Friday, April 10, 2009

Dinner party timeline

It's about time I started seriously thinking what has to be done for next week's dinner party. Catering for a lot of people in an ordinary kitchen and an ordinary house requires a bit of juggling with cutlery and plates. Many years ago I bought six identical four-place dinner sets ridiculously cheaply (about $100 all up I think), so I can serve everyone in matching plates, but only one course at a time. I need to use dessert plates for some of the Malaysian course and also for the dessert course, so they'll need to be washed in between. I think I'll use saucers for the Japanese course so I don't need to wash the side plates for the Malasian salads. Chopsticks for the Japanese course solves part of the cutlery problem, but I'll have to wash spoons between Malaysian and dessert, and forks between each of the last three courses.

I also have to fit packing for my Australian holiday in the gaps, and I'm playing bridge on Thursday evening!

To do
Saturday 11th April

Make shitake mushrooms.
Rearrange furniture in living room and hall. Vacuum, clean floors, wash big dinner set and cutlery.

Construct shopping list. Check pantry for supplies.
Do grocery shopping.

Make tonkatsu and freeze.
6pm onwards
Make soup part of laksa, and soupy part of vege curry
Soak chickpeas
6pm onwards
Make pepper chicken, butter chicken, lamb kofta. Make chickpea curry, spinach dhal. Cook potatoes for bhaji. Make tapioca dessert. Tonkatsu out of freezer. Ingredients for beef vindaloo into slow cooker. Make oshi-zushi.
Turn slow cooker on. Make black rice dessert and custard. Cut up fresh fruit. Soak white glutinous rice. Cut up veges for laksa, and mild curry. Prep both salads. Set table with plates for Japanese course, small tongs, and chopsticks.

Make sushi rice, egg skins for hamaguri-zushi, and tamagoyaki. Cut oshi-zushi.

Make raita and chutney. Pick and grate wasabi.

Prepare sushi, shred cabbage for tonkatsu, slice mushrooms, arrange on serving platters.

Plate out desserts. Put in laundry, covered. Prep mangoes. Coconut cream and sugar mixed. Glutinous rice into steamer, ready to go. Cook basmati rice.

Laksa soup in pot ready to heat. Prawns etc ready to add. Ditto mild vege curry. Prepare spices for bhaji in wok.

Butter chicken, lamb kofta, and pepper chicken into oven to warm up. Have shower, get dressed. Plates for Malaysian course on bench. Veges in laksa plates.

7pmGuests arrive. Do drinks - delegate to some bloke - Wil or Richard. Or both. Delegate some sober driving person to be on coffee duty later. Show them how.

When everyone is here 7.30?
Heat tonkatsu in panini press. Heat laksa. Put veges in mild curry and start cooking. Slice tonkatsu, arrange on cabbage, sauce it. Japanese course on table. Remember shoyu and wasabi.

All finished eating
Collect crockery and chopsticks. Into dishwasher. Put spoons and forks on table. Prawns in laksa. Noodles. Plate Malaysian salads.

+ 30 mins?
Dish up laksa and mild curry. Put these and salad plates on table. Dhal and chickpea curry on to heat.

when eaten
Collect plates. Into dishwasher second drawer. Empty first drawer. Heat big plates, put them and knives and forks on table. Put raita and chutney on table.

Put glutinous rice on to steam. Nuke basmati to heat. Make pea and potato bhaji. When that's ready and everything else is hot put vindaloo, bhaji, dhal, chickpeas, rice, into serving plates. Take all food into table.

When ready
Remove Indian course debris. Do the rice and coconut milk thing. Plate it with mangoes. All desserts to table - remember spoons, and plates for fruit.

Someone else will now take over for coffee and cake.

Clean up everything and get ready to go to Australia on Monday morning.

Writing it all out like this is very helpful - I'll probably be running back to add bits I forgot every ten minutes though.

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