It's been months and months since we last entertained in our home. I adore inviting friends over to cook a warm hearted meal for them. Once we started packing up our Bainbridge Island house we realized that our house was not fit for guests. It was barely inhabitable for us let alone inviting friends over for a meal.
Tonight we invited new friends into our home and shared the English tradition of a Sunday Roast. Since this was our first meal with our new friends we went with our staple let's-hope-to-impress-our-friends meal. Fingers crossed that it worked.
I've relaxed a lot with my entertaining ever since I first started reading the Reluctant Entertainer. I'm so embarrassed to admit that used to be rather uptight about even allowing anyone into our home. It was never clean enough, nice enough, decorated enough and so on. Although I'll still admit that I felt a bit uneasy tonight when I realized that I didn't have 8 matching forks, plates or cups. And I have no idea where the wine glasses went. Maybe in a box in the garage? Instead we drank out of some 80's smoky gray goblets, which the guests said that they had no problem with. The more wine the merrier? Overall we felt that Dave & I could pull the meal off even when our table wasn't going to be something out of a magazine.
And should I mention our 1960's oven? It is as lovely as anything with the glass doors and teak handles. It's right out of a time-capsule house. I raved and raved about it when we first moved in. But then I cooked in it and my raving switched gears to muttered complaints. It doesn't seem to keep in the heat which as you can imagine is sort of important when it comes to an oven. My brownie cupcakes took 40 minutes to cook instead of the suggested 22 minutes. Our roast chicken never obtained it's normal crunchy skin that we all usually all have to fight for. It took hours to cook them and there was no fighting for skin.
Even with the mismatched dishes and the slow cooking food we could have had our meal off of paper plates and still had a delightful time this evening.
A little part of me was excited to spend time around our relatively new table, one that didn't need a table cloth to hide it because it was so badly stained and unattractive to the eye. Hiding the tile might be considered criminal among some thrifters.
We kind of went the easy route with the English Roast since our two vintage ovens are tiny and don't really work. We roasted 2 organic chickens, a mix of roasted potatoes, parsnips, onions & carrots and we finished off the meal with some buttered leaks. I also went simple with some gluten free brownies for desert.
My favorite kind of meal really isn't about the food but it's the kind where you can barely get a word in amongst all the laughter. The wine poured freely and with that came funny story after funny story. Cerys was a little annoying as she went into the showoff mode though. Why does that happen? Other than that it was practically perfect.
When we raised our glasses at the beginning of the meal we all gave thanks to new friends. As someone who spent months of the year (aka the winter) with a saddened heart up in the north of the country, I just can't express enough how happy this move has made me. Friends of course make it even nicer. I swear there is something magical in that sunlight. Or maybe it's something to do with being close to where I was born. Has anyone come home (or near home) after many years only to feel like they are in the right place in the world? That it feels good in their soul?
To end this Sunday post on a thrifted note, every single last item on the table (including the beeswax candles) was thrifted. The plates, cups, goblets, pottery serving dishes, cloth napkins, plates, groovy wine barrel candle holder and even the table was second hand. Even living on a frugal budget, you can still surround your life with beautiful things.