Sunday, July 07, 2013

it's all about the food

a pitcher of cocktails gets any party off to a brilliant start.
this was actually the second pitcher,
as the first one disappeared very quickly.
it was made with gin and rhubarb cordial with sparkling water and plenty of ice.

the people on our road have been holding this annual "street party" for 30+ years.
we made the food ourselves, which was new for them.
they usually order the food from a boring local restaurant.

i love to make people work a little bit for their dinner.
so they had to grill their kabobs themselves.
it made everyone stand around the grill table talking, so it was great.

we also got some ordinary sausages for the kids.
and some exciting spicy ones that i couldn't resist, which were mostly eaten by adults.
we'll be having some of this today as well, as there were plenty of leftovers.
i always make too much food.

i made bread that we used as an appetizer with the welcome drink
and the neighbor, with whom we shared the party duties, made some beautiful bread for the dinner.
i covet her big basket a bit. i'll have to get one of those myself.

a beautiful, simple salad with mixed leaves, pear, cashews and flakes of parmesan.

our strawberries are going strong , so i filled a big, pretty glass bowl with them.
we got the bowl ages ago in istanbul and i don't use it often enough,
but it makes me happy when i do.

some thumbprint shortbread cookies
with frosting flavored with my homemade cordials
strawberry, elderflower and a combination of both.
they were perfect with the coffee.

* * *

it's funny, with an event like this, i love cooking all day to get ready for it, but there's always a stressed out sense of panic in the last hour before guests arrive, especially here in jutland, where your guests are likely to show up as much as half an hour early (true to form, the first ones came at 20 minutes to five last night). there's a mad dash to change clothes into something presentable while doing all of the last-minute chopping and frosting and plating up and preparing. there's usually a bit of sniping at anyone who comes through the kitchen and a frantic vacuuming by husband. it's odd because i actually really don't like the moment when people arrive - if, like yesterday, i don't know them well - it feels awkward and strange and i want to hide in the kitchen (so i often do). but get the first of the welcome drink down them and start cutting bread and telling them about the various spreads for the bread and i relax and begin to enjoy. and it's a bit ironic, because many of my moments of most conscious happiness are spent in the kitchen, preparing food for such a gathering. 

i would never survive a master chef competition. 


celkalee said...

I think my invitation might have been lost in the mail, rats! Looks like a wonderful time was had by all.

Michelle said...

wonderful - you described my feelings as well.. And you mentioned your bowl from istanbul - We hosted a cocktail party last night at our rented apartment in Istanbul for Stark's colleagues who are all here for a conference - We love istanbul - and happy hour!!