Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The State of Origin

Well, I'm not a huge sport fanatic and my state of origin isn't even in Australia, but I do love watching everyone in the two states, NSW and Queensland, get all worked up about this match.

Joe is a sports freak. He loves anything with a ball. Or a puck. Or a stick. Or a bunch of guys running around. Hell, even a bunch of girls!

In highschool I dated a hockey player. That was an okay sport to watch, kinda fast and furious. Then I dated someone who was into golf. Not so fun. Watching garishly dressed, portly middle aged men drive a buggy around a park while trying to whack a little white ball with an upside down cane across an overly chemicalized bed of grass is not my idea of a good time. Although, I must admit, I'm partial to driving the buggy around. After  years of having to try to find some joy in golf, I vowed that the next man I dated would be great because there cannot be anything more boring that golf.


Cricket. Cricket is not only boring, it goes on all day. For many days. It's so long they have tea breaks during the match. It's so long that one series can take place over five days per city it's played in. And it gets played in about six different cities! Unbelievable.

Joe loves cricket so much  that I'm willing to indulge his dreams. When the Ashes came to Australia I sat on the internet, home phone and mobile for thirteen hours straight in order to secure tickets for him and his mates. In the drinking section. And that was imperative, because I think even a die hard cricket fan would have a hard time enduring three eight hour days in the Queensland sun without a beer.

Anyway, enough about cricket or I will find my self babbling on about all Joe's amazing cricket stories about meeting legends of the game and they end poorly when I tell them cos all I remember is there was a guy named Big Bird and thre was a meal in a fancy private room and that makes it sound sexual but it wasn't.

So tonight is the first match of the State of Origin. For this game the teams are made up of players who played their first games for either Queensland or New South Wales. Punters are supposed to cheer for the team from the state they were born in, although some people (Amy Hopes I'm looking at you) cheer for their husband's team because they are too piss poor to stand up for their own state. I, of course, go for the blues (NSW) because I have only ever lived in this state and also because if you go for Queensland, you have to wear maroon. I hate maroon.

Queensland has been kicking arse in this match for as long as I can remember having to watch it. The match is held every year and it's best of three. I think last year they won all three. So this year, all the Cockroaches (NSW/Blues) are hoping to win at least one game against the Canetoads (QLD/Maroons).

For me, it means that the downstairs will be full of men weeping, wailing and gnashing their teeth. There is nothing I can do to settle them down except shove food in their gobs to stave off the effects of mid strength beer and competitive natures.

Tonight I will be making Jalapeno Popper Dip and Buffalo Chicken Wings with Blue Cheese Dip.

Jalapeno Popper Dip aka. Crack Dip

1 tub of  cream cheese - I just get the cheapest brand
1/2 cup mayonnaise - whole egg please!
1/2 cup shredded cheese
1/2 cup parmesan
1 jar of jalapenos - use half the juice. If you double the recipe use one jar with all the juice and one without
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs - find in Japanese section of store.
1/4 cup parmesan
1/4 cup butter

1. Mix the cream cheese, mayonnaise,  cheese, parmesan  and jalapenos in a food processor and pour into a baking dish.
2. Mix the panko bread crumbs, butter and parmesan and sprinkle over the dip.
3. Bake in a 180 oven until bubbling on the sides and golden brown on top, about 10-20 minutes.
Keep an eye on it and don't let it burn or separate. Better a lower temperature for longer.

You can also heat up your dip by adding some chopped chilies.
Serve with corn chips and beer!

Buffalo Chicken Wings, Corn Chips, Jalapeno Popper Dip in rammekin, Devilled Eggs, Blue Cheese Dip.

Buffalo Chicken Wings

4 pounds chicken wings
salt and pepper
oil for deep frying

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup hot pepper sauce
1 tablespoon white vinegar

Cut wing tips off. Cut remainder into a mini drumstick and flat bit. Sprinkle chicken wings with salt and pepper. Heat oil and fry wings in batches until crispy and cooked, about 10 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain; keep warm. In a small saucepan, melt butter; stir in hot sauce and vinegar. Pour over wings and toss to coat wings thoroughly.

Blue Cheese Dip

3/4 cup mayonnaise- whole egg please!
1 clove garlic, minced- I just get the jarred stuff
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley- optional - sometimes I use celery or spring onions
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese - get the cheap strong stuff - often Danish in origin
salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients; chill for an hour or two. Serve as a dip for the Buffalo wings.
Also paper towels or moist towelettes wouldn't go astray!

 Close up of Wings, Dip and Beer

This snacky feast will make any sports event a treat. Now even I'm looking forward to tonight!


  1. Wish I was gonna be there- not for the state of origin-just for the chicken wings and dip! The pics turned out great! Ps. LOL @ I hate Maroon!!

  2. the game sucked, thank goodness the food was good! same menu next game...

  3. hopefully a different game result though!

  4. You can probably get all the ingredients in france or Indo and make it as a treat for them for a sport night! haha you'd definitely get some great blue cheese, Cath! Also, you can bake the wings on a low heat for ages and they turn out just as crispy as deep frying. I've been doing that lately, heaps less hassle!