A success! What a shame that it all ends with a mess like this that needs to be tackled afterwards. On the night, of course, I just closed the kitchen door and left it all until the next day as we sat over coffee and enjoyed a great late-night chat.
I'd promised myself that I'd prepare some of the menu in advance this time and not fall into my all-too-frequent trap of letting things get out of control. I did as planned, but there's no way I expected the soup course to take up so much time in preparation. Still, I had a couple of courses under the belt well in advance. The main course was still a bit up in the air, but Carl took control of that, did the planning around a vague general idea from me, got the ingredients, came on over around 4:00 pm and worked his heart out.
The menu? A little amuse-bouche to begin (asparagus mousse); a duo of soups (roasted yellow pepper and roasted plum tomato side by side in the bowl, served with serrano cream); poached chicken breast with mushroom cream sauce, assorted vegetables and roasted beetroot salad; and a choice of chocolate vanilla cheescake or Missippi mud pie for dessert. All very successful.
The guest left at 2:30 am.