Friday, October 30, 2009

Now's the time for all good men to come to the aid of the party

Well the witching hour is almost upon us in terms of both party and Halloween. Having got used to the full on Halloween in New York, the Australian version seems rather bizarre. The whole concept is slowly building in strength eg toy shops displaying hideous masks in their windows from early September, however as daylight saving has just come in in Sydney it doesn’t actually get dark until almost 8pm, so unlike Rye where it was pleasantly spooky and satisfactorily dusky by 5pm enabling all the mini ghosts and ghouls to wander round trick or treating, the small Australian vampires and their kin actually look totally out of place roaming the streets in the Australian sunshine.

Preparations for party have gone full steam ahead – literally in one instance where I was cooking a batch of meringues at the required low temperature and Drama Queen No. 1 had a quick absent minded fiddle with the oven as you do when trying to interrupt your mother’s phone conversation. Just for your information I can inform you that meringues spontaneously combust when 110oC is swapped for the hottest setting on the grill.

The fridge is now stuffed with half made Coronation Chicken, - or rather a pared down version of it where I have cavalierly decided there is no need to bother with ingredients that look complicated or tricky so in fact it would be more accurate to call it chicken in cold curry mayonnaise. I have also been making a number of chocolate roulades and freezing them – found a brilliant Good Housekeeping website recipe though I goggled with amazement when I discovered it in a section called ‘Make it, Bake it’ which referred to the concept that once you had baked the roulade you could recreate it as a knitted version – there are also recipe/knitting pattern combinations for ├ęclairs and Battenberg cake – all I can say is that there are obviously people out there who have far too much time on their hands, but perhaps that is just jealousy – and I can feel teetering at the back of my mind that maybe there is just time to knit one purl one my way to a knitted pudding to stun and amaze all my friends.

I’ve got one soon to be ex-male friend who mused to his wife that perhaps the party was for my birthday, (which it sort of is as it is my birthday on the 30th) and whether it was a major birthday, and did she think it was my 50th. As I turned 44 today I took this very badly and he will be having his own private party on the verandah.

One of the other excitements of the birthday, aside from pulling chickens apart and pondering knitted confectionary, is discovering that in a move worthy of DQ No.3’s approach to parties, I appear to have given people a range of start times. There was potential for guests to arrive half an hour before I expected them and this could have been fatal given I am queen of the last minute crisis. Based on past experience those who turn up five minutes before the start of one of our parties are likely to be greeted by their hosts in their underwear arguing about whose job it was to order the glasses anyway.

I got an email today from a friend who lives in the country about 4 hours drive from Sydney. As an aside she mentioned her back was bad as she had been catapulted from a bob cat bucket, but unfortunately had still been tethered to the bucket by her shoelace – the image made me wince and realise that exploding meringues aside I do lead a relatively tame life – let’s hope I’m still saying that post party, perhaps I’m tempting fate, time to get back to the knitting.

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