Welcome To My Dinner Table – Part 9

Another dinner table post so soon after the last one, I know. But the memory’s still fresh as this dinner took place last night. It was a Welcome Home dinner for my friend and former work colleague who moved to Dubai two years ago and is currently here on her annual home leave.

The menu was mostly put together from other people’s recipes, except for the starter. For a welcome drink we had Pimm’s, accompanied by Roasted Spicy-Sweet Pumpkin Seeds from MD Kitchen.

Starters consisted of homemade za’atar bread, homemade lemon thyme butter, homemade hummus, and assorted shop-bought antipasti.

The main course was kibbe batata, something I learned in an Arabic cookery course earlier this year. It’s basically coarsley mashed potatoes mixed with bulgur wheat, mint, spring onions, pine nuts, walnuts and lots of olive oil. This was paired with Jamie Oliver’s Roast Rolled Pork Loin. Although my version didn’t look half as good as his, unfortunately.

Dessert was a combination of three things: Milk Chocolate Tarts from BBC Good Food, paired with James Martin’s Fennel Oil, and decorated with home made white chocolate decorations that I discovered how to make at Conker & Indigo Recipes.
Instead of creating generic chocolate decorations, I decided to pipe the guests’ names in white chocolate to make the tarts a little more individual.

The Table – where you able to spot it? – is not mine. My sister had the great idea that I should borrow hers, which until last night was stored in my parents’ garage. It easily seats eight, looks absolutely perfect in my flat, and if I’m lucky I’ll be able to keep it and let my sister have mine instead…

I found these candy letters in a shop last week and decided to put a message for my friend on the table, as well as my guests’ first name initals on the plates.

Overall, I went for a simple table, with only a few candles, and flowers bought at yesterday’s market to match the paper napkins and the candles.