Wednesday, September 28, 2005

I took my Grade 1 exam in the Nigella School of Hostess Studies last night. I had spent most of Sunday afternoon and evening preparing and was remarkably confident that all I would have to do was switch on the oven when I got home from work and then set about trying to make myself as fragrant and attractive as my chosen dishes.

Then I got the text informing me that Paul's new girlfriend is vegetarian. I should have known. Not only is she tall, beautiful and intelligent, she eats sensibly, doesn't smoke and drinks socially but in moderation. I allowed myself a little flap. I don't know why. I was veggie for 12 ( slim) years but that was when you'd be lucky to be offered a cheese omelette. Vegetarianism has got so much more sophisticated.

From nowhere I managed to conjure up a roast tomato and sweet pepper tart with mozzarella. It was nothing short of miraculous and having just tasted a slice of it for my tea tonight, it was rather delicious too. I may invite more vegetarian friends next time just so I can show off the new addition to my repertoire.

My guests were perfect and entertained one another throughout the enjoyable evening and Jack managed to pick his knuckles up off the floor and give the impression of a young adult in the making rather than perpetual teenager unable to communicate beyond grunts ( no doubt he'll have reverted to type by the time I pick him up from rugby practice in an hour).

I take Grade 2 of the NSHS on Friday when I have 40 assorted Aussies and their adopted families coming over for a curry and some beers. Not having the luxury of a Sunday to prepare in advance and more to the point, not getting paid until midnight the night before, I fear I may drop some points but then given the difference between the levels of discernment of last nights guests, who included the delightful Sophie, the eternally enthusiastic Martian and the beatific Richard besides Paul and the Vegetarian freshly-welded to his side and a roomful of antipodean teenage testosterone, I might just scrape a C.

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