At the end of every dinner or lunch I give, by myself, I always - no matter how well everything has gone - think to myself "Next time I'm going to make a lasagne."
But, like a mad person expecting different results from the same actions, I always end up making something with multiple moving parts, vegetables to be timed at the last minute, something different for my Pescetarian, two different types of nibble. Madness.
At my Saturday lunch Giles, who is massively helpful in the kitchen (I'm not being sarcastic, he really is) was out for the day, so everything fell to me. And what did I decide to make? Risotto? Bangers and mash?
No. The full menu was as follows:
- Smoked salmon on brown bread
- cocktail sausages in a cranberry sauce
- Roast chicken with thyme and lemon
- Potato dauphinoise
- cod in breadcrumbs for the P
- brussel sprouts sauteed in chilli and garlic
- spotted dog
I mean, it was fine - I didn't cry, everything was really nice (I'm not too sure about the cod in breadcrumbs. The P is famously polite and would eat all of whatever hideous thing you put in front of him and go 'yum is there any more?') But by the time we sat down I was MAGENTA in the face and the kitchen was total and utter chaos, despite all my very Hyacinth Bucket preparations.
So, no more. Next time I'm by myself and want to have eight people round - which was great, incredibly jolly and fun - I really am going to make a massive lasagne, or a risotto, or bangers and mash and a salad. Because, in all honesty, if I went round to someone's house for lunch and found out they were doing a great big macaroni cheese, I'd be thrilled.