Tuesday, 2 October 2012

By the Way Honey....impromptu dinner guests

Do any of you know what it is to be an introvert married to an extrovert?  An extrovert whose mother could cater for any number of people at the drop of a hat?  Let me tell you, it's been a nearly 22-year training program for me to be able to accomplish what my amazing mother-in-law made to seem effortless!

My husband is one of those incredibly generous people who loves to be spontaneous and spend time with friends.  It's been a challenge, over the years, for me to figure out how to cater for the likelihood of his spontaneity without getting myself in a bother.  I think I'm getting better.  Now I only panic for the first five minutes!  So after yesterday's mid-afternoon I've-invited-friends-for-a-barbeque phone call I determined that it wouldn't actually be a barbeque.  It would be dinner based on what I already had planned...and fancied up a bit.  A quick stop at Safeway after a dash down to pick up a new (our first) Myki card for Miss Mischief netted all that I needed to have a plentiful meal on the table.

The kids cleaned the bathroom, toilet and swept the floors - they're getting good at that basic list of chores required before visitors arrive.  I worked on dinner, which was always going to be the vegetarian rolls with vegetables.  I used Maggie Beer's sour cream pastry recipe and brushed egg wash over them before baking.  Oh my they were good!

Nigella's Ginger & Mustard Chicken Drumsticks
Jacket Potatoes with Sour Cream
Cauliflower & Broccoli Au Gratin
Honey Carrots
Buttered Dinner Rolls

I used Nigella's recipe for cocktail sausages on the chicken drumsticks.  I've always found the marinades she uses on sausages to be quite chicken worthy, and this was no exception.  I had some ginger, lemon and lime marmalade from our trip to Queensland, so I used that.  It was delicious!  The dinner rolls were marked down to $1, hence their last-minute inclusion.  Our friends brought dessert, and everyone walked away contented. 

Best part?  There are some leftovers for lunch today....very surprising considering the appetites seated around our table last night.

How do you cope with last minute dinner guests?  Do you have a favourite stand-by menu to get you through the panic?


Joolz said...

Rump steak, mixed lettuce tossed salad and either baked potatoes w sour cream or potato bake. Chocolate self saucing pudding w cream is easy too.

Left-Handed Housewife said...

So far I haven't had to deal with last minute guests, thank goodness! I would probably just do some simple pasta dish (like lemon shrimp linguine), salad and bread. Homemade chocolate chip cookies for dessert!