Is This The Most Joyous Reaction To A MasterChef Mystery Box Ever?
When it comes to Mystery Boxes, the MasterChef Gods have served up some absolute doozies in the last decade.
When the contestants lift that wooden box off their bench, their faces normally process through a range of expressions from fear, confusion, surprise, hope and finally, acceptance.
Even the seemingly 'easy' Mystery Boxes filled with chocolates and sweet treats will cause the savoury chefs to frown because you can't please everybody (or cook) all the time.
But on the third day of MasterChef: Back To Win's trip to suburban Melbourne -- the lid was lifted on what might be the most crowd-pleasing Mystery Box we've ever seen on the show.
On the front lawn in a quiet suburban street, Melissa Leong lifted the Mystery Box lid to reveal... nothing -- a trick we've seen before -- but what happened next was all new as local producers from the area marched up to the judges clutching some of their home-grown goods.
Instead of furrowed brows, anguished faces of despair and quiet sighs, the contestants were giddy with excitement as they spied the vibrant yellow zucchinis, crisp Gravenstein apples, Shiitake mushrooms and wheels of blue cheese.
Also included in what looked like a gorgeous country farmer's market stall was fresh bulbs of garlic, a brown rice miso (fermented for over a year), and fresh basil grown in the "sandy soils of Elwood, Victoria" which its grower insisted was "perfect like the Mediterranean".
The episode, filmed months ago, is being broadcast at a moment in time when interest in backyard vegetable patches is at a high as the coronavirus pandemic has made us rethink where our food is coming from and has seen us spend more time at home.
Just yesterday on The Project, the green-thumbed and lusciously-bearded Costa Georgiadis from the ABC's Gardening Australia provided a handy guide to planting your own food -- whether you're in a house, a townhouse or a studio apartment.
"I think gardening is the perfect therapy, it's a chance to get outside to get outside that cabin fever and think about something different," said Costa.
"You can plant something and look forward to something, rather than just be dwelling in the present tense -- which, can really get to you after a while," he added.
If you've never planted something before, Costa recommends starting with some "tried and tested bullet-proof indoor plants" like Madonna lilies, Devil's Ivy or Cast iron plant.
"Then you can start doing things on the window sill, you can grow some herbs, you can sprout some micro greens -- they're really to grow in a jar," Costa said, adding that "sprouting your old vegetables" works a treat.
Growing your own food, even if you start small, can bring the kind of satisfaction we saw on the faces of the MasterChef: Back To Win contestants' faces when they knew they'd be cooking with locally grown ingredients.
And after spending some relaxing time with your hands in the earth -- you can get some inspiration to create your own MasterChef-worthy meal.