a blindside.

Sam spoke about tribal council always being complicated, though looked at Sandra and assured her that she would be doing what she said. Amy tried to defend not talking to Sandra before the latter pushed her to admit that she had an idol. While Croc reminded her not to ever tell anyone when they have an idol, Amy admitted she didn’t tell anyone, as her allies looked on in shock. Jay tried to get everyone to focus on making a vote to keep things unified, while Sam felt there would finally be a line in the sand while Croc was just hoping to build some trust. Oh and Jay was confident there would be another blindside.

With that, the tribe voted and Amy (needlessly) played her idol for herself, negating the three votes against her while three piled up on Sandra before the rest all landed on Jay and sent him out of the game. With a different blindside to the one he was expecting.

Like Sam Schoers before him, Jay didn’t have a lot to say on the TV side of things but off the show, he is an absolute delight. And was playing such a strong game. As soon as he walked into Loser Lodge, I scooped him up in my arms and then realised I have zero upper body strength to lift him. Instead, I gave him a hug and then tried to sweeten his post-boot pain with some Jaypricot Bruno Jam.

Yeah, yeah, jam is jam. But you truly haven’t lived until you’ve made it at home, complete with the freshest produce. Sticky and sweet, the lemon is the super power, cutting through to give you a glorious mouthful of flavour.

Enjoy!

Jaypricot Bruno Jam
Makes: 4-6 cups.

Ingredients
1kg ripe apricots
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 cup water
4 cups raw caster sugar

Method
Halve apricots and remove stones before popping them in a saucepan with the lemon zest and juice, and water. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes, or until tender.

Take off the lid and stir in the sugar until dissolved. Again, bring to a boil and cook, uncovered, for half an hour, or until thick and jammy. But not too thick, given it will firm up as it comes to temperature.

Remove from the heat and leave to rest for five minutes before pouring into hot, sterilised jars to cool. Seal when cold. Or devour all at once, though that would be too much for even me.


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Sydney Segarlic Sauce

Condiment, Dip, Sauce, Survivor, Survivor 41, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor things were starting to look up for Genie on Ua as she stumbled upon the re-hidden threesome idol. Sadly for her, she took the information to Ricard and Shan and the three agreed to leave it where it is until they knew Luvu had found theirs. Or at least, that is what they told her as they immediately went to grab it and try their luck at immunity. Thankfully for them, Naseer found the third idol, activating them all and giving everyone their votes back. Sadly for Ua, they lost yet another immunity challenge and after Shan and Liana bonded on a journey, Shan left Liana to snag an advantage and joined Ricard to boot Genie from the game. But girl, they have drama.

That night Shan and RIcard returned to a very quiet Ua, heartbroken to have just booted Genie with Ricard more shocked that she was shocked to go. Shan admitted to him that she thought the two of them were tight but shared with us that she needed someone like Ricard to keep her focused on the game, rather than a kind player like Genie who reminds her of home. The duo then spoke about the awkwardness of the extra vote, with us learning that Shan only passed the extra vote to Ricard so that he could vote out Genie should Shan not get hers back with the idol. And ugh, should they merge tomorrow, I am not confident this duo is going to stick together based on this little fight.

The next morning Shan asked for her advantage back one final time with Ricard sassing her out for asking for it back, rather than quietly giving it back like they agreed. And again, this isn’t going to end well for this duo.

We next checked in with Yase where they found treemail announcing that merge was upon them, but first there will be fun. Which, ugh, appears to be another twist. That being said, the Yase four are pretty tight and feeling their oats, ready to dominate. Except for the fact it is actually a trio with Xander left right out. Meanwhile Sydney was nervous to merge over at Luvu, given they haven’t had the opportunity to test their bonds and nothing this season has come to them easily. Which feels eerily like foreshadowing for their downfall, no?

Jeffrey arrived to loop us in on the twist of the merge, with the castaways split into two groups for an epic challenge. The winning group would then send someone away to an island where, dun, dun DUN, they would be faced with a never before seen power that could change the course of the game. So basically, just another week of Survivor 41, no?

After dropping their buffs the TBC merge tribe were gagged to learn that they would need to earn their way into the merge with two teams facing off to dig up a massive boulder and push it through a course to release keys before, you know the drill, unlocking puzzle pieces and solving it. The first team, not tribe, to win would get to enjoy a feast and earn their merge buff. AND not need to participate in the first individual immunity, given they are already immune. Oh and to make it even more complex, only ten would be competing with two people drawing grey rocks and sitting out with one of them sent on a journey and the other lucky person joining the immune merged team. 

Remember how simple it was to follow in Borneo?

Ultimately it was Naseer and Erika sitting out of the challenge as Xander, Heather, Liana, Tiffany and Shan battled Deshawn, Sydney, Danny, Yvvie and Ricard. Try as Xander may, the rival blue group got out to an early lead collecting two keys before the yellow group finally joined the fray. As the yellow group fought hard to close the gap, the blue team edged closer and closer to solving their puzzle, narrowly snatching victory and guaranteeing their safety at the first tribal council. Oh and a feast. But not before they decide who to take with them out of Naseer and Erika, while the other person would go to a separate island for two nights by themselves with only a major decision for company.

Obviously they didn’t want to make a decision, so instead did rock, paper, scissors which resulted in Naseer joining them and Erika stuck by herself, as the losing group returned to Luvu in preparation for their eventual merge there. When it was just Erika and Jeff, she admitted that she always assumed she was on the bottom of the group and as such, knew that she would be the one to go to the island but kind of appreciated the fact that they feigned rock, paper, scissors as the reason she went there.

We followed the victors to the merge feast with Evvie giddy to eat and officially be immune at the first vote. The group spoke about how hard this season has been on everyone, particularly since they have been given zero food. Talk turned to how the season is progressing, with Danny admitting to us that the rock paper scissor lie was all a cover to protect a male, given the other tribes have decimated their men. The Luvus praised Erika’s survival skills and pretended like she would be fine and ugh, why do I get the feeling that this choice will doom them all?

Erika meanwhile arrived on the island to discover her meagre supplies, though quickly got to work trying to get herself sorted. She shared how her upbringing set her up to fight for what she wants, with Survivor almost like a love letter to the skills her parents gave her. Oh and she is ready to fight after this experience and will return to the game with a new attitude.

We followed the losers back to camp with Xander feeling broken after the challenge, bruised, battered and knowing his only chance to survive the next tribal council is immunity or by playing his idol. As he went off to get water with Heather, Shan asked Liana whether she got the advantage from last week, right in front of Tiffany. Much to Liana’s frustration. With that, the duo went for a walk and Liana explained her advantage to Shan, with the latter explaining she needs to steal Xander or Naseer’s idol ASAP. With that, they locked in their alliance and returned to camp to eat some rice as Tiffany realised that she is on her own in this new group. As such, she was playing everyone and trying to bond with anything.

First up Tiffany pulled Liana aside to find out what the advantage is, with Liana irked by her intensity despite the fact she assured her that she won’t tell anyone. Oh and because Liana kept her advantage a secret from her, now Tiffany is out for blood. Like a Queen.

The winning group returned to camp where everyone giddily introduced themselves despite Evvie thinking they’d all be angry that they just smashed a tonne of food while they ate a tiny bit of rice. Xander meanwhile quickly caught up with Naseer, pledging his undying loyalty to him and reminding him that the men need to stick together. Danny joined the conversation and assured him that Erika will definitely be the first to go. Sydney meanwhile was catching up with Tiffany and Evvie, also floating getting rid of Erika as the best idea. Everyone looped in everyone, which ended up making Liana, Shan and Xander scared that everything sounds too good to be true.

Shan meanwhile went for a walk with Liana and quickly pulled Deshawn and Danny aside, suggesting that they form an alliance and push for another person of colour to join the winner’s circle.

We returned to poor Erika where her loneliness was interrupted by Jeffrey who dropped by to check on her set-up and have a chat. She explained that tending the fire is the only thing that has kept her sane, explaining to Jeff that otherwise she would have curled into a ball and cried, having epic FOMO while also worrying about how much catch-up she has to do when she returns to camp. But Jeff being Jeff explained that that may not actually be the case, given her stint on exile actually comes with an epic power. She can either choose to keep everything the same and return to the game tomorrow, compete in the immunity challenge and potentially be the next one voted out OR she could smash an hourglass and undo the last 24 hours and switch the result of the last challenge, meaning those that are currently immune would now be in danger while she and the losing group would be immune.

With that, Jeffrey departed and left Erika to mull over her decision. But given it guarantees she would make the top 11, we all know which decision she is making despite the potential backlash she will face. As the rain pelted down upon her later that night, she valiantly tried to keep the fire going before waking to a clear sky with the fire alight and ready to return to the game and take control with the full knowledge of what she can do.

The rest of the non-tribe arrived at the top of a mountain to meet Jeff before he brought Erika back to the game to the applause of her fellow competitors. Which quickly stopped after she spoke about feeling left behind as everyone bonded back at camp. And, you know, announced that she had the chance to reverse the outcome of the last challenge. Which she obviously opted to do, as Ricard, Sydney, Deshawn, Evvie and Danny looked on, completely enraged, while Naseer sweetly looked gagged. And obviously the five losers were thrilled to now be guaranteed a spot in the merge.

Deshawn tried to downplay his frustrations before Probst introduced the immunity challenge he would now need to compete in, where they would each have to build a block tower using only their feet before slotting a flag in the middle. First person to finish snagging immunity. Ricard calmly worked away on his tower while Sydney and Evvie took an early lead, powering through their first two levels. Evvie’s toes took her to the third level as Deshawn, Ricard and Naseer joined Sydney in nipping at their heels. After Evvie popped their final block on the tower, they tragically knocked them off with the flag leaving Sydney and Ricard to battle for the win, which the latter took out as he landed his flag seconds ahead.

Before bidding the castaways adieu, Probst reminded them that everyone would be going to tribal council and voting that night, however it is only the five losers eligible to receive votes. Oh and the Shot in the Dark scrolls have been bumped up to 12, with 2 safe scrolls, meaning everyone could potentially play it and two people get saved.

Back at camp the almost-merged tribe quickly congratulated Ricard on his victory before Erika spoke about the harsh experience of exile. Liana was grateful to be safe at the upcoming tribal council, though was more excited about potentially using her epic Knowledge is Power advantage, despite how easy it could be to misplay given she can only ask specific questions. And Shan outed it in front of Tiffany meaning everyone could easily work around it. Meanwhile Danny, Ricard, Shan, Sydney and Deshawn were catching up, with the former struggling to process how they managed to go from feasting and immune to the few eligible people to go home later tonight. Well, not Ricard or Shan, but you know what he meant. 

While Deshawn understood his frustrations, he also wanted Danny to move on so they could come up with a plan. Ricard meanwhile suggested that they load all their votes on Evvie, given Naseer has an idol. Despite bonding with Evvie on their journey, Deshawn was onboard and happy to take them out if it keeps him around one more day. Danny took the plan to Liana and while she was concerned about flopping on Evvie too soon, she admitted that she is most closely aligned with Shan so caught up with her to see what she wanted to do. While she continued to push away from Evvie and downplayed them as a threat, Shan was just as strong about their need to split up Evvie and Xander.

Tiffany and Xander meanwhile were catching up assuring each other that they will protect Evvie with the idol if required. Evvie joined them and broke down over potentially going home, before they looped them in on the fact they plan to play the idol on Evvie should it be needed. The only wrinkle being Liana’s Knowledge is Power advantage, but given Tiffany looped them in on everything, they came up with a plan to protect the idol from being stolen.

Ricard meanwhile was catching up with Erika, Deshawn was looping in Naseer as Xander caught up with Danny and Sydney, letting them know that he plans to play his idol to save Evvie and as such, they need to come up with a different plan. He then opened up about Liana’s advantage and shared that she kept it from the rest of the Yase tribe, meaning she has well and truly turned on them. Danny was then very messy, going straight to Liana with the information and ugh, I love him. This freaked out Liana who went for a walk with Shan to confirm they have a clear understanding of the wording of the note and a loophole is totally blowing this for her, isn’t it?

Liana caught up with Evvie and Xander with the latter tucking the idol in his pants and talking about how the idol will be on his person all night, so Evvie will definitely be safe and they will all boot Deshawn. With that, Liana went to Danny, Deshawn and Shan to share that Deshawn is the target but it isn’t a worry, given she will be stealing Xander’s idol at tribal council. Sydney meanwhile was paranoid about the duelling plans, given she could become collateral damage. While Xander assured her that she will be safe, she ventured to see Liana and Shan who assured her the same thing and damn, why do I have the feeling we could be losing our salty icon?

At tribal council Danny spoke about how finally attending tribal council is more epic than his days in the NFL. Sydney meanwhile was thrilled to be doing something different with new faces around despite the non-merge hurdle. Liana spoke about the surreal nature of living through the pre-tribal scramble while Tiffany tried to articulate why it is such a mess. Talk turned to the Shot in the Dark among the bounty of advantages throughout the season with Shan admitting it creates chaos but ultimately, relationships are all that truly matters. With Deshawn one-upping her and agreeing that the relationships he has built are all that matters to him.

Evvie admitted to being nervous since they are the only non-Luvu eligible to be booted tonight but they were confident that Xander would have their back. With that Xander outed his idol and shared that he would definitely be playing it for them, which Liana agreed was because the Yase tribe protect their own – lol – as Evvie spoke about how they have protected Xander all game despite him not having a vote for such a long time. This made Deshawn call bullshit on their bond, sharing that Evvie told him everything about Xander’s idol on their adventure to the Advantage Island Treetop Walk. This made Xander nervous about their relationship, with Evvie desperately assuring him that they are still solid. Liana piped up to agree that the duo are tight, which is why she plans to play her Knowledge is Power advantage on Xander, requesting his idol.

With that he handed over his fake idol before we learnt that all of his advantages had been handed off to Tiffany prior to tribal council, meaning he had nothing to steal and the trio would live to fight another day. Evvie thanked Liana for showing them that she can’t be trusted and as Liana simply reminded them that the game is cutthroat, Shan started talking about how Evvie is clearly in possession of the idol and as such, they need to come up with a new plan.

This set off an epic chain of whispers with Shan rallying a group to vote Syd, Evvie and Xander meanwhile were pushing for Naseer to join them to vote out Deshawn. Just as quickly as it popped off, it all went quiet as Shan pushed for them to vote and get it over with. This frustrated Deshawn who congratulated Xander and Evvie on their move, but admitted that given his name is on the block, he isn’t so eager to vote just yet. He then started whispering with Shan and pushed to keep the vote on Evvie since Tiffany heard their plans, while Tiffany, Xander and Evvie looped Sydney in on the fact the rest of the tribe now planned to vote her out. With that, she was keen to join them in voting for Deshawn as Tiffany suggested she could play Xander’s extra vote to get things across the line.

Deshawn meanwhile spoke about the fact Tiffany outed their plan before the super-group beckoned Naseer to loop him in on the new plan to split the vote on Evvie and Sydney since they only have one idol in their possession. Eventually everyone settled down and agreed they were ready to vote, after which Sydney shared that she had played her Shot in the Dark, which tragically left her Not Safe. Tiffany then tried to play Xander’s idol until he stepped in and assured her not to play it, much to Evvie’s simmering rage. Probst then finally started counting the votes with them piling up evenly on Deshawn, Evvie and Sydney before Evvie was gagged to discover Sydney had been booted from the game.

Much to the simmering rage of Sydney, while Evvie now praised Tiffany and Xander for holding their nerve with the idol. A complete backflip from their rage moments before.

But back to Sydney, my Queen. While I am heartbroken to have lost young-Sandra way too early, I was thrilled to be on hand to cheer her up before she departed Loser Lodge before I help the crew re-merch for Ponderosa. I’m going to forego the backstory about how we met – sassy people just find their peers, ok? – but I will assure you that Syd and I are the dearest of dear friends – we even got vaccinated together when she flew home! I pulled her in for a hug and while she immediately told me to calm down and that she is glad to be free of her tribemates, I held her long enough to get her admit she was gutted to be out of the game. Though thankfully a take away jar of Sydney Segarlic Sauce was enough to keep the disappointment at bay.

Sweet, earthy and a little tart, kebab sauce is one of my favourite things for a HSP – thankfully 41 filmed before Hayley dominated Brains V Brawn, so I had some spare. I mean, garlic, lemon and the joy of creamy, white liquids? Hook it into my veins.

Enjoy!

Sydney Segarlic Sauce
Makes: 1 cup.

Ingredients
6 garlic cloves, minced
⅓ cup plain yogurt
⅓ cup Shayonnaise Swain
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 tbsp mint, roughly chopped
pinch of salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Ok, so brace yourselves, this one is hard.

Pop everything in a bowl. Stir. Devour.

Or, you know, serve on a kebab or a HSP.


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Chipotle Ranchel Dipnie

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Brains V Brawn, Condiment, Dip, Sauce

Previously on Australian Survivor the tribes battled it out in a dusty immunity challenge with Simon narrowly besting his former tribemate Emmett. While Simon was supported by the rest of his tribe to get to the end and score the win, it was truly a one man show on Brains. Speaking of Emmett, he wasn’t too bothered to lose the challenge given he was leading the Brains tribe’s majority alliance. With an iron fist, if you ask the Brains trio. Speaking of them, they decided their best hope was to woo Kez to their side, given she desperately wants Cara out and Emmett isn’t listening to her. While she vowed to go to rocks to get what she wanted, she ultimately stayed with the alliance and joined them to boot Georgia from the game.

The peace of the outback was disturbed the next day as Gerald snored by the fire as George wandered around wide eyed, glad to still be in the game. Though he admitted that it isn’t luck that got him this far, it was his hard work to finally win some people over. On the outside are his remaining nemesis, Laura and Rachel. And frankly, he doesn’t care who goes next out of the pair of them.

Rachel meanwhile was collecting a tonne of wood despite being tired and on the outs. While Laura was sleeping. We then finally got an intro package for Queen Rach, who was Queenslander of the Year last year and is essentially an icon. She then took that positive attitude to the billabong, teaching Cara how to fish and damn, is this what hope feels like?

Meanwhile over at Brawn Hayley was feeling her oats, in charge and generally living the dream, forming a tight bond with the girls and generally being the boss. They were fishing, tending the fire and making friendship bracelets and honestly, I am just as jealous as Simon to be missing out on the experience. Speaking of Simon, Hayley can see how large his target is and as such, got to work finding cracks to get him out before they get to merge. While Dani and the boys bonded in the shallows – Simon in his speedos, swoon – Hayley realised building a relationship with her would be critical to her long term game and as such, got to work bonding with Dani.

The duo caught up and went fishing, while Hayley started soft, asking about the Brawns on the other tribe, she then got straight to the point, asking Dani when she thinks would be a good time to get rid of Simon. With Dani straight up spilling her entire strategy to align with the alpha and then cut them from the game. A move that she called ‘The Sandra Bullock’, which is as iconic as her asking Hayley if she’d be interested in helping to pull off the move. Which Hayley giddily responded by announcing that blindsides are even sweeter when the person thinks they’re in control.

Iconic, brutal, stunning. I love them.

Hayley then went for a cheeky little wander, lamenting about the pain of not seeing or hearing from their loved ones. And right on cue, she discovered letters from home in treemail, instantly reducing everyone to tears. We learnt about Hayley’s beautiful boyfriend Jimmy who was ready to propose when she returned home. Andrew meanwhile got a cute painting from his nephew, Wai heard about her cat, Dani’s partner roasted her for being stubborn and then Baden sobbed over missing his daughters and ugh, I’m not crying. You’re crying. I mean, one of them sees his face in the moon each night AND HOPES HE CAN SEE HERS.

It. Is. Too. Damn. Precious.

Over at the Brains, we learnt about George’s beautiful bond with his dog, Emmett missing his fiance and well Rach, she finally had her fire back. Ready to fight for her wife back at home. As such, she pulled Cara and George aside to talk. But sadly, we weren’t privy to that as Emmett, Gerald and Kez realised that losing challenges isn’t the worst thing right now and as such, they should consider throwing a challenge to get rid of another Brain or two.

My love Jonathan finally returned for the immunity challenge where the tribes would face off sliding a series of blocks to untangle ropes and releasing a key. These tribes would then traverse a series of obstacles, collect some balls, wade through a mud pit and then slide some balls down a ramp to land in a dish. Queen Wai obviously directed the Brawn tribe to quickly untangle the ropes and release the key while the Brains grew more and more confused. Even without Emmett trying to throw the challenge, the Brawns tribe powered all the way to the end of the course and landed their balls in arguably the biggest blowout of all time.

As the tribes celebrated together everyone tried to whisper to each other with Andrew telling Laura to just get to merge while Hayley encouraged Rach to throw all the mud around and make a mess. While Emmett and Kez could barely hide their excitement to be going back to tribal council. So, maybe they did throw it?

Back at camp Emmett was pumped to continue the decimation of the Brains before firing up some rice and relaxing. Despite knowing full well that the Brains still have enough people to take control of the tribe if they put their differences aside. That being a pretty bloody big if. After quickly locking in Rachel as the bigger target, with the girls loading their votes on Laura as a back-up. Emmett then shifted his focus to the next step once Cara and George left, that being to flip Laura and then take out Cara and George.

Knowing that she is screwed, Rachel opted to put her emotional feelings about George and Cara aside and instead try and work with them to make a big move against Emmett and weaken the Brawn tribe at large. Obviously Laura was on board, so wIth that, Rachel powered off to find George and pitch him the plan with him calmly agreeing that he knows what happens next if they don’t mix things up. George then shared that he wanted to split the vote the way the majority did so that he could ultimately make the decision to flip on someone like Emmett without anyone knowing it was coming. And buy him more time to figure out which option is best for his game, with or without Cara’s support.

At tribal council Gerald admitted that nothing has really changed with the power dynamics of the tribe, with Rachel agreeing that she and Laura are definitely the dead women walking. George meanwhile spoke in political speak, confusing Rachel and Laura about whether he would flip. Emmett admitted he is just wanting to get to the merge and take control, though also alluded to the fact that he is always going to put Brawns first. Rachel pointed out that Brains currently have the majority if they were merging and coming back together is better for all of them. While George agreed that Laura and Rachel made some valid points, Emmett and more so Gerald, made some very complimentary arguments to bring them together.

Laura called it out for what it is, blowing smoke up Cara and George’s arse leading to Kez needing to step in and point out that Brawn is also a fractured tribe and they actually need some Brains to help get further as they navigate their own complex dynamics come merge. Aka the Simon and Emmett faction versus her, Flick and Gerald. With that the tribe voted and despite the promise that big things were happening this week – SuE’s bIG mOvE, right? – the majority held together and Rach was tragically booted from the game.

As soon as I saw her turn the corner into Loser Lodge, I burst into tears, heartbroken to see my fellow Queenslander of the Year booted from the game. And by fellow, it happens in like a decade, remembering I invented time travel. That is not what I win for either. But anyway, Rach and I are dear friends and I was so disappointed that she couldn’t turn things around, particularly since we’re so close to the merge.

Given Rach is an absolute delight however, she took it in her stride and calmly held me until I stopped crying. After that, we did the usual laugh, cry and reconnect before I searched the fridge and found enough ingredients to whip her up a Chipotle Ranchel Dipnie.

I know ranch is often looked at as a pretty basic dip/dressing/condiment – at least by me and my paranoia, I guess – but I am basic and proud. Add in a little chipotle, however, and you elevate it into the stratosphere. Fresh and tart, but packing a good whack of heat, this delight will have you slathering it on anything. Or gulping down like water.

Enjoy!

Chipotle Ranchel Dipnie
Makes: 1 cup

Ingredients
2 chipotles in adobo, finely chopped
⅔ cup Shayonnaise Swain
¼ cup buttermilk
2 tbsp champagne vinegar
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp chives, thinly sliced
½ tsp paprika
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Now try and keep up because this is tough. Place everything in a jar. 

Shake well.

And down.

Or refrigerate until ready to serve with something else. But, why?


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