When you accidentally invite 12 people to bank holiday Monday lunch…

..and then remember that you only have 10 chairs, and anyway the table only seats 8… and you buy a huge piece of beef in James Elliott and then remember that 2 of them are vegetarians… and then you find out that another 2 don’t eat beef…so you also make an aubergine nut roast with a redcurrant sauce…Redcurrant sauceaubergine nut roast

…… and you’ve made the Yorkshire pudding mix the day before, just like your mum taught you, but then you find out that 2 of them are gluten intolerant….so you buy a load more spuds because thank goodness the Market Garden was open on Sunday… and then someone’s car breaks down so they’re going to be an hour late which is fine ‘cos everyone else is tucking into snacks and wine …the kids are getting hungry and the adults are getting drunk.. and because of this you find that 1 person voted Tory…but it’s OK cos everyone loves old Paul Simon songs…and no-one seems to mind eating their lunch off the top of a wooden box while sitting on the sofa ….. and then 6 hours later they’ve all gone and there’s a lot of empty bottles and every knife, fork, glass and plate in the place has been used… and they all said the food was delicious and didn’t we all have the most marvelous time….

and that’s why I do it.

THE MENU

If you click on the title you’ll get the recipes for most of these.

Barbecued English asparagus, yellow and green courgettes. You don’t need a recipe for this, you just grill the asparagus whole and the courgettes (sliced lengthways) for a few minutes on each side with a little drizzle of olive oil and some salt and pepper.

Roast beef with Pancetta

Aubergine wrapped nut roast with redcurrant sauce

Roast carrots, potatoes and parsnips with cracked coriander seed. (This recipe card includes other veg as well)

Spicy roast butternut squash and sweet potatoes. Similar to the above, but grind up 2 garlic cloves, 2 red chillis, 2 teaspoons of coriander seed, 2 tsp cumin seed, 2 tsp of black pepper and 1 tsp sea salt in a pestle and mortar, and then mix with oil and smear over the sliced squash and sweet potato before you put them in the oven. These veg take a little less time than the parsnips and carrots. 40 minutes should do it.

Leeks braised with Leek Sauce aka “Leeks squared”

Braised Spiced Red Cabbage (Because we had vegetarians in our midst I left out the bacon in this recipe.)

Jersey royal new potatoes

Everyday salad

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