Traditionally, when it is my turn to host the book group, I make a TEN BOY CURRY and have all the little bowls of bananas, sultanas, coconut, mango chutney etc. etc. etc. laid out on my sideboard. Lindsey christened this the BUFFETERIA which I love.

The Buffeteria

This time, I did what became known as a MEXICAN TEN BOY as the general idea is the same. Put lots of little bowls of bits and pieces out and folks construct their own dinner. Genius.

This was a really brilliant way of feeding a crowd. There were five of us. We decimated it.

We also decimated rather a lot of wine which resulted in much drunken bants involving a planned “Dickievention”, effectively an intervention involving someone called Dickie. We also worked out our Tory names (middle name, street lived on as a child and favourite kitchen appliance) so we are all now known as things like Elizabeth Crescent-Colander (married to Frederick Somerville-Corkscrew) and Elizabeth Osborne-Atomic (me).

The ATOMIC!

I made the Layered Mexican Bean Dip in a glass bowl to show off the layers and the result tickled me, it was like a savoury trifle. Delicious.

The Chilies Rellenos Casserole was made the night before. We can’t get canned whole chilies here, so I used Romano Peppers, which aren’t the same of course, but the resulting fluffy souffle-like dish was GREAT.

I worried that I should have blanched the peppers first but the texture of them was fine. They had cooked nicely in the eggy creamy mixture. As we don’t get half and half here, I trusted the internet hive-mind’s suggesting to replace it with single cream. That worked a treat.

I also worried a bit about the lack of salt and pepper, however, it tasted great so no need I suppose. Also, no mention by Ron about what to do with the tomato sauce – on the side I guessed.

Here’s my big plate of food!

Cathy supplied the mad blue tortillas

I cooked up the beef and onions for the Taco Salad Ole the night before so that I didn’t have much to do on the night itself except get it all out on the kitchen buffeteria! I probably could have just used a pound of mince for the five of us.

There was loads left over but in my crazed boozed up tidy up at around 2am after they had all gone I just tipped in the leftover fresh tomatoes, olives and salsa and bunged it into the fridge to deal with next day. I then added a tin of tomatoes, a tin of kidney beans and some chilli mix that Nathan and Heather got me from the US ages ago. I AM NIGELLA LAWSON! Or Delia Smith maybe…

I shall parcel it up for the freezer labelled SHERIFF METZGER’S CHILLI.

We have a tradition now at our book group that there will always be Celebrations. Those were decimated too.

It was an old-stool style riotous night. I didn’t get to bed until 2.30am (usual bedtime is 9.30pm) and I had the mightiest of all hangovers the next day. But it was well worth it.

It was great to get three recipes for the Murder, She Cooked book tested in one go. All winners! If you haven’t signed up for the cookalong yet, do skip over to this page and choose a recipe. Everyone is welcome, you don’t have to be a Murder, She Wrote fan to join in. I am thrilled that so many people are participating but there are still lots of recipes to choose from.

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