Granita Berkett

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders, Dessert, Snack, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor the Champions continued to dominate – much to the disgust of Zach – before a twist allowed Mat to win himself an individual reward and share it with someone from the Contenders tribe. Since she can’t stop running her mouth, he decided to take Paige and further alienate her from the tribe. While it worked in fueling Anita’s rage, the focus should definitely be on the fact that Zach is the absolute worse. Meanwhile over at the Champions, Shane felt nervous and found herself a hidden immunity idol just in the nick of time as she and Jackie blew the immunity challenge. At tribal council, Moana’s illness started to get to her and she requested to leave, however Sharn convinced her to let the tribe vote instead with them respecting her wishes whilst also flushing Shane’s idol out of the game.

Things were decidedly more calm at the Champions the next day, as Brian made a full on play for my heart running around in his jocks before pulling them up into a G-string. I hate myself for saying it, but swoon. Lydia then gave us a rundown of the tribe, sharing that Brian pees a lot – in full view, Trump! – Sam is funny and Monika is a bit of a badarse when it comes to hunting and gathering.

Meanwhile over at Casa Contenders, Heath and Shonee discovered a wild pig wandering around their camp. While Heath tried to capture it, Anita was terrified that he would be attacked and begged him to stop. While everyone was fantasizing about eating bacon and neglecting the fact it is cured, Tegan and Heath got together to discuss the tribe dynamics and what their next steps would be. Sadly for them Benji, Robbie and Zach noticed their growing power, and Benji decided to lead the charge to get rid of Tegan and snatch control of the tribe. We then learnt that Benji can deliver a confessional, is a millionaire and is hella successful … begging the question, why exactly are we only meeting him today? Benji then approached Shonee to float the idea of taking out Tegan or Heath, which she appeared to fall for which he then gloated about, laughing how quickly she fell for his lies.

Back at the Champions, Sharn and Shane discussed Moana’s mercy boot and Sharn shared how losing her best friend in the game had made her feel alone. We then learnt more about Sharn’s life at home, being a dominant lawyer and having a beautiful family. Sharn then checked in with Steve and Mat to debate why exactly Shane played her idol for no reason.

Over at the Contenders Tegan and Anita were discussing Zach and his complete lack of human decency before we were shocked by his self-awareness, admitting that his social game is letting him down. He lamented about his need for the idol to Heath. Sadly for the jerk, Heath found the idol clue himself and learnt it was buried under the tribe flag. He shared his clue with Tegan, who quickly rallied the troops to go hunting for pippies and allow Heath to snatch his idol. Sadly for him, Zach elected to stay behind at camp to find the idol to save himself, meandering aimlessly around the camp while Heath clearly seethed. Thankfully for Heath, he soon gave up on the beach and headed into the jungle leaving the gentle giant enough time to dig for the idol and give himself and Tegan even more power.

My love Jonathan returned for the immunity challenge where the tribes would face off in groups of three who would go hunting for a ball in the shallows before passing it off to a fourth person, who would need to shoot it into the goals. Mat – in speedos, swoon – Steve and Brian faced off against Robbie, Heath and Benji, with the Contenders getting the early win. Well, until Fenella couldn’t work the slingshot and sent the ball straight back to Steve, who passed it to Jackie who snatched the first point for the Champions. Zach, Robbie, Anita and Paige struggled against Matt, Sharn, Lydia and Sam, with Lydia throwing them out of the way and passing the ball to Sam who, given she is a physics genius, easily charted its trajectory into the goal. Anita, Tegan, Shonee and Fenella put up a huge fight against Lydia, Shane, Monika and Jackie, and were able to snatch the Contenders their first point. Sadly the boys were also about to snatch a win, with Benji, Robbie, Zach and Heath making quick work of Brian, Steve, Mat and Sam and tying things up. Heath, Tegan, Fenella and Paige put up a huge fight against Sharn, Mat, Lydia and Jackie, however tragically were felled by Jackie and her challenge redemption.

Back at camp, Zach tried to do something different and make friends, so instead of berating people for their loss he congratulated them for trying their best. Anita pulled Tegan and Paige aside to talk about getting rid of Zach, despite his half-arse attempts to be pleasant. Tegan took the info to Fenella, who was all in while Zach and Benji loitered around. Fenella and Shonee caught up with Robbie and Benji to discuss getting rid of Zach, with the boys quickly lying to them about Heath and Tegan actually wanting Anita out instead. Surprisingly Fenella fell for their lies, taking the intel back to Anita who was angry and ready to jump. Meanwhile Health and Tegan spoke about how lucky they were to be in the middle, unaware that Benji had turned everyone against them. Thankfully Shonee seemed to question the boys story and felt that getting rid of Zach is still the smarter move, no matter how confident Benji got.

At tribal council Jonathan congratulated them on almost winning the challenge, before talking about the importance of the social game. Fenella argued that the social game can be played many different ways, before Tegan countered that if you’re not honest it would get caught out so she stands by being her honest self. Zach finally said something right, disagreeing with Tegan because being himself really hasn’t worked out for him thus far. Benji flagged that some people have more influence than others, Tegan was scared that that influence can easily put a target on your back, Anita was confident in her plan, Benji felt confident in his plan and Fenella was uneasy. Jonathan then dropped a bomb on the tribe, telling them that this tribal council would work a little bit different and instead of voting someone out, they’d be sending them to Exile Beach where they would wait for the next person to be voted out before completing a challenge to see who will stay in the game and who will go.

This bit of intel seemed to terrify Benji, Zach, Paige, Fenella and Shonee, confirming the facts the girls were actually going to flip on Tegan. Tegan was confident about the people she gave her word to and Paige wanted to flip the vote to Zach before Tegan uttered a stick to the plan, instantly cursing her like Keith Nale. With that, the tribe voted as Zach continued to win the hearts of women and normal people across the country telling Tegan that arrogance and ignorance are two very unattractive qualities in a woman while voting her out. The votes rolled in and poor Tegan found herself shipped off to Exile Beach and hot damn I can’t wait to see this revenge plot play out!

We checked in on Tegan the next day who was well and truly on struggle street all alone on Exile Beach. While she fought back tears, she set herself up a camp, started fire and reminded herself that she needs to fight, get back in the came and get her revenge on Benji. And hopefully, I assume, explain how stupid it is to elect to go by known dog’s name Benji, from one Ben to another.

We then dropped by the Champions where Brian continued his play for my heart, joking around and almost kissing Sam. I’d ship that. Lydia shared how well she is going in the game, getting along with Mat and Steve, and altogether loving island life. Mat then got Steve to give him a shave with fire and while it makes me extremely anxious, I’d also ship this.

Things were also quite relaxed at the Contenders where the tribe did some yoga and debated whether they were bruised or dirty. Oh wait, no it isn’t – Heath is seething after Tegan’s blindside, while Zach and Robbie desperately tried to win him back. Though given they only said that winning immunity would save him from the next vote, he wasn’t thrilled. And I am living for him. Fenella, Shonee and Anita were feeling bad about upsetting him too, while Benji found it hilarious and looked forward to sending him to exile while everyone else thought it was smarter to send Paige instead. Thankfully Heath has his idol and definitely won’t be taking his ally out of the game, instead playing to blindside someone who she can beat.

My boy Jonathan returned for the reward challenge where the Champions learnt about the Exile Beach redemption twist, much to their nonchalance. The challenge would see groups from each tribe carrying weights while running around a ring to catch the other tribe. They were playing for care packages from home, which thankfully elicited a more chalant reaction. Can I use it like that? Anyway, Robbie, Fenella and Benji were up first against Brian, Sam and Sharn with the Champions making quick work of the challenge while Benji struggled to breath and Fenella pushed through despite it not being a washing up challenge. Mat, Steve – in speedos, hot damn – and Lydia quickly took out Zach, Anita and Shonee … and can Steve just wear speedos for the rest of the season? He and Mat then gave Anita a peptalk after she fell in the water, couple that with the shaving scene and Steve telling his fellow Champions he loves them and I could marry him right now. Soz Mish. Oh – Heath, Paige and Zach destroyed Lydia, Shane and Jackie … but Steve, you know? Despite a strong start from Zach, Paige and Fenella, they quickly lost steam, allowing Brian, Sam and Sharn to close the gap and take out victory, despite Zach’s abnormal kindness as Paige broke down for losing.

The Champions returned to camp unwrapped their gifts and proceeded to breakdown. Lydia got a photo from home and her Olympic kangaroo that lives in their room, Brian got his daughter’s bunny – which looks like my niece’s, begging the question … are we related? – and a photo of his mum and kids, Mat too got a family photo and a poem written by his mum about the love between his parents and hot damn if the story about their deaths didn’t break your heart. As an aside – I need Chloe Maxwell and Mish for the family visit ASAP. Monika got a teddy bear made by her husband with a recorded message, Sharn got a photo album, Shane got a book, Sam got an image of his cats and childhood inventions and Steve got my tears going again, looking at the letters from his kids and MICHELLE BRIDGES SIGHTING. What I wouldn’t give to hold Steve as he cried. Not even in a creepy way though, he just needs it. I mean, breaking down while talking about needing love and acceptance. I can’t …

Jonathan returned – or at least I think he has, I can’t see through the tears – for the immunity challenge where the tribes would be required to hold weights tethered to a trough over their heads with the first tribe to drop returning to tribal. Mat, Steve and Lydia proceeded to coach their fellow Champions, while Shonee definitely was not struggling despite what Jonathan said. After five minutes Anita dropped out of the challenge, handing her bag off to Robbie while Zach sweetly – WTF – coached Paige into fighting through the pain. Jackie became the first Champion to drop out, followed closely by Paige and Shonee as Steve did a guided meditation with the Champions before Monika couldn’t take it any longer. After twenty minutes poor Fenella couldn’t hold on any longer, passing out her bag before the boys started pulling off risky moves that didn’t pay off, as Robbie dropped his bag and sent the Contenders back to tribal council.

Things were looking up over at Exile, with Tegan galvanised to push through and destroy whoever comes back into the game. Ideally, another Contender to exact her revenge.

Speaking of which, the Contenders were all miserable about their latest loss. Well except for Benji, who was thrilled to get rid of Heath and him eliminate Tegan at the challenge. Heath however was planning to target Anita to ensure Tegan’s return. He went to Zach to start planting the seeds, with Zach agreeing that they need to keep strength if they want to have a chance against powerhouses like Sharn and Lydia. Heath then approached Paige about taking out Anita, who was all in despite not realising that she is the next weakest. Heath went to Benji to tell him that Zach and Paige were in on the Anita vote, while Benji agreed he was still keen to take out Heath. Benji approached Shonee and they affirmed the vote for Heath. Well, until Shonee spoke to Fenella who was desperate to take out Zach since she hates him. Though given that Anita is still all in with Benji’s lies, she quickly got them back on taking out Heath and breaking up the couple that never turned on them.

At tribal council Robbie lamented how difficult it is to continually lose, particularly since they’ve never had a reward win. Zach spoke about how he can’t stop killing it in challenges, Anita found the game more difficult than she expected and Heath said it was hard but they knew what they signed up for. Talk returned to strength, with Anita sharing that having numbers is also a strength which kinda felt like a threat. Jonathan reminded them all about the fact that Tegan is sitting waiting for one of them at Exile Beach, with Benji pretending that voting out a strong person was a good idea while Zach admitted that he was ok if he had to go to Exile Beach if he needed to. Though quickly assured them he was joking and he wanted to stay.

Heath cautioned the tribe that anyone could win the challenge and that they needed to think carefully about who they all vote for, though nobody seemed moved by his words. Well other than him, as he played his idol based on their general shiftiness, negating every single vote but his which sent Anita to Exile Beach and made everyone else feel completely sick. Good boy Benji, good boy!

Anita rolled into Exile Beach where Tegan was chilling by the fire wondering why she was voted out the previous day. Tegan was shocked to see Anita and they both swore their way through an explanation of what happened, with Anita shocked to discover that Tegan had never planned to turn on her. After they shared their stories and cleared the air, they both agreed that whoever comes back will tear Benji a new one.

They woke up the next morning with Tegan feeling renewed and ready to get back in the game and take everyone down. Not one to leave us in suspense for too long, my boy Jonathan returned to lord over the redemption challenge with both tribes watching on as Tegan and Anita solemnly wandered into the arena. Tegan was a bit passive aggressive about the Contenders and warned the Champions that people are playing really hard, so they need to focus. After some more smack talking the girls learnt they’d be required to build towers out of blocks on the end of a ramp, with each of them required to roll a ball over the ramp to knock down the other’s stack. The first person to build their tower with all the bricks stays alive and the loser is gone for realsies.

Both girls were neck and neck however Tegan managed to knock over Anita’s stack, giving her an early lead. Well, until the wind knocked hers over when it was nearly done. With that, Anita had a huge lead while Tegan was forced to play catch up, which she did snatching victory by a single brink and sending Anita from the game. Well, coupled with Benji’s lies and Heath’s idol.

While Anita was tearful as she left her burning buff and entered Loser Lodge, she was thrilled to see her fellow Queenslander waiting in the wings to cheer her up. We laughed, we cried, we mocked Zach’s fragile masculinity and Benji’s stupidity and most importantly, smashed a big old Granita Berkett.

 

 

Fresh, light and sweet, a granita is the perfect dessert to help wash away the pain of a Queensland summer. Or the burn of being lied to leading to you blindsiding out an ally before being idolled from the game and then losing a challenge to really rub salt in the wounds.

Better still, it is delicious. So enjoy!

 

 

Granita Berkett
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
6 pears, peeled and cored
½ cup blueberries
¼ cup spiced rum
a generous lug of bitters

Method
Combine the pears and blueberries in a food processor and blitz until as smooth as possible.

Sieve the liquid into a jug and add the spiced rum and bitters.

Transfer to a flat, glass dish and place in the fridge until frozen.

Using a fork, scrape the surface to form icicle goodness.

Serve and devour immediately. I mean, it will melt if you don’t.

 

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Rio Summers Fruit Tart

America's Next Top Model, America's Next Top Model 24, Baking, Snack, Sweets, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on America’s Next Top Model, the girls created avatars in the ANTM mobile game leading to Jeana being pissed about her lack of personality. Feeling the pressure, she then dived into Shanice and Khrystyana’s shoot, or so they thought, leading to some drama before Director X cleared things up at panel. Sadly it wasn’t enough to save her, with Khrystyana taking out best photo again and Jeana booted from the competition.

The top four returned to the house to celebrate Khrystyana’s 600th first call out, and for Kyla and Shanice, the demise of Jeana. Rio then shared a beautiful note that Jeana left her following her departure, though was thankful she was gone as her odds just got better. Khrystyana offered to have her join them in the other bedroom, though she didn’t want to give up her big bed and while I get it, ugh Rio. Tyra Mail arrived and warned the girls that it was throwback week and they’d have to recreate a past challenge, leading to a shit tonne of speculation and Rio and Shanice sharing their pride about how far they’ve come.

The next day the girls joined Ashley, Drew and Law to learn that they would be recreating the cycle 16 bubble runway of death. Stacey McKenzie returned to help the girls through the challenge before they dropped the bombshell that the eliminated queens – no quitters – would be returning to compete for a place in the new top four. The girls all reconnected, well except for Jeana and Rio as the latter was feeling frosty about her potential return, particularly if it is at the cost of her place. Law then told the girls that only the four best eliminated queens would temporarily move back into the house and compete to return after the shoot.

Rio struggled in the ball according to Jeana, though she did kill it so maybe she is an authority. All of the other girls seemed to struggle, even Queen Khrystyana, except for Christina, Kyla, Erin and Liberty. Erin took out victory in the challenge and was given a ticket back into the house, along with Liberty, Christina and Jeana much to the chagrin of Rio. Lol.

The potential returnees were feeling unloved back at the house, with Jeana really hurt by Rio icing her out as it triggered her memories of being bullied and isolated in school. Christina joined the OG top four from Rio mid-rant, before she vowed to raise hell if she is the one to be eliminated. Rio then took her rage next level, moving out of her beloved big bed and into the room with her fellow never-eliminees behind Jeana’s back. Seriously, Rio is losing it and it is scary but also glorious.

The models then arrived to recreate tarantula shoot from Cycle 3, posing with Eva who won that cycle and shot by former judge, all around babe and noted fashion photographer Nigel Barker. The final four were paired with one of the potential returnees, Erin with Khrystyana, Liberty and Kyla, and obviously the drama pairs of Christina and Shanice – who felt safer with the tarantula – and Rio and Jeana. Liberty didn’t love the spider, though loved the experience with Nige. Erin was terrified and Khrystyana was annoyed that that made her have to suffer through more time with the spider. Erin then pulled out all stops and posed with the spider on her face. Eva pulled Jeana aside to talk her through the shoot, pissing off Rio who felt the entire thing was fake. Jeana then went on to dominate the shoot while Rio couldn’t get out of her head and looked weak as hell. Shanice then struggled the entire shoot while Christina completely dominated.

The girls arrived at panel where Tyra warned them all that Eva looked fierce in all the photos and they had better hope they brought it. Christina and Shanice were up first with Christina’s photo receiving universal praise and Shanice getting read for filth, though she admitted she hated the entire thing and wasn’t surprised. Rio and Jeana were up next with Jeana praised for owning the shoot and coming back to slay, while they felt Rio was lost and just floating through the competition. Liberty was praised for looking rich, while was no competition for Kyla whose photo was gorgeous. Khrystyana had a rare stumble and while Erin’s photo looked terrible, she was praised for owning the runway.

Kyla received best photo – though it kind of felt like it was by default – followed by Khrystyana, leaving Shanice, who has grown throughout the competition, and Rio, who has plateaued. As such Shanice was given a reprieve, despite the weaker photo and poor Rio was eliminated from the competition. With that Tyra turned her attention to the eliminated girls, with Jeana earning her place back in the competition much to rage of Shanice, Kyla and Khrystyana.

Now like Jeana last week, I know I’ve been harsh on Rio and while I did scream at her and let her know just how disappointed I was by her attitude, this week kind of showed just how much the competition had gotten to them both. While Jeana had the chance to reflect after her brief elimination, Rio couldn’t process losing and highlighted how desperate she was for the title. She cried, I held her tight – did I mention I was conducting clinical trials in the hospital she received treatment at and motivated her to take up modelling? Because I did – and sweetened the deal of her loss with a big fat slice of Rio Summers Fruit Tart.

 

 

Sweet, fresh and a little bit tart, this is the perfect reflection of her narrative arc on the show. From beloved to reviled, she brought it every week and TBH, this is the kind of tart you’ll want to devour every damn week.

Enjoy!

 

 

Rio Summers Fruit Tart
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
150g cold unsalted butter, plus 115g at room temperature
250g flour
50g icing sugar
salt, to taste
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs, at room temperature
milk, optional (dependent on size of the egg, really)
½ cup raw caster sugar
1 tbsp spiced rum
¼ tsp almond extract
1 cup almond meal
3 peaches, sliced
1 cup blueberries

Method
Preheat the oven to 180ºC.

To make the pastry, cut the cold butter into cubes and blitz in a food processor with the flour, icing sugar, a pinch of salt and vanilla. When resembling wet sand, add the egg and blitz until it just comes together to form a dough. You may need to add some milk if the egg is small, but you should be ok. Shape into a disc, wrap in cling and rest in the fridge for an hour.

Sprinkle some flour in a bench and roll the dough until it is roughly 3mm thick and press it into a 25cm loose bottom – yum – tart case. Trim off an any excess dough and return to the fridge for half an hour or so. When you’re ready, line with baking paper and fill with baking weights. Transfer to the oven and blind bake for ten minutes. Remove the baking weights and cook  for a further ten minutes, or until lightly golden and cooked through.

Leave the oven on while you beat the remaining butter and sugar in a stand mixer until it is so light it looks to be pulsating. Add the remaining two eggs, one at a time, followed by the rum and almond extract before removing from the stand mixer and folding through the almond meal. Smear into the tart case and smooth the top.

Press the peaches into the frangipane in any fashion you find aesthetically on point for you – dick and balls would look hella artistic, for instance – before pressing the blueberries around the gaps. Transfer to the oven and bake for half an hour, our until the tart is golden and puffed and the blueberries are blistering.

Devour immediately with some ice cream. Sad model friend optional.

 

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Liz Bluedbury Peach Mojito

America's Next Top Model, America's Next Top Model 24, Drink

Previously on America’s Next Top Model, following Maggie’s outster the top 14 were given Ty-overs to find their signature looks. Which in the case of Coura, was just her look, meaning she got bupkis. Liz continued to act crazy, Coura and Rhiyan were boring and poor Ivana was eliminated at panel by her inner sabotuer.

Back at the house Brendi K and Liberty debriefed about Liz’s offensive comments about Brendi K’s family backstage, while Liz tried to rationalise her behaviour to Christina. Christina, to her credit, told her it wasn’t appropriate, to put her in Brendi K’s shoes and to apologise. To Liz’s credit, she then went and apologised, and while Brendi said there was no ill will between them, there still totally was.

Their almost-apology was cut short by the arrival of the scripts for this week’s screen test challenge, which Tyra rudely announced off-screen after panel. The girls then split up into groups to rehearse, where Rhiyan was already on struggle street.

The next day, the girls arrived at the studio where MVP Stacey McKenzie was waiting to coach them through filming. After being introduced to their director Anthony Hemingway and co-star Kevin Phillips, the girls learnt that the winner would earn a role in their upcoming TV show. Liz and Rhiyan struggled big time, making Khrystyana even more of a breath of fresh air when she arrived and knocked it out of the park. Erin, Brendi K and Sandra highlighted just how thirsty someone can get after being locked away from people, before Coura arrived and made Liz look good. Jeana, Christina and Liberty also struggled, only for Shanice to wrap things up, change up the script and kill the challenge. Sadly for her though, Khrystyana took out the challenge … which thankfully, did not sit well with Shanice.

Back at the house, Liz was starting to breakdown after being called out for her overwhelming personality. Which is fast becoming a thing. Thankfully before it was escalated further, Tyra-mail arrived teasing the girls spooky photoshoot the next day. Thinking it was time for a nighttime montage, I was surprised to find Rhiyan also having a breakdown in the spa talking to Rio and Kyla about her need to lose weight. Rio then won my heart even more, giving her a pep talk and talking about her concern that she has body dysmorphia.

The next day Liz was still in tears after Shanice refused to let her push in front in the showers, which thankfully was cut off again. This time with the girls leaving for their hellish photoshoot at a haunted house. Sandra bumbled her was through the shoot, Khrystyana slayed again, Rhiyan was a bit too dead, Christina brought it like she was Kirsten Dunst, Rio, as always, killed it, and Brendi K and Jeana did well but that is based of five seconds a piece. Shanice tried to bring more of herself to the shoot, Liberty looked well and Erin survived an outfit designed to kill her.

Liz spent her time backstage complaining about being bullied by the girls, before ultimately pulling out a strong performance in front of the camera. On the flipside, Coura struggled. Badly. And she knew it, fearing she would be the next to go.

That night the drama continued after Liz was awoken by the other girls just after midnight. And while she didn’t really ask them in the best way, this is the first time her rage truly was justified. Despite Khrystyana trying to comfort her after Shanice yelled at her, she packed up her things and left for the night.

She reappeared the next day for panel before the other girls, where she was met with Tyra. They then spoke about Liz’s love for the competition however she said that the house wasn’t good for her mental health … and she was quitting the competition.

It was heartbreaking to see her so emotional when my girl Liz found me even further backstage, but after a Liz Bluedbury Peach Mojito or ten, everything started to feel better.

 

 

Sweet, spicy and bitter all at once, this mojito can cure everything that ails you. I mean, blueberry, rum and the peach from Call Me By Your Name – which is eaten in canon, FYI – this drink is damned near perfection.

Enjoy!

 

 

Liz Bluedbury Peach Mojito
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
2 tbsp blueberries
a couple of mint leaves
1 tbsp lime juice
60ml spiced rum
½ a peach, sliced
ice
tonic, to taste
dash of bitters
1 lime, quartered, to garnish

Method
Place blueberries and mint in a cocktail shaker, and muddle with the lime juice.

Add the rum, peach and ice, and shake with vigour.

Pour into a glass, top with tonic, a dash of quitter’s bitters and a wedge of lime … then guzzle down.

 

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Joanna Rumley Raisin Ice Cream

Ab Fab’s 25th Birthday, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

Can you believe it is over already? After marking the 25th anniversary of Ab Fab by catching up with Jen … then Jane, Jules and yesterday June, I can’t believe we’re at the end of our road. And I tell you, I’m struggling to let go … though I am super, super thankful that we’re finishing with my dear friend and ex-lover – when in drag – Joanna Lumley.

I’ve always loved Jo, and not only because we met in ‘69 – giggity – on the set of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. I was dating a then unknown George Lazenby and quickly dropped him to form a powerful clique with Diana Rigg and Jo, and we’ve been the best of friends ever since.

When Jen and I were getting to work casting Ab Fab, I knew that Jo was the only person that could possibly play the role – after Jen said I was too beautiful for the role, obvi. While I was at first heartbroken to have missed out on the role of a lifetime, me – did I mentioned Patsy was based on me? – I knew Jo would do me justice, so I uncharacteristically remained friends with her.

Jo has been super busy lately with her film appearances and legitimately amaze documentaries, so we’ve been unable to catch-up since the Ab Fab movie premiere. She ran into my arms as soon as she saw me at the airport, congratulating me on not punching anyone out during our victorious marriage survey. And also because she missed me so terribly.

We laughed, we cried tears of joy, we plotted to convince Jen to write a sequel, we reminisced and most importantly, we made ourselves sick on the huge bowls of Joanna Rumley Raisin Ice Cream.

 

 

You didn’t think I’m get through the date without bringing liquor into the occasion, did you? One of the more underrated ice cream flavours, this perfectly balances the sweetness of the vanilla ice cream, with the punch of the boozed fruit. And everything is better for it.

To Ab Fab – enjoy, sweetie!

 

 

Joanna Rumley Raisin Ice Cream
Makes: 2L.

Ingredients
1 cup raisins
100ml spiced rum
600ml thickened cream
395g condensed milk
2 tbsp vanilla essence

Method
Place the raisins and rum in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil for a couple of minutes. Remove from the heat and cool completely.

Whisk the remaining ingredients together until soft peaks form. And fold through the cooled raisins and sticky liquid.

Transfer to airtight containers and freeze overnight, or for six hours or so.

Then devour, greedily, darling.

 

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Eve Plumb Pudding

Baking, Cake, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

Oh my goodness – I didn’t realise losing Florence Henderson would be this hard.

As one of my first loves, I always knew my heart would break but given we were never able to launch a spin-off of her Retirement Living cooking show – which would have looked suspiciously like Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party – I’m distraught that I couldn’t help add a final jewel in the crown of her TV legacy.

But alas, this isn’t all about our dearly departed Florence …  and that is in no small part, thanks to the beautiful, caring support of my dear friend Eve Plumb, who helped me work through my grief.

As you know, Annelie and I connected with The Bradys via Mo and were cast as the worse versions of cousin Oliver. While we were wiped from the show’s history, we remained close with the kids – particularly Evie.

Like her character on the Bunch – oh, have I never mentioned we all called it the Bunch on set? ‘Cause we did – Eves was always the most down to earth (albeit a little jealous) member of the cast, and she took me under her wing and tried to help me through my multiple addictions and countless scandals throughout the years.

Fun fact: I am the one who got her into painting … which I took up when in rehab with my gal pal, Caz Fish.

I hadn’t seen Evie since her appearance in the Emmy Award winning production Grease: Live and was looking forward to toasting to her success and was on the phone to her when we heard about dear Flo’s passing.

It completely knocked me, I broke down and Evie knew that she was the only one that would be able to help me snap out of it – we actually inspired that scene in Moonstruck – and process my grief.

Of course, Eves was right about helping me, though making and devouring my Eve Plumb Pudding – as you probably guessed on Monday – should also take some of the credit, given its proven therapeutic benefits when it comes to helping process grief. In addition to being delicious.

(Talking about our sodden appearance on Sally Jessy also lifted our spirits, obviously … but that isn’t necessary to this story).

 

eve-plumb-pudding-1

 

I used to make this pud on set – which is pieced together from my grandmother’s handwritten par-recipe – every year to celebrate filming the last episode before our break and it was everything you want from Christmas and more – fruity, rich and ready to stuff you up … it sounds like everything I want in a man.

Enjoy!

 

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Eve Plumb Pudding
Serves: 2 mourners.

Ingredients
400g raisins
300g currants
150g sultanas
100g prunes, roughly chopped
100g dates, roughly chopped
250ml spiced rum
250g butter, at room temperature, plus extra to grease
1 cup muscovado sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
4 eggs
2 ½ cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp ground cloves
Brandy custard, to serve

Method
This takes some planning ahead, ok? So I apologise, but place the fruit in a large bowl with the rum and leave to steep overnight to a day – the longer the better, you want that fruit completely written off.

Grease a two litre capacity pudding basin with extra, soft butter and line the base with a circle of non-stick paper. Leave aside.

In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until pale, fluffy and creamy. Add vanilla and each egg, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl and fold through the pulsating-ly fluffy egg, butter and sugar mix. Fold through the boozed up fruits and pour the batter into the prepared pudding basin.

Now for the fun – lol – place an upturned saucer – or something low and heatproof that fits – in the base of a large saucepan. Half fill the pot with kettle-boiled water and simmer over low heat.

While that is getting bubbly, cut a large square of non-stick paper and an equally sized square of foil. Fold them together, pleating at the middle to secure and place over the lid of the basin, foil side up. Press it down tightly and secure with kitchen twine like a poorly wrapped christmas present.

Lower the basin until the non-chalantly bubbling water – adding more if the tide is not high. Cover the pot as securely as possible and steam for 4 hours, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Check on the pot throughout cooking and top with more boiling water as required – use your judgement.

Remove from the basin, allow to rest for about half an hour and turn out.

Top with warmed brandy custard … which reminds me, I need to make a call.

Obviously you can devour while I’m on the phone – maybe check back over the weekend?

 

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