I’ve always been a planner. If I go on holiday, I like a packing list drawn up a week before at the latest. If I throw a party or have people over I need shopping lists, menus, music playlists, invite lists … it’s a pretty big list of lists. So the challenge for me is not throwing a fabulous party, but making it effortless.
The latest party I’m planning is a sale launch party at our Wapping Wharf shop. It might be business, but much of our heart and soul goes into that: many of our customers are friends and the connections we’ve built over the past few years are really important so I’m looking forward to it as much as a social as a work event.
When you want inspiration on effortless multitasking, look to busy mums.
“Grab some pasta, get a bag of salad, open a bottle – people just care about the company.”
This is my sister’s advice on entertaining and I’m trying to take it to heart. We’ve got several new gourmet food lines in from Nicholas Vahe at the moment so I’ve designed a menu around opening jars and bottles. I can’t say that it’s been completely simple, but the food prep list is considerably shorter than normal.
Below is the first recipe for a simple carrot dip. We’ve designed the menu to be largely plant based for all our Vegan friends – this one, it turns out, is great on toast with some avocado or chickpeas. We’re serving it in filo baskets to make it easy “finger food”, but a crostini would be just as good.
Carrot, Cumin and Coriander Dip
500g organic carrots, peeled and cut into rounds
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
30ml Olive oil
Pinch of salt
Small bunch coriander leaves
Place all the ingredients except the coriander leaf in an oven dish. Mix well and cover with foil. Bake at 180 degrees centigrade for 40 minutes, then uncover, stir, and bake again for a further 40 minutes or until the carrots are starting to soften (they don’t have to be completely soft).
Once cooled, place in a food processor with the coriander leaves and blitz until smooth. Add some extra olive oil, water and salt to adjust the consistency and to taste.