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If We Must (Have a Dinner Party....)

If We Must (Have a Dinner Party....)




I suffer from severe Dinner Invitation Regret. It is probably an actual condition. You would know if you had it. It’s the one where, in a fit of sociability generally involving too many gins, you invite a whole load of people round for supper. At some date in the future which feels, at that point, like a long way off because right then you want to party forever. But then in the cold sober light of day, after everyone confirms attendance, books babysitters and remembers not to mention it on any form of social media, it is down to you. To clean the lav, cook the effortless total effort food - considering all dietaries including one scared of fish, one IBS sufferer and one lethally allergic to chilli - create a drinks trolley (Fever Tree Tonic only), text husband with where the hell are you and douse yourself in Aveda chakra spray because there is no time for a shower. It happened to me just the other day. I went all Ottelenghi, spent hours sourcing ingredients, mandolining them and dressing them in the juice of hand pickled kumquats. What everyone actually wanted to eat on a Friday night was a cottage pie. A big bubbling one with crusty potato topping, a generous bowl of minted peas (herb garnish raising it from nursery status) and a dollop of ketchup. That sat gloriously in the middle of the table would have solved the 24 hour lead up angst of wishing I could be anywhere but my own kitchen. Preferably alone on my own sofa with the drinks trolley parked next to me watching Gogglebox. Fellow sufferers will know that I had a great night. Because that’s what happens. By the main course I had no interest in the food but I did a brilliant job of topping up everyone’s wine glasses so nobody else noticed the food either. Further on into the evening there was dancing. I may have stood on a kitchen chair for this. I may have even attempted to raise the stakes and get on to the table. I could also have been the one that slurred indignance that people were leaving and could we please, please, please do it again next weekend.
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