a dinner party in my space

One of the interesting developments of having my own place, rather than living in other people’s spaces, is that I feel like I own it. I actually like staying in my place; my place still feels a little like a hotel but it is developing its own character. An odd side effect and I don’t know if it’s related, is that my desire for travel doesn’t seem to be as strong at the moment. It’s as if, staying in my place is a sort of destination of its own for me. I’m heading off to Mexico in July for work and I just can’t seem to get in the mood for it – consequently I’m only attaching a week’s holiday instead of longer. Oddish.

All my life, whether it was living with mum, or living with dad, or living with friends, living with partner, or living in the house I shared with dad (after he died), I’ve lived in the space of others. All my life has been spent going out rather than staying in: I visit others, I dine with others, I hang out with others; I inhabit spaces that are not my own. I rarely invite people back to my place, or if I do, it’s a space to meet before heading out to other spaces.

Last Saturday night I hosted a dinner party at my place. I suspect it was my first. The initial plan had been to show off my place to old friends and then head into Newtown for dinner. However the weather was looking cold and wet. Plus I’d been practicing a new dish after someone told me how to make thai green curry. It was really simple and I’d cooked it several times, changing bits each time. So I figured, buggrit, let’s stay in. And we did. I bought some nice cheeses and a friend made a pavlova. Though I had to quadruple the recipe, a wrinkle was that having practiced cooking for one, suddenly I had to cook for four.

Amusingly, I accidentally bought chives instead of coriander. There was no label in that section of the grocer’s and I guessed wrong :-) My curry included chicken (on my first attempt I used lamb which also worked fine), various veges I chopped up, coconut cream and water, thai green curry paste and a little chilli paste (not too much due to the palates of the guests alas). All in a pot and simmer for 20 minutes. Plus rice.

It all went swimmingly. I felt relaxed not nervous and they were old, and forgiving, friends. I even had leftovers to stick in the freezer. Definitely have the confidence to keep going. And I liked entertaining people in my space, rather than being the source of entertainment :-)

Tonight I plan to do a stewy soup as filmfest gets underway tomorrow. I’m going to cook enough for 4-5 meals, have one tonight and consume the rest over the coming days…in the gap between work and movie. I’ve bought a few tins of tomato soup, some diced lamb, a bunch of veges including carrot and onions and potatoes and zucchini and something I haven’t identified yet. All will go into the pot and I shall keep my fingers crossed that something tasty emerges.

7 thoughts on “a dinner party in my space”

  1. I like to entertain and feed other people. My house isn’t really suitable for entertaining though – the design and also the fact we aren’t very tidy people ;P But like you say, when it’s your space you do tend to stay in it.

  2. I can assure you I’m not very tidy either…and I live alone :-) With that said, the open plan means it is a good entertaining space.

  3. I live not too far away from you in Camperdown and I think not dining in much is a function of the area and easy access to Newtown. My skills just don’t compete with what is on offer!

  4. Your post struck a real chord with me Snail, but for a slightly different reason. I’ve lived on my own for awhile, but in my last flat it was small, dark and I just didn’t have a lot of friends over. It seemed crowded with 2 people and I think I thought of it as “my private space” more. Now I’m in a new unit with fabulous views and open space and windows everywhere I am having lots of people over. I really enjoy it and feel more relaxed about preparing stuff. Also not booking holidays this year, just trying to get days off work here and there to stay home in my garden!

  5. hi snail ~ food is more than staving off hunger, it’s social and inclusive when shared with friends & family mmm..you’ve inspired me to attempt a green curry

  6. The stew went very well, though I was concerned that I’d added too much garlic, it ended up being just about right. With that said, it would have been to much if I’d been cooking for one. As it was, I had enough for dinner tonight + 4 more meals + a spicy tomato soup.

    @malbooth – I hear ya though I’ve been living here for around a decade now and hanging out for a decade prior. With my move, King St is a 15-20min walk instead of 4 minutes.

    @restructuregirl – the size and openness of the space makes a big difference in how you perceive its utility. My home is full of open. It is a welcome space.

    @apubliclibrarian – loving the 20 minute stew! Throw anything, bring to boil and simmer. Tastes good every time. So far :-)

  7. I love having people over for dinner and would do it more often if anything. I think I just like sitting around a table :-) sharing and talking
    My three pieces of advice (from experience) – 1) don’t have too much to drink before anyone arrives 2) try not to make anything that needs lots of attention when everyone is there- curries are great- you can cook ahead and let them simmer and then voila! 3) a bunch of flowers just makes a room look … nice! Kate

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