Welcome To My Dinner Table – Part 14
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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!