Come dine with us….

We don’t do many dinner parties. My minimal cooking ability fell into disgraceful disrepair when I married a man who eats for fuel not pleasure, we also set up home together a long way from anyone we knew and then proceeded to be antisocial (at best) together, again due to location and work etc…. When the children came along I did meet some lovely ladies and started being social locally but the men never really meshed. I was also deeply ashamed of my thrown together kitchen which had 3 different styles of unit. Not ideal to invite someone to your home and then feel you have to apologise for its dilapidation.

So, I’m a shocking cook, a shocking house wife, can’t organise my way out of a paper bag….
The excuses we give ourselves to not make an effort… Shameful!

Just recently though, we have found ourselves in a fabulous social circle, more by luck than judgement to be honest and the amazingly welcoming people who seem to enjoy our company keep inviting us to their lovely homes. Payback is of course a pleasure to provide; but I’m reet rusty on being hostess and have a propensity to burn water.

And a little scared to be fair….

With all bullets to bite, starting somewhere needs to happen. So Friday evening we invited some friends and their daughter to dinner. On the way home we were discussing the coming evening and I said to their little girl “You are coming to ours for dinner but you are going to have to cook it yourself,” the look I got was priceless! “No!” She said, at which point my girl started dancing around in glee “cook it ourself?!” She giggled “Oh! Are we using that grill thing?” “Yes! We are going to have Raclette.”

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One of our fondest memories of our skiing holidays is the Raclette evenings. Friends all sitting around a large table in a chalet in La Clusaz. A roaring fire in the corner, wine flowing, filling our little dishes with food and popping them under the grill, the meat sizzling on the top, more wine, loads of laughter… Lovely!

My husbands favourite part was the Tartiflette, a Haute Savoie dish comprising of potatoes, bacon, onions, Reblochon cheese and cream. (Here’s mine ready for the oven)

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We also had veggies and pickles to cook.

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And a selection of meats; steak, turkey, chicken and salmon (although I ate my salmon raw, I really can’t resist raw salmon!)

It was a really lovely evening with mini pavlovas for pudding, coffee and chocolate to follow. I know I certainly had a great time! I hope our guests did too, even if they did have to cook their own food!

And so, will we be opening our rusty hinged doors to friends again? You betcha!

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Summer Diary W5 D3 – Pizza Diversion!!

Wednesday.

So we are back from out hols, the washing mountain is leering at me from the bathroom (camping washing is always so smelly!) and the cupboards are stark with their deep scary hollow emptiness…

*sigh* Domestic servitude bliss is once again the theme of the day. (I’m writing this Friday after getting caught up on a submission with a deadline and the washing is still not all done and the car is not fully unpacked #fail) So I pootle off to the supermarket because starving children are frowned apon and hungry husbands whinge too much, with one eye open for entertainment for the little lady. (The little man was deprived of telly for 5 days and was stuck to Nick Jr. with his eyes on sticks)

There were no peas for podding, no little colouring books, the bubble wands were reduced to 28p but it was raining…

and then I found this…

Those fabulous people at Jus-rol do a pizza in a box!!! Perfect!

Yes, I know how to make pizza dough *rolls eyes* and yes, pasata would be cheaper but This Comes Ready In A Fabulous Popping Tube!!!! With the cutest little pot of sauce!!!! Squeeee!!

Honestly, it’s time for them to go back to school I’m going insane 😉

Look what she made!

Nom nom nom…

N.B this is NOT a sponsored post, just a very happy find 😀

I Heart Me in 2011…

So here we are with week two of I heart Me and to be honest I should not be even attempting to write anything at all! In the last 4 days I have had approximately 12 hours sleep, none of which was more than two hours in length due to my lovely smalls having the most awful dry tickly coughs and runny nose sneezes, my son has also been having nightmares which interrupt my sleep as if he  was physically jumping up and down on me.  This is part of my job as Mummy, yes I bitch about it on twitter and to anyone who listens but that is life. So I’m unfocused and have a tendency to ramble – sorry and all that but I have come to realize since I wrote the last “Me” post that this journey is very important and I need to take it….

So this weeks question, What do I want for Me in 2011?

Simple and yet complicated…  I want to Recapture an Essence of Me

Me in my 20’s working hard (bah not that bit) and clubbing often and late (eeek – not that either) used to also spend a fair bit of time voraciously reading a vast volume of books, dependent on their size of course; it wasn’t unusual to get through 2 maybe 3 novels a week, I can remember my house mates taking the michael out of me for cooking whilst reading.  Now I’m lucky if I get through one a month. Why is this important? Apart from my love of getting lost in fiction to the point it overtakes my every waking though and my enjoyment of a carefully crafted sentence, I have very early memories which continued over the years of my Mum sitting on the sofa with a book in front of her reading for hours, perhaps it is a learned behaviour? If so, then it is one that I am determined to pass on to my children.

Now that woman, the 20 something with every minute of her life filled with some now seemingly selfish pursuit also loved going to the theatre.  A live performance is rapture. The hushed anticipation of the crowd, the lights dimming, curtain swishing, hanging onto every enunciated word and action even the binoculars have their own delight. I love it and I miss it and I want that back…  Not so hard you would think? Well, one thing I knew about my husband before marriage is that he has no interest in going to the theatre, it’s one of those things I chose to take on board at the time as something we wouldn’t do together, he’s probably go if I nagged him but his reluctance to go would mar my experience… *sigh* that we could choose who we love 😉

And now it’s confession time….  That girl, the 20 something… yeah her. She spent 4 years at catering college  (not my original plan for my life, that was to study English at A level and then some form of degree, fate cocked that plan up good and proper at 17 but that will have to be some other post…) So whilst I stand by my claims to be #notadomesticgoddess I can cook, I used to cook pretty well. I also have a “new” audience to cook for, not just the husband with his need for plain fuel but two untrained palettes that could do with something more interesting.  What about me? I love good tasting food and yearn for better flavours and more interesting meals….

So here it is, a pledge if you like… Start it slow and two by two…

I will attempt to read and enjoy 2 books a month making sure some of this reading time is infront of the small people (with a cuppa for preference).

I will cajole, bribe and drag a theatre enjoying friend to at least 2 performances this year (all free tickets will be rewarded by a blog review).

and I will make 2 “new” dishes per month, regardless to the whinging and unappreciativeness of the consumers, I need variety and twice a month is not a lot to ask at all!!!

So there we are, what I want for 2011, for me…