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Come Dine with Me…

October 11, 2011
Five students around kitchen table

Tash and her former housemates

I visited my stepdaughter Tash when I was in the UK.  The first thing that struck me was how neat and tidy students are nowadays.  Unless they heard I was coming and tidied up first!  The next thing that struck me was how little students had changed in that time.  They still use the same set of mixed glasses to serve their white wine in as we had twenty years (or so) ago. And I know this because I was invited to a dinner party.  Well, that’s different from my day.  I don’t remember ever being invited to a dinner party when I was at college.  We used to eat at the greasy spoon cafe, and have sweet & sour tuna and all that, but no dinner parties that I remember.  But then again, we also didn’t have Come Dine with Me (although the common room would fill up at 5.35 for Neighbours, and empty out at 6.30 after Home and Away had finished).

Plate of salad.

Looks good, tasted AWESOME!

Come Dine with Me seems to have revolutionised dining in the UK!  On a budget of four quid a head, Alex (the one standing in the stripey t-shirt) regaled us with three exquisite courses.  For starters, we were served a salad with cherry tomatoes, sharp cheese and an incredibly delicious home made sauce. It was, I have to say, a taste sensation, despite the tender young age of the chef.  I wish I’d asked for the sauce recipe, actually!

Plate of fish, potatoes and salad.

Mmmmm... tatties and fish, my favourite!

Anyway, the main course continued to delight the palette, with Sea Bass served alongside gently simmered new potatoes, and a crispy green salad (that’s another thing about students nowadays – they all seem to thro healthy stuff into their menu.  We had none of that in my day!) with another delicious dressing.  Home made of course.

And then, for the finale, we had one of my childhood favourites, and I was so excited I forgot to take a photo.  But luckily, I managed to find one on the internet, (and it looked EXACTLY the same as it did when Alex served it) which was lucky, cos there is no way I could have recreated this myself:

Plate of vienetta ice cream

Viennetta. An unforgettable experience.

So, all in all, an unforgettable experience.  And an inspiring one too.  As a result, we are starting our own Come Dine with Me experience here in Kuwait.  But since we’re all grown up over here, we’re going to increase the budget per head from four quid to four dinars (about eight quid).  Much of that will be swallowed up by the fact that imported goods, such as salmon, crab sticks and other imported goods here are twice the price they are in the UK.  Marc thinks it’s too much, but TBH, the menu plan he submitted came in at only about KD2 under the limit…yes, I am proud to announce that my husband was the first to submit his secret menu planner and budget in a sealed envelope.

Worryingly, it didn’t include a Baskin Robbin’s Ice cream cake with a chocolate base, Pralines & Cream filling and chocolate frosting (which will need to be specially ordered 4 days beforehand).  Perhaps he will keep it for after the party, so I can eat it all myself?  Who knows.

Anyway, next time, I reckon we will do it on a budget of only four quid a head, cos I reckon you can do some awesome things on the cheap… Marc’ll be well impressed when I offer him lentil soup followed by Dal!

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