CROWDED HOUSE

Cuisine - - CONTENTS -

Take the stress out of en­ter­tain­ing with our ex­tract from Spe­cial Guest by Annabel Crabb & Wendy Sharpe

THIS EX­TRACT FROM SPE­CIAL GUEST BY ANNABEL CRABB & WENDY SHARPE SHOWS HOW TO HOST FRIENDS AND FAM­ILY WITH­OUT STRESS­ING OUT.

AT THE HEART OF WHY we in­vite peo­ple to our house for food is that we want to spend some time and share food with them. The most es­sen­tial in­gre­di­ent for a meal with friends is not, para­dox­i­cally, the food, nor the per­fect house to host in, but the sen­ti­ment that you con­vey to guests when you open your home and carve out some time to share with them. It says, “I like you and I en­joy your com­pany.” But even know­ing this in our heads, with so many threads to weave in to a week – home life, work life, chil­dren, car­ing re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and prob­a­bly more – a lunch ta­ble of guests won’t seem like fun. It will just look like hard work.

There are so many ways to com­bine food and friends at home with­out find­ing your­self bare-knuckle punch­ing a wall with the stress and frus­tra­tion of it all. So, we have some­times in­ten­tion­ally and some­times by ac­ci­dent found ways to take what might be thought of as short­cuts and con­ces­sions in cook­ing for oth­ers at home. Have the food pre­pared in ad­vance; choose food that doesn't re­quire a ta­ble to eat at or cut­lery to eat with; rely on the self-serve or self-assem­bly for­mat; try an af­ter­noon tea where you do one cake and do it well.

What­ever you choose to make, our hope is that we might con­vince the host­ing-shy or the host­ing-fa­tigued or the host­ing-fraz­zled that near enough re­ally will be good enough.

POTTED PRAWNS recipe page 100

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