Saturday, 23 October 2010

Eureka Moments

The sound of the alarm is a rude intrusion into my peaceful sleep and my first thoughts as I prepare to get out of bed are, what I'm I wearing today:?! It then dawns on me that it's Saturday morning! As I get ready to sink deeper into my warm covers, you know the feeling one gets when one realises it Saturday and one doesn't have to get up for anything, yes, that one, when I jolt out of bed with the realisation that I've actually got 15 people coming for a 4 course dinner, what's more, I still have more shopping to do and the almond biscotti I've decided to include in the goodie bags means I need even more time, why did I even go bed, even though it was 1am!!! Needles to say that got me out of bed faster than Hussein Bolt in his 100m dash.

Shopping done, I'm back at home and getting on with my mis-en-place which I have scheduled with military precision, the biscotti not being a deterrent at all! I am a woman on a mission. Halfway through de-boning the 15 chicken legs, I begin to wonder what the whole point of  the exercise is, after all, I'm taking the flesh off the chicken skin, chopping it into little pieces, mixing it with onions, veal and pork and stuffing it all back in again! Why ever did I think this was a brilliant idea? Note to self, eureka moments in the middle of the night, not so brilliant! Task completed, and it's the turn for my starter to get some attention. I trim the pork chops and rub on the wonderful spices that I've roasted in the oven with the lavender for 15 minutes, compared to the chicken, this is a doddle! I start on the date sauce that accompanies the chops and I find myself performing my famous jiggle with a hooray as it is absolutely fantastic, it's moments like these that let me know it's all worth it.

The room is set, lights deemed and candles lit with lovely quiet music in the background and all that is left is for the guests to arrive and for me to deliver, and deliver I'm determined to!

As I stand in the kitchen prepping the main course, there is this comfortable rhubarb, rhubarb (background noise in the world of  performing arts but quite appropriate on this occasion) in the background of happy conversation going on and in me there is this feeling of pride and contentment as apart from just serving  food, my idea is to create a social environment where people can come and relax, enjoy good food and in some cases make wonderful new friends too.  As I walk around I see empty plates and that brings me utter joy too. There are questions as to how each dish was prepared which of course sets me off into my favourite subject, food! Luckily I don’t see any eyes glazing over. To me the most successful dish of the night is the pork as it lived up to and exceeded my expectations and everyone seemed to really enjoy it too! Another favourite I suppose

It’s 3am in the morning and having just about managed to shoo out the last guest 30 minutes earlier, I’ve assumed the stance of a happy dog who’s belly is being tickled i.e back flat on the floor, feet in the air, but in my case it is out of sheer pain and exhaustion I won’t exclude the happy though, do I wish someone was tickling my belly?.......

My trademark scarlet talons are a thing of the past, my hands feel like a sack cloth but I would I give it up? Bring on Halloween dinner!

November is also bound to have some exciting menus including a Thanksgiving dinner while December being a celebratory month, will be filled with delectable and sumptuous menus, all things celebratory! Look forward to seeing you soon.