I imagine that you would be rather relieved to hear the following situations did not occur after inviting our guests to a dinner party:
We (as in, Mark and I) did not lock our guests in our house, and place shutters on the windows, so they could not see or escape to the outside world.
The guy in the corner, who no one had ever met before, was not revealed as the man who actually did kill his wife.
We did not succumb our guests to a real life video of a woman's last dying breath.
Discussions were not held over a weird cult, with the intention of enticing our friends to become a member.
We did not poison anyone.
Or run after them with a very long knife.
I expect that you are now querying as to why these situations would be something I am mindful of at a dinner party.
It's because Mark and I watched a slightly odd (but very good never the less) film where these things featured in the plot. I quite like slight oddness, so I enjoyed the film and turned around to Mark and said, "We should have a dinner party!"
I was not hoping to copy the style of the film, merely the occasion, thus I set about inviting a small gathering to our humble abode.
We began, fairly early, with Prosecco and nibbles in the garden, making the most of the warm evening and the fact we have a very large outside seating area. Although I managed to spill a tonne of olive oil over the kitchen floor, which meant I was slipping all over the place until Mark had the bright idea of throwing sand on the floor to cancel out the oiliness. "Please mind the sand!" is probably not the greeting my guests were expecting.
However, I think you'll agree, it was nice that I did not lock my guests in the house and hide the world from them at this point.
And at this point, Tommy was still awake, in his dinosaur pajamas, yet I bribed him with smarties and Sean the Sheep, when it was time to gather around the dining area table, therefore allowing me to concentrate on our guests.
Without a whiff of a murdering stranger lurking in the corner.
First course was beef and halloumi on skewers, delicately placed on wooden board with lemon slices, flat bread, olives, tzatziki and hummus. I had decided on a Greek theme, if you hadn't realised. I am partial to a theme.
Not on the menu were any disturbing screenings of dying people, only good old fashioned food and laughter.
Next course was chicken, marinated in herbs and spices, with garlic potatoes, peppers and onions, accompanied with Greek salad and rice. They were all presented in an array of brightly coloured bowls to please help yourself to.
I realised, one day, that I am often better at presenting the food than cooking it, so I now play to my strength and excuse my weakness. With regards to this dinner party, I had lots of fun planning the overall look, whilst playing it pretty safe with the food, which was devoured during non discussions of weird cults.
Third course was chocolate mousse with strawberries and mints, a Jamie Oliver recipe that I was nervous about but pleased to report succeeded at. Allow me to explain that I trust Jamie completely, just not my methods.
Past experiences remind me that I once used lard instead of butter for apple crumble (it doesn't work), my cheesecake once collapsed and leaked all over the work surfaces, much to my horror and my guests (still not quite sure why), and how could I forget my first attempt at 'easy chocolate mousse' which was more 'easy chocolate water' due to measuring the ingredients incorrectly.
Last but not least, I compiled a cheese board, full of smelly cheese, biscuits, fruit and chutneys.
Without a side helping of poison or a long knife to chase my guests with.
See how fortunate my friends were, that there was an absence of inappropriate behavior and everyone left in one, drunken, piece.
Oh did I say there was no inappropriate behaviour?
I mean apart from the rude word that someone wrote on my chalkboard. I discovered it the next morning, but I blame that on the after dinner cocktails and thank my lucky stars that Tommy can not read.
Waiting for their arrival. Took me ages to light all the candles.
My motivational board, with fairy lights.
Chocolate mousse that was not a disaster.
Big thumbs up to a good night. That's me in the middle, and I think that's my thumb.