What to cook when a chef comes to tea!

OMG, what to cook when a chef and two people you have never met come to tea. Now I consider myself a relatively accomplished cook and now have a sparkly new kitchen to go with it. However I am careful in the invitation to throw in terms like bung it in the slow cooker and throw together a pudding, so as not to raise expectations too high.

The first course isn’t too traumatic, a recipe from a recent Goodfood magazine that I have tried a few times. Even though I haven’t got all the ingreidients I am confident enough in my abilities to make substitutions.  Pudding however is a different matter.

Work commitments mean that I am really pushed for time and it is too warm to russel up my scrummy microwave steam pudding (always delicious and sooo easy).  I cast my mind back and think of my earliest days of entertaining when we first had a house, and did a fair amount of partying.  Chocolate mousse was one of my signature dishes.  My son returns from the local shop with the bad news that there isn’t any cream, but ever one to be creative I turn to the emergency pack of ready made custard, and thankfully a decent bar of dark chocolate (the only sort I choose to buy). It  all starts fine, as most things with good chocolate do, and even after I have carefully removed the lumps from the dodgy looking gelatine that I found in the back of the cupboard I think we will be alright.  However when I check the taste at the final mixing, I realise that my taste buds have come quite along way since this pudding was the height of my culinary success.  Still the clock is ticking and my to do list is calling  so I press on.

What to serve this distinctly dated pudding in.  The glass dishes we own as well as being pretty 70’s are also sporting chips that won’t let me go retro.  As I pour the too sweet chocolate stuff in too the third glass I realise that our spare glasses that we only bring our for big parties are even more naff than the chipped bowl, but just like those devastated contestants on master chef when they call stop I too have run out of time.  My emergency raspberries that I have defrosted to put on top are now in that rather mushy state, I wonder if putting a basil leaf in the top may almost bring these offerings back on trend, but I resign myself to the fact that no one is perfect and sometimes at our most vulnerable moments we can make the best of friends  – I hope!

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