Everything went beautifully with dinner last evening. The food was well-received, although personally the chili I made had lost some of the heat I would have preferred it to have had. But people had seconds and I didn't forget anything in the oven -- as I do more than I'd like to admit.
Soya milk is very tricky to cook with, in my opinion. In future I would use half what is called for in dairy milk and I think ideally, instead of boiling I would add it and leave infusion time -- 24 hours, if possible and then heat it through to boiling point.
But, of course, the best part of the evening was the conversation. The two male guests, who had never met before, were born two days apart, and I had always been struck by how similar their tastes were in music, film and demeanor -- both are very soft-spoken, one is a university professor and the other a man of religion and both are very highly regarded in their professions. I had always wanted to have them meet each other and was not disappointed.
What was very entertaining was hearing about the travelling adventures of Mike and Sue and their two small children in the far reaches of the Brazilian jungle -- fighting off alligators while standing on a bridge of two planks over a raging river while directing Sue in the VW Beetle. But there was more to it than that. In order to get onto the bridge of two planks Sue had to negotiate the gap between the bank and the bridge itself. This entailed her backing up and making a 'Dukes of Hazard' leap over the torrent!! There followed more amazing stories of their travelling adventures whice left me quite stunned -- this mild-mannered husband and wife were real-life adventurers of a high order!
But the nicest part was one of the lovliest most touching compliments I've ever received. Mike was talking about his most memorable and pleasurable memories and one of those was the millennium celebration, which we shared with them and two other couples. The evening started with drinks and hors d'oeuvres at their house and then we all went next door for the rest of the festivities -- simple plans, but a very very happy occasion. And Mike said that that evening he was with the friends that were the most important to him and it was one of his top ten great memories. Now, how nice is that?
We used lots and lots of dishes and glasses. Things began with a bottle of pink champagne, then drinks, wine, water -- lots glasses, soup bowls and plates, bread plates, dinner plates, dessert fruit dishes and plates and appropriate silverware and serving dishes. The Man has to wash. I hope he wishes we had a dishwasher. It would have saved him a lot of trouble. Silly Man. Next time maybe I'll be able to find more dishes to use. Maybe a fish course -- and we have fish forks and knives -- I'll use those, too ... Silly Old Man ...