As I mentioned earlier, we had houseguests last week. Two Australian dudes came over to observe us making dinner as part of a market research scheme. We were murky on their goals and their methods; all we knew was that we would score $100 and a new kitchen appliance.
SK got excited like they were visiting royalty. Her menu was planned long in advance- fish tacos with lime-pepper yogurt sauce, homemade blue corn tortilla chips and guacamole, watermelon/basil/jalapeno/feta salad, roasted corn on the cob with cayenne and Parmesan mayo, with a dessert of raspberry lambic beer floats.
I thought it was a bit elaborate- “But sweetie, it’s not like we’re gonna be on the Food Network here.” SK told me it was in fact a TV show, and she would be playing Donna Reed. Fair enough. Whether or not anyone was judging the results, it was a chance to showcase her kitchen mettle.
Turned out the Aussies weren’t actually eating, so the $125 we spent on the feast ($26/lb. for wild halibut!) may have been excessive. They didn’t even seem interested in the meal we were preparing. Their task was to glean general info about how Americans cook, so they could tailor their products effectively. Apparently they’ve had some serious misfires in the past, as Australians and Americans have very different kitchen priorities.
So they grilled us about everything- electric tea kettles, composting, non-stick pans, food co-ops, making candy at home, and the handles on our faucets. SK deftly fielded most of their queries while I faded into the background. When I asked what they were trying to learn, they said (in cute accents, natch): “We’ll know when we find it!”
SK was quite disappointed they wouldn’t eat our food, as she loves playing Hannah Hostess. The dudes seemed to have strong moral boundaries, like cops who refuse to drink on the job. “We’re on duty ma’am.” That’s why it was such a coup when, at the end of the night, they couldn’t resist sheepishly trying the guacamole. Then the watermelon salad. Then the fish. They even asked for seconds! SK was beaming when they left.
Now we are left to choose an appliance from their website. What would you get?