suze's frootie housewarming

mainpictureI was running late. The traffic wasn't helping, and neither was the fact that I had no idea where I was going. But I got there and juggled my bag, a lentil salad & a shiny foil wig across the quiet street to the door. A sharp poke at the doorbell and then "Hello?" "Oh hi, it's Shez." A silence. "Is this Suze's place?" Another silence. "Sorry, can't let you in" and then a disconnection. I poke the doorbell again. "OI!" And as I "Oi!" I see two heads pop out from a doorway. One with a rainbow mohawk and the other with long and luscious blonde locks. "Heeeeeee!" says the Blondie, and after a bit of pushing and pulling, I'm let in.
Let in? Well yes. But only after I don my wig for Suze's frootie/housewarming party. I dump my bags and smell... curry? And roti? A quick squiz at the table reveals boxes of all sizes & shapes. A flip of the lid reveals a domokun cake, a peer into a observer-proofed carrier reveals cupcakes, and someone is talking about a certain other's crunchy balls...

It is then that I remember that I'm in the presence of foodies. And eager ones at that. And by this, I mean Miss Suze (of chocolatesuze), Billy (atablefortwo) FFichiban (herecomesthefood), Helen (grabyourfork), Howard (eatshow&tell), Karen (citrus&candy), Simon (theheartoffood) and Yas (hungry.digital.elf).

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roti & curry by suze and mama suze

A quick debate was had. "Frooties first? Or lunch?" The result, instant. "Lunch" say all, one because he is hungry, another fearing the after-effects of citric acid on an empty stomach, and a third because he had just smelt the roti and wanted in. And now. Mama Suze had whipped up a delicious chicken curry and Suze had pan-fried and crunched up a couple of packets of roti, courtesy 1x asian grocer.

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sushi by helen

The ever-talented Helen had whipped up two plates of assorted sushi, which went down an absolute treat with the accompanying fresh wasabi & soy.

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simon's "crunchy balls"

Simon brought along these absolutely delicious deep-fried balls (for want of a better word). "The left hand side are prawn and the right hand side are scallop" he said, when we asked what they contained. And then confusion ensued. We were standing around a circular table, and one's right was another's left. So I took one of each and figured out which was which. But not before I went "Ahh!" at the crunchiness and "Ohhh" at the soft just-cooked interiors. (And, I have to say, they were absolutely delicious - recipe dude! Pronto!)

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sticky ribs by mama suze

Mama Suze's sticky ribs (skilfully reheated by Suze) were an absolute highlight. Moist and tender, with the meat falling off the bone. Certain of us had one, and then another, and then stopped to be courteous. But then, later on in the afternoon, spotted two more in the bottom of the bowl and munched oh-so-contentedly at their extra boon.

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front: my lentil salad & rear: suze's pumpkin salad

I had been at a wedding the night prior and so fell back on my tried and tested lentil salad recipe. It's so easy that I wonder if it is post-worthy. Plus, as Howard said, after taking numerous shots from numerous angles "lentils... they just don't photograph well".

Pumpkin salad, on the other hand, photographs a treat. And despite my orange-vegetable aversion, I found myself picking out bits of pine nut & bocconcini for nibbling on. (Yes, that's where it all went... !)

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miracle frooties

But it was time for some fun. Billy had sourced a packet of "Miracle Frooties". Made from the "Miracle Fruit", they have the strange-but-amazing ability to fool your tastebuds into thinking that sour is sweet (more info on Wikipedia). The effect is said to last from 15-30 minutes, though it lasted a little longer for some than others.

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a clandestine operation

Each tablet is chopped carefully in half before the tray is solemnly handed around. We have done our research and dutifully swirl the tablet around our mouths, rubbing it into our tongues and letting it dissolve slowly. And oh! So. Slowly... For me anyway. The boys (who clearly produce more saliva than us girls) were all done in about 2 minutes. And the girls? Well we sat. And stood. And swirled. And tried not to spit the darn thing out because oh! It might be pink and promise all sorts of lovely things but the tablet tastes like chalk.

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the not-so-sour fruit platter

We are finally (finally!) done and dig in. The winners? Lemons - a favourite of everyone involved. They taste like the lemonade one finds at the Easter Show. But sweeter. The grapefruit came in well, with only a hint of bitterness remaining, and the pomegranate tasted like I always thought the pomegranate should taste. Gone was the sharp acidity, and instead a flavour that matched its ruby red pearls. Ditto the POM juice, which tasted strangely like cranberry...

But the limes were terrible. And this is where different people's tastebuds kicked in. Whilst people waxed lyrical about the sweetened citrussy flavour, all I could taste was soap. Horrible horrible soap. Blergh...

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the table of "yummies"

The rest of the table contained a plethora of sour, salty and yeasty flavours. There were some other odd flavours - passionfruit tasted like cocoa with dark notes and a caramel finish (though only for the girls, the boys said it tasted like passionfruit). Beer tasted like a malty coffee. Rice wine vinegar (once you got past the smell) tasted like, well, it just didn't taste like vinegar.

And whilst some foods really benefitted from the tablets (strawberries, citric acid powder), others didn't. Because what are sour dried plums when the sour is removed? And that lovely creamy cheese with a tang is now just milk solids. And the natural yoghurt? It tasted just like a creamy melee of nothing. Which reminded me (quite poignantly) how much I like that bit of acidity in my foods.

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helen's cola cupcakes

And when we were done messing up our mouths (and stomachs... poor thing) there were explorations, wig swaps, Biggest Loser imitations and then, finally, dessert.

But we were so full! And there were so many desserts! So I split a cola cupcake (with cola flavoured sherbert sprinkled artfully across the top) with another and managed to snag the lolly. And ooh, it did taste like cola, if only faintly in the cake.

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karen's lime & chocolate brulee tart

I questioned the lime & chocolate combination in Karen's tart, only to be mercilessly schooled on tasting it. People, hear me: lime & chocolate are fantastic when baked in a tart. Now repeat.

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suze's peach slice

I didn't manage to squeeze Suze's slice in at the time, but did manage to snag a piece of it to take home with me. And oh! The shortbread-like bottom and the soft and fruity top. There may have been eyes made across the dinner table that night as each took their sliver and all wanted more.

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simon's chocolate mousse with cream

Simon's chocolate mousse came complete with air-pressure-extruded cream, which, on the first glass, dribbled sadly in. On the second attempt, it spurted out with such verocity that we all jumped back in fright. And after that, well, just look at those pictures! It was smooth and bitter. Airy and light. Just lovely. Truly.

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pavlova courtesy yas

The effervescent Yas brought along "Some Pavlova! It's yummy!" And we ooh'd and ahh'd over it before noticing he had disappeared. Heads peered out the door and he returned... with two more! "I cheated and bought them" he said "Why three?" said we "Oh, I can eat a whole one myself, so I thought I should bring some for everyone else!" said he. And I can see why. So. Tasty. Ahhhhh!

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the voodoo knife set

But it was time to go, and so we left Suze with her new found toy (and pseudo-housewarming gift) and a fridge full of food. "There is cheese in my fridge!" she would email later "And juice! And yoghurt! And cake!" And I was glad, for what is a housewarming without leftovers to last you a week?



11 bites more:

Simon said...

You're a stickler for detail huh? The fact that that you can remember these conversations verbatim is astounding! :)

Thanks for the complement on my *eh-hem* balls (crispy dumplings if you want a better word :P). A fun time had and a pleasure to have finally met you :)

Belle@Ooh, Look said...

What a fun day you had! Though I think bitter melon is revolting any which way you have it. Do you think it's worth doing Merivale's version for $40?

Stephcookie said...

Looks like you guys had so much fun, and that is the best housewarming gift ever! How was your stomach after all that acidic food consumption??

Karen said...

Ummm lime and chocolate indeed. Glad to have helped in your schooling LOL. Thx for the lentil salad. It was the shiny beacon of health on the day!

Helen (AugustusGloop) said...

Fun fun, and strange that you tasted soap with the lime too. Oh, I could really go another round of those ribs, and all those desserts too.

FFichiban said...

HAHAH "Heeeee"? Mmmm the food were so yummm I want morrreee! Good timmess ^^!

Yas said...

fun fun fun!
Yeah I've got to agree, some of the food we tested must taste better with their acidity eh? Yogurt & cheese were all "meh" to me. Now I want to build a house made of the ribs and eat the curry inside.

Arwen from Hoglet K said...

Lunch first - definitely the right decision with all the goodies you had in store. What a great spread!

billy@ATFT said...

yeah i think we all want Simon's balls recipe! :) I quite like the lime, yeah strange u and helen tasted soap.

Anita said...

You guys had a great spread of food! I liked hearing about how the foods tasted without their acidity... it's very interesting :)

shez said...

Simon: one could say that. i have a wonderful memory for the not-so-important and a terrible one for anything vaguely-useful :) And yes! A pleasure!

Belle: i didn't try the bitter melon. especially after seeing everyone else's faces! and the Merivale party does look very fun (though i've heard alcohol tends to not go so well with frooties).

Stephcookie: i may have curled up into a very little ball later than evening. the citric acid was junkified!

Karen: heeh! i was thinking "we're gonna need some fibre & some starch in amongst all that lemon & cake business" and mmmyum at your tart :)

Helen: i only wish my stomach was as big as my eyes were... and that the lime soap flavour didn't stick around for as long as it did. yeeergh!

FFichiban: why yes. heeeee!

Yas: you'd end up awfully sticky. but i guess you could lick it all up?

Arwen: oh i know! and with that many foodbloggers, i wasn't entirely unsurprised :)

billy: i tried it again after you said you liked it, just in case. still soapy... yerrrrrgh!

Anita: i love sour things - perhaps even more so now :)

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