Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Dinner Parties

I just read this post on the blog on www.majic.co.uk

September 16, 2008 posted by Pixi
Are Dinner Parties Off the Menu?
"Remember the days when Mum would usher you upstairs to be on your best behaviour as she entertained her friends with a lavish dinner party? The best china and glass adorn the table, ready meals turn into gourmet dinners and candelabras glow alongside fresh cut flowers . Well decades on we'd now apparently rather chuck out the candles and indulge in a relaxed supper !

I am much more at home creating a myriad of soul food dishes with friend bustling in the kitchen rather than running frantically between the dining room and kitchen a la 1950s domestic godess. To me 21st dinner parties are more about enjoying good food with good friends than getting busy with a full dinner service and polishing crystal all day. However, while I may be one of the new 'Jamie' chuck it all together generation of cooks, do you think tradition is best when hosting a dinner party?

So when it comes to dinner parties, are you a fussy Fanny Craddock or nifty Nigella when it comes to dinner parties?"It asked you to leave your thoughts and so it got me thinking!!

I have to say my informal dinners have the fresh cut flowers and the candles but not the pomp and ceremony! Best of both worlds!! ... come to think of it Nathan and I's teas on a weeknight sometimes have the candles and flowers too!!

Coincidently I was thinking about my parents dinner parties over this last weekend and I have so many memories of my mum getting ready the smell of her hair spray filling the top landing of our house. She always looked fantastic- most outfits I remember had brilliant 80's shoulder pads! My dad always smelled of shaving foam and after shave and then the two of them would run around like crazy people- either because they were late for someone elses dinner or they were rushing to finilize their own party.

It was always so exciting to hear their voices drifting upstairs and the roars of laughter!

My Mum is an amazing cook... this is the woman who on her own 40th birthday cooked Pigeon for 40 people as the main course- with an oven that was on the blink!! And it turned out brilliantly!

My Mum was always pretty strict on my sister and I's sweetie (candy) consumption (Friday treats were infact that.. a once a week treat!) but after dinner parties we would sneak downstairs in the morning to a room filled with stale cigar smoke (I love cigar smoke!) and there would be the coffee cups and remains of the petit fours... brandy snaps, viennese curled biscuits... (not sure why there such a cigar theme!) and mint chocolates... and we would eat as many as we could without eating too many so they'd notice it was us!

This has really got me thinking that I'd love to do a proper dress up dinner party and get everyone in suits and dresses... but it ends up being so much work and so expensive too!! Perhaps I can wait till we have a bigger house and a proper dining table!

Maybe I just need to stick to my suppers with friends and include the candles and flowers!!


Heidi said...

What a wonderful post!! I loved hearing about your thoughts on those parties when you were a little girl. I think both are quite fun, but the formal dinner parties are SO MUCH work and so expensive....but so much fun. Cooking with friends is the best though...especially in your kitchen. I only wish I could come over and cook one of your beautiful meals with you!! Someday!

Vicki said...

What a sweet post, memories are so much fun. Hope someday we can build more!

Belinda Brady said...

Sound like a fairytale! You must have similar plans for your and Nathan's big day.