Oh what a fabulous lunch!  Jane, Trix, Sophie and Joshua came all dolled up in their Sunset Boulevard finery and I wore the leopard print housecoat I bought in Miami.  On the menu:

Gloria Swanson’s Champagne Cocktail

Gloria Swanson’s Caviar Canapes

William Holden’s Lime Gelatine with Cashew Nuts, Carrots and Stuffed Olives (no kidding)

Cecil B. DeMille’s Cajun Chicken

Gloria Swanson’s Butterless Devil’s Food Cake

Cooweee it was a FEAST!  There will be a few pix over on the Flickr site shortly. I was a bit sloshed so I forgot to take pictures once we got past the canapes but I think Sophie took some good ones.

This will definitely be one of the dinner party menus I’ll include in the forthcoming e-book.  The recipes need a bit of tweaking and retesting so there will be many more attempts at Gloria’s cake for sure.  It is somewhat troublesome.  I need to go right back to basics and ask Cece for some advice I think!  Sometimes it works beautifully, sometimes it is a disaster.  This is not good, it needs to be perfect.

My lime jelly was a real showstopper.  It’s definitely worth making this just for the reactions of dinner guests.  Everyone was reluctant to try it at first, then when I mentioned that William suggested serving it with mayonnaise and paprika there were cries of horror!  But Joshua went and ferreted around in the kitchen, returning with aforementioned condiments and made everyone have a spoonful.  We all recoiled initially, then agreed it was actually really nice.  Bizarre but true.

Big lesson learned.  Must prepare as much as possible the day before.  I had intended getting all the shopping and making the jelly and cake on Saturday.  Well, I didn’t get around to the first two, and the version I made of the cake was a fail because I forgot to put flour in.  I wasn’t concentrating.

Still, I did make some Vincent Price House Bread which did indeed, as Vincent suggested, get me back to earthbound composure.  It also set off a chain of gift giving.  I gave a loaf to Mr S at the record shop and he announced that there was a free Barbra Streisand record with every purchase that day because there happened to be a copy of “Love Songs” knocking around.  I actually secretly adore Barbra so was very happy to accept his kind offer to add to my five 78rpms.  Later his lovely flatmate gave me some eggs and a friend of hers gave me two carrier bags of scrumped pears!  Ah nature is bountiful!

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