Tag Archives: guests

1599. Who’s for croquet?

You’ve no idea the trouble Noeline Hartstonge and husband Quentin had in procuring ethically sourced cocoa beans. They were to be used as a conclusion to an ordinary dinner with several other couples they had met through the local Croquet Club. Ethically sourced cocoa beans and organically grown bananas. These days it was fast becoming almost impossible to entertain.

Clyde Currie was the only invited guest to eat meat. Was he going to feel hard done by when served only vegetables? Three of the guests (I shall not name them because things could become tedious) were vegan. Does one make the whole meal vegan, or are the vegans happy to sit at a table while Clyde sucks on a lamb chop and the other guests quaff egg-based quiche?

Noeline settled for a completely vegan option. It was a lot more straightforward than trying to cater for all sorts of needs. She had to make the cucumber soup twice, because the first time she accidentally used (out of sheer habit one suspects) chicken bouillon. The first main course, made mainly with kidney beans, once prepared looked a little too much like ground meat, but Noeline managed to disguise the meat-look by decorating it with button mushrooms.

The little dinner party began. The pre-dinner aqua with ice cubes and a smidgen of organic lemon juice was delightful. When it came to the mains, Audrey enquired that although it looked like ground meat with mushrooms on it, she hoped it wasn’t cooked in an oven that previously had meat cooked in it. The flavour comes through, and Audrey said she wasn’t a raging carnivore. She would pass on the kidney beans. Ronald and Emile concurred. They didn’t want to make themselves ill.

Francine said she would pass on the main because of the mushrooms. Although she wasn’t impartial to them, she had read somewhere that sometimes people can develop allergies later in life. She had no intention of tempting fate. Also, there was no guarantee that the mushroom farmer had standards of hygiene approved by the government. What did it say on the packet?

I do hope, Noeline, that you didn’t use salt; or if you did that it’s kosher. And I heard that pepper is actually fattening.

In the end, all settled for an organic banana, although Myrtle gratefully declined because of unjust wages paid to workers in Ecuador. It’s because people unlike her are not taking a stand that everyone in these third world countries have to do without. It’s bananas!

But what a delightful evening! Quite, quite delightful!

Noeline Hartstonge and husband Quentin are thinking of taking up lawn bowls.

1294. Offensive food

Marcella was a pretty good cook. She planned her occasions meticulously. Not that she invited guests every day; occasions are for celebrating occasionally!

On this particular occasion, apart from her husband of course, she invited three couples; old friends in the main, although one of the couples was new to Marcella’s street. For dessert, Marcella planned to have a traditional rhubarb pie. Not the sweet-sour syrupy rhubarb pie drowning in sugar and hidden in layers of pastry, but the traditional French rhubarb pie, ever so slightly tart, that took several days to make.

But first, Marcella went online to confirm a recipe she already knew. And there it was:

WARNING: NEVER SERVE RHUBARB TO GUESTS. SOME PEOPLE DO NOT LIKE IT, AND IT COULD BE REGARDED AS OFFENSIVE. CLICK HERE FOR OTHER OFFENSIVE FOODS THAT SHOULD NEVER BE SERVED.

Marcella surveyed the list. There was very little left to eat. Even green beans were on it. And endives, and cabbage, and mayonnaise, and onions, and… Marcella made her main meal as bland as possible to cater for all palates; and instead of traditional rhubarb pie her guests had insipid fruit salad and ice cream. Marcella hoped it would be as tasteless as possible, so as not to offend.

1225. The misfortune of Fluffy Balls

Stella had rather foolishly invited the neighbours, Mr and Mrs Jones, over for dinner. She had quite forgotten that there was no housekeeping money left in the kitty for the rest of the week. To put it bluntly, she was right out of cash and there was nothing in the freezer.

“What a stupid thing to do! What a stupid thing to do!” muttered Stella for the whole week. Somehow she was half waiting for a miracle – like by the time Friday came food would rather miraculously have fallen from the sky. One could hardly feed dinner guests on a slice of bread and a raw carrot and celery – which was all that was left. And then the miracle happened!

A rabbit!

A wild rabbit came hopping by just as Stella was emptying the tea pot of its leaves around the lemon tree. Swiftly she hit the rabbit on the head with the tea pot. It was dazed. Practical Stella wrung its neck, and with considerable joy she skinned and gutted it.

Rabbit stew! No one in the world could make rabbit stew as delicious as Stella. And Mr and Mrs Jones agreed.

“That was the most delicious rabbit I have ever tasted in my life,” said Mr Jones.

“Talk of coincidence,” laughed Mrs Jones. “It seems to be rabbit week. Our little daughter’s pet rabbit, Fluffy Balls, escaped and went missing earlier this very week.”

960. Maisie’s filo pastry

960filo

Making pastry wasn’t Maisie’s thing. She always bought her pastry. Making filo pastry was particularly troublesome. She rarely used it, but she got some for the freezer because she was having guests.

The big thing was to keep the pastry sheets from quickly drying out. Once unrolled they should be covered with a damp cloth.

Maisie had planned the loveliest menu for her guests. She had prepared the ground meat cooked with homemade sauces and spices. That took all morning. Then all afternoon was preparing three different sauce dips.

All that was required once the guests arrived was to quickly roll the meat into a thrice-layered square of filo pastry, brush it with melted butter, and throw it into the oven.

The guests arrived. What a gracious host Maisie was! She excused herself and went to the kitchen for the final sequence of her wondrous concoction. She took the filo pastry out of the freezer.

THAW FOR FOUR HOURS BEFORE USING.

Maisie hadn’t.

801. Isobel’s little joke

801joke

Isobel was having a dinner party; just a few people; just seven visitors in all. That would make eight table settings. After all, her dinner set had just the eight placings.

Isobel even partly planned the conversation. It never hurts, does it? to have a few topics up ones sleeve in the event of a conversation lull. And a joke! Isobel even had a little joke at the ready, just in case.

What a delightful evening! Several of the guests had never met before and seemed to get on fine. There was hardly a lull in the conversation. It was dessert time. Isobel thought she would tell her joke.

There was this old lady who lived next door to an air force base, so she thought she would invite some of the staff for dinner. She cooked a chicken. When she was carving the chicken, she asked a few questions.
“And what do you do?”
“I’m on the Ground Staff,” said the first.
“It’s a chicken leg for you. And what do you do?” she asked the second.
“I’m a Wing Commander.”
“It’s a chicken wing for you. And what do you do?” she asked the third.
“I’m a Rear Admiral, but I’m not hungry.”

Everyone laughed at Isobel’s little joke.

“I’m a Rear Admiral, but I’m not hungry,” repeated Isabel. It was as if by repeating the punchline she could extend the merriment of her joke. Everyone laughed again, so Isobel repeated the punchline yet again.

The merriment of Isobel’s repetitive punchline protracted extension had somewhat waned. And then Isobel started to giggle at her own joke’s success. That made other people giggle. They all giggled at nothing, and then Leonard hooted out loud and they all hooted. What a hoot!

Isobel was pleased with her little dinner party. It was such a success! Such a lovely evening! Quite, quite delightful!