Friday, January 04, 2008

Pray For Dry Weather

I feel bad even writing that post title, given the blah blah drought blah blah and all, but I'm having friends over for dinner tonight and I really want to eat outdoors. So frankly The Environment can go suck it. Just for one night.

The only place in my wee house where I could fit my lovely oregon (the timber, not the place) dining table is jammed up against the wall in my kitchen. I have 3 guests coming, so we could technically all sit at the table and sort of stare out the window together. Into my neighbour's kitchen.

See my issue? Also, nothing says ambience for the guests, and performance anxiety for the host, like having your guests seated about 4 feet away from the stove. I guess if any of them have long arms, they could stir something at least.

[Updated: Thanks for the good juju! The rain stayed away until some light sprinkles sent us inside for the dessert course. Prior to that it was lovely and mild, and most pleasant. Dinner was a triumph I tell you! Worship at the altars of Delia Smith and Jamie Oliver. Entree: Fried Halloumi cheese with a lime/caper/coriander (cilantro) dressing. Main: Prosciutto wrapped salmon with a green salad. Desert: Homemade coconut icecream with a fresh lime syrup. Delia's entree and desert (from her Summer Collection cookbook) were particular hits. It was the first time I had had friends over for dinner in a long time (see space issues) and I rediscovered how much I enjoy it!]


mrpeenee said...

Pish on performance anxiety. They're coming to be charmed by you, food is just an added benefit. I know, throw your piggish flatmate out in the rain and set up his room as a dining salon. Voila.

The Other Andrew said...

That room needs a detox first. (It has a unique smell.)

thombeau said...

I, as well as all of your readers, know that it will all be fabulous!

Bon apetit!

Campbell said...

I'm sure it would be a wonderful evening, wherever you eat, however I do understand your dilemma. When I have guests coming to dinner, I move my dining table which normally lives in the kitchen in my 2 bedroom flat, into my proportionally large entrance room. This both provides more comfort around the table as well as reducing the performance anxiety in the kitchen which I am so with you on!
I hope you have a great night.

Michael Guy said...

Pish! Forget about the space. It's the friendships that matter. They'd adore you and your meal while seated in your closet. (it's a good-sized walk-in, right?)

I've given up on the notion of the 'right fork.'

Life is short.

Michael said...

That menu made me gusta-horny (although...'desert' course?...honestly).

Kenyo said...

Yum. I'll remember that menu for the next gathering here.

Any recommendation for a lively, interesting Australian cook book? My collection is missing something from your part of the globe. Foodie would be fine, but traditional is OK, too.

The Other Andrew said...

Mr Mike - I went back and fixed it. Had to. Standards must be maintained!!

Kenyo, Australia is such a cultural melting pot that most Aussie cookbooks are really heavily influenced by mediterranean and asian cuisines. That sort of fusion style is probably the closest you can find to a unique Aussie style. It's also best suited to the variety of climates here. My old home town of Adelaide is hot and dry with quite cool winters, or very mediterranean. While Sydney is sub-tropical and places like Cairns are tropical.

Some of the Aussie cookbook authors I'd look out for would Stephanie Alexander, Maggie Beer, Bill Granger and Donna Hay - for sort of robust home cooking with a modern twist. Kylie Kwong for fancy schmancy asian (her tv shows are also excellent!) And Chris Manfield for very complicated and fancy dishes.

Kenyo said...

Thank you, Andrew, for the advice. Now that I have some authors' names I'll go and do some online research.

Mikey (TLE) said...

And as one of the dinner guests, I can confirm that the food was most delicious.

As something of a home cooking and entertaining "enthusiast" myself, it is always nice to be cooked for.

But you're all correct. It's the company that's the thing. It was also most excellent.

Kenyo, I would add Neil Perry to Andrew's list of authors.