I heard George Negus once say, ? Making love is like cooking Paella? you have to stir the dish gently to not break the rice?. For me it?s more like cooking Scrambled Eggs; but I digress.
Substitute ?making love? with ?Rugby League? and your mind boggles as to what culinary experiment in the kitchen best resembles or encapsulates the feeling you get watching Rugby League. (Now for the sake of broadening the horizons a bit for this exercise I?m talking about actually going to a footy game. Where the sounds of body crunching tackles and the ref?s whistle is blanketed by the yells, screams, chants and songs of a huge crowd)
What makes this subject very interesting is the hypothesis that you get more out of footy if you can show a deft hand in the kitchen.
The other hypothesis is that as the game progresses and becomes more sophisticated so to does it?s complimentary dish. I dare say that after polling a few of my acquaintances this hypothesis is about to be debunked. Either that or my friends just don?t know how to cook.
On first thought I tended to come up with some really basic dishes. Bangers and mash seemed apt. Beef stew was another. Pork Chop and baked potatoes came to mind. While these dishes addressed the very basic of League it really falls short of capturing the speedy line breaks, the deft passes and towering bombs. Perhaps we needed a dish that goes with watching footy as well as the game itself??? Why not a dish to warm the soul on those freezing cold nights on the hill at WIN Stadium or the muddy slopes at Brookvale oval after a days rain?
Yes, a dish has to cover not only the game but also all those magical, funny and torturous moments one comes to accept by going to the footy? oh! It also had to go with cold ale. Preferably held in one hand just to give it that extra realism. When this dish is prepared and eaten one needs to say at the end? ?Burrrp?just like the footy?
Starved for a good idea for a dish I asked my fellow Rabbitoh supporters what?s their dish. I think they misunderstood my question but I did get an array of answers based more on their emotions than the actual game. Cooking is an emotional process but I sure got some weird answers.
Turd Sandwich! Food from the Services Station, unpredictable! One asked for a banquet! (No go I?m afraid.) Meat and three veg!!! (Very traditional.) Bubble and Squeak? (what??) As tough as a $2 dollar steak!!
OK so Souths supporters don?t cook as a general rule.
Not thwarted I rang my partner and declared. ?I?m cooking tonight? I don?t know what yet but it will be good.? I do tend to hype it up a bit but that?s part of the process. The hype. ? You?ll really like what I?m putting together? I added, remembering the last time I said that and my partners sudden lack of appetite when the plate hit the table.
I set off. Looked in the fridge. Spotted some roast chicken from a couple of nights ago. Some pork chops a day before their use by date. Assorted vegies. The pantry offered some additional interpreted flexibility.
As I cleaned the kitchen work areas I started formulating a game plan and it started coming all-together very well (in my head).
Working furiously hard I made sure every utensil was used. The kitchen was a mess symbolising the true state of many League Clubs.
On the plate I served: Pork chop on a field of steamed spinach smothered with herb and red wine gravy. This symbolised the forward pack. Seasoned and fortified porkers.
Representing the backs I served bite sized chicken pieces in Marsala flavoured batter. Fast to eat, battered yet compact. Tasty!
The referee was a mound of tuna, French mustard and mushroom behind a lettuce alone shield. This left a bad taste. Perfect.
Around the edge of the plate were crunchy potato chips to represent the crowd.
The plate looked pleasing to the eye but god-awful mixture of tastes. My coup-de-grace was when a I flicked a ?back? off my plate which bounced off my Schooner of beer and sailed right between the salt and pepper shakers. GOAL!!
Cooking is fun but it?s much better to just go to the footy. Nothing compares. Not even Paella!
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