Tuesday, February 03, 2009

You've trampled on them, Heston Blumenthal!

My dreams that is. It's been a bitter and difficult January. What with Lurch's wandering, virus-seeking fingers and the constant stream of bad news and predictions for the UK housing market and general economy. But, ever the optimist, I started the year brimming with hope. There was one particular glimmer that was warming itself daily in the first week of the New Year. I had set my heart on winning the Walker's 'Do Us A Flavour' competition (that's the same as Frito Lays for the non-UK readers). £10,000 (at least!) would be mine, if not winning the whole competition! The boys and I had spent the autumn concocting recipes, thinking of evocative names and unusual flavours - we were drawing inspiration from the most unlikely sources, buzzing with ideas and energy.

Danny Boy rushed home after looking at traffic lights in the rain and devised 'The Big Green Steam' - coriander, green chilli, wasabi and lemongrass. I had 'Battered and Bruised' - beetroot and beer, rejected on poor language taste terms but persevered. The Terminator came up trumps with 'Gingeroo!' - ginger and rhubarb. Then I reached (in my own mind at least, obviously) new levels of invention with two recipes I felt were sure fire winners: the evocative 'Root Tangle in Thyme' - strips of root vegetables roasted in thyme and a last burst entrant 'Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon' - roasted sweet potato with pumpkin, hot paprika, and - here's the genius touch! strips of cracked black pepper. Phew...

We waited for judgement day, hope beginning to fade. I stopped looking at brand new cream Fiat 500's and accepted that somebody else was obviously more creative than the members of the Blogthatmama family. I gingerly opened the website and to my absolute shock and horror saw 'Fish and Chips', 'Onion Bhaji', 'Chilli and Chocolate (have you ever tasted that? I have, Yuck!), 'Builder's Breakfast' (bit more imaginative), Duck in Hoisin Sauce (yawn!) and (a nod in the direction of creativity) Cajun Squirrel. WHAT!!!

That is why I'm blaming Heston. He may have been outvoted but I'm now beginning to suspect that the competition was just an excuse to see which flavours would be the most popular i.e. 500,000 votes for fish and chips = a winner. Why bother pretending you have to satisfy all senses and create flavour collisions and interesting names? Why, Heston, Why?

Still, we enjoyed ourselves and it's good for the kids to be imaginative. I've resolved that we'll find another competition and win it between us this year. Oh yes we will. That will show you, Heston!