Well here we are again, lovers, only this time we’re in Perth, WA, and that means if you really must leave your home after 7pm, make sure you’re carrying a switchblade and have no trouble flashing your Southern Cross tattoo at a moment’s notice.
Tonight is the night we finally get to sample the wares of mama and son duo, Anna and Jordan. Thanks to the promos we know that Anna is a generous woman who gave her husband four spanking new sons in exchange for never touching her again. Jordan is possibly the youngest of said sons who took up cooking when his mission to step into his father’s shoes failed because they didn’t have flamingos on them.
Rico reckons after Carly and Tresne, who liked each other, and Jac and Shaz, who liked goats, it’s refreshing for someone to be so open about their sexuality while refraining from wearing a Stetson.
Anyhoo, tonight Anna and Jordan are out to prove that a mother and her son can actually cook together without bitter recriminations or stories about showers that lasted for well over thirty minutes. Their day starts with breakfast and a conversation about Anna’s father that is set to run on loop until the end of time.
According to Anna, she’s Maltese and that means every second is lived picturing her next meal. According to Jordan, Anna is his ‘secret weapon’ – or a least the one that cooks and doesn’t get waved around like a glo-stick at Connections.
Their vision for the evening is to force people to eat so much food that they wake up to a Pakistani doctor explaining a stomach pump.
Off to the butcher they go because pork is needed for sausages and rabbit for the main and Jordan reckons he’ll remind her of this day when she’s living in a Home and wondering why none of her sons let her move in with them.
Over to the judges and Pete is pleased by the traditional-sounding menu, although he thinks they’ll have to be careful with the flavour. Manu, on the other hand, really hopes they make their own sausage because he really likes using the word ‘sausage’.
Back at the house and their family-themed Instant Restaurant is called ‘Mama Knows Best’ because no way was she falling for that I-just-want-to-put-it-next-to-you nonsense for a fifth time running. Because Anna hails from Malta, there’s lots of plant-y things and olive-y things and Jordan gushes that it sums up their ‘cheeky relationship’ and how he can literally roll home at 4am covered in glitter and expect to be waited on hand and foot.
With their set-up done it’s time to start cooking and while Jordan starts on the ice-cream, Anna sets her mind on the protein and brushing up our knowledge of life with her father.
‘We used to skin rabbits together’ she says with a gentle smile, before adding that a childhood spent without entrails under your fingernails is no childhood indeed.
‘Let’s pump some sausage!’ enthuses Jordan, who has great respect for his grandfather but greater respect for a good hand-job euphemism. ‘Nothing beats homemade sausage! OMG, mama, see what I did there?!’
Speaking of lonely penises forced to ask for a hand-out (sorry), here come the other teams including ageing-rogerer, Cheryl, who is nervous, and youthful lawyerer, Zana, who has cankles.
Into the dining room they go and while Jordan tells them about the Maltese tradition of binging and purging, Anna explains that she only wants them to feel like part of the family.
‘It’s like we’re a big table of Italians!’ bellows hungry Cheryl, who is immediately skewered by Monique because Monique has a Maltese mother and Malta is not in fucking Italy.
‘Err…So where is Malta?’ questions Laura, which delivers the only blessed silence from Monique that we are likely to receive and has the Dog eyeing off the wine spray on the ceiling.
‘I’m thinking it’s in Turkey…?’ says fellow Policeperson, Sarah, who doesn’t like to see her pal suffer and remembers a particular day in December when Monique’s mother cooked one.
Back in the kitchen and the rabbit is in the oven, the pasta dough is being made and Jordan is having a whiz-bang time turning one ginormous sausage into a whole entourage of tiny happy ones.
Cue the judges, who tonight are wearing suits and are looking forward to an evening of family recipes that hopefully deserved to be handed down.
‘OMG Manu is going to give me a KISS!’ shrieks Anna, seizing her wine glass and tipping its contents straight down her throat.
‘Thash be’er’ she slurs, staggering to the door and flinging herself into the first judge who enters.
With the sweating drunk woman removed from their persons, the judges head to the dining room to listen to Jordan’s fascinating opening address about the Meat Sweats.
‘Basically it’s about having food that only your mum can deliver’ finishes Jordan, which has the judges smiling and Monique practically grovelling to reveal her heritage.
‘The Maltese sure know how to entertain!’ she hollers, waving her menu and making meaningful eye-contact with anyone foolish enough to look her way.
‘Oh, do you have a Maltese background?’ questions Skinny Pete, who is certainly not stupid but definitely sadistic.
Once the others can get a word in edgewise, Zana says that Anna and Jordan are their ‘real competition’ and if Monique doesn’t like it she can just fuck off back to Malta. If she can find it.
‘She just doesn’t like that I have a brain’ Zana complains. ‘I mean, I may not know where Malta is but at least I don’t spend my days in polyester trousers wiping urine off my patrol vehicle.’
Back in the kitchen and Jordan and Anna are having a difference of opinion about the amount of salsa verde, with Jordan wanting a generous swirl and Anna barracking for minimal dots. Because she’s his mother and has spent the last twenty years of her life begging him to put the seat down, she gets her way and out go the plates to the hongray judges.
‘Is this a traditional meal?’ Manu questions, ever one to test the teams’ ability to keep their eye-rolls in check. When they confirm that it is, he tells them he likes it – with the exception of the lack of sauce which should really have been up to his elbows. Skinny Pete agrees and also questions the cutting of the sausage and why Jordan chose thin slices when everything knows it’s all about girth.
Back to the kitchen they go leaving Laura to do a ‘meh’ shrug and Zana to insist there was room for improvement. This gets Monique’s half-Maltese hairy back up and to the cameras she says that when Zana talks, she drifts off to wondering where in FUCK is Malta.
Back in the kitchen and the rabbit is cooked, which means it’s time to remove it from the pan and reduce the sauce. Jordan, meanwhile, checks the ice-cream and cues the CALAMITY moment of the night because the churner lid wasn’t closed properly and get ready for some definitely non-Malta-specific curse words.
Rico reckons there’s something so inherently beautiful about a sparkly, positive little creature like Jordan finding his rage button and jamming on it with the full strength of a thousand given fucks. Anna, meanwhile, just wants him to ‘chill and focus’, or better yet go have a dance or something and let her take over.
To try and distract him she dusts off another me-and-dad rabbit story, this one about how they always used to have rabbit on a Sunday and then head back to the pet shop on Monday.
Back in the dining room and talk is centered on Zana’s particular skill with pasta, and Rosie’s particular belief that she’s full of shit.
Out come the mains and Monique wants everyone to know that it smells just like her mother’s and OH FOR CHRIST’S SAKE, MONIQUE, WE GET IT!
‘Did you taste it?’ wonders Skinny Pete, which gets Anna moist-eyed and gushing about her dad, and Monique sticking a fork in her leg so she won’t be outdone.
‘Mama, you knocked me off my chair’ says Pete, who adds that he’s glad it wasn’t Cheryl and Matt because god knows the last time they bleached their floors.
Over to Manu who struggles to produce a semblance of words, sets Anna off on a fresh bout of tears and has Monique snatching for a second fork.
Back to the kitchen they go so that Monique can yank the cutlery from her thigh and Matty can touch himself over the sauce. According to Zana, this dish has impressed her more than any other in the competition. According to Monique, she really should put her money where her mouth is – or better yet, straight into a police evidence locker.
Back to the kitchen and everything is running so smoothly Rico is starting to question whether we made up that bit about the ice-cream. Oh but wait! Parts of it are still ‘gluggy’ but Jordan is still going to serve it because he hasn’t forgotten his earlier desire to see three courses leave the other teams’ bodies as one.
Speaking of the teams, they’re discussing the dessert and Laura is worried the orange blossom will taste too much like soap.
‘I’m not ready to have my mouth washed out’ she declares. ‘But I guess the surprise is half the fun!’
Cheryl, meanwhile, admits that she’s not ice-cream’s biggest fan and what everyone thought was just stupidity and a shit recipe at their instant restaurant, was actually the result of pure, black hatred.
But here come the desserts and when the button pops off Manu’s trousers, Anna and Jordan know they’ve won. Skinny Pete also loves it and tells them that if not for that tiny problem of the frozen ice-cream, he’d be fully getting his leg over.
Monique, of course, loves it so much she’s dying inside, only not quickly enough to stop her talking. Zana, who didn’t think she’d like it, loves it, as does Laura but only when you put the two elements together and chew really fast without breathing.
In a move that shocks not even the world’s most gullible pensioner (no, for once we’re not talking about Cheryl), Monique and Sarah score them a 9, as do Cheryl and Matty and Zana and Gianni. Slightly more stingy are Mitch and Laura, who liked their view from the top, and Rosie and Paige, who’ve gone right off grandparents.
The judges aren’t much different with sevens for entree, a nine (Pete) and ten (Manu) for main, and a pair of nines for dessert. All of which takes them to a Mitch and Laura destroying total of 94.
‘Get fucked’ mutters Laura under her breath, while Jordan cheers, Anna sobs and Monique casts around in vain for the Maltese sign for anything.
Zana is also pleased, allegedly for the stiff competition, and says that even with their arms chopped off they’d be in no danger of scoring less than 31. Cheryl, of course, reckons they still have hope, and if something happens with an axe she’ll be the first person to scream YEEE-HAW!
Until tomorrow, lovers!