It's increasingly harder to squeeze into my Food Clothes, which are by their nature already flowy or voluminous. That could be testament only to my sedentary lifestyle and summer malaise, but I like to blame the food blogging. At the beginning of blogging, people meeting me sometimes said oh, I thought you would be fatter! While I could have done without the comparative phrasing, I took it as a compliment, and I think I also believed that I might be immune to the calories: I mean, I'm eating for research purposes. We go out a lot since I started FatSuing - from the super-fancy like our Michelin-starred meals at the Shangri-La and the Grand Hyatt, to cosy little cafes in Khuwair. I love eating good food, so I don't resent FatSu for the extra pounds. But at this weekend's event at mOre Cafe on The Wave, unexpected competitive adrenaline probably burned off everything I ate.
It was organised to showcase mOre's catering service - they provide nibbles and full-on party food. You can check out the menu here, even book your order online if you're not already too jaded too trust anyone in Oman to check their inbox. We don't have parties at home - for a start I tell stories about tortured simians, not very Martha Stewart of me - so I'm not an ideal candidate for catering, but I liked one idea that mOre's management touted, which was instead of having a full-on feast delivered, you get them to provide the supporting acts to your star of the show, like a spread for before your barbeque, or the side-dishes for your superb roast.
I was prepared not to enjoy this event, because the car's air-con had broken the day before and we live half an hour from The Wave. My god. We hit a full complement of red lights, at each of which I wanted to launch myself into the road. We passed a guy on a construction site watering the ground to keep the dust rising...how I longed to be prancing through the spray. (Yes, I'm aware of the callous irony of this, given that the man was actually working outside in this heat, and not just cooped up for a bit on his way to a nice event at a posh cafe in The Walk.) By the way, The Wave, if you're reading this, those banks of greenery may look very lovely from the golf course but they completely block any breeze that might have come through our windows. And those speed bumps you've put on the entrance road really slow cars down.
When we arrived and parked, we unstuck ourselves from the seats and slid out of the car, then stood, arms out, in the mall to cool down, but we still both turned up at mOre looking like...have you played Resident Evil Revelations 2? There are these zombies that lurch around with a dead crust of skin all over them. You shoot that off, body part by body part, and as you break through with bullets, from one or other of the creature's joints this big veiny throbbing head pokes out. That's what you have to aim at for the coup-de-grace, and once you hit it, down goes the zombie, and all that's left on the floor where it stood is a steamy mass of gloopy, fire-red slime, which hisses and bubbles. We looked like that.
There. I think I'll put one unpleasant paragraph in each post I do from now on. That analogy wasn't as disturbing as the experiment anecdote in the last one, but I hope you weren't eating when you read about zombie pus. Point is, we were not in the mood for Fun. Few things would have been enough to resuscitate our energy. And we ended up having a brilliant time.
There were lots of nice people, mostly fellow bloggers, and there were games! I'm a devotee of MKR and MasterChef, but I never thought of doing food games at home. First thing was the Blindfold Test, where you had to shout out as many correct ingredients possible in a mystery dish from the catering menu. Now, I knew in advance that this was going to be happening, but I decided not to memorise the menu to give myself a better chance of winning. So I already felt like a moral winner, which is what is important. And then I was an ACTUAL winner because I ROCKED at my turn! Ha! You should have seen me. Or better not, because I identified a weakness in the way my competitors were going about their task - savouring the food, rolling it round their palates, and even waiting until they had finished the mouthful before calling out the ingredient! I didn't make that mistake, although my way was definitely messier and unpleasant for spectators.
Then we went to a more sedate contest over at the coffee bar, where the nice barista submitted to having a dozen or so bloggers peer at him while he made a leaf appear on the foam of a cappuccino. Well. I didn't rock at this one, but I did manage to conjure up a rather beautiful sleeping foam baby on my coffee. Maurizio went for a crowd-pleasing thick layer of chocolate powder on his, rather than any attempt at coffee art, and also didn't win. I think his dark cocoa effect screwed up the colours on my picture of all our creations. And last was Food Pictionary. This is a really good idea for a game. We had to pick an item from the catering menu to depict; I went for the Funky Monkey ice-cream, as you can clearly see from the photo below. You could definitely do this as a general food game; I have a great idea for how to do hummus.