No matter where me and my husband have been living, from the middle of the city to the outer suburbs, we simply adore inviting guests around to join us for a meal. Our greatest pleasure is spending an evening socialising and unwinding. This, for us, usually involves nattering to our guests, sharing some delicious drinks from vintage wines to rare gins and whiskeys, alongside devouring delightful home-made suppers.
To make sure we please ourselves alongside our visitors, we have developed a habit of catching up with each other pre visitors to make a range of decisions prior to hosting. Our key priorities to focus on are most frequently the types of meals we wish to serve and the drinks we desire to serve alongside them. I always want to create the greatest experiences for our guests as well as ourselves!
Since starting out inviting guests, our main priority has become dedicating ourselves to making our own meals over time. Before we even begin to make decisions as to which meals we desire to create, we primarily focus on deciding the number of courses we desire. Our usual priority is two courses: a starter and a main course. We wish not only to to eat and serve delicious food; we also yearn to ensure that we have as great an amount of time as possible to socialise with our guests.
Prioritising the starter
As I have always said to my partner, prioritising the starter will ensure a delicious, delightful and delectable start to the food we serve. Since trialling a wide range we have now, from our experiences, prioritised creating three starters that seem to be incredibly appealing to a wide range of quests (and usually avoid upset!).
Where possible we begin by creating our own bread. As this is clearly a time-consuming task however we often end up using pre-created bread. Our main choices are ciabatta (of various varieties) to sour dough loaves. We have also learnt to prioritise vine tomatoes, fresh basil and organic extra virgin olive oil. All I can say is there are many recipes and creation guides out there. Everyone’s desires vary so I would encourage you to put a variety to the test before deciding which your most desirable options are. Since we’ve followed a huge range of guides over time, we’ve now created our own take which we always love.
Breads, oils and meats
We have found this the simplest starter we have ever created, appealing to every guest we have invited to join us thus far. Just like bruschetta, where possible we create our own bread and serve it alongside a range of freshly created breads from our local bakery. Our key priority is creating our own flavoured oils to dip the beautiful breads into. We now traditionally begin by using extra virgin olive oil as our starting point [there are several ranges that are delicious] then add various ingredients from ground pepper to chilli and various other fresh herbs including basil. Finally, we add a range of cured meats from scrumptious Prosciutto and Parma ham to delicious sausage meats such as Salchichon.
The final delightful and simple starter choice is home created soup. We have made this in many ways over the years, however since discovering soup makers, soup has become an increasingly common starter when guests are joining us. The simplicity created by using the electronic machine like the ones at SoupMakerZone.com has meant we have extra time to focus on our main course. I can’t even express how impressed I am. However, the key here is the type of soup that we serve. If it wasn’t already obvious, our main serving is home-made soup, not shop bought. There are many recipe books out there meaning there is an enormous number of options available. Our priority is to base the type we create around the preferences of well-known guests and focusing on simple recipes for guests we have previously not hosted. My personal favourites include tomato and basil, sweet potato and chorizo and carrot and coriander. All I can say is how delicious and desirable!