Slowly, slowly we are starting to entertain family and friends again in the AV house. We haven't hosted a dinner party in over 3 years - the last one we hosted was when we still lived in Melbourne, and was for 6 clients of Mr AV, when S was 8 weeks old (as you can probably guess, that one wasn't my idea). After moving, our house in Adelaide prior the renovation was not conducive to anything other than a very casual BBQ or afternoon tea. But with things reasonably finished in the new living area and kitchen, we have slowly started to have people over. The first dinner we hosted felt a bit like having training wheels on - we hosted our friends A & A for dinner, and I decided on a menu centring around the Ottolenghi Jerusalem cookbook. Most of the things I made could be prepared in advance, and suited the warmer weather we still have in Adelaide.
In honour of this auspicious occasion, I retrieved our silver cutlery from my Dad's house, where it has lived since we sold our old home in Melbourne. As it had been in storage, it had tarnished fairly badly. I cleaned it up using the bicarb technique (as described in one of my most popular blog posts), and in an hour had cleaned the silver setting for 12, plus a few other assorted bits and pieces I picked up from around the house. I noticed that the silver that had tarnished the least was the stuff stored in the one felt anti - tarnish cutlery roll that I had. The rest of the silver had been wrapped in tissue paper and had varying states of tarnish.
So after the dinner party, I did a bit of hunting around on the Internet, and found that, of course, the best source of felt cutlery rolls made of the anti tarnish felt was from the UK - John Lewis on line. 3 days after ordering, I received a small box full of these rolls, so hopefully the next time I pull the silver out it will be in pristine order.
I wore this Lela Rose dress, with the shoes of shame.
Hors d'oeuvres were smoked salmon with creme fraiche in filo cups, and parmesan olive balls (pitted stuffed olive wrapped in parmesan pastry and baked). These last ones were a favourite of my Mum's and are so delicious.
I then got busy talking and forgot to take photos of the rest of the meal...!
Today we hosted the whole family for a casual lunch (it's a long weekend in Adelaide) - quite a production. I set the table casually with the usual stainless steel cutlery, and served the food off the sideboard (two quiches and a couple of salads). Pavlova was for pudding.
I have mentioned before our problems with the Eames dining chairs... another one bites the dust.
The outdoor area is evolving - yesterday Mr AV and I moved all the box topiaries that I bought at the local estate Auction houses last year to the back area. If you squint a bit and ignore the red steel veranda posts, it looks almost finished now.
The veranda looks quite top heavy without the finished posts. They should be going up in the next few weeks.
So, throw in a few afternoon teas, and we've been busy. Big dinner parties will commence soon - I love having people over and cooking something other than everyday dinners for the family, so with a few wobbles (quite literally in the case of the dining chairs) we are on our way.
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