Dinner Party for minimum 11 – Teeny tiny house…

So, around our kitchen “bar” table, which seats four comfortably and six uncomfortably, there will be six adults, and on the “kids” dining table there will be minimum 5, and up to 7, depending on if the kids have friends round.

The designated invitees this time are the three ladies from work whom I force to listen to my daily discussions on that evening or weekend’s menu, plus a lucky husband and two lucky kids. Needless to say, I have bored these women so much, or made them so hungry, either of which is an uncomfortable feeling, that I feel they deserve my very best efforts and my most ingenious ideas. So why then, do I feel most inclined to go back to my go-to recipes?

Is it because all are new friends, and I want to impress without the risk of a wilted soufflé, or burnt bread? Or is it because I work with them in a bizarre team, in which I feel like a total outsider, despite my one year already worked there, and my 8 years in the same company, with many of the same people? Who wants folks to go back to work saying their food was disgusting? When so much of my soul, identity and self-confidence is bound up in food, can I face the crushing reality of my food being disliked, and by association, me being disliked too?

Added to this, we have the extra pressure of 11-13 folks in the teeny tiny house, and my teeny tiny kitchen/lounge, should I really be trying to produce miracles, or should I stick to the tried and tested favorites, with a little bit extra thrown in for luck? I have chosen the latter. A four to five course meal designed to impress, while being made up of classic Italian favorites I can prepare in my sleep and which don’t require a bunch of stressful last minute cooking, just when I have a house full of people.

And just to be clear, Handsome is absolutely perfect when we have friends rounds for dinner. He gets them drinks, he offers to help, he chops when my poor tired hands can’t chop no more! And best of all, he knows when to clear people out of my kitchen, before I blow my temperamental cheffie hat!

So the menu for this Sunday, which, as always, is subject to change dependent on the ingredients available at the shops is (check out the fancy fancy):

Antipasto Cold Italian meats Caprese Marinated mushrooms, zucchini and red peppers Homemade bread

Primo Pasta (mainly for kids!)

Secondo Lemon and garlic roast chicken

Contourno Garlic and rosemary potatoes Salade verde

Dolce Caramel and chocolate ganache tarte Gelato

As you can see, simple, but it will be effective and delicious… I’ll post the recipes on the recipe page and put links in the above words when available. And I will let you know how it goes. Every last sorry detail, or every single tale of success! We shall see… fingers crossed!

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