I work (in a capacity which I will currently draw an artful veil over) with a brand associated with dinner parties. Or it used to be. Because, it transpires, the dinner party is officially dead for all right-thinking people under the age of 50.
But eating in the home is on the up in the recession, you cry! Cookery has never been so glamorous and visible in the media! And you’d be right. But no one these days is stuffy enough to call these occasions when you have friends round for dinner “dinner parties.” Everyone (apparently) drifts around, wafting up Jamie Oliver 30 minute concoctions, casually throwing wine in the freezer to cool it down at the last minute and pushing aside the debris on the kitchen table with an elbow to clear some space for this most bohemian and unstructured social occasion.
I, however, am stuck in the 1970s, minus the pineapple-and-cherry cocktail sticks. I plan, dredge over cookery books, attempt to not feed anyone anything they’ve eaten before, and worst of all refer to the whole shabang as a ‘dinner party.’ If my boyfriend J didn’t think Felicity Kendall the very model of a modern woman, it would be problematically old-fashioned.
Last Thursday was the second outing of a delicious lamb, coconut and sweet pepper concoctions from Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odyssey, to which I am devoted. It was one of a very many outings of Gizzi Erskine’s Sticky Banoffee Pudding (pic below) – a simple masterpiece which you can find here. Gizzi’s book (Kitchen Magic) never fails me. At least she doesn’t know I’m using her modern hip cuisine for a dinner party. The shame.