The Marriage Ref theme party

After a long wait of eight months, I finally got to watch my episode of The Marriage Ref air on TV. We (hubby and I) invited a few friends over for a viewing party this past Sunday evening. There was a themed menu and a lot of excitement in the air.

I asked the host Tom Papa what his favorite cocktail was (via Twitter), and he said “I gobblin martinis.” When the guests walked in, we asked them to have their pick between two house martinis – “The husband” which was a cognac based sidecar or “The Wife” a pomegranate martini. Our friends got a kick out of the whole thing! They hesitated, thinking this may be more than just a drink, and decided to stick with their own gender.

For dinner, I had asked everyone to bring a dish that I had specifically assigned (for the potluck). Every dish was inspired by a previous couple on the show, more specifically the title of their problem. I had to be very creative in terms of appropriately picking a dish to depict the title. I found the topics and the photos of the couples on NBC web site and made small cut-outs to go along with the dish. We had Gurdeep’s Cuddling Obsession – tortilla wraps (the chicken salad cuddled by the tortilla), Stripper Pole – breadsticks wrapped with prosciutto (meat on a stick), Jiab’s Mother in Law – lasagna (because mother in laws make  good lasagna), He will not eat it – veggie burgers (most men don’t like their burgers to be vegetarian), Bret’s Goat -goat cheese salad (I hope Bret’s wife makes it with her goat), Will’s Tavern – chicken wings (that’s what you would order in a tavern), Mouthy Witch – mozzarella sticks (crispy on the outside with cheese oozing out) and Tiny Problems -potato chips topped with smoked salmon, chopped onions, capers and chipotle sauce (its tiny and the whole thing falls apart upon the first bite).

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Desserts were abundant and the theme continued on. We had Jamie’s Pumpkin Obsession – a huge pumpkin muffin with pumpkin cream cheese frosting (representing the giant pumpkin Jamie grows in his backyard), Burned to a Krispy – Krispy Kreme bread pudding (a band, a donut and a dessert), Consistently Sexy –chocolate covered strawberries (they are always sexy), Carolyn’s Dollhouse – mini cupcakes (that little girls love) and Carrie’s Holistic Healing – double chocolate brownies (will cheer you up in no time).

A few people had not seen the show before so they were asking the story of the couples behind each dish. Others had a good laugh while they enjoyed the food.

We then settled down in the living room to watch the show. NBC had two back-to-back shows on starting at 9pm. Ours was at 10pm which actually turned out to be good. The people who had never watched the show before got a good idea of what it was all about. If ours had been the first one they ever watched, they would have been in for a shock!

Nobody knew what our argument was about until this point. A lot of friends had tried guessing and coercing out of us, but we kept it a secret all along. Once the show started, there was clapping, hooting, whistling and nonstop laughter. Friends were falling off their chairs watching us make our arguments on national television. The judges on our show were hilarious, especially Patti LaBelle. I think this was the most controversial episode thus far. During the break, we took a vote from our live audience on who they were voting for. To my unpleasant surprise, most of them sided with my husband. Even then, I remained calm and composed (I already knew I had won 🙂 and that they were wrong!

Once I made it to the top two, everyone was rooting for me. It was a close call but the other lady had a stronger argument (I would vote in favor of my husband to get a job too). There was a lot of energy flowing through the room during that one hour. Everyone was into it and having a blast. It’s one thing to watch a show that is funny; it’s another thing to watch your own friends on it. I think it makes it a lot funnier!

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Sucheta Rawal

Sucheta is an award winning food and travel writer, who has traveled to over 90 countries across 7 continents. She is also the founder and editor of 'Go Eat Give' and author of 'Beato Goes To' series of children's books on travel.