No More Limp Carrot… Masterchef Australia Returns!

If you know anything at all about cooking, then you’ll already know that fresh produce is the secret to cooking like a master chef. After all, a meal is only as good as its ingredients.

However, if you’re cooking at home, you’ll also know that “fresh” can be open to interpretation. As long as that limp carrot hasn’t gone moldy, she’ll be right. Indeed, that very same limp carrot provides its own unique sense of “theatre”. It might not be Masterchef, but once it’s in the mince, it’s an unsung “hero”.

After all, fresh produce isn’t something you can always pull out of a hat. It can mean running back and forth to the shops like a yoyo and quite frankly, I have better things to do.

That leaves growing your own.

Of course, we have our own veggie patch and a corresponding worm farm.


The Veggie Graveyard: Thyme has become grass & the corn has died.

However, while friends have flourishing veggie patches which could feed an army, ours is sad. The beans died. The peas died. Quite frankly, I’m totally mystified how the tomato plant has not only survived, but metamorphosed into a veritable triffid about to take over the world. Yet, while this monster plant has produced a multitude of green, cherry tomatoes, we are yet to see one RED tomato. We don’t know where they’re going, but even covering them in wire mesh hasn’t produced a yield.


Tomatoes: At least something is growing!

Sorry, spuds. I almost forgot. We’re also growing potatoes. My daughter just seized my laptop to ensure I didn’t leave them out.

So, despite my best efforts, two somethings are still growing in the veggie patch. All is not dead…yet!

Anyway, last Sunday night, Masterchef returned to Australian TV screens. Much to my deep shame and embarrassment, we weren’t feasting on a sumptuous Sunday roast. Rather, we were eating re-heated chicken and mashed potato without dessert. I remember making Jamie Oliver’s Lasagne during last year’s series but during the intervening months, I’ve lost my mojo. Summer was so hot that I tried not to cook anything. After all, you could fry an egg on the footpath and melt chocolate on the bench. Being a particularly long and hot Summer, it’s only just getting cool enough for me to think “cook”. We’re been eating quite a lot of salad.

So, after this rather long sojourn, the return of Masterchef was an awakening…the call of the wild. It’s only been two days and tonight I was already starting to cook with Matt Preston’s voice talking in my ear. “Flavour…where’s the flavour? Where are you taking this?” I swear I’m toiling away in the Masterchef kitchen…a thousand miles away from home!

Definitely, no more limp carrots around here!


Shepherd’s Pie.

Tonight, we had Shepherd’s Pie and I can assure you this was no ordinary shepherd. While it wasn’t quite Masterchef, it was well on the way. At least, it would have been if I’d had a bottle of crusty red wine. However, with Dijon mustard, garlic and fresh Basil from the garden (another resilient survivor), the mince was stewing with flavour.

However, I must confess there were also other elements, which weren’t very “Masterchef”. That includes boiling the potatoes in their skins in the microwave and using grated tasty cheese straight from the bag instead of your authentic Italian Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano. However, the cheese melted beautifully in the oven and the smell was divine.

However, what really mattered…I had no complaints. That’s quite a rarity around here. My kids have extremely discerning palates.

That could be one of the downsides of my love of cooking and watching Masterchef. That when I cook ordinary meals in between my more memorable creations, they know it. Aside from a few limp carrots, they’ve never had spaghetti on toast and I have my own peculiar fussiness myself.  Prefer to make things from scratch.

Jonathon Jan 2007 b

Baking with Mister back in 2007, aged 3.

While I’m not on the show, I’m operating against our own clock here. We’re needing to bolt dinner down and bail into Mum’s Taxi and our son is off to Scouts.

Indeed, every night seems to come with its own inbuilt pressure test.

With that type of pressure, why on earth am I watching Masterchef when I should just get a BBQ chook  and have an instant meal?

Personally, despite trying to juggle a multitude of competing pressures, I value and believe in good, nutritious food. While I might not be wanting to cook like a master chef every night, I do want to produce meals which taste sensational, are nutritionally balanced and teach my kids how to put a meal together. Show them how to produce a symphony of flavours bursting with vitamins, imagination and creativity. That food doesn’t necessarily come in a box. That food is so much more, than something to shovel in your mouth to satisfy your hunger.

family at Yoda

Indeed, that food is an experience, producing memories by the mouthful…especially when it’s made with love.

At least, it will be as long as Masterchef is on the screen.

Then, slowly but surely we’ll inevitably return back to that stick of limp carrot.

xx Rowena





14 thoughts on “No More Limp Carrot… Masterchef Australia Returns!

  1. vanbytheriver

    I love to cook, have spoiled my family over the years. But, you’re so right. Wanting fresh produce has me going to markets all.. the.. time…. it’s worth it to me. ☺ That shepherd’s pie looks delicious.

    FYI…I had those huge cherry tomato plants last summer, and when the green ones start to show a little yellow around the stem, they will turn red if you bring them inside. It worked for me…just takes a day or two. I love my little tomatoes.❤️

  2. Tails Around the Ranch

    I’ve totally given up a veggie garden here, the squirrels being far to devious and quick to harvest. Clearly their palate is less discerning than mine. Feel good about having basil and green tomatoes, our darn tree rats chew everything before I can even see if they’re ripe. ღ

  3. roweeee Post author

    Me too. Our home cooking improves out of sight when it comes on each year. I get grand pretensions! My cousin who is a chef was working behind the scenes on the show.
    I am also intrigued about the personalities of the chefs. Those ones with the really detailed, intricate meals, are they fastidious in real life? I would love to watch them for awhile.
    My cousin’s fiance is also a chef and it was him who told me about the importance of fresh produce and I thought about the limp carrot in my fridge. It’s not easy for me to shop at times so fresh produce can be tricky.
    Hope you are having a great week!
    xx Rowena

  4. Dermott Hayes

    I’ve always said it, you haven’t lived until you’ve tried limp carrot, for soup or to hold a door open, in the absence of a wedge

  5. New Journey

    Love your post…I love to cook, art of my downfall…..I keep telling my husband I miss our huge freezer at home…I have one over the fridge…standard size…but tis packed…LOL I love to cook big…and then freeze some of for later….well its been tough…LOL your just coming out of the heat and were heading into it…suppose to be over 100 next week and that’s the beginning of the temperature rising, and then rising some more…I see salads in our future too!!! your Sheppard’s Pie looked delicious….Happy Mum’s Day….enjoy!!! xxkat

  6. Rowena Post author

    I love cooking too but I also have to factor in the mess and eating it. My kids are very fussy and don’t eat much, although our son has been scoffing tim tams. I find the empty packets in his room. I blame the Tim Tams for that. Resistance is futile.
    Cooking in bulk is great, isn’t it. Cuts back on all the cleaning, which is an unfortunate downside of cooking. Happy Mother’s Day! xx Ro

  7. New Journey

    I understand fussy eaters…I was and still am one…pretty sure I wouldn’t pass up Tim Tams…my son was a really fussy eater…he ate like I used to, it would be chicken breast sandwiches for a month and then he would switch to something different…of course cold morning cereal by the mixing bowl at anytime..LOL since I was that way I couldn’t fight him on it…LOL I understand completely…..Happy Mother’s Day to you too….hope you don’t have to cook!!! xxkat

  8. Pingback: Mothers’ Day Coffee Share. | beyondtheflow

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