Our book club Christmas party had a sad note, on of our founder members who’d been with us from the first was leaving – moving not so far away, just across the Bristol Channel to Wales. We were specially pleased to get together as we always do and fortunately for me the party was at our house. The advantage was we didn’t have to go anywhere because everyone came to us, the disadvantage… there had to be a massive tidy up!! (or maybe that was also an advantage!) Luckily husband is always helpful so we had the house ready to welcome our seven guests.
As we usual we shared the catering and I was doing roast vegetables and roast potatoes (I did Hasselbacks! Very successfully!)to go with the roast boned, stuffed, rolled leg of lamb someone else was bringing along with gravy. Having had such delicious mulled wine (Jamie Oliver recipe) at the writing club Christmas get-together, I had a go at making some too – I thought it would be nice and welcoming. I was just in the kitchen making it when there was a knock on the window and there was a friend of my son’s come round to go running with him. He came into the kitchen and we were chatting away and he noticed that I’d forgotten to put the sugar into the pan with the wine and peel and spices!! Bacon saved – or rather mulled wine saved!
Because we also had some vegetarians among us I made a couscous, and we had some nibbles to attack before the meal was ready. The leg of lamb arrived along with the gravy, the one was swaddled in towels to kep warm, the other poured into a pan to heat up. The cheese board, grapes and biscuits arrived, at the same as the fruit salad, cream and meringues which had been driving. Another knock on the door and the nut roast entered, vegetarian gravy, a divine fruit loaf and various other things which were all yummy but have now somewhat faded!
Mulled wine, Prosecco, red and white wine in abundance, leg of lamb stuffed with a melt in the mouth stuffing, winter roast vegetables (turnip, parsnip, sweet potato, baby onions) and summer vegetables (peppers, red onions, butternut squash) desserts, more wine, coffee and tea… and then the quiz!
The evening seemed to fly by, so much chatter, so much laughter, so much fun, and it was only as we shut the door on the last departing guest,that I remembered I had mince pies…