Patty Melt Cusack

Main, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: David vs. Goliath, TV Recap

Previously on Austra … hang on. The weather is miserable, Shonella aren’t playing Rosencrantz and Guildenstern in the background and Shane Gould isn’t around to not be fucked with. It’s original flavour Survivor, with less cursed objects – though I did line-up some pizzas this season, so maybe that one will continue – and hopefully more excitement and blindsides. Oh and no more final four fire challenge. But enough with dreaming, Probst is on a boat with 20 people who are split into two tribes that I assume were named by Roma Downey after years of wearing down Tom Arnold’s nemesis Mark Burnett; David and Goliath. This season a tribe of bosses will battle with ten underdogs, and hopefully we aren’t swept up in a religious fever dream like Sophie in South Pacific.

We met the first David, Christian who is a total nerd, Elizabeth who is the country icon who flipped the bird on the cast photo and Pat who is big, burly and looks to be a total sweetheart. Who knows not to trust a book by its cover. They’re up against the Goliaths who include publisher and CEO Natalie – who is an icon – and Angelina loves all that comes with being a Goliath.

Anyway the two tribes converged on a barge with Probst and the Goliaths quickly realised that the cards are definitely in their favour when they saw the Davids rolling in. Probst confirmed their suspicions, announcing that this year’s theme is a battle of the privileged versus the underdogs. The David tribe were thrilled to be the underdogs, knowing they are instantly the favoured tribe for a decent narrative. We met Nick, who grew up poor in the south and fought tooth and nail to achieve his dreams of being a lawyer – public defender now – and on Survivor. Swoon. Gabby too was feeling her underdog roots, knowing the Goliaths can only fall while they are destined to rise.

The Goliaths however were quick to try and deflect from being labelled a Goliath, except for pre wrestler John, who knows he is a boss … though just wants to find himself and downplay his intelligence. Swoon. Allison was the most vocal to oppose the label, saying she worked hard from her upper-middle class family to follow in her father’s footsteps. Probst, the shady bitch, asked to hear about Pat’s upbringing, with him talking about living paycheque to paycheque, without even the option of going to get an education. She was pretty cool to stick with the Goliath label after that.

Wanting to get the bad blood brewing like Taylor Swift keeping control on her squad, Probst got the Goliaths to pick two people from each tribe to compete in a reward challenge. With Enlightened creator Mike White selecting Lyrsa and Christian, who he deemed Big Bang Theory in a moment of corporate synergy that made CBS beam. Lyrsa knew she was selected because she is tiny, a little chunky and stands out, while Christian was cool to be labelled the weakest. They then selected Allison and John, who are huge and look strong. To even things up, Probst gave the weakest peeps – sorry, allegedly Christian – the chance to pick the route each pair took to get to a giant shelter making kit. Obviously Lyrsa and Christian got out to a huge lead, almost finishing the second stage before Allison and John finished the first. Being Goliaths however, they caught up at the puzzle leaving a bat … nope, Christian is a genius, solving the puzzle in five seconds and snatching the kit for the underdogs. While it was impressive, Christian admitted it really wasn’t a fair fight as he had written algorithms for solving slide puzzles at uni, which he tried to explain in great detail and completely lost me.

We followed the Goliaths back to their tribe where Mike was feeling completely out of place as he isn’t as buff as the rest of the tribe, and is a nerdy Hollywood type. Dan and Natalia immediately gravitated to him, knowing that he looked familiar before he shared that he was a two-time Amazing Race contestant and completely neglected to mention School of Rock and the greatest show of all time, Enlightened. Have I mentioned I love Enlightened? Dan continued to make friends, sharing that while he is a babe now he used to be bigger and he put on a tonne of weight while working as a cop, though worked hard to lose weight to join the SWAT team. Natalie applauded him on looking fine and hot damn, I already love her. Speaking of love Dan and Kara bonded over Supergirl and the fact he named his dog Kara. She swooned, as did I when I saw his lycra pants. He was smarter though, knowing it was dangerous and hoped to downplay their bond.

Meanwhile over at the Davids, Pat was quick to take charge of the tribe and got everyone to split up tasks and work together while he leads them in building the shelter. Everyone seemed to be extremely cohesive, trusting Pat’s knowledge, laying foundations and weaving fronds for shelter. Sadly he started getting a bit too strong, shouting at Christian, making awkward jokes and generally frustrating the hell out of his tribe. Which will haunt him, once it is done.

Alec was trying to bring a bit of light to the tribe, knowing how difficult it is to build a shelter with only a machete to help. Natalie however was bringing some doom and gloom, bossing Natalia and the rest of the tribe around whilst worrying about having nothing in common with her tribemates.

Back at the David tribe Elizabeth was worried Pat was going to die as he leaned out of a tree with the machete. Jessica and Bi started to bond while weaving the roof of the shelter, wanting to lie about being 19. She then floated an alliance which Bi was into, as was Carl. Not to be outdone, Elizabeth and Lyrsa got a quiet moment in the jungle and bonded over being super different and wanted to align, as nobody would expect it. And just like that, Natalie is dropped and Lyrsa is my number two to Elizabeth. Lastly Gabby and Christian bonded over being insecure nerds – their words – and hot damn, they are in the lead to be my third and fourth.

John and Mike got together by the tribe flag and bonded over their fame and I assume, all the different nicknames or characters they’ve played. Natalie continued to lose friends and alienate people, as Natalia complained to Dan and someone else – first episode, don’t judge – about her not doing anything and bossing people around. Not wanting to leave her alone as a target, Mike went searching for an idol and was super obvious which immediately made people paranoid. We then met Jeremy who looks delightful in his jocks, while the tribe spoke about Mike being sketchy. Natalie went out to find Mike and warn him to pull his head in, which he vowed to knowing that he was hunting for an idol because he wanted it and now he needs to find it because he needs it.

The next day the rain started to drive in as the Davids worked tirelessly to finish their shelter and find some sort of relief. Elizabeth spoke about how they are instantly at an advantage, because they have grown up with adversity and that makes them fight harder and care for others more than their rivals would. While everyone work, Nick disappeared to try and reserve his energy slash avoid it. He then sidled up to Christian and Elizabeth to form alliances and then come up with names for said alliances. Meanwhile back at camp, Pat put the finishing touches on the shelter much to the delight of Carl who was proud of his hard work. And pissed by Nick’s lack of.

The Goliaths however weren’t as lucky, with no shelter and freezing. Not to be deterred Allison and Angelina got together by the well where Angelina suggested they go find the idol before Mike does and even the historic gender spill of idol ownership. Sadly for them, Mike was still working hard which then made Jeremy and Alec – swoon x 2 – go searching, followed by John, Natalie and Dan, who shared that the idol is in his pants. Oh and no, he isn’t talking about his penis. He was out searching for the idol with Kara and Natalia, and found the idol earlier that day and he was storing it in his pants.

The Davids were less interested about idols, though maybe that had something to do with Davie finding a huge octopus which they will be able to smash ahead of the upcoming immunity challenge. Davie shared that people will likely underestimate him, given he is a total blerd and was proud of himself. Jessica then started to break down on day two, upset about how her mum was in a domestic violence situation and she feels like she has left her alone and she has been responsible for her her entire life. Bi too spoke about the fact she had been in a domestic violence situation and encouraged Jessica that she saved her mum’s life, and she should be proud. Later that night, Nick decided to share that he has troubles opening up with people and wasn’t brave enough to share the fact his mum died of an overdose a couple of years ago earning the support and trust of his tribe. That made him feel like he has had a relief and has truly bonded with his tribe, potentially negating the fact he did shit all at the challenge.

By day three the cyclone had well and truly hit and the sea swelled and the rain pelted on the tribes as they arrived at their first immunity challenge. Each tribe would sprint through an obstacle before someone would dig under a log and chop a rope to release a ladder, with the second place tribe penalised and forced to release their ladder by untying knots. Each tribe would then ascend a platform and use a pole vault to leap to another before completing a puzzle. Carl got out to a huge lead while John and Pat focused on wrestling in the obstacle. Carl and Alec worked on the log, Alec quickly getting under and releasing the Goliath ladder. Things only got worse for the Davids from there as the Goliaths started working on the puzzle before they even got to the pole vault. Allison led the tribe through the puzzle, before Christian desperately started to call instructions in the hope of catching up. The rain started to pour while Allison screamed instructions to her tribe, securing immunity just before the Davids. Who were all cohesive and supportive of each other and I love that.

Well except for Lyrsa, who was planning on voting out Nick before even leaving the challenge. Out of nowhere however, the tribe were back at the challenge beach as Pat was stretchered off the boat in extreme pain, unable to see. Dr Joe and the team swarmed around him as Gabby broke down, worried about Pat as all she heard was a giant crack when they hit a giant wave when they were on a boat back to camp. Probst arrived to figure out what happened, with medical worried about the extent of his injury. As it became evident that he would be medevaced from the game, Pat begged them to allow him to stay while sobbing whilst sucking down oxygen in pain.

As the helicopter flew in, his tribemates started to breakdown and worried about his injury. When given the ok, they all rushed around and told him how much love they had for him and how their hearts are with him. Jessica hoped that he was still grateful for the experience as they were grateful for him and dammit, now I’m crying. Throw in Gabby’s guilt about misjudging him at first and I’m sobbing. Probst checked in with the tribe, with Jessica saying she feels like they just keep getting kicked down. Clearly feeling sorry for them, Probst cancelled tribal council and told them a flint would await them back at camp.

It honestly was one of the most heartbreakingly cruel exits up their with Wanda and Jonathan, and just below Queen Kourtney Moon who was at least medevaced for an ingame incident. Even more cruel, knowing that Pat is the one that inspired this year’s theme, worked like a boss around camp and was someone that you’d really just want to succeed in life. Given I have a messiah complex, I obviously went into full nurse mode – paging future healer tribe member – and ushered him back to health within a couple of days, in no small part thanks to the sustenance provided by my Patty Melt Cusack.

 

 

Now I must confess – not anything about my loneliness, or its potential to kill me – that the idea of patty melt used to disgust me. I mean, why wouldn’t I just have a burger or a toastie? One night, I woke up in the middle of the night, slapped myself repeatedly over the head like Leo in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape and realised how stupid I had been. A patty melt is perfection! Dripping cheese, a thick juicy patty and the addition of sweet, buttery onions? Swoon.

Enjoy!

 

 

Patty Melt Cusack
Serves: 2-4, broken-back-ed people.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp Sriracha Sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
butter
2 onions, sliced
2 tbsp muscovado sugar
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
8 slices white bread
8 slices American Cheese

Method
Combine the beef, Worcestershire, sriracha and garlic in a bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper. Divide into four, shape into patties, cover with cling and place in the fridge to chill while you work on the onions.

Melt a small lug of butter in a small saucepan or medium heat until foamy and sweat the onions for ten minutes or so, or until soft and golden. Add the muscovado, balsamic and a good whack of salt and pepper, and cook for a further five minutes, after which they should be sticky and glorious.

Heat a skillet over low heat and when nice and piping, add the patties and cook for a couple of minutes each side until they are cooked through. Remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper, and wipe the skillet clean.

To assemble, place a slice of cheese on four slices of bread, top each with caramelised onions, followed by the patty, the remaining cheese and the last slices of bread.

Melt another knob of butter in the skillet and fry the sandies on each side for a couple of minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Devour immediately, filled with boundless joy. Despite a major back injury.

 

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JT Muirbread and Butter Pudding

Baking, Bread, Dessert, Survivor NZ, Survivor NZ: Thailand, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, the tribe swap brought about shifts in the tribal alliances as Dave was reunited with his high school bestie Matt and Dylan found safety in some desperate Chanians who could save him from the evil Khangkhaws. As such, Chani threw the challenge lead by Renee, Dave and Arun, to take out one of the biggest threats. While Renee and Arun pushed for Matt, Dave ultimately worked his magic and changed the vote to Josh who, TBH, is too sweet for this game.

Back at camp Dylan was feeling very happy with himself and the flip, while Matt was completely blindsided by the blindside. Though let’s be honest, it could have been far worse so he should be happy. He and Dylan then awkwardly tried to banter through the awkwardness while Adam continued to play his ignore Dylan game, no doubt waiting for the best time to bitch to us before saying something hilarious and making me confused about how I should feel about him.

We visited Khangkhaw the next day where Tess was terrified to discover a scorpion in the mailbox, much to the amusement of everyone back of camp. This, my friends, is comedy gold. They surmised said mail was for an endurance reward challenge and as such, they got to work carbo loading and preparing for the challenge ahead. Well except Lisa who spent her time worrying about either Josh or Matt being eliminated last night and JT who was feeling absolutely rubbish and felt like his experience was wasting away with his health.

Meanwhile over at Chani, Adam and Renee who caught up on the last tribal council with Adam sick of the villains on his tribe and Renee wanting Matt’s scalp for daring to throw a vote on her at the last tribal. Not to be outdone, Matt vented about tribal council to Dave and shared that throwing the challenge is what upset him. Oh and he obvi told us that he does not trust Arun in the slightest, and he doesn’t know how he can trust Dave while he is still in the game.

Matty Chis arrived on the scene for long gestating reward challenge with Adam walking in with the angriest of faces, while Brad and Tess were completely shocked to see that Josh was booted. Despite it being the most logical move for OG Chani and Dylan from the left right out. The challenge involved one person holding on tightly to a big fat pole – my dream – while two members of the opposing tribe run down and try and pull them off and drag them away. Given it was for a pair of hens, feed and dozen eggs, it was definitely worth. Dave and Adam ran to remove Eve from her post while Brad and Tara attempted to pull Zadam off. The boys completely dominated Eve and she toddled back to her tribemates, leaving Arun and Dave so guilt stricken that they asked Matt to stop the challenge immediately and hand the reward to Khangkhaw. While Khangkhaw were willing to come up with a work around, they stuck to their guns and who would have thought that Survivor NZ would be giving us a lesson about violence against women.

Dylan wasn’t thrilled by the decision to forego the massive reward, while the rest of Chani were happy about their decision. Particularly Arun, despite wishing he did it before literally dragging Eve through the mud. Proving my theory that Dylan and Adam should just fuck, Adam was also annoyed by the fact the boys decided to quit the challenge and said they were just dramatic. Just as a reminder, it was the villains he was talking about earlier that opted to quit the challenge as it sent a bad message about violence against women. Meanwhile over at Khangkhaw the chickens were settling in nicely while JT tried to turn the conversation away from gender and instead said it was all about size … and that he would have relished the opportunity to hold on to the pole. But really, who wouldn’t? Tara and Tess quickly boiled up some eggs to give themselves sustenance with JT still too ill to partake.

This is looking concerning, no?

The Outpost rolled around with Lisa hoping for an opportunity to further prove how “loyal”, “honest” and “not in it to win” she is and Dave quickly snatching the chance away from Dylan, hoping for food. Sadly for Dave, they were playing for a reward … though he appeared to have an idol clue on his table, so it wasn’t a huge loss. They both had to use a collection of letters in front of them to form a five word phrase which would advise them of the prize. Almost instantaneously, Lisa spelt out that she can steal a vote at the very next tribal council she attends and she is thrilled to try and reverse the curse of Fishbach and Cirie. Lisa and Dave add a quick chat to get information from each other without giving anything away. Though based on the fact Lisa continued to play the sweet, kind lady schtick, I’d call her the winner of the trip. Despite Dave actually getting an idol clue in his travels.

Lisa returned to camp and quickly tried to downplay her advantage, saying it was simply a piece of information. Sadly JT tore her story apart instantly and continued to back her into the corner, and it appeared, sowed some distrust with Brad. He then literally guessed it was a double vote, could tell he was right by her reaction and damn, WHY HAVE I BEEN SLEEPING ON JT?

Meanwhile back at Chani, Dave made a beeline for the well to find the idol. Which he did, leaving him feeling a heady mix of nerves, excitement and I assume arousal. In any event, he assured us it was Dave’s idol and not a team idol. He then wandered into camp and quickly caught everyone up on the challenge and Lisa’s vote steal reward. Meaning she has definitely made herself appear more distrustful heading into the merge.

Thankfully Lisa was back at camp sharing the true details of her reward with Brad and Tara, while JT skulked about in the bushes. Concerned about the closing gap between tribe numbers, they decided it was wise to throw the challenge and guarantee another Chani goes. Sadly for then, Renee and Dylan were also keen to throw the challenge and take out Matt to tie up the numbers, much to Dave’s dismay.

With everyone planning to throw immunity, we arrived at the challenge where each tribe was required to maneuver a box of heavy cubes through a series of obstacles before making a mathematical equation that equals 20. Well, if they were wanting to win. Which they’re not. Despite some of their worst attempts, Chani got out to an early lead and were working on the equation before Khangkhaw were even halfway through. Sadly – or happily, I don’t even know who is doing what TBH – Khangkhaw came from nowhere to snatch the win, despite neither of the problems making sense. Aren’t we meant to do multiplications and divisions first? Anyway Lisa was sick – how often do we see the medics?! – and as such, she wasn’t on her A-game to throw the challenge much to her heartache.

We returned to Chani where Arun was concerned about the fact Lisa’s vote steal lives to see another day, since he is her most likely target. More concerned about the immediate danger, Adam made it his goal to flip Arun and Dave on Dylan instead while Matt pulled Arun aside and tried to see if he could sway him. Sensing Arun’s concern about the extra vote, Matt used that to open the door – is it $10k and he’s Fergie? – and tell him how he can use his bond with Lisa to get the intel and protecting him at the merge. Meanwhile Dave and Adam caught up, with the former starting to get frustrated about having to deflect the vote from Matt. Despite being all in with Dylan to vote out Matt, Adam got to work sowing seeds of doubt with Renee about Dylan’s loyalty and speculated that he will go straight to Lisa because of her advantage. Dylan appeared to get nervous and spoke to Adam – has hell frozen over? – in the shelter, with Adam telling him the others convinced him to vote for Matt. Which totally means Dylan is going, right?

Instead of heading over to tribal, we randomly checked back in with Khangkhaw with Matty Chis dropping by camp to check in on JT’s illness. In the space of me typing that sentence, JT shared that the housecall wasn’t rando and that he was actually quitting the game due to his illness not improving. While his bestie Eve took it in her stride, poor Tara was completely shocked and started to breakdown.

Given she was still in the game, I heartlessly ignored her pain and instead turned my attention to getting JT on the boat and nursing back to health. Whilst also berating him for quitting the game. Picture Tyra Banks screaming at Tiffany, but like 90% angrier. I mean, JT is a superfan and has a killer collection of shirts and I was heartbroken to see him leave. Though not heartbroken enough not to share my JT Muirbread and Butter Pudding which I threatened to throw into the damn lake for Tara to eat.

 

 

Creamy, rich and oh so simple, there is something life-affirming and comforting about a bread and butter pudding. Maybe it is the bread. Or the butter … or the custard. You know?

Enjoy!

 

 

JT Muirbread and Butter Pudding
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
2 cups milk
1 cup cream
5 eggs
⅓ cup muscovado sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
8-12 slices white bread, crusts removed like on a toddler’s sandwich
butter, softened
⅔ cup sultanas
demerara sugar, to sprinkle
Vanilla Ice Cream, to serve

Method
Preheat oven to 160°C.

Whisk the milk, cream, eggs, muscovado, vanilla and cinnamon in a bowl until well combined.

Butter both side of each slice of bread, cut into triangles and haphazardly place into a baking dish, sprinkling with sultanas as you go. Pour the custard over the bread and leave to rest for ten minutes.

Sprinkle with the demerara sugar and transfer to the oven to bake for half an hour, or until golden and crisp. Serve immediately with a generous hunk of Vanilla Ice … Cream.

Devour.

 

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