Tag Archives: visitors

1604. Nanette’s double cockup

(I think I’m coming down with the flu or something – Southern Hemisphere winter! – so will be absent from the comments for a day or two…)

I mean, who would have thought? Nanette had made almond cookies a thousand times. She no longer needed the recipe. She could have made almond cookies with her eyes shut.

So this time (she could hardly believe it) she had omitted the flour. How could something like that happen? When she had rolled the cake mix into little balls in preparation for cooking, she thought it was strange. There seemed to be a lot less potential cookies than normal. Not to worry. A cookie is a cookie, be it twenty or ten in the cookie jar.

Nanette was catering for visitors, which is why she was baking. And they were important visitors; at least to Nanette they were important. Having so few cookies was a bit of a worry. She would whisk up a second batch, only this time she would use vanilla essence rather than almond. Besides, variety was the spice of life. Her visitors would be impressed that she provided almond AND vanilla cookies.

The dark liquid in a Worcestershire sauce bottle doesn’t greatly look like vanilla essence. Even the size of the bottles is gigantically different. But Nanette was in a hurry. She was running late. Both bottles were brown. She grabbed the Worcestershire sauce bottle and measured out a teaspoon.

Both lots of baked cookies looked delightful, especially once they were arranged on a rather ornate cake dish with a pattern of tomtits and roses. It was only then that Nanette realized both mistakes; the flour and the Worcestershire sauce.

Not to worry. Her guests arrived and there was little to fear; the table looked delightful, and the Queen of England never nibbled in public, especially when it came to finger food.

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.

1241. Spoilt rotten

Florence is a bitch. She’s totally pig-headed. For example, this evening when I cooked dinner (for both of us) she refused to touch it. It was nothing fancy, I know, just some ground meat and some rice, but you’d think food would be food. But, oh no! It’s wasn’t good enough for Florence.

She’s nine years old and behaves like she owns the world. She won’t go here. She won’t go there. She never does what she’s told; not a thing. She seems to go to bed when it suits her.

And two-faced; just the other day when I couldn’t get her to do a thing she was told, suddenly visitors arrived and she was all over them. Sweet as pie. Oh yes! She knows how to behave when visitors are around. It’s not half obvious to me that she wants something from them.

As I said, she’s a bitch, and one of the favourite dogs I’ve ever had.