Sunday 28 December 2008


Tell me why is it that we buy so much food at Christmas? As we were expecting 18 for lunch on Christmas Day I went into panic mode a couple of days before Christmas and hit the food shops with a vengeance. Consequently I have had to throw away enough food to feed a nation. I suppose that I should have been inventive and done artistic things with leftovers but quite honestly after catering for 18 I was knackered and have thoroughly enjoyed the “down time” OG and I have had since they all left.

Two of my darling grandsons slept over on Christmas Eve and left Boxing Day. It was such a joy to have them in the house again. My grandchildren and great grandchildren are my greatest pleasure.

On the run up to Christmas Vinnie, the chef grandson, had decided to shake himself out of “comfort mode” and duly handed in his notice with a plan to work in the French Alps for the season. Up until Boxing Day he had the plane ticket for 29th December but no job and no accommodation. I was more than a little perturbed, imagining him having to sleep rough in the snow.

On Boxing Day he received a call from a lady whose chef had just broken his ankle and was in need of a replacement chef urgently. She asked him to send a restaurant quality menu plan and this is what he sent,

Menu 1

Amuse Buche of French onion soup with parmesan crisp

Handmade chicken liver ravioli with lemon & thyme butter and pecorino

Whole roast leg of lamb with castelluccio lentils, cavolo nero and salsa verde

Individual chocolate fondant with homemade zabaglione ice cream and peanut brittles

Selection of local cheeses, fruit and homemade chutneys

Fresh coffee and a variety of teas

Menu 2

Seared tuna carpaccio with wasabe and pickled ginger

Risotto of red wine taleggio and parmesan

Braised then roasted pork belly with cod smoked under chillies,
cannellini bean puree and sautéed spinach

Caramelised Lemon tart with crème fraiche and purple figs with honey

Selection of local cheeses, fruit and homemade chutneys

Fresh coffee and a variety of teas

When I saw the menu I was even tempted to ask him to come and work for me! Wow!! I said “don’t you think these menus are a little fancy? I would have offered beef stew followed by rice pudding”. He looked at me, raised one eyebrow and smiled “I don’t think so Nan, take a look at what they offer their guests”.

He got the job! It’s a different world isn’t it? Good luck Vinnie. The world could now be your oyster.

And finally …. ham and eggs.....a day's work for a chicken, a lifetimes commitment for a pig


Maggie May said...

Love your last remark!

18 to Christmas dinner! Phew. Makes the eyes water.
All that waste...... but I suppose it would have been awful to have run out and not have enough!
every year I tell my self that I will cut down & I never do!

Stinking Billy said...

Good Luck, Vinnie, indeed. He deserved that job, I only hope you didn't invite him to 'break a leg' like actors do. ;-)

DogLover said...

What great luck for Vinnie and what a relief for you!

Delighted to hear the good news and tempted to book a plane to Meribel myself!

Happy New Year, to you, R&C, and to the OGre.

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Happy New Year and yes it is a terrible thing to throw away food but it happens especially when you have so many to cater for and you are not an experienced chef who is used to managing such numbers.

Your intentions were good!

Anonymous said...

for once I organised my food and my menus, this was due to a restriction of funds and a whole load of guests
It worked and I have saved so much, may be I should do that for my weekly shop too, but I really do not want to be so bloody boring

Penny Pincher said...

Well done to vinnie - I hope all goes well and he enjoys his time there.
Best wishes to you, and yours, for 2009.

Stinking Billy said...

crazy, your reader sidebar appears to be all to hell. One just can't get decent staff anymore! ;-)

Anonymous said...

I, too, discarded three dozen fried oysters as Mr. Flagmaker thinks we need not be short on food. I'd like to try Vinnie's seared tuna. Good luck to him.

ADDY said...

What a clever son you have. I wish him great success. It may be the big chance he needs to move on to even greater things. Happy New Year and thanks for all your support. said...

I forgot to say that we also had 24for Christmas tea Maggie. When I think back it makes my eyes water too! said...

Don't even go there Billy. said...

Yes Mirabel does sound appealing doesn't it DogLover. Better than the grey weather we are having at the moment. said...

The trouble with catering for so many MOB is that you can never be sure how much they will eat. I always go over the top anyway. said...

Yes VM life's to short to stuff a mushroom (or something like that!) said...

Thanks Ladythinker and the same to you. said...

No-ones ever complained about my side-bar before Billy. You are just to pernickerty (how do you spell that?) said...

Oysters? - yuk! said...

I hope so Rosiero. My mind has gone into overdrive. Will he meet the woman of his dreams? Will he be hired by some rich family and be taken around the world? Will he go down to the med and work on the yacht of some super-rich celeb?
As long as he is happy, who cares?

Unknown said...

Sounds like you needed some down time after feeding that many people. Great -grandchildren? You have great-grandchildren too? Grandkids are great! :) said...

I did eventually get downtime Lisaschaos and it was boring! said...

I did eventually get downtime Lisaschaos and it was boring! said...

I did eventually get downtime Lisaschaos and it was boring!