Martha would not be amused. I am being gauche by drinking a fall hefeweizen during a month where I should clearly be downing a nice winter beer. The hefeweizen in question is the Shiner Hefeweizen by Spoetzl Brewery out of Shiner, TX. Shiner is a wheat ale, "brewed with orange and lemon peels - with honey added" according to the label. And yes, it does taste a little lemony to me!
Drinking game rules are posted to the side (or if you're reading this at some time in the future, when TC5's winner is long known and I have no more need to post the rules, just check last week's post for them).
by the way, the show that was on in the background of that Winter Storm beer photo was the season finale of that SciFi hit Ghost Hunters. This week, another show is on in the background, but just a commercial for it. The only hit: it has the same subject matter. Any guesses? I'll tell you next week otherwise. If you're right, you win... okay, you win nothing. I don't have anything to give!
10:01 Don't ya just want to punch Jeff in the eye whenever he winks at you like that?
10:02 Okay, is Stefan talking in his native language to Fabio? Dude, he doesn't speak Finnish. And look at that weird watermelon-o-lantern he just made.
10:04 All this reminds me that I still didn't get any Christmas decorating done today. Alright, Padma, spit it out: the quickfire challenge is a one-pot Christmas meal, with guest judge Maaaahtha.
I think Carla's eyes are going to finally pop out of her head now.
10:05 More sage wisdom from Maaaahtha: don't make crap like those bozos did on The Next Food Network Chef 4, don't get caught insider trading, or whatever it was Maaaahtha did to land in jail, etc.
10:07 Ariane makes a mess!
10:08 Gratuitious Fabio-is-Italian reference #1 of 17. DRINK!!!
I love pork.
10:09 And they're back to test. Let's see how Maaaahtha likes it.
Hey wait. They go to commercial? Great, now I have to wait another 5 minutes.
10:10 Dang, I'm tired. Maybe I'll just call it a night instead of watching this show.
10:12 Zzzz..hah? Oh, we're back. Maaaahtha's most notable reactions - remember, she's a poker face:
Stefan seems to charm even Maaaahtha.
She gives Hosea props, and Melissa is bragging about growing up next to a picturesque Maryland apple orchard. A wee grin from La Maaaahtha.
Oooooh, not a fan of Jeff's, is she?
I'm sorry, but potato and kale stew doesn't sound too appetizing to me, but with those scallops, she seems okay with it.
Y'know, to listen to La Maaaahtha one wouldn't know that she's a Jersey girl.
Carla, what did you do? Oh, there it is.
10:16 And how did they do? La Maaaahtha was not impressed with Jeff's potato risotto (too starchy, ick - he messed up her fave dish) and Eugene's Korean stew (Eugene whines to the camera) and Fabio's polenta. Italian reference #2 (DRINK!!!)
Hosea's paella was a fave, as well as Jamie's and Ariane's dishes.
So to whom will Jamie be runner-up this week? Oh, it's Ariane. Jamie is going to murder someone.
Oh, and a shameless plug for La Maaaahtha's book. DRINK!!!
10:19 And now the elim challenge: catering an AIDS fundraiser filled with 250 guests, including celebrities. AND some helpers come in: the Harlem Gospel Choir! So are they helping by singing or by being sous-chefs? Or both perhaps?
Hosea is suspicious. Something else is up, no?
Ah, here's the twist: watch people sing while our chefs draw knives. Each dish will be inspired by one of the twelve days of Christmas.
At least it's not these especially weird anime twelve days of Christmas:
10:26 Listen to them sing. No people, don't sing. Ever.
10:29 God damn when will they start the show!?!? Apparently, this is another 75 minute episode. Why they show something that long at this time of night is beyond me. I know I'm gonna be cranky by the time this is over.
10:31 Oooh, frog legs would be good for ten lords a leaping. I would also hope he emphasize the "lordly" part of that.
10:32 Oh sure, Leah, go the easy route and get three actual French hens.
And DRINK for that Whole Foods plug.
10:34 Soft sourdough toast points are for what part of that song again?
Radhika is doing duck for her partridge in a pear tree. Let's hope she's sporting, like, a pear or something?
Fabio is probably on the right path this time with his crab for nine ladies dancing.
10:35 And everyone hates Hosea for smoking up the entire kitchen.
Jeff obviously wants to steal that "most arrogant chef" title from Stefan, dogging all those "simple" dishes. Yeah dude, but sometimes simple is best.
10:36 Um, why is their fridge warm? It seems that someone left the fridge door open, and ruined all the food within. That includes Hosea's pork. Wow, half the cast is screwed. FUN! (or not). At least everybody else is helping Hosea and Radhika with their dishes. Now that's teamwork.
Any bets that the producers deliberately sabotaged them?
10:40 Come see the softer side of Stefan...
10:44 Darn, Jamie almost mentioned Team Rainbow. But being part of the gay community too, I can relate to how important AMFAR is, for all 35 million persons around the world with HIV. Thankfully I'm not one. Let's hope they do come closer to a cure.
10:46 Now this is a tacky use for the AIDS ribbon - pin yours next to your favorite dish. HUH!?!?
10:47 And to our dishes (relative to order in the song):
Stefan (#12): good pot pie
Radhika (#1): good spices, well-seasoned, nice Indian spices.
Carla (#2): braised chicken with duvelles and mushroom. Two turtledoves are too salty.
eugene (#5): golden pineapple rings with Tahitian-style ceviche. Judging by his shoulders, that was one happy gay man. Not everyone was of the same acord on that however.
Fabio (#9): Fabio's story is more interesting than his crab cake. "A bit dense" and "greasy" - ouch.
Jamie (#7): Scallops again, swimming in vichyssoise. Raw scallops this time. Will she ever have another quickfire?
Melissa (#8): Low on the milk, I think, but she was more inspired by the cow. At least it tastes like a dairy product!
Leah (#3): Braised guinea hen. I like the literal interpretation, but this is - GASP - dull. Leah's is dull?
Ariane (#6): Six types of deviled eggs. Hmmm. The judges are not impressed, because they are, well, deviled eggs.
Hosea (#11): How did that pork loin turn out? Well!
Y'know, rad and Hosea need to tell them they had a lot of help.
Hosea is getting ribbon'd!
Jeff (#10): His uber-complex seared fancy cheese with something else snooty. Nice roundness, it seems.
10:53 And Tom and Padma excuse themselves. Melissa's pissed.
10:57 Another twelve days of Christmas, this time from Bob & Doug. Some folks went ahead and animated this Dr. Demento Xmas favorite!
10:59 So Stefan is at the top again. Shocker. Radhika spills the beans about all the help! Radhika's does look tasty. And of course, Stefan has his chicken pot pie, which everyone loves.
Oh hell, DRINK!!!
Jeff's dish was definitely a pleaser, though the guest judges (including Natasha Richardson) thought he went overboard with the extra cheeses. And Hosea's pork was also lovely.
Natasha announces the winner: Hosea! Jeff seems not jealous.
Another shameless plug - cookbooks for everyone!!! DRINK!!!
11:02 And tonight's losers: Melissa, Eugene and Jamie. How come Jamie always does almost best for the quickfire, and almost worst for the elim? Reverse that, dude!
11:04 Jamie's problem was the scallops: They. Were. Raw.
Melissa: Nothing but cheese, intensely bleu cheese!!!
Eugene: Too sugary? A surprise for Eugene. He thought it was all tart.
The guest chef judge, whose name I never caught, gives Eugene a talking to.
11:06 Judge-I-didn't-catch hated that scallop. But Eugene seems to think he's got all the answers, and few chefs think like that. It's a constant learning process!!! Melissa's uber-cheesy dish seems to get fewer gripes. But wait - they didn't like almost any of the dishes. Tom is disappointed. In fact, Tom wants to have a little chat with everybody.
11:08 I'm not sure who is leaving tonight. It seems like all arrows point to Eugene. Which is why I think Jamie's going home. Yep, that's my guess: Jamie.
11:12 Ooooh, Tom is addressing everyone. Way to deflate the winners' egos.
11:13 The point is: AMAZING food. Not PASSABLE food.
Y'know, I'm not sure anyone is going home. Oh, snap! And I typed that just before Tom said so, honest!
11:13 And Melissa and Jamie hang around for one more week. For our final Marylander, it is a wake-up call.
What's up next week? No limits! Dazzle everyone!!!!!
Nobody's going home. Or perhaps, Tom wants to send everyone home. From the way Tom and Padma are talking, it seems as if our cheftestants - and TC5 - are going through the same malaise that Project Runway went through last season. In other words, the contestants have gotten cockier, but less talented. Oh well. Merry Christmas to all our cheftestants. Now to Bravo: for this Christmas, pleeeeeeeeeease keep next week's Christmas Eve episode to 60 minutes!
11:22 - Post-script: It just dawned on me. Maaaahtha was only in the first 18 minutes of this damn episode. And yet they name the whole f*cking ep after her! That's false advertising, people! (And of course, we all fall for it.)