Apart from reconstructing our backyard, this summer holiday seems to be all about lasagne.
Now I love lasagne but I haven’t made it in ages – me being on a high protein diet and all – and I’m good at making it.
My bechemel sauce is thick, smooth and creamy goodness.
The bolognaise is bolognaisy.
The lasagne sheets are well… flat.
It’s not hard to make let’s be honest.
But it is comfort food and I was inspired to make one recently for friends who have been going through a tough couple of weeks.
My daughter was keen to do the cooking, so supervising from my position of on all fours nailing down decking, we got to it.
I’d forgotten how messy lasagne is to make but the end result looked like a bought one and the friend was very happy not to cook for a night.
We left feeling comforted ourselves, in the pious afterglow of a good deed done, and made a second lasagne for ourselves on return, the kitchen being already a tip site.
It tasted yummy – I hadn’t lost my lasagne mojo.
So last night we had some friends over visiting from Adelaide.
It was a hot day and we decided rather than going out for a cheap meal at our local favourite Vietnamese restaurant we’d entertain at home on our nearly completed decking.
The temperature was perfect outside as a light seabreeze wafted through under the newly installed pergola, and we admired the soft feel of old boards under our feet, and the gently swinging paper lanterns.
I cooked lasagne.
Now it’s been a while since I’ve had a dinner party – if you don’t count Christmas which lets face it, has a pretty set menu.
And I didn’t ask if there were any dietary considerations…
So boring to have to ask really but these days… well most people are intolerant to something.
I should have asked.
3/4 guests had a dairy intolerance – and my lasagne is half cheese.
But what do you do?
I cooked up the three small kebabs I had in the fridge and let them serve themselves.
The younger son, bless him, reckoned he could handle some cheesy goodness, but was dissuaded sensibly by his mother.
It turned out to be a pretty meagre spread it must be said, especially if you weren’t keen on salad.
I felt bad, but what could I do?
It has made me ponder this morning what the etiquette is when going to someone’s house for dinner.
Is it up to the host to inquire after your eating issues?
Maybe I need to consider having a “standby” meal somewhere, just in case? And more than three kebabs.
Or on receipt of an invitation, is it incumbent upon you to say “Thank you, why that would be lovely, just to let you know I’m (lactose, peanut, seafood, meat etc) intolerant…”
Seems a bit rude.
A bit presumptuous…. “Well I wasn’t going to serve you prawns anyway!”
A bit looking at the horse’s teeth.
I’m leaning towards saying nothing and hoping for the best (while packing my fridge with optional extras) - but that’s just little non confrontational me.
Oh and last night’s guests? They filled up on the chocolate cake they brought and we all played Singstar.
A happy ending.