i like to bake. cakes and pies and biscuits and bread. sometimes i make lemon curd and sticky jam and put it in pretty little jars. i sell it all at markets. and then i write about it here.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

pancake day

My boyfriend cooked me and my housemates some delicious pancakes. Lemon and sugar - classic.

dinner party

Last weekend I took on my biggest foodie challenge to date: a dinner party for 12. Now 26, I'm at the age where past dinner parties have mostly consisted of friends balancing plates of noodles on their laps. No meat, because that was far too expensive. It came to me recently that I wanted to host my first ever grown-up dinner party. Sounds rather pathetic written down, but that was my wish. Along with my housemates, I finalised a date and the lists began. Lists of who to invite, lists of possible courses, lists of ingredients, lists of things to borrow. After all of the lists, I woke up on Saturday feeling like a kid at Christmas, eagerly anticipating the mammoth task that lay ahead. I was organised to the point of considering drawing up a few spreadsheets (don't worry, I didn't). My timings were precise and the kitchen was spotless. Actually choosing what to serve turned out to be the most difficult part of the process. But here it is, the complete menu:

Chicken satay skewers with satay sauce
Beef bourguinonne and dauphinoise potatoes served with Chantilly carrots and fine green beans
Dark chocolate and salted peanut cheesecake
Apple crumble and homemade custard
Cheese and crackers

My main concern for the evening was that I would spend the entire time in the kitchen, literally sweating over a hot stove, steadily drinking myself into a stupor with the leftover red wine. But I can safely say it was one of my favourite days / nights of 2011 so far. Sure, it wasn't plain sailing from start to finish. Two of our guests brought their own chairs to the party and we had to borrow plates from the pub across the road. There was a slight glitch when everyone had arrived and I counted 12 bodies in the room. I'm not sure how but, after all of my preparation, I had planned and cooked for just 11. I quickly rearranged a few pieces of marinated chicken and crossed my fingers that there would be enough carrots to feed everyone. Each guest arrived with a cheese of their choice which made for the most impressive cheeseboard to finish off the meal perfectly. I won't bore you with every little detail though. Here are some photos instead.