Before last night, I had never watched a single skerrick of Eurovision. Even when, years ago, a university lecturer instructed my class to watch it as a corollary to our “Europe in the Modern Era” course, I didn’t bother. I know, I know. I’m such a rebel. It’s a surprise I didn’t enter a downward spiral after that and end up in rehab.
Anyway, when my friend Jeniqua invited me to her house for a Eurovision party, I knew it was going to be an experience. What I didn’t realise, though, was that it was also going to be a steep learning curve.
Ergo, I preset to you:
What I Learned From Eurovision 2011
1. It’s impossible to remember which singers come from which countries when you recognise no one and there are so very, very many bright-swirling-dazzling-sparkling-moving-tizzing-fizzing-popping-shazzling colours in the backdrop of each performance.
2. If you ever get stuck in a box made of glass, place your hand on each side dramatically and the last pane of glass will swiftly shatter before your intense-penetrating-brooding eyes.
3. It feels really embarrassing, deep down inside, to take self-timed photos of yourself in your Eurovision get-up because there’s no one in your house bar a twelve-year-old poodle with no interest in a photography career. It feels even more embarrassing to post the photo on your blog, but you do so because several people asked you to.
4. It’s important to be grateful to friends who loan you dresses, because this means you don’t have to step inside a Supre or an SES.
5. Jeniqua has a Real Wedding Dress procured from eBay in her cupboard. It’s a thing of tacky polyester-beaded-bowed-jewelled monstrous beauty.
7. If you take a batch of spiced meringue bites (beat 2 egg whites to soft peaks, gradually add 140g of caster sugar until dissolved and glossy, beat in 1/4 tsp cinnamon and 1/8 tsp each of ground ginger and cardamom, quenelle onto baking trays and then bake at 120°C for one hour before leaving to cool in oven), don’t forget to put them out at the party. Otherwise you’ll find yourself at home at 11pm eating eight meringues in a row…. dipped into sunflower seed butter.
9. The Irish Eurovision competitors were clearly hyped up on goofballs.
11. There is obviously a rule that all female Eurovision competitors must have bizarrely long legs.
Grated Carrot Salad
Roughly doubled from this Dorie Greenspan recipe
- 900g carrots, peeled and trimmed
- 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 tb honey (raw Manuka honey, if you’re being fancypants)
- 100ml apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 bunch parsley, roughly chopped
- Grate the carrots in a food processor. This is ridiculously quick and fun to do. WAPOW go the carrots!
- Put the mustard, honey, vinegar, and olive oil in a small jug and whisk to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
- Toss the parsley through the carrots, then stir through the dressing just before serving. You can also add raisins and walnuts if you want. I didn’t. But you could. I didn’t. But you could.