As always, I’m terrible at taking photos of my dinner parties. This time I spent most of the day cooking and cleaning, with just enough time left over to slap on a bit of makeup before the first guest arrived (the rest were late, but that gave me a chance to pause with a glass of wine).
For minimum effort and maximum effect winter comfort food, The Boy and I whipped up a roast dinner with herbed lamb slow-roasting on the barbecue and a French style chicken and veggies roasting in the oven. Pro tip: don’t opt for a French style roast chicken if you’re after minimum effort, because it requires frequent basting with the stock simmering below. It does however give quite a magnificent result, and paved the way for a pretty incredible gravy.
As I get older I find that super sweet and artificially coloured cakes hold less sway for me; give me a cake decorated with fruit, nuts or flowers over icing any day. For dessert I made a simple buttery cake topped with almond flakes and pears and raisins stewed in brandy and spices. We served it with a dulce de lece swirl ice-cream, and ended the night with whiskey.
I always find myself half wishing that I’d taken more photos, but also feeling that playing photographer would take away from the experience itself. Half my little group was missing, off gallivanting around the world, but these moments with friends are still precious. I’m looking forward to us all being together again for next year’s winter feast!