01 December 2021

Stretching my kitchen capabilities

 When I invite people over, I tend not to invite more than three at the same time. Four people in total is something that my kitchen can accommodate with not too much effort, and the same with my living room. I also have enough plates and cutlery for four. But now I am part of a group of six. And that meant I had to step up my game! And the group of six is temporarily only a group of five, due to one being away on fieldwork, so I was given the opportunity to gradually step it up.

I had invited the usual bunch over for dinner. And I had to think about how I was going to do that! The kitchen was not so difficult; normally the kitchen table his three chairs around it, but if I pull it away from the wall and from the cupboard that gets in the way of the fourth chair, and then add a fifth chair at the head of the table, I could fit everyone. And if I'm not too bothered about everyone getting the same crockery I have enough small plates and big plates for five. And just about enough cutlery. It looked like it could work!

Food wise I decided I wanted to make a quiche, even though due to a lactose intolerance among the six, I couldn't use cheese or cream in it. I decided I could make a spinach quiche with so much onion, mushroom, egg, vegan cream, and pine nuts that one wouldn't miss the cheese. I knew it needed to be big! Normally people eat 1/4 of a quiche, and now we had five, so everyone would only get 1/5. And it also meant I needed a big desert. I wanted to do something with apples and cinnamon because the weather forecast was very autumnal, and apple and cinnamon is nice and warming. I first thought of apple crumble, but then decided against that. I just went for a full-blown apple pie.

Then there was the matter of the living room. I have a sofa accommodate two people with no problem, and a comfortable chair. In addition I have a pouffe, an uncomfortable chair, and several sheepskins. I figured that if we would use the sofa as a three seater we would be fine. So the logistics were sorted!

Then the job of actually cooking the food presented itself. It was quite a lot of work! But I managed to multitask it wide well, if I may say so myself. At one point I was buttering a cake tin while at the same time keeping an eye on the pine nuts that I was roasting, and at the bread machine that was kneading the dough for the apple pie. That dough is quite dry and has a very high critical taper, and that means it might climb out of the pan. You need to sometimes push it back! And with all that strategic work I managed to get everything done on time.

Prep work!

Then the first knock on the door came, and me and the cat went to open the door. The good part of the day had begun! And it was a good night. The next day a big pile of dishes needed to be taken care of, but it had been worth it. And I suppose this tradition will survive a bit longer, so in the New Year I expect to get the challenge of hosting all six!

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