Welcome To My Dinner Table – Part 11

I can’t believe it’s been four weeks since I posted here! I was quite busy in my spare time, first doing a lot of decluttering around the house, for which I’d given myself the whole of August so I wouldn’t have to do it all under stress or during my vacation. Then I wanted to get things I needed to do out of the way before my vacation started.

My goal was to cook and bake up a storm during my three-week summer vacation, but the first week turned into me having to set my alarm every morning for several different appointments so I didn’t really have time to cook or bake. The weather’s not very inspiring either – I’ve never seen such a cold and rainy September.

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At the end of my first vacation week, I had planned a dinner. It was supposed to be a Thank You dinner for my photo consultant and his girlfriend, and I’d made sure to invite guests who knew them as well. One decided he didn’t want to commit to accepting the dinner invitation in case something else – read: better – came along. Then on the day of the dinner, I got a call from photoman to ask if it would be terribly bad if they cancelled as they had to catch a flight at six the next morning. Oh well. Shit happens.

The day had started out with me having to go to the market in pouring rain. I went there to get fresh berries and a few bunches of flowers. When I got home I thought something was missing, I felt like I’d been carrying more stuff earlier. And what do you know – I left one bunch of flowers by the ticket machine in the parking garage when I put them down to get out my purse. The next thing you know, I dropped my really heavy rolling pin onto my toes and it hurt like hell. I just hoped there wouldn’t be any more disasters to come. However, everything went well, and the remaining three guests and myself had a great time.

The Table

I aimed for simple with a lilac colour scheme, including the cosmea I got at the market. All my guests were work colleagues, and we have a very similar sense of humour, so I added this postcard to the table that said “There’s no need to pray before a meal if you know the cook.

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The Menu

The decluttering of the house included getting rid of all the food magazines after ripping out the recipes I liked. So five of the things I made ended up being recipes from that huge pile.

For starters we had Sophie Michell’s Beetroot Mousse with Creamy Goat’s Cheese that I’ve made several times before, served with homemade buttermilk bread rolls.

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The main course consisted of The Ultimate Makeover Potato Dauphinoise, a recipe I found in an issue of BBC Good Food, and Chicken Breasts with Blueberries, a recipe found in a German food magazine. The chicken breasts were baked in a sauce made from crème fraîche, gin, and lemon juice. Very delicious and kind of refreshing with the lemon and the blueberries. I’d make this again any time.

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For dessert I couldn’t decide on one thing, so I made a trio of mini portions: Jamie Oliver’s Chocolate Tart, made in a mini tart case and of which everyone got a quarter, Mango Sorbet which I’ve also made before and which is actually a Weightwatchers recipe, and Lime Posset, the recipe for which I also found in a BBC Good Food issue. This lime posset was a real success, even more so than the one I’d made before, because not being able to get my hands on double cream here, I used crème double.

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All in all a great evening and a food choice that I wouldn’t mind making again.