Ten for a Bank Holiday Lunch!

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This was ambitious, even by our standards! Ten of our neighbours here for a full-blown three-course Sunday long lunch!

In addition to Ann’s legendary skills in the kitchen, I had a go at ‘something’ (always worrying when I’ve got a whisk in my hand!). Motivated by my mantra: chocolate in everything, I created a ‘mystery Pudding’ to be revealed at the time of serving. ?

Clue – The mystery Pudding!

We’d managed a lot of the prep yesterday – mostly peeling, slicing and beating – and that certainly took the pressure off today! ?. So, what was left to do before our guests arrived? A bit more food prep, some pre-cooking, a tidy up, some dusting, a quick floor wash., a swift vacuum and finally, arranging the therapy sessions for the dishwasher!

Phew! We were now ready to enjoy the important bit – the food and the company! ??

Flower power!

Pretty much all of the gang were invited: Jo, Janet, Tom, Julie, John, Trish, Paul and Karen. Unfortunately, David & Rosi couldn’t make it, but we aimed to save them some dessert!

Perfect! (Well, almost!)

Given the numbers, we took a chance by planning to eat outside where the weather, luckily, turned out to be kind to us with no sign of rain and a pleasant 17℃ – although it did cool down significantly, into the evening. For once, the Bank Holiday forecast was accurate!

Kick-off was 2pm for drinks with everyone sitting down for 2.30.


We’re off!

Nibbles!

After a few nibbles, next came the main event; and with enough food – especially the roast potatoes – to feed the whole of Northamptonshire, we were all soon settling into a well-worn routine. The routine of course was; chat, eat, drink… then repeat! ?. In other words, perfect! ?

Ready, Set…
Yummy!

And of course, after the main course came dessert! Plenty of choices today – three in fact – where Ann had created a rather humungous Pavlova

…together with the perfect complement in the shape of an equally impressive Apricot Crumble

…whilst I’d been a bit handy in the dessert department by finally revealing my ‘mystery Pudding’ that turned out to be… (drum-roll)

…a rather gooier-than-I-expected ‘Twix Cheesecake’ (mk1). This was my first attempt, hence the ‘mk1’ moniker – and it’s back to the Galley later, for some minor next-time tweaks.

What to choose ehh? ?. Fortunately, in this house, seconds and thirds are actively encouraged, so no pressure for a decision (just pressure for the sequence!) ?

Well done then, to the few who managed to resist the temptation of triple visits! (it wasn’t many!) ?. As you might expect, in spite of the slight experimental nature of MY contribution, everything went down a treat!! ?

We ate, we drank, and we chatted in a generous fashion! As the afternoon continued, the temperature dropped, and we were all thankful that we’d dressed in layers!

The afternoon passed in a flash – it was five o’clock before we knew it! Jo and Janet had to leave a little ahead of the teas and coffees because they were hosting a Gin Evening at theirs (you’d be forgiven in thinking that it’s 24/7 partying ’round these parts), meanwhile, the rest of us ‘struggled on’ as best we could! ?

It had been great to get together at possibly our final eat-outside-en-masse this Summer. The food and the wine helped to keep the conversations going, as did the OK(ish) weather, We certainly had enjoyed plenty of time chatting – so that was a big bonus!

A couple of hours later, as the temperature dropped even further, and with the dishwasher hitting its third (and final) job for the day, the rest of our guests called it a night! We eventually said our goodbyes just after 8pm.

It really was lovely to see everyone – now that’s what I call a proper long lunch! ??

And talking of goodbyes, as we cleared up and returned the kitchen and dining room to a state of temporary idleness, it felt like ‘bye-bye Summer’ too! ?

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