Fundraising Dinner, Part I

On Monday evening, I hosted my very first grown-up dinner party in order to earn some donations for my fundraising effort. I’m getting closer to my £800 target, but I thought it would be a good idea to bring in the big guns: family members.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with my work in the kitchen, that may be because there isn’t any (except, of course, those fortunate few who experienced my signature “Scallops with 3 cups of salt”). I’m not what some might call a natural cook. And yet here I am, cooking up a storm for all of my nearest and dearest. My thought process was that if I really impressed with my 3-course meal they would donate all the more, and if I really messed up at least we’d all get a laugh out of it and the hilarity would again bring out the generosity (or perhaps pity) in my beloved aunts and uncles and grandmother. With a couple of homemade-by-the-butcher pies in the freezer, what could go wrong?

I started out, as any pro chef would, with a plan.

The beginnings of an impeccable 3-course dining experience

The beginnings of an impeccable 3-course dining experience

The first course, a highly attractive pear and walnut salad. Honestly, the practicality of a starter that can be thrown together in a matter of seconds did appeal to me, although I maintain that the taste and quality were of utmost importance.

What an appetizing starter! (Even the posh plates and cutlery made an appearance...)

What an appetizing starter! (Even the posh plates and cutlery made an appearance…)

But wait, there’s more! For my main course, I decided to go with an adventurous Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall couscous recipe, with cinnamon and garlic and lots of other fun flavours, with baked chicken and roasted vegetables.

I promise it was much more delicious than it looks

I promise it was much more delicious than it looks

To finish off, homemade chocolate ganache with a strawberry garnish.

Ganache with a last-minute flourish of strawberry

Ganache with a last-minute flourish of strawberry

I’ll have to rely on the honesty of my guests and the little faces of these happy chappies to confirm or deny whether I managed to churn out a satisfactory meal.

The aforementioned happy chappies

The aforementioned happy chappies

I’m still working on my fundraising, but thanks to everyone who has donated so far!

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