Monday, December 03, 2012


There were five Fridays in this year's November, so I had to hold an unprecedented fifth Serendipity Dinner. I was tempted to just drop that Friday, but I've always been a stickler for the self-imposed rules of Serendipity Dinners, so I went ahead with it, and I'm glad I did.

Entree was roasted pears stuffed with goat's cheese and herbs, wrapped in proscuitto with a honey and sherry vinegar drizzle, served on a bed of rocket. Main course was salmon steaks with a pistachio pesto, caramelised limes and asparagas. Dessert was a macadamia and golden syrup tart.

I was trepidatious about this final dinner. There was an odd gender balance. None of my close friends were coming. I was mentally and socially exhausted after the epic sixteen person dinner the previous Friday - in fact I'd only finally finished cleaning the kitchen by Thursday. But in my trepidation I'd forgotten the primary attribute of the Serendipity Dinner - if you leave it alone, it'll all work out. Having an intimate five person dinner gave me time to actually sit down and enjoy the food with my guests, and having people I don't know all that well meant that there was plenty of new conversation. It was a gentle step down to finish the month of dinners, like an elegant little flourish at the end of a monarch's signature.

It helped that the food was good, and my favourite kind: simple fresh ingredients, interestingly combined. The entree was delicious and simple, apart from the arduous job of scooping out slightly underripe pears. The salmon had a few tiny bones in them, but only seven or eight per steak so it wasn't too onerous to eat around them, and the payoff in terms of taste was well worth it. The dessert was the best kind - it looked professional and decadent, but it was simplicity itself to make.

The other notable thing about this dinner is that it was the first time I'd been able to use my new dining chairs, which had only been delivered the previous day. They are reproductions of one of the 1950s Eames Aluminum series, originally intended as side chairs for mid-century offices. I'd wanted some for ages, but was unable to source a local supplier, and had misgivings about buying them online and getting them shipped. But I found out that Milan Direct was having a sale, making these elegant leather and chrome chairs from the 20th century's greatest designers the same price as boring chairs from IKEA, so I decided to risk it.

As it turns out, they're a little larger than I was expecting - the seats are amazingly broad, presumably to accomodate vast American arses - but they look great, they're the right height and depth, and they're supremely comfortable. Of course since there were five people at my dinner and only four new chairs I was a good host and sat on a decrepit bentwood chair that I got from the op shop. Throughout the dinner my guests were idly swiveling back and forth, murmering "Ooh, these chairs really are comfy!", while I sat in my little old wooden chair feeling like the biggest martyr since John the Baptist.


Blogger Patsy said...

Love hearing about your delicious sounding serendipity dinners blandwagon. Gosh, the lengths some people will go to make the can-be-bland journey of life in Perth more interesting, respect.

9:29 PM  

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