Welcome To My Dinner Table – Part 15

Two weekends ago I finally had friends over for my birthday dinner. My birthday was in April, but with some of us travelling we couldn’t get together any earlier. I had planned a fabulous rhubarb based menu which unfortunately didn’t come to fruition. Luckily I checked with my guests and it turned out rhubarb gives some of them heartburn. So having  a whole menu based on the stuff would have been overkill for them.

The dilemma was that although there are so many things I want to try cooking, suddenly I couldn’t come up with a single thing. I started researching the web two days before the dinner, and I found something I was content with. Especially as I found the starter on my own blog 😀 .

The Table

As you can see, my dinner table was laid very sparsely, just the basics, really. I’d forgotten to buy flowers at the market the day before, and I didn’t have time on the day of the dinner to get any. What I had bought was a huge bunch of mint, so I decided to put some of that into vases, or rather the little blue water bottles I snagged borrowed after a meeting and took home. I completely forgot about guest favours as well…

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The Menu

New Blossom [Jamie Oliver]
Citrusy Salad
Pork Chops with Balsamic Figs
[Sweet Paul]
Cheesy Garlic Potatoes [a really old recipe from either Prima or Delicious Magazine]
Trio of Vin Santo Panna Cotta, Watermelon Ice Cream & Rhubarb Ice Cream

I found the aperitif – which by the way turned out to be quite sensational and had both my guests and myself raving – on Jamie Oliver’s website, and the main course on Sweet Paul’s.

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The dessert was my own creation, a trio of two ice creams and panna cotta. Originally I had planned to serve tiny little Vin Santo Guglhupfs to go with the panna cotta and made them on the morning of the dinner. And what do you know – on turning them out of the silicon moulds, they crumbled to pieces. All of them. So I decided to serve the two ice creams I’d made earlier this month instead. We also had some Vin Santo with the dessert.

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The food turned out really well, the guests were great as usual, and although some of my friends couldn’t attend due to illness or travelling, we had a beautiful evening.

The weather that day was nice and warm, so we opened up the balcony doors and spent time outside as well.

Sadly, I didn’t take many pictures – apologies for that, it’s so not like me and I don’t know how that happened.

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Last but not least – tadaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! My birthday present. You know what I’ll be making soon, and I already promised my guests that the next dinner would be (another) Italian one!

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