Monday, 1 February 2021

Random Ramblings :: A Virtual Dinner Party

Hi there everyone πŸ˜€

For as many years as I’ve been left home, and that is approximately just under 40 years, our favourite Saturday nights have regularly been spent dining in with our good friends Jackie and Phil.

Lots of things have changed over the years ... where we’ve lived and the facilities (and funds) we’ve had available, partners coming and going (for me πŸ™ˆ) and babies being born, growing up and leaving home (for Jackie and Phil).

What has never changed is that we’ve always loved cooking for each other ... pushing the boat out a bit, trying out new recipes ... not always turning out quite as planned ... but always having the most relaxing of evenings eating, drinking, maybe playing boards games and generally just chewing the fat.

Of course, the added bonus for the last 20 plus years is that we live within walking distance of each other ... which may or may not have led to the odd Sunday morning feeling just a little delicate.

It is one of the things that I have missed over the course of the last year ... lockdowns and timing meaning we’ve only really managed the odd doorstep catch up and just one bit of a day out.

It was with a bit of trepidation that I suggested a virtual dinner party for last Saturday night ... not really sure how successful it would be ... but we had a bit of a practice run with the technology and decided to give it a go ...

We decided it would work better if we all ate the same thing and decided on a fairly straightforward menu, which wouldn't need lots of getting up and down from the table.

Jackie made and dropped off the starter ... Smoked salmon with prawns, horseradish cream and a lime vinaigrette ... all I needed to do was to finish plating it up and pop the sourdough baguette in the oven.

We laid the table ...
... dressed for dinner ...

... and met for cocktails, which Jackie had ordered from an on line company, at 7.00pm ...
A quick chat and we both popped our bread in the oven ...

I think the starter was probably the first I’ve eaten in about a year and it was scrummy. It’s a BBC Good Food recipe, which you can find here if you fancy giving it a go ...

We had a bit of a break and a cocktail top up before diving into our main course, which was salmon-en- croute (bought pre-made I have to confess), dauphinoise potatoes and broccoli ...

Another break and chat about all and sundry, including garden planting plans for this year before finishing with dessert.

I had made a ginger Tiramissu and it was just the job ... very light and very, very gingery. All we had to do to serve it was to dust with cocoa powder and icing sugar ...

Before we knew it the clock had sped round to 11.00pm and we couldn’t quite believe we’d been on line for about 4 hours.

It worked really well. Whilst not the same as sitting across the table from each other and hugging on the doorstep before walking home it had still been a really lovely night and something that I can definitely see us doing again as it’s not looking like we will be able to get together properly any time soon.

I think the key to it working so well, as well as us all being the best of friends of course, was eating the same menu and planning our timings ahead ... that way our courses were all ready at the same time and it did kind of feel like we were eating together.

To top it all on Sunday morning we woke up to snow ... we were heading over to mum and dad’s and I had to keep getting Martin to pull in so I could capture a few pictures of normally drab looking spots which were totally transformed ...

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17 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you ... it was beautiful ... just like Narnia 😊

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  2. We did our festive family meal like that, we all sat down at six and ate and nattered. There were two in Scotland, two in West Yorkshire, six in East lancs, not the same as a proper family get-together around the table but seeing the conditions - the best thing we could have done :)

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    1. I’m not really sure why we haven’t tried it before ... I guess we just kept thinking it wouldn’t be long before we could get together properly πŸ˜ƒ

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  3. Delightful and yummy-sounding virtual dinner party. It sounds like you were very well organised. Love the pictures of you all. And how magical to wake up to snow the next day. Lovely.

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    1. Thank you ... yes we loved the snow. It was just the right kind of that makes sense. Light and fluffy and made everything look magical πŸ˜ƒ

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  4. Hi Carol Virtual dinner party what a brillant idea we might have to give it ok. We have been reluctant users of video meetings due to bad experiences at work but are getting into now with quizzes and family meetings so may give the dinner party a go.
    Stay safe and well

    Best wishes to you both.
    ALAN

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    1. You should definitely try it Alan ... it was really good and definitely made a change from eating on our knees in front of the TV in our scruffs. Just need to be organised and have a bit of a dummy run so food doesn’t spoil whilst trying to set everything up. Hope you are all well too πŸ˜ƒ

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  5. How beautiful everything is with the snow!
    And it's snowing here for the second day. But today it feels like he would like to become rain.

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    1. Thank you Elena. It was a real treat ... nice and fluffy and dry if that makes sense. Made everywhere look magical πŸ˜ƒ

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  6. Let me know if you didn't receive the comment I made yesterday! B

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    1. Thank you B ... yes ... just a bit slow to publish ... sorry 😊

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  7. No worries. I've been having trouble commenting, that's all. Error message keeps appearing!

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    1. I think I have had the same ‘Oops’ message as well and probably have ended up commenting twice on some ... I clicked on the thing to clear the cookies and that seemed to resolve it πŸ˜ƒ

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  8. Seems like the virtual dinner party went well & was it on Zoom? I'm useless with social media, but really would like to get a grip on it. Your eats looked very yummy. I'm beginning to wonder if comments are slow too as I've only had 2 on my last post which, although I don't get many, is really strange.
    Take care, stay safe & warm & hugs.

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    1. Hi Susan ... we just used Facebook messenger for our dinner party ... our friends have one of those new Portal things which is great as it gives a wider view ... we just used the ipad. Yes I had a few problems with commenting last week and some seemed to take and some didn’t. It’s always hard to know for sure when they are subject to review as you don’t get to see them published straight away and you don’t know if they are just floating around in the ether or what πŸ˜ƒ

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  9. Hi Susan ... we just used Facebook messenger for our dinner party ... our friends have one of those new Portal things which is great as it gives a wider view ... we just used the ipad. Yes I had a few problems with commenting last week and some seemed to take and some didn’t. It’s always hard to know for sure when they are subject to review as you don’t get to see them published straight away and you don’t know if they are just floating around in the ether or what πŸ˜ƒ

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Thanks for taking time to comment on my blog. I love to hear what people think about what Martin and I have been up to.