Posted in Writing

Untitled – Short Story

Written as a dream sequence. Let me know if there are any phrases that stand out to you, and generally what you think. I want to expand this into something a bit bigger, although I don’t have an overarching plan for it yet.


I was walking down a path in a forest, streams of light pooling between the foliage. Somewhere forward was a waterfall, the rushing water reverberating through the trees.

Birds perched high above me, singing, calling, and replying to each other. They flew between the trees, not making a noise as they landed on branches. And there was something roaming through the underbrush. Something small. There was a movement on my left, passing between a tree and a boulder. I looked over and saw a brush of red against the large rock.

The path ahead twisted out of sight, around trees and curving away to the right. I knew this path, it would return to the left and travel down to the waterfall, where the crystalline water broke against itself and poured around the rocks, splashing against the bank, and travelling further down, to places not seen before by humans.

The rock with the red stood, beckoning me to venture forth, promising something of interest.

So, with a glance over my shoulder at the deserted path, I stepped into the plants.

Walking up to the boulder was no easy feat. Something squelched under my shoe, but the foliage covered it up. I felt something jump onto my back and my breath hitched. I reached back to grab it, but my hand made contact with nothingness, despite the feeling of legs scuttling about. Both hands went forth, grabbing, swatting, groping, but there was nothing there.

The legs continued.

I walked forward, finally reaching the rock. Lifting my fingers up, I swiped at the red and came back with a warm, wet, copper hand. It stunk of metal and I walked around the rock, looking for some more blood. It slowly sank away from the boulder and dragged along the plants lining the earth. I followed it.

As I walked, the waterfall seemed to get further away. The loud crashing that I was expecting soon fell into a distant memory of sapphire.

The red became thicker and seemed to settle in my nose. And suddenly, it stopped. The trail ended with thick, goopey gore nestled under a tree. It smelt fresh, not decomposing yet, although some flies seemed to have found it before me.

Posted in MasterChef Aus Recaps, Season 11, TV Show Recaps

MasterChef Aus S11E14 – Recap

It’s the Nigella elimination challenge, and it starts with yesterday’s losers looking sad for themselves as they climb out of their bunk beds and pack their bags.
They tell us how much they’re going to fight today, and how they’re looking forward to cooking for Nigella, etc.

They walk in, and the judges are waiting for them at the front, two shelves waiting behind them.

Gaz is wearing a blue suit with a blue shirt.
George is wearing jeans, a black jacket, and a white floral print shirt.
Nigella’s wearing a hot pink dress.
Matt is wearing a pink suit with a white shirt and blue cravat, with a matching pocket square.

The judges tell them that round one is to pick a condiment and name it. The first five to incorrectly name it will go into round two. George pulls out a knife block and makes them draw knives for the order.

The order is:

  1. Nicole
  2. Steph
  3. Blake
  4. Abbey
  5. Derek
  6. Tati
  7. Mandy
  8. Jess
  9. Christina
  10. Walleed

First out is Tati on her first go. She guessed Tabasco.
On her second go, Mandy guesses sweet mustard pickle, and is incorrect.
Jess guesses right after Mandy, and choses the same dish. She guesses piccalilli and is incorrect.
Steph is next. She knew it was horseradish and guessed it was wasabi. She’s out on her third guess.
Abbey has her third guess and thinks it’s a salsa of some kind, it was wrong.

The others are safe, leaving Tati, Mandy, Jess, Steph, and Abbey going into round two.

Gaz tells them that for round two they have to make a condiment. It’s any type of condiment and any dish. The pantry and garden are open. The worst dish will sent them home.

Time starts, and montage ensures.

Anushka is wearing white today, and black glasses.

Time is up, and it’s time for tasting.

Steph is first and presents her rice noodle rolls with hoi sin and chilli oil.
They each get a rice noodle roll.
“It’s really something that makes you feel excited,” Nigella says.
“That’s my kind of food,” Gaz says.
It’s got a lot of texture, and they all really like it. It’s delicious.
Matt says, “If we get more food like that, boom.”

Next is Jess. She’s not sure she’s done enough.
She plates her sweet potato wontons and Szechuan sauce.
“I want a condiment that’s better than what I can get in a jar,” George says.
The judges tear it apart.

Tati brings out her food, absolutely nerve wrecked.
She went with a satay chicken with satay sauce and pickled pineapple, I think. Look, I’m not sure.
They’re excied to try it, and start to divide it up.
They all love it, says it’s great.
“I’ve never met a satay I didn’t like, and here’s another one I love,” Matt says.

Next is Abbey.
My foot fell asleep and I missed her dish.
It’s chutney because she wanted to make up for missing the condiment. There’s fish as well, and a bit of tomato for each.
Nigella says she was concerned for Abbey, but it was perfectly done.
For George it was all about the condiment, but the fish was cooked perfectly.

Finally, Mandy with a peri peri chicken with beurre blanc and roast cabbage.
They first comment on the chicken being cooked.
George doen’t really like it, and the beurre blanc doesn’t add anything, or speak to the peri peri.
“A missed opportunity,” Matt says, before saying it’ll be Jess vs Mandy.

Gaz says they did a great job. He gives the top three feedback, before addressing the others.
“Jess, Mandy, it comes down to the two of you,” Matt says, before telling them the problems.

Mandy had more issues, and so she’s going home.
“You’re someone who cooks with such love,” Nigella tells her.

She’s running a blog, Love Ferments Food, working in a kitchen, and volunteering in a kitchen as well. Bless her.

Now it’s time for the Master Class, and my job here is done.

Posted in MasterChef Aus Recaps, Season 11, TV Show Recaps

MasterChef Aus S11E13 – Recap

The contestants are on an excursion, which they’re pretty excited about, and they end up in the Victorian state library. They walk into the Latrobe reading room.

I feel like the last time I saw this room on TV was the Biggest Loser around ten years ago, and they had to walk around and not eat any of the food.

Instead or not eating any of the food, the judges tell them they have to take inspiration from food served here, which they have to read about in menus. These dinners were used in state dinners for Prince Charles and the Queen.

The judges, and Nigella, are dressed in black. George is wearing a white shirt. Matt is wearing white and black plaid pants. It’s more flannel check than chef pants checked. I love them.

The teams are split into two teams and have to cook three courses – entrée, main and dessert.
Leading the purple team is Kyle. Leading the burgundy team is Steph, who Abbey describes as, “the house mum.”

Anushka is wearing really cute cream frmaes that are a bit of a square cat eye. I also love it.

So, the teams start to brainstorm their ideas for their menus. There’s a lot of discussion, and I don’t really care about any of it.

Kyle’s team is cooking whiting for entrée, lamb backstrap for main, and parfait for dessert, all with a 1920’s twist.

Steph’s team is also cooking whiting for entrée, but their main is chicken Maryland, and mini bombe Alaska with coffee sponge, almond, coffee and cherry, and Italian meringue.

Time starts, and everyone begins.

Blah blah blah, Mandy wants to keep trying different ways to cook the fish, and it’s really stressing Steph out.

The judges taste the burgundy team’s entrée and they overall they really like it. It’s a whiting with grapefruit butter sauce, and mint.

Purple team starts serving. They have whiting rolled into roses with wilted spinach, dill beurre blanc and caviar. I don’t know what any of that means.
Matt, George, Gaz and Nigella are horrified to find the fish isn’t cooked through.

Time for the mains, and the burgundy have chicken Maryland, pea puree and chicken jus.
As the judges start eating, Nigella says, “The chicken’s a bit too pink for me…”
Horrified, the trio realise their chicken is also undercooked.
George gets up to send it back, and grabs a couple of plates that had already been served on the way. He turns wait staff around, and everyone heads to the kitchen.

If Steph wasn’t stressed before, she is now, and has to arrange a way to cook the chicken properly. It’s discovered they don’t have any spare chicken and have to cook the breast for a few people.

At this stage, Kyle’s team has to really majorly ruin their dessert for the burgundy team to win.
Purple serves their dessert, venetian parfait, chocolate parfait, muscat sauce, grapes, coffee granita, and toffee twirl.
The judges love the flavours. They have nothing negative to say.

Steph’s team serve their mini bombe Alaska with coffee sponge, almond, coffee, cherry and Italian meringue. The judges felt they did a fabulous job.

Once everything was done and dusted, it was time for results.

They said that Kyle’s team had perfect lamb and the chocolate dessert was a crowd pleaser. Their whiting was inconsistently cooked, and much of it was undercooked.

Steph’s team was told their whiting was perfectly cooked.
“Even if the dessert was the best in the world, it wouldn’t compensate for the undercooked chicken,” Gaz said.

The burgundy team – all 10 people – are up for elimination tomorrow night.

Nigella gives them a pep talk to try and cheer them up.
“Be excited that you get to cook again tomorrow,” she tells them.

Posted in MasterChef Aus Recaps, Season 11, TV Show Recaps

MasterChef Aus S11E12 – Recap

Today is the immunity challenge. Fighting with a stick for immunity is Derek, Tessa, Jess, Steph, Simon, and Blake.

The hopefuls walk in and see Matt, George, Gaz, and Nigella standing at the front. Nigella is wearing a white outfit.
The boys are generally going for a bit of a match – all three of them wearing blue suits, albeit of different shades. George has a white shirt with a bit of black on it, and Gaz wears a pink shirt and matching pocket square.
Matt, however, is wearing white and yellow stripy pants. Think of the first episode – they were like that. As well as a white shirt, Matt also wears a white cravat and pocket square with yellow flowers on them.

They then reveal who the mentor this time is. It’s Billie, and she comes in wearing a green top with pink flowers on it.
When she gets to the front, it’s revealed that Billie has never met Nigella before. She’s more refined than the contestants, and keeps her cool the whole time.

Nigella announces the challenge. The contestants are to cook a, “dish that celebrates custard.”
Steph boasts that she can whip up a custard in five minutes.

Sixty minutes on the clock to cook a dish that celebrates custard, Gaz tells everyone that the best dish will go to round two to fight the professional chef.

Time starts, as does the montage.

Things of note: Derek’s idea normally takes about 2 hours. Tessa has a lot of elements. Simon hates sweet things. Steph forgets her eggs.

When time ends, the tasting starts.

Simone’s first.
Japanese Set Custard with custard and various things to pit on top, which he arranges in front of them. George lets him borrow tweezers he keeps in his suit pocket.

“That’s fantastic, Simon. You’ve nailed that, so… well done,” Billie says, completely unenthused. She’s probably regretting coming on the show as a mentor.

Nigella and Matt say some very poetic things about it. George gifts Simon his tweezers.

Next is Derek. He’s cooked salted egg yolk custard buns. They crack it open, and see the custard has risen to the top.
“It was too ambitious for the time, that’s all I can say,” Nigella says.

Jess is up. She brings out a salted custard with berry crumble. Nigella says it’s too salty.
Blake presents his chocolate brownie with strawberry custard. Nigella says it was quite dry, and not enough space for the custard to be celebrated.

Up next is Steph, with her coconut custard with black sticky rice and mango. They try the dish. Billie liked it, as did Matt.

Finally, Tessa. She did a chilli chocolate crème brulee with a biscuit. Gaz loves it as well. Nigella says she celebrated custard brilliantly. Billie had excellent words to say on it.

Now, it’s the decision.
“We’d like you all to come down the front please,” Matt says, as he and the others walk away to confer.

The return to give the verdict – it’s Simon. Billie helps him swap the apron for the jacket.
Matt starts to tell us about the professional chef, Coskun Uysal a Turkish chef from Melbourne.

I took a phone call, so I missed some of the deets about what was happening, but generally Simon got to choose ingredients that he wanted, and then pick from there. Like last time, Coskun only gets 60 minutes.

Billie can’t control her excitement. She loves being here. This was definitely not as a last resort, as a favour, or due to a feeling of obligation. Definitely not. You can see how enthused she is to be here.

Deadset though, Jess, yelling from upstairs, is more enthusiastic than Billie.

Montage.

Simon decides to crack out the tweezers and everyone cheers over it.

Finally, time is up.

First for the tasting is duck breast and pea puree. It’s a small portion, which the judges aren’t too impressed with. It’s cooked beautifully, apparently.
They practically lick their plate. It was excellent, and they all enjoyed it.

They’re ready for the next dish, which is Simon’s. It’s a roast duck breast with confit leg, and peas pureed and fried.
The first thing Gaz notices is how Simon tried to trim up the leg to make it look nice. It ended up looking a bit hacked at, and not very nice.
Gaz says it’s nice looking otherwise.
George cuts up the pieces and uses his new tweezers to plate it. The confit isn’t tender enough and George hacks a bit to get them all some.
The confit leg should’ve been left off the plate.

With the tasting over, it’s time for the decision.
Coskun – 9 across the board. Total of 36.
Simon – 6 across the board. Total of 24.

The judges thank Coskun and Billie, before telling them Nigella will be back tomorrow, and tomorrow will be a massive day.

Posted in MasterChef Aus Recaps, Season 11, TV Show Recaps

MasterChef Aus S11E11 – Recap

It’s a Nigella elimination tonight, feat. the losers of yesterday. Dressed in black is Abbey, Larissa, Mandy, Monica, and Leah.

It’s interesting to note that in previous years, the safe contestants make breakfast for the pressure cookers. It seems that they have to make it themselves this year…

Anyway, the losers come into the kitchen, and Nigella and the trio of judges are waiting at the front for them.

Matt is wearing a lavender suit today, with a white shirt, a white and purple cravat and a matching pocket square.

Gaz is wearing a white shirt and a grey suit.

George has gone for a very minimal, casual look, with black jeans, a white shirt, and a dark grey jumper.

Nigella’s wearing a dress.

When the dish of the day is revealed, everyone oohs and aahs. It’s a roast chicken.

“The white meat has to be really juicy and succulent,” Nigella tells them.

George carves it up and everyone comes to have a bit. Mandy’s a bit worried because hers is normally more dry than this – like it’s moist af.

“You’ll need to cook two hot sides and a gravy,” George tells them.

With 90 minutes on the clock, time starts, and so does the montage.

There’s a lot of drama happening, mostly about gravy and potatoes. It looks like Monica is struggling a bit through the whole thing.

A significant drama is Mandy’s gravy. She had perfected the flavours and Nigella brought George around to try it. When they got to her bench, Mandy poured in some more stock.

“Why would you do this?” Nigella asks.

Mandy then realises that she’s diluted the flavour. It tastes bad and it’s really watery now. She runs off to get some corn starch, and I don’t have a lot of faith in her.

Yada yada yada, time finally runs out, and I’m interested in what’s going on again.

It’s time for the tasting. As Leah brings out her roast chook, gravy, carrots and potatoes out, I can’t help but crave a roast chicken. I’d peel the skin off, gnaw on a leg, and then take my time in consuming the crispy chicken. Yum, yum, yum.

The judges start eating Leah’s chicken. They love it all. She didn’t have any drama, so there’s not a whole lot of use in lingering on her.

Next is Mandy. She presents her chook, gravy, potatoes and carrots. She’s worried about her gravy, and rightly so. The judges are not impressed with it. They did enjoy her potatoes though.

Monica brings out her chicken, gravy, potatoes and carrots. Everyone’s really gone for the same side dishes, and I’m getting bored writing it. Surely the judges are sick of eating it. I don’t know. They try the potatoes and comment on how it’s not as good as the others. There’s a bitter aftertaste.

“Like lemon,” Gaz says, before continuing to eat.

Matt says the dish didn’t have, “a gravy or a side that I’m ‘Wow’ about.”

Wheeling in a different dish is Abbey. She’s got her chook, roasted fennel and potatoes. They judges love the look. They rave about how great everything looks, and Nigella cannot wait – she steals some chicken while George is trying to serve.

When it’s time to eat, everyone’s grunting – a very good sign. Nigella calls it, “Pleasure on a plate.”

Finally, Larissa is last. She has a roast chook, gravy, honey carrots and fennel. She’s the only one not bringing potatoes to the party, and the judges are a bit outraged. She explains her decision by saying that she doesn’t like potatoes, and she didn’t want to serve something she doesn’t like.

I don’t think I could trust someone who didn’t like potatoes.

The judges taste her potato-less meal, and declare the gravy is so good it makes up for everything – the lack of potatoes and the undercooked fennel.

Really, it’s not hard to see who’s the best of the losers and who’s going home.

Everyone is called back in, and Matt says, “All five of you did a really great job, so well done.”

Nigella starts it off. “Leah, you’re safe.” There’s a little celebration before she continues. “The dish of the day was cooked by you, Abbey.”

Abbey is stoked, but the feedback doesn’t end there. Nigella tells her she has a, “very refined pallet. Everything was absolutely right.”

Abbey is thrilled that Nigella had said that to her.

Then, it comes down to the pointy end of the sick.

Because of shit gravy and potatoes, Monica is going home.

She goes outside to say goodbye, and Steph starts crying. There are a lot of hugs, and Monica tells us what she wants to do now she’s finished at MasterChef.

Where is she now?

Monica has completed work experience at three different places, and is currently working on a cookbook.

Posted in MasterChef Aus Recaps, Season 11, TV Show Recaps

MasterChef Aus S11E10 – Recap

When Abbey and Leah come downstairs for their morning Vegemite on toast, they find Nigella Lawson chillin’ in the kitchen, sippin’ on some tea.
After introductions, Nigella tells them to go get everyone. They run up the stairs and then everyone runs down to meet her.
There are hugs, there are screams, there’s a whole lot of excitement going on, and Nigella looks like she’s living for it.
Once everyone’s settled a bit, Nigella tells them she’ll be here all week. Bursting into applause, none of the contestants can believe it. They’re telling us how exciting it is that she’s here, how she’s their hero, etc.
The first challenge is a mystery box.
“Shall I open it?” Nigella asks.
“Yes!” everyone cheers.
She opens the box, but there’s nothing there.
Nigella is here for something more nefarious. She’ll be stealing ingredients from the contestants.
Everyone leaves to get ready while Nigella snoops around their pantry and fridge.

Once everyone’s dressed and fed, they all pour into the kitchen, exciting to see Nigella again.
When they walk in, Gaz, George, Matt and Nigella are standing at the front. The contestants come and stand in front of the benches.

Gaz is wearing a blue suit with a blue shirt and blue pocket square. He’s also wearing his glasses today.
Matt is wearing a light brown suit with a white shirt. I’m really here for the pocket square and cravat, because it’s rainbow. It’s a bit kaleidoscope meets stain glass.
Finally, George is wearing a grey jacket with a black vest and white shirt. He’s also wearing blue ripped jeans.
Nigella is looking beautiful today, and wearing a leopard print jacket.

Gaz asks Nigella why she keeps coming back to the MasterChef Aus kitchen, and she talks about how she loves the contestants and how inspiring they are.

It’s time for Nigella to show them what she stole from their house. There’s lamb mince, some kind of fish named King George, mint, red plums, semolina?, date molasses?, red plums, nigella seeds, and witlof. I have no idea what a witlof is, and I don’t like the look of it.

Gaz tells them they’ll have 75 minutes to cook. They must use at least one of the ingredients, and they have their staples under the bench. Only five will be tasted, and the winner of that goes straight through to immunity challenge.

“Taste, taste, and taste again,” Nigella says, before it’s cooking montage.

Montage.

Nigella comes around to Steph’s bench, and Steph admits she wore leopard print to match with Nigella. Nigella tries to look like she’s not terrified of becoming a skin suit, smiles politely, and quickly walks away.

Finally, time is up, and it’s tasting time.

First is Abbey. She’s made a… she… it’s a dish of whiting, witlof, plum and mint. The judges love the presentation and the taste. The freshness is great.
“It’s a plate that delights,” Nigella says.

Next is Simon. He made a dish with witlof, semolina and whiting. Nigella thinks it’s a really, really good dish. George says he likes the simplicity of the dish.

Nicole is shocked at having her name called, and she’s so excited to bring it to Nigella. She made a plum pie and smoked vanilla ice-cream. Nigella calls it enchanting.

Fourth is Anushka, wearing a yellow shirt and yellow glasses. She’s made a layer cake with a plum sauce centre. The sauce inside should ooze out when the cake is cut. When George cuts it, making eye contact, it oozes.
They call it, “Cake shop quality.”
George calls her the cake boss.

Finally is Jess. She’s very excited and proud. She made a Pavlova with vanilla cream and plum sauce.
“It looks like something from a fairy-tale,” Nigella says, before having a go at hacking at it.
Self described as a ‘Pavlover’, Nigella tells her it hit the mark.
Matt says they were expecting it to be good, weren’t expecting it to be that good.

Nigella tells them it’s been a lovely start, and one dish that made her jump for joy and made them happy.

The winner of immunity is Jess, and she’s sent upstairs to be alone.

Now, it’s the invention test. Not just any invention test, it’s a MasterChef classic – relay.

They’ll be working as a team of five for 15 minutes each of cooking. They’ll have a total of 75 minutes, and 45 seconds for hand over. The winners will be safe and upstairs; the losers will be in elimination.

“When I was in your house this morning, I picked up one more ingredient,” the thief tells them.

The four who had their dish take a coloured apron, and will be the leaders of the teams. The other contestants are sent outside.

Nigella stole pistachios, and they must use them.

Cue the frantic montage of everyone trying to get something prepped.

The next person is about to start.
George goes out with a black bag. He tells four people to come forward. They choose an apron from his black bag and that’s their team.

Walleed is with Nicole. She’s got a lot instructions and he’s having a hard time telling him they’re making an ice-cream sandwich.

Abbey has left the prepped everything for the next person to made a decision of what they want to do. This leaves the next person without a plan for a dish, and they have to decide something.
Monica is having a very hard time with this because now she has to come up with an idea.

Anushka’s team is perfect.

Gaz and George come around and ask Walleed what the dish is. He has no idea because Nicole gave him so much instructions. He doesn’t even know what the special ingredient is, and goes off what’s in the ice-cream. All I can say is this – ruh roh!

Walleed debriefs to Sandeep, who is deeply confused by the idea of an ice-cream tart.
Sandeep is having a really hard time trying to figure out what’s going on, and decides they need a filler.

At this stage, the red team has the most air time, and with the most dramas, so I’m not confident for them at all. I’m worried about it because I like Walleed and Sandeep, and I don’t want to see either of them going home.

Look, there’s a lot happening, basically red and green are having a hard time at the moment. There was a lack of leadership and communication from Nicole and Abbey which has really worked it’s way down the line to the fourth people, leaving them confused, scared, and sweaty.

Blue and yellow are fine.

It’s almost change over for the last person, and Joe realises the main ingredient is pistachio.
At changeover, he tells Kyle that he was told the ingredient is star anise, but everyone else is talking about pistachio.
“Just try and hero them both,” Joe says.

Meanwhile, the green team is confused as to what the dish actually is, and doesn’t know how she’s going to plate. She tries the curd, but it’s too runny so she has to scrap it. She tries the crumb, but it’s not good, and has to scrap it too. She has to figure something out and fast.
Kyle is assembling the tart. He’s added another element of pistachio, and tries to minimise the intensity of the star anise ice-cream by doing a small scoop, just in case.

Time is up, and everyone starts cheering and celebrating. The previous team members come out to hug the last relay.

“This challenge today,” Nigella says, “is the hardest I’ve ever seen.”

Gaz reminds them the winners go to the immunity challenge, losers to elimination.

Tasting time.

First up is the yellow team.
The dish is a pistachio crusted lamb with confit(?) fennel and pistachio fennel salad.
It looks beautiful, and the lamb looks divine.
They dig on in.
George says the fresh salad was the best bit and freshens the dish up. Nigella loves it. Matt says they had a clear vision, and excellent plating.

Blue team.
Anushka presents the pistachio ice-cream, pistachio praline and pomegranate coulis.
Nigella is excited, so goes in.
Overall they love it. Matt likes that there’s different colours that are pistachio colours.

Next is the green team. Abbey is disappointed and feels like she let Nigella down. She starts to cry.
Their dish is a Middle Eastern Delight.
The judges are annoyed there is only one pistachio element to the dish. Nigella doesn’t understand why they’ve done this.

They try the dish.

The praline doesn’t have crunch, and the dish would be different with a pistachio ice-cream. Gaz doesn’t like it, it’s an orange vanilla dessert with a sprinkle of pistachios. George tells them to keep their fingers crossed.

Finally is the red team.
It’s a pistachio tart.
They judges are happy they can see the pistachios, means they might have gotten the hero ingredient after all.
Nigella says it looks great, but the flavour of the custard and the ice-cream are off.
They are happy the incorporated pistachios into two elements.

After the tasting, Matt tells everyone that the winner had a clear vision from the end that was executed the way it was supposed to.
The yellow team are the winners and go on for immunity.

Unfortunately, the worst dish was the green dish, and they’ll be up for elimination.

Posted in Writing

The Death of the Author – short story

This is a very short piece. The inspiration came to me while I was driving today. It’s an idea that I plan on investigating in length later. Based on the idea that once a book/story is written, the intent of the author is irrelevant because it’s in the hands of the reader to interpret. I could write an essay about this, but I’ll spare you.

Anyway, just putting the idea out. This would likely be the first draft of the final part of a larger story. Let me know if you like the idea and if you would read a longer version of this.


Today had just been exhausting. This had to be the second maths test Laura had failed in the last three weeks. It was also the first time she’d had two maths test in three weeks.

Maths was the last straw – the last piece of evidence she needed. All Laura had to do was find a way to persuade her author to make things more desirable.

She closed her eyes, turned off any source of sound, and tried to zone out.


The author heard a noise behind them and turned around.

A sixteen year old girl stood in the middle of the lounge room, looking a bit confused.

“What the hell are you doing here?” the author asked, standing up.

The girl stopped and looked at the author. Her eyes narrowed.

“You’re the author.”

“And you’re Laura,” the author said. “But you’re not supposed to be here.”

“You have to change my story.”

“I don’t have to do anything.”

Laura looked around the apartment. It was a small one bedroom, mostly white surfaces, minimalist. The fanciest thing here was the authors laptop, the thing controlling her life.

“At least change my maths score,” Laura said.

The author sighed and crossed their arms. “I don’t think you understand. Sometimes I write things because it was part of the plan. Sometimes, the characters are just idiots and don’t study hard enough.”

“I studied.”

“Not hard enough, evidently.”

Laura picked up a pair of scissors sitting on a bench. “What happens to me?”

“I don’t know yet. You’re the master of your own fate.”

Scoffing, Laura opened the scissors. “No, you’re the master of my fate.”

“I think it’s time for you to leave.”

The author turned around to start writing again, but before they could finish their sent


When I opened my sapphire eyes, I was lying on the ground. I never go on the ground, because it’s dirty, so this was really weird. Anyway, I stood up and brushed the dust from my short blonde hair. My red dress with white spots was a bit crinkled, but I smoothed it down and walked to a mirror.

Posted in MasterChef Aus Recaps, Season 11, TV Show Recaps

MasterChef Aus S11E09 – Recap

Up for elimination today is Anushka, Derek, Larissa, Tessa, Kyle, Simon, Monica, Walleed, Sandeep, and Yossra. They’re all wearing black and saying little things about how they need to bring their A game, etc.

Today’s elimination is wild. When the contestants come in, Tessa decides to use her immunity challenge and gets out of it. George and Gaz wheel out a big bech full of weird ingredients.
Matt announces that when they entered the MasterChef house, they were asked to name their favourite and least favourite ingredients.
This is them.

There will be two rounds, both sixty minutes. They’ll have to chose one of their ingredients for the first round and cook with it. The top six is safe, and the bottom four are up for the second round.
In the second, the four up for elimination have to cook with the ingredient they didn’t choose the first time.

Now, the important stuff of the episode.
Today, George is in a grey suit with a pink shirt. Gaz is also in a grey suit, but his has white lines. It’s a bit checked, but I don’t know if that’s what I’d call it. He’s wearing a white shirt, with a pink pocket square, and he’s also wearing cute glasses again. Matt is wearing a blue suit with a white shirt. His cravat and pocket square are blue and white.
Anushka is wearing her elimination glasses, which are white. They complement her black outfit. We’ve seen this look previously, so I’m looking forward to seeing if she wears them throughout the rest of the series.

Time starts, and the montage begins.

At one stage, Kyle confesses that he’s never cooked quail, so he looks like a fuckwit in front of the judges.
“I’m good with flavours,” he assures us.
Like, good for you, I’m good at decimating a bag of chips and identifying what dip I’m eating, doesn’t mean I can cook a fuckin quail.

So that was the highlight of the cook.

Time is finally up, and the tasting begins.

Anushka is first. She’s made a cake with chocolate sauce. George pours out all the chocolate onto the plate, while making eye contact with her. Then he licks the lip of the pourer.
They all really liked it, and Gaz said that she’s obviously a really good baker.

Sandeep is next. He’s done a lamb curry. They like it.
“You know flavours, Sandeep,” one of the judges said. “There’s no question about it.”

Monica does noodles and a broth, it’s enjoyed.
Simon is next. He did ribs and the boys LOOOOVED it. They tell him to take his spare ribs upstairs, share with the other contestants, because he’s safe.

Next is Christina. She does a lamb rack. Gaz calls it a, “Sham. It’s a bit confused.”

Walleed did chocolate. George says there’s a bit of a technique issue.

With more lamb, Yossra. She did chops, mash and gravy.

Derek did a prawn laksa, had nice flavour.

Kyle did his quail with gravy and roast vegetables. Gaz tells him it’s undercooked. George says, “99% of people would send that back. It’s a shame, because you know the flavour.”

Finally, Larissa. She was planning on making pancakes, but at the eleventh hour, it fucked up, and she ended up with a banana caramel sundae. Matt tells her that the pancakes would have been terrible with these flavours, the ice-cream is so good.

Safe is Monica, Sandeep, Larissa, Anushka, and Derek. They head up to join Simon.

The next cook starts with Walleed, Kyle, Yossra and Christina. They have an pen pantry, open garden, and their last ingredient.

Walleed and Yossra have their worst ingredient, while Kyle and Christina have their favourite.

Christina tells us about how having kids put her plans on hold. Her favourite ingredient is chocolate.

Walleed hates the texture of okra. His mum used to make it a lot so he knows a dish and will be using her recipe. I have no idea what okra is, so I don’t have anything to say about this dish. I’m sure he’ll be fine, because we don’t know a lot about him, and he’s been pretty good at cooking so far.

Kyle has chilli, so he’s doing a curry.

Yossra’s least favourite is white chocolate, and she’s going to make a mousse. She’s never used white chocolate to make mousse before, so she’s a bit worried.

20 minutes left, and Gaz tries Kyle’s curry. It’s bitter and Kyle has to start that again. Kyle confesses he hasn’t been tasting as he’s going. Rooky error. Even I, someone who can hardly boil an egg (if at all), knows that you have to taste as you’re going.

Montage for the last bit of time, and then it’s all over.

Tasting time, and Christina is first. She’s made a pana cotta? Look, I don’t really care about learning how to spell it. Anyway, the judges like it.

Kyle next. He’s made a snapper with red curry sauce. He did the sauce for 8 minutes, so it makes me question what the 40 minutes of working on the curry was all about, if he did it in 8.
The judges aren’t keen on the presentation. The fish was cooked nicely, though.

When Yossra brought out her mousse, it was a runny mess. The trio say that the next dish has to be terrible for them to let her through to the next round.

Walleed is next.
Matt tells him they’re worried about his dish, because it’s a 30 year old memory recipe that he hated.
He’s kinda like, Welp it’s in your hands now, so…
When he leaves and the trio start the judging, they’re shook. It’s really good.
I’m very relieved for him, he’s probably one of my favourite contestants, and we still haven’t seen like anything from him so far.

That means Yossra is going home.

She’s working on a cookbook.

The rest of the episode is MasterClass, and we all know I don’t care for cooking, so that’s the episode.

Posted in MasterChef Aus Recaps, Season 11, TV Show Recaps

MasterChef Aus S11E08 – recap

Here we are in East Gippsland, a place where our farmers are affected by the ongoing drought. Today, our contestants will be feeding the farmers, their families, and people who volunteer their time and resources to get supplies to the farmers.
A great challenge for two reasons:

  1. It’s great to give back to the people who are the reason we’re able to eat Australian produce.
  2. All the contestants feel like they can’t fuck up.

Today, George is wearing a white shirt and a black jacket. Matt is wearing a grey suit with a white shirt and an orangy looking cravat and pocket square. Finally, Gaz is in a blue shirt with a white shirt, that I think can be described as checked? I failed the sewing class at school, so I have no idea. He’s also wearing glasses again today.

The contestants are split into two groups by George, which ends up being the red and blue teams.
Anushka is wearing white glasses that don’t really go with the outfit, but I guess maybe she’s run out of glasses. I don’t know, I was expecting her to bring a new pair for every single day.

Anyway, the groups are forced to choose a leader.
Blue choose Larissa, and she’s quick to be a leader. Red choose Tim, because he’s from the country.
As Gippsland is close to the coast, or something, the teams will either cook a protein from land or sea. They’ll be chosen by drawing knives.
Tim pulls land, and Larissa gets sea.

The montage starts and everyone begins cooking and agreeing with what they’re going to serving today. They have to do three mains, three sides and a dessert. It’s a serve yourself situation.

The montage today is cooking, broken up with people saying how important today is for them.
Honestly, cooking really goes over my head, so I don’t understand any of this stuff. Frankly, I don’t really care. I’m here to look at Anushka’s glasses, judge the contestants for crying, and salivating at the end result.

Towards the end, everyone starts to arrive, and the contestants get frantic. They realise they’re not even close to being done.

Finally, time is up. Everything was put out in time, and there are no dramas.

First to be judged is the blue team. They’ve done a smoked salmon with crispy skin, fish and chips, curry prawns, bread, Thai salad, a potato thing, and sticky date pudding.
The trio of judges say what they think. Matt says each dish is clearly done by an individual and doesn’t work all together. They enjoyed it nonetheless.
There’s a quick clip of people saying what they liked about the dishes.

Next is the red team – lamb shoulder, pork belly, eye fillet, green salad, beetroots, carrots, and an apricot crumble.
The judges like it. They like that it’s a mix and match, and cohesive. Overall they like it as well. They ooh and aah at the crumble.
Another clip of people talking about what they liked.

“Wow, red team. Unbelievably good,” Matt said. “Everything we love about food on one serving table.”

The contestants all come together and Gaz gives them the feedback. They were both great – the best offsite cook on all of MasterChef. But Red was just that bit better than blue, so blue is up for elimination tomorrow.

Posted in MasterChef Aus Recaps, Season 11, TV Show Recaps

MasterChef Aus S11E07 – Recap

Kyle, Tessa, Abbey and Derek are gonna fight for immunity. Maybe to the death.

Today, Gaz is wearing a black suir with a blue shir and matching pocket square. He’s also wearing glasses, but these are a new pair for him.
George is rocking a blue suit and white shirt with a bit of black on it.
Finally, Matt is wearing a brown-y yellow suit. It looks like a gold brown? I don’t know how to describe it. It’s nice tho. He’s wearing a white cravat with bits of blue and yellow on it, with a matching pocket square.

We get a close up of Anushka. She’s wearing a grey shirt and thick black glasses. I love it.

The judges tell them that they’ve got their immunity assistant. Like the goddess she is, Poh comes through the doors. I’m cheering, the contestants are cheering, the trio of judges are excited to see her, and Poh grins and waves at everyone.

The challenge is announced.
Round one is the best version of fried chicken there is with a great sauce to accompany. They can do whatever they want, as long as the chicken is deep fried. With forty five minutes on the clock, the four contestants have an open pantry and the garden is “in play”, as Gary puts it.

Time starts.

Montage montage.
Poh and Matt are walking around together, and Poh give her first piece of advice to Derek.
Yay Poh!

Look, I really don’t care about what they’re doing, everyone’s fine.

Time’s up.
Tessa brings her food up first. There are lots of crunching and lots of dipping.
Eating fried chicken isn’t attractive, and I’m not going to lie, I’m a bit repulsed right now.
Overall, everyone loves the chicken and they tell her it’ll be hard to beat.

Abbey’s next.
She made a chutney to accompany, but it’s not really what the judges wanted – it’s too hard to dip. The chicken was really good though.

Up is Kyle.
He’s only plated up two wings for four judges to share. Poh and Matt are the only ones to talk about it, but they weren’t thrilled with much of it.

Derek is last.
Gaz loves it. The crunch was so intense, the people upstairs could hear it.
“Get me my couch, get me my ugg boots,” George said, “and give me a bowl of chicken.”
It’s a Korean wings though, and he starts to sweat a storm.
Poh really likes it too.
They’re all impressed and amazed.

The judges walk away to collaborate.
When they come back, they’ve split into two groups – Gaz and Matt, and Poh and George.
Gaz and Matt loved Derek’s chicken, whereas Poh and George were here for Tessa’s.

Because of this, they’ll both face the chef. Whoever beats the chef gets a pin, which means if they score better than the chef, they both get one.
They’re upgraded from apron to chef jacket.
In walks Max Sharrad. He’s got experience in a wild range of areas and has worked around the world.
Derek and Tessa are scared and intimidated by Max.
The contestants get 75 minutes to cook, whereas Max gets 60 minutes.
It’s a blind tasting as well, as usual, and Max won’t get to find out what he’s cooking until its time for him to cook.

Max, George, and Gaz leave, letting Poh take over.
Aww, God bless Poh.
She tells them that they get to chose a hero ingredient for their dishes, but they have to agree on the ingredient. Max will also be using the same one.

Tessa and Derek decide they’ll hero the orange.

Anyway, montage starts.
Max starts cooking and gets thrown off by the orange.
Poh gives her first bit of advice to Derek.
Montage.

Finally, time is up.

Tessa is first to get tried.
The trio love the plating and the sauce. They say it’s been cooked right on point, and the discuss the possibility of it being a contestant. They don’t think it will be, because it’s so well done.

Derek is next.
Overall, the judges aren’t keen on the presentation. Gaz doesn’t like how bouncy the dessert is. Not a big fan of it overall. Matt says the dish needs another element.

Finally, Max.
It’s a simple dish, simple flavours, it’s soft, and generally great flavour.

Also George has a beard? This is the first time I’ve noticed it? Am I a fool?

It’s time to announce the scores.
Tessa receives a total of 28. Gaz and Matt give her a nine, and George a ten.
It’s a 16 for Derek. Gaz and George give him a 5, and Matt a 6.
Last is Max. He gets a 6 from Gaz and George. Matt gives him a seven, putting Max at a total of 19.

That means Tessa wins a pin, but Derek doesn’t.
Max leaves defeated, and George tells everyone to piss off.
Instead, they all hug Derek and Tesssa.