A dinner party for grown ups

This post is well overdue, as the dinner party in question took place over the Christmas period. Where has the time gone already? How is it February?

Anyway, to the point. I held a dinner party for grown ups. No kids. No trying to talk over screams of “I want more sausage!” or trying not to look exasperated in front of others when a plastic plate gets pushed onto the floor for the 86th time.

Not an iota of child presence. Or at least this is how I planned it to be. However my eldest, now four, made her presence felt in a most unusual way.

I’d decided a while back that it was high time I held a dinner party. It was getting mildly embarrassing thinking of how many we’d been to without reciprocating. What put me off, then? Tiredness and lack of energy I guess – a dinner party on top of the week’s usual shopping and meal planning?!

Yet things have got a bit more normal of late, so I got out the Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay much-neglected books and started menu planning.

The menu:
– pre-dinner cocktail (Mr EC made these – Cointreau, clementine juice and prosecco). Pleasingly lethal.
– Jamie’s Spiced Parsnip Soup
– Gordon’s Beef Wellington.
– Jamie’s Chocolate Torte.

All preparation and cooking went very well, probably because Mr EC was around to deal with preschooler-interruption tactics.

I was well prepared…and so the evening began.

My guests arrived and amazingly both my girls were in bed. I breathed a sigh of relief, until the eldest appeared at the stair gate.

“Can I just come and say hello, Mummy?”

“Oh, ok then.”

She came to say hello to my guests. She tried it on a little, wanting to stay up, but then went to bed and all was quiet again.

We got started on the cocktails, which were very, very nice. I did think I could hear the flutterings of tiny feet upstairs, but decided ignoring it was the best possible option. I made the final touches to the soup course and invited my guests to kindly exit the lounge and make their way to our candlelit dining room.

To be greeted with this on the stairs:

Toilet roll decor
Attractive toilet roll decor – a little avant le dîner amusement, anyone?

So, not to be content with being sent upstairs to bed, my 4-year-old had been busying herself making us a little decoration. With toilet roll delicately placed on several bannister legs, all topped off with one big, smelly bed sock.

And no sign of her. She was asleep by then.

It was quite sweet, really. I honestly am trying not to don’t think it was a dirty protest. More a little surprise for our guests of her own individual making.

The evening went well and I can recommend ‘proper’ dinner parties for all parents – especially if you’ve got a budding Junior Fritz in your home.

Beef Wellington Gordon Ramsay
Beef Welly. Gordon Ramsay style. Proper food (if you eat meat – otherwise stick to cheese).

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Working Mum of two, living in Didsbury, Manchester, in a house which breeds washing, mushed up raisins and various toys in the brightest primary colours. Oh, and the odd empty wine glass.

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