Welcome To My Dinner Table – Part 14

Dinner Tables - Pt 14 - 01

I haven’t invited people for dinner in a long while, and when I said so to a friend she said “How about a pre-Xmas dinner?”. This year, for the first time, I’ve been so busy in the run-up to Christmas that I didn’t even start thinking about the menu until a few days before – which is very unlike me. So yesterday evening, we had a little pre-Christmas celebration.

My Christmas decorations are very minimalist this year, and I’m going with a darker colour scheme, which went quite well with the table setting.

Dinner Tables - Pt 14 - 05

When I saw the paper napkins in a shop I first noticed that the colour was perfect for my table, then I stood there laughing to myself and knew they’d be a fun element for this Xmassy dinner. The words are quite impossible to translate, but let me try: here in Germany, Santa’s helper is called Knecht Ruprecht. Knecht means minion and his name is Ruprecht. Santa and Knecht Ruprecht are like good cop / bad cop; when children haven’t behaved well through the year, they’re threatened with Ruprecht’s switch. The napkins say “That’s Mister Ruprecht to you”.

Dinner Tables - Pt 14 - 03

Plain white plates, plain wine glasses, engraved water glasses, and a little bit of colour with a clementine at each place setting. Every guest had a little Christmas gift at their place as well; remember me raving about the cinnamon flowers I used in some of my dishes this year? I ordered some mulled wine spices from the same company, both for red and white mulled wine and made them the guest favours.

Dinner Tables - Pt 14 - 00

Notice how I haven’t mentioned the food so far? That’s because I was so disappointed with the meat for the main course.

But let’s start at the beginning: for a starter I made this red quinoa salad that I created for my German blog last month. For dessert I made the chai tea panna cotta I posted here and served it with a cinnamon star and a homemade marzipan praline.

Dinner Tables - Pt 14 - 04

For the main course I knew I wanted to make the basic version of Schupfnudeln, served with red cabbage instead of white, and then decided to make mini-Schupfnudeln – cooked them, then fried them in butter until they were slightly browned. For the meat to go with them, I chose this candy pork with apples & pears. Apparently my guests didn’t find it as terrible as I did, but it was a major disappointment to me: the crackling wasn’t crusty at all, it took more than 1.5 hours to cook, and the meat was too dry. Naturally I stuck to the recipe and didn’t change a thing, which is why I have no idea what could have gone wrong.

Dinner Tables - Pt 14 - 02

It was a great evening, though, we exchanged Christmas gifts after dinner, and some of us will be ringing in the New Year together. *Sigh* I feel really lucky to have such good friends!