Sunday, December 26, 2010

Dinner Club

As I sit here waiting for my guests to arrive, I go through my check list of things to do: 

Candles lit: check!

Background music on: check!

Menus on each setting: check!

Guest bathroom tidied: check!

OK, now I just have to get myself in order (that's usually where the drama starts - what to wear???)

Tonight it's my turn to host Dinner Club. The group consists of nine ladies: 3 Americans, 2 Brits, 1 New Zealander, 1 Australian, 1 Swede and last, but not least a German.

It's actually a really fun concept: each month, one of the ladies puts together a menu that will be served at her house, based on whatever suits her fancy. In the past, we’ve had everything from Vietnamese & Danish to things you can make in 15 minutes. Anyway, after the hostess plans her menu, she sends out one of the recipes to each guest and that guest prepares it and brings it along. Throughout the evening whoever's course is due to be served can be found in the kitchen, along with the hostess and a glass of wine, busily assembling, cooking and / or adding garnish to her creation.

I love meeting up with this group of ladies and trying out new recipes that I would probably never have been bold enough to attempt on my own, i.e. Lavender (real flowers) creme brulle, Persian grape leaf wraps, etc. I usually come home from these evenings with only a smudge of make-up on my face (due to tears of laughter) and always with an extended belly.

Oh, and I solved my wardrobe dilemma by wearing a little black Audrey Hepburn style dress with ¾ length sleeves :)

Here is how to make my menu, that has a flower that doubles as a brooch:
First, select a thick paper that reflects your table decor. You can have fun with this! I chose a paper that sparkled like snow in sunlight. Even though in daylight it was a bit too Liberace, at night, by candlelight, it added just the right amount of shimmer to my table.

Then, decide the look of your menu - should it go with the length or the width of the paper? Print your menu on vellum paper. I usually spread the pages out and let them dry overnight to avoid smudging.
With your glue gun, glue the vellum to the thick paper, where the leaves should go. Next comes the leaves: I picked up some beautiful eucalyptus leaves (that had been sprayed silver) at my florist. Glue them into place.
Take a brooch (if you are interested in these, please contact me) and pin it through the menu.
Now you're done and your guests have a nice little reminder of the evening.

Merry Christmas and happy entertaining!


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