"The Mighty Tangerines"

What a day, firstly today was our Television debut. Jason, Andy & I cooked our way to stardom. Cooking is very much like flower arranging in as much as you get fresh ingredients and process them into something utterly delicious. In my experience all florists can cook, they all cook with care, passion and attention to detail. If you ever get invited to a florists house for dinner, trust me, go, it’s going to be good. If you get invited to a fat florist’s house for dinner it is going to be exceptional and there will be lot of it, so ask if you can bring a goody bag for take homes. As it happens I know quite few fat florist cooks “FF gastro sexuals” some of them I am related to, others I have known a life time, all of whom are responsible for my steady increase in size.

Now the other week, Andy the original Gastro Sexual asked us to audition/screen test for a new cookery programme where amateur cooks pitch themselves against Michelin starred super celeb chefs. Andy had a couple of courses in the can and we needed to come up with a starter, this was all around the time of our major demonstrations for FD & Kathleen’s, I wasn’t really focused on the implications but thought that if we won and if in the unlikely event that Rebecca got into drama school financially it could be a great idea, so agreed. Then he sent a text on the day of Kathleen’s dem and asked for our recipe, said we had to bring it and the ingredients to the screen test the following morning, be at Andy’s by 9:00 am was the final text of the day. Fine Thursday is the day we have a farmers market, so Rosie buys me a black pudding, Jason goes to Lanigans and picks up some Lytham Bay Shrimps, whilst there he spots some gorgeous scallops so buys those too, we are thinking lets keep it local, promote Lancashire/Fylde Coast, we had unfortunately, no clue what to do with the fab ingredients.
Then after sticking everything the fridge, we troop off to Blackpool, we demonstrate, we party, we talk, we raise loads of money for the Hospice, we pack up and go home, it is now 1:30 am. Alarm goes off at 6:00 we get showered & dressed with our eyes closed, (When I was only slightly younger I could do this whole no sleep thing and still, as I believed at the time perform brilliantly). We set off, Rebecca’s friend Sarah had had a great idea of matching aprons, so we stopped off at 24hr Tesco and bought the uniform, vertical striped butchers aprons (Gok says this will elongate me).
We come off the motorway at Blackburn and remember that our ingredients are still in the fridge, Don’t panic we decide, Andy will kill us, he will as is his way (Totally anal) have everything for his recipes, labelled, in little Tupperware’s in a purpose bought chiller bag, unfortunately for him this is not our way, we are more fly by the seat of our pants for anything that isn’t work, ask my children (we have been known to buy the new school uniform on our way to school for the first day of term).
We spot a huge farm shop Huntley’s, not open yet, but people are cleaning, we knock on the door and look beseechingly, they open up for us, we race around throw things in the basket now we’ve added oranges and Tarragon god knows what I am going to do with those.
Andy is seriously impressed with our uniform he requires a little elongation himself. We get to the screen test which is more of a semi final, other teams are sat around tables being interviewed. Charlotte is our minder and refers to us as “The Mighty Tangerines” I am worried, I am rotund no doubt, have I overdone the fake tan? Andy it appears has chosen this flattering team name without consultation. We do OK the producer has a passion for Black pudding and suggests we change our team name to the “Might Black Puddinglians” I’m sorry but this is even more insulting, so I refuse without consultation. A couple of weeks later we get a call inviting us to go to London for the actual show. The rest as they say is history, for those of you that didn’t see it we won!
For those of you that did here are some answers to FAQ’s
· No I didn’t know who Paul Rankin was
· No he isn’t really my favourite chef Gordon Ramsay is.
· Yes I did dance with Anton Du Beke
· And yes it was one of the best experiences of my life
· And No I didn’t injure him
· John Burton Race is actually as grumpy in real life as he appears
· Yes he was genuinely hacked off that we had beaten him.
· No we don’t like Tuna
· Yes we did pronounce clafoutis incorrectly
· Yes we absolutely did unashamedly promote Lancashire cos we love it.


shannonk said…
Now it is my turn to shower you with compliments. Peter and I just got around to watching your tv debut last night (Saturday) and we loved every minute of it. Peter liked the Lancashire plugs. I was impressed by all your coolness. At first I felt nervous for you but you appeared so chilled that it put me at ease. Jane, you were absolutely brilliant, articulate, funny, adorable, sharp making me very proud to call you my friend. The results were fantastic. I was so thrilled for you. Note: your dessert was presented much, much better, there's looked like mush. Anyways, it was a nice balance; you still won without taking a clean sweep leaving the chefs enormous egos still intact yet slightly fragile. Congratulations to all.

Can't wait for dinner in September Andy.

ps. I am glad I didn't have you over for dinner after our viewing, I might have felt a bit more intimitated. I think in future I will work on my presentation. Your starter looked fab!

pps a huge congratulations to Rebecca! What an enchanted journey she is on now!

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