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Category: Food & Entertaining

Mind over manners.

Posted in Food & Entertaining, and Relationships

New Year’s Eve parties seldom deliver on their promise of fun. Most of us want to be at home in bed before midnight these days, and the idea of manufacturing cheer, just because of the date, seems a lot of hard work after a long year. So arranging a shindig for the 31st December can be nerve-wracking.

Last year, my friends decided to bite the bullet and host an event. Their home was newly  renovated and they wanted their pals to see it. Plus 2011 had been tough all round, and it’s passing needed to be marked. The New Year heralded a fresh start and new possibilities. Our health was intact: we had reason to celebrate.

So they sent out invitations, a follow-up prompt, and a reminder before the event. Their home was beautifully decorated, lit warmly against the chilly evening. Food was generous and delicious, every possible taste in cocktails was catered for, there was fabulous music and champagne in all hues.

20 of the 120 expected guests showed up.

No-one called to cancel.

Easy Candy – Chocolate Almond Bars

Posted in Baking, and Food & Entertaining

Candy bars

During the worst of our salad days, sofagirl and I could often be found settling in for the evening on our uglier than thou green couch, under a blanket or two, watching our rented telly. Invariably, one of us would voice what the other was thinking “I want candy”. After a supper that hardly veered from either veggie stew or cereal, with curry from the local Indian once a week, it seemed like a reasonable craving; and a long philosophical discourse would ensue as to who and why should brave the cold and go. Eventually one of us would break down, bundle up and trudge in the rain to the corner store. 

Flaked Gammon in a Broth of Summer Greens

Posted in Food & Entertaining

por_1178My nieces and nephew spend Tuesdays and Fridays with me each week and I like to come up with something interesting, nourishing and fun for them to eat for supper. They’re a tough crowd:  if they don’t like something they will tell me straight: no bacon in hamburger mix – “why would you? Bacon is for breakfast, burgers are for burgers.”

Tracey of Bellowblogs introduced us to this Jamie Oliver recipe one holiday when we were staying in a cottage in the middle of the mountains in the Overberg. It was 28/82 windless degrees outside and, at first blush, it seemed a mad dish to be eating in the heat. But it worked so splendidly – I’ve been making it ever since. The kids love it – broth and all … though “none of that liquorice tasting vegetable please – liquorice is for sweets not soup.”

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