Sunday, 7 July 2013

An Evening of Books

Tuesday night this week saw me playing host to the lovely ladies of my bookclub for our monthly get together to eat, drink, chat, gossip, laugh, and oh yes ... talk about books.

With all the power outages and load-shedding we have been experiencing here lately in Bots, to say I was a tad anxious about the evening was an understatement. Would we or wouldn't we have power? Would it go off at 5, 5:30, 6, or 6:30pm, as it has been doing most Tuesday evenings. Would I get dinner cooked without interruption or would I have to resort to the BBQ as back up? The whole planning of my menu basically revolved around what I could transfer to the BBQ if needed.

In the end I decided on slow-roasted sirloin, with cheesy potato bake, and a salad. Followed by apple crumble (to which I added about a cup of frozen raspberries just to add some tang) and homemade custard.

For some reason my brain was a little mushy that day, and when reading the instructions for slow roasting the sirloin, I didn't take into account the recipe called for a piece of meat 2-3kg in size. My piece was about half that. So instead of adjusting the cooking time to suit, I followed it word for word. Idiot! Serious idiot!

Fortunately for me I have a food saving husband, and after it had been slow roasting for 4 and a half hours, Mr B realised it was more than done, and wouldn't in fact be needing the last burst of heat for 30 mins as the recipe suggested. I just about lost it. It was ready an hour too early. And upon first inspection it actually looked quite ruined. What the **** was I going to do?? I couldn't serve that up. It looked too dry and really there's nothing worse than dry, tough roasted beef. Arrrghhhhh!!!

To add to this state of confusion, we were in the middle of putting the kids to bed. LL was a bit hyped up due to Mummy having visitors for dinner, and Miss J, who was overfull on dinner and milk, proceeded to do a few power chucks to clear her system all over here sleeping bag. Cue more hysterics.

Some days I am just no good in a crisis. Tuesday was one of them. Thankfully I managed to stay calm enough to clean up Miss J (with Mr B's help), read her some stories, put her down to sleep, not yell at LL for not staying in bed, and welcome my first guests to the "disaster" of an evening. Chaos!

To calm down a bit, while Mr B assessed the meat, I took LL to light the candles for dinner. Thankfully there were a lot of candles, and with a bit of chit chat with some of the ladies, I was finally able to calmly investigate the dinner situation.

Much to my relief I found Mr B in the kitchen confirming that the meat was in fact ok. With some gravy or this sauce, it should actually be quite tasty. Relief; instant relief!

I proceeded to pour myself a glass of wine, welcome more guests, and got on with making the rest of dinner. After all the shenanigans it actually turned out pretty good. In fact the whole evening was lovely. Good food, great company, lots of laughter, some wine, and some chatting about books, it really couldn't have been any nicer.

LL helped decorate the table - he was all over the stickers for the name cards :)



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