Sunday, March 3, 2024

A Great Dinner Party

By 8:45, I had finished the eclairs. They were all filled with crème and the tops were coated with chocolate. I make a mess, but the result is acceptable. This time, I used bread flour instead of patisserie flour, and they baked, I think, better. I’m still not there yet though. I’ve ordered some larger piping tips for next time, or I may just use the pastry bag without a tip to get the size I want. I’ll cut the tip to ¾” or more.

From my past experience, it always takes 3 times making something before I have a method/recipe that is very satisfying. I also ordered some large pastry rings so that I can make some small layered cakes for a dessert. I want to make some with layers of genoise, gelled berry, pastry cream and a butter cream with ground nut layer, all coated in mirror glaze or butter cream. 

With the eclairs done, I went walking with Her Highness I the cool air and sleet. It was a short walk, and then it was time for me to make the potato dish. I was trying something new. I cut the potatoes into thick slices, and then punched out circles of potato that I then pan baked in butter with lots of Rosemary and Thyme, and a little garlic. I just browned both sides of the disks and then I added some veggie broth and baked them in the oven for a while.

Bloody hell, preparing for a dinner party is a lot of work. I made a pea paté for the appetizer, and then I toasted a whack of thin baguette slices on which to spread the it. Plus, I made a huge garlic, spinach and cheddar tart for the main, a lot of Thai fried vegetables (cooking them took minutes, cleaning and slicing them took ages), the potatoes fondant, a Thai salad which involved making a dressing and dicing mangos and avocadoes, and finally, the eclairs for dessert. And for the eclairs, I had to make crème patissiere, and temper chocolate. I also made a bunch of little chocolates with little mint leaves inside to serve with dessert.

By 2:00 I was whacked with fatigue (I began at 6:00 am with the eclairs), and I still had to clean the guest bathroom and vacuum everywhere. When that was done, I had a spa. Finally, some time for me. Then I set the table, lit the fire, and I was ready. I even had an hour to chill before everyone arrived.

The evening was very successful. None of my guests knew anyone except me when they arrived, but Paula, Cate, Ali and Pete enjoyed a very animated conversation and lots and lots of laughs from the moment thy all met, and everyone was impressed with the meal (as, forgive me for saying, they should have been). I struggled terribly with speech, but no one minded. I am impressed and grateful for that.

They didn’t leave until 10:30; they arrived at 5:30. When people stay together for 5 hours, it is a very successful social event. I never once wished everyone would go. I enjoyed myself thoroughly, but the minute they were gone, I went to bed. I was beat. And this morning I got up to do all the dishes and a laundry, but the rest of the day is mine. 

However, at 2:00, I’m meeting up with a fellow I don’t know. His name is Darryl, and he’s a friend of some women I know. He’s gay and knows few people here, so my friends asked me to get together with him to help him expand his network. If we hit it o ff, I’ll introduce include him the next time Jay, Eoin and François and I convene.

Next door neighbour Dave came by yesterday afternoon. I hadn’t seen him for a while. He and Ursula have been house sitting for Kevin and Shelly. They jumped at the chance to get out of their trailer. But their yurt is underway. They broke ground yesterday, and all the forms for the foundation are stacked on their property. They are both very excited that their life in the trailer will soon be ending, and I’m looking forward to watching the build.

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