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For a bit of fun

Discussion in 'Cookery' started by modelmaker, Nov 25, 2011.

  1. modelmaker

    modelmaker Occasional commenter

    I'm tempted to organise a Ready Steady Cook style dinner party. The idea would follow the general concept of the programme insofar as each guest has a £5 budget to spend on ingredients they like and I decide what to cook for them with their chosen foods for a 3 course meal. Obviously, you take the time element away and to make it work, I'd have them choose what they wanted from the Tesco website so I could have it delivered the day before the dinner party.
    A lot more work, I realise, but I'm always game for an entertaining life. Would it work as a dinner party concept, and if you think it might, who among you would fancy being my guests at such a dinner? What would you choose to have for your fiver?
  2. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    My favourite part of a dinner party is planning the menu.
    I wouldn't like to have my control removed from me in this way. The control freak thing is my issue though.
    I already have next weekend planned:
    Chicken liver mousse with onion marmalade and wholemeal toast
    Morrocan style lamb shank stew served with a pistachio and almond cous cous
    Key lime pie
    My guests won't have a clue what they are getting until they get here. For these guests that is part of the fun. Other, more fussy visitors I sometimes check with in advance.
  3. grandelf

    grandelf New commenter

    I'm guessing I'd have the basic store cupboard items available to me? ie eggs, flour etc

    for my £5

    2 chicken fillets
    1 can of chopped toms
    bag of rice
    Bit of reduced veggies
    1 green tree.

  4. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    I don't understand.
    Would everyone eat something different, then?
    Isn't the point of a dinner party to enjoy the same food? Actually, food is just a small part of a dinner party - one third of it to be precise; the other two being booze and good company
    Won't people just spend a lot of time sitting around not eating, either watching you cook, or watching someone else eat their meal, wondering if it might be their turn to eat before midnight?
    I can't imagine anyone wanting to do that. I'd be bored senseless.
    Unless they fancied stitching you up with a bizarre collection of ingredients for you to ponder whilst they tuck in to your wine: a durian fruit; a bag of pig spleen; a Findus Crispy Pancake (beef); a Caramac and a can of Lilt.
  5. modelmaker

    modelmaker Occasional commenter

    Yes, I understand basic store ingredients are exempt from the budget.
    Of the top of my head at this moment in time you'd be looking at tree-smoked chicken gougons with an arabiata dip as a starter, herby steamed chicken on a chorizo and tomato rice cake with nearly out of date vegetables and rice pudding served in a jam-lined yorkshire pud.
    I'll think about it more when and if I ever become sober.
  6. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

  7. modelmaker

    modelmaker Occasional commenter

    I think you missed the point, nick. How many times do you eat out with friends and everyone orders the same things off the menu? People choose for themselves what they fancy and like.
    If they choose to select absurd things, that's their problem, they have to eat it. There's no hanging around for hours drinking the host's wine because they've let you know in advance what to buy for them and you've had time to think about it and prepare it.
    It's about being inventive with ingredients your guests love, or previously did, and opening their minds to how they might be used. It doesn't have to be something new, of course. If someone chose steak and kidney, you'd have a pretty good idea what would please them.

  8. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    Fair enough sir, but I'm just answering the question you postulated in your original post.
    For me, no.
    But that's the point - this is a dinner party, not a restaurant. In restaurants the chef and his team are preparing lots of different people's different choices because they're being paid to do it. A home cook at a dinner party also has the responsibility of making sure his or her guests are well looked after and 'entertained' (by which I mean engaged in jovial conversation - I'm not one of those psychos who insists on playing games at the dinner table!).
    As I said - it's not all about the food.
    I can still do that if everyone eats the same thing.
    My friends would see that as a little patronising (please don't take this offensively - it's not meant that way). I'm not a chef - just a home cook who likes to prepare tasty food for family and friends.
    I think there still would be an element of this. Even most prepare-ahead dishes still need lots of last minute attention. And if you planned on doing chicken goujons for one guest (as delicious as they'd be), and something similarly last minute for other guests - they'd never see you. Not to mention how many oven shelves and hobs you'd need.
    With respect, I still don't see what would be the point, MM. Maybe it just wouldn't be my cup of tea. Perhaps you could try it and see how you and your guests get on?
    Now you're talking though...if I was guest at your dinner table and we all sat down and ate what I'm sure would be an excellent steak and kidney pudding, I'd be a happy man indeed. And I'd bring plenty of wine to supplement your own.
  9. I think I'd do it more as a 'Jacob's Join' - everyone uses the £5 but one does a starter for the other guests, one a main, one a pud etc. If you have 8 peopel then 8 courses - could be fun.

    I've done the Eurovision one a couple of times - you get a food or drink to represent each country and you are anoly allowed to eat/drink the food of who is singing until the next act starts.


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