well, a saying attributed to napolean bonaparte is “amateurs talk strategy, experts talk logistics.”

in the fine tradition of the wee man who knew how to get the food cart to the right place at the right time we put on a dinner party for as many as we could squeeze into our inner wellington flat last night. with the place packed to the gunnels we hopefully treated everyone to a good evening. there was the briefest of discussions of karaoke, but thankfully it never came off!

so, what was it all about? thing is, it seems like people in this day and age forget about celebrations. all too often holidays are over-centred on the time off and non-work focussed activities, and they sacrifice the seasonal aspect of our bigger annual events. i wanted then to try to throw something to serve as a reminder of where the seasons are.

naturally in the hubbub i forgot to make a speech… ah well. i figured i could just put my intentions up here instead.

the thing about wellington is that it’s so freaking miserable here during the winter. we have delayed summers starting in january (hopefully), and running through to around easter when it starts to get autumnal. usually, but not always, april is the time when the weather starts to gather, and we know what the winter will be like.

thankfully, this autumn has the faintest suggestion of a reasonable winter about to descend on us. time will tell.

i kind of imagined that we would throw a feast again next easter, or thereabouts, next year, to mark that transition away from summer and into the short approach to winter. we’ll try to eat heartily again, and shore ourselves up for the windy, wet, cold days to come. with any kind of luck and perseverance it will become an annual event.

and like the wee man says, it’s all about logistics. we had 14 here for dinner last night, which meant a very, very early start for mr. che and his lovely assistant. those of you who could attend will notice that there was no great big roast dinner, or many many chickens, or other large cuts of meat. too damn expensive. instead we tried to focus on simple food easily made. and yes, i made everything from scratch, bar a couple of sauces on the tables.

in case you’re wondering, here’s what you ate.

paua on french bread (should have toasted the bread… detracted too much from the paua).

then, at the tables we ate:

wok-cooked clams in coconut sauce

thai beef salad

capsicum and coriander salad (my own invention! pity it was so hard to eat with chopsticks)

vietnamese rice paper rolls

sesame beans

lime and chilli-marinated terakihi

chicken-coriander dumplings

red-rubbed thai chicken skewers

chicken yakitori

chicken-liver yakitori

for dessert we then had “end of summer fruits in lychee sauce

let me know if you want any of the recipes.

and, thanks so much for coming along. it was great night. you’re all officially grandfathered into next years event! i’ll try to get a speech together for you all next time.

PS! Photos are here.