Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Do I hear party?

Sometimes, if you're afraid of doing something. Saying it aloud helps.

"I was thinking of having a little Christmas gathering"

Then, you request for dates of availability.
"Are you available for lunch on 16 Dec?"

When they reply that the date is good, there is no backpaddling.

I'm having 6 adults and 6 kids under the age of 5 over for lunch on the 16th.

After brainstorming the possibilities of cuisine, I've come down to the conclusion that Shephard's Pie is it. Easy to cook, requires minimal chewing and will suit the palate of both adults and children.

The only thing is, I have never cooked a shephard's pie. And rehearse I must. There is nothing more terrifying than cooking for a party of friends and attempting a new recipe that you're trying for the first time. In order for it to look effortless, practice is the key.

After work today, I shopped for beef mince, onions and garlic, potatoes and milk. Grace wanted to learn something new too. I couldn't shoo her away so I narrated like a talking cook book.

"Brown the beef together with the onions and garlic. Add in the peas and carrots."

She did most of the preparatory work. Peeling the garlic and onions, mashing up the potatoes. I was the head chef, doing the tasting work and giving out directions. I wanted to be the junior chef, really. But she wouldn't let me. That's why I need to take over the kitchen on Sundays.

We put lots of cheese on top of the mash and put it in the oven to bake. As I guessed, you can't go wrong when you combine beef mince, buttery mash potatoes and melted baked cheese.

The most deceiving thing about Shephard' s pie is that it is such an ordinary comfort food, they will think that I am just whipping out something that I normally do which happens to taste great at the same time. Oh its just home cooking you know...chortle chortle.

Try to present something out of ordinary like a hungarian beef ghoulash or a sushi platter and they will think that you are trying to impress. But of course, it is all about making an impression and slacker cook is cramming for the final presentation.


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