Saturday night with several relative strangers

Tonight we hosted a barbecue for Elliot's soccer team. P was the manager so he felt it was up to him to have a break-up party. It started at 3pm and finished around 9.30pm or so. It went fairly well actually - though eight 6-7 years old and a couple of younger siblings trashing my house can be stressful at times. Nevertheless it was all good happy children noise not much bickering and only a few minor injuries - a cricket bat in the nose and one Mum falling over the makeshift fence we erected to keep the dog around the back.

Once again - P and I organised people to bring dessert, nibbles and salad and we did the terriyaki chicken, some eye fillet steak with a Maitre d hotel butter and sausages ostensibly for the children. The butter we make is a variation on the recipes I found on the net. I think ours is much better and goes perfectly with steak. The ingredients and the recipe are as follows:

half cup chopped parsley
1 spanish onion finely chopped
1 clove garlic finely chopped
2 tsp curry powder
15g drained capers finely chopped
50 ml worcestershire sauce
50ml lemon juice
2 tsp chopped basil
2 tsp chopped thyme
2 tsp ground ginger
5 egg yolks
1 tbsp rich beef stock
500g soft unsalted butter chopped
To make, simply combine all ingredients in food processor, season to taste and process until well combined. Shape into sausage shape in greaseproof paper, and refrigerate.

We are happy to supply the meat side of things and get the best we can because I would never serve my guests something I wouldn't be happy to eat myself. I also dislike it if everyone has to bring their own meat and then having to work out which steak is which- it makes it easier if we all have the same. I also think it more than makes up for the fact that I don't have to prepare much at all and my day is really quite stress free just getting every nook and cranny of the house nice and clean organising glassware, tables, flowers and ourselves.

Usually we have always invited people we know quite well and tonight it was different because the couples we were inviting were only connected to us by 1-2 hours for the last 12 Saturdays and the occassional "hello" at school. It turned out they were all quite entertaining people especially after a few drinks.

Not being able to drink as much (being a good host) I noticed that the parents were quite enjoying the opportunity to sit on the deck and have a drink while I alone at times tried to keep a modicum of decorum with the kids playing and arguing over the foos ball table, X-Box or just running around when they weren't in the back yard. Though I didn't mind - our place is pretty good for kids they don't need much attention from the parents and you can actually relax without being harangued by bored children.

After dinner it was time for some "truths" and one couple were telling everyone how they met and typically whenever the wife would try to tell the romantic version of their relationship the husband would tell the story from a more base perspective - all in good fun though. This meant we ended up all having to tell the table how we met. Which I thought quite a coincidence given I was going to write something about it anyway.

I think I will have to write about that tomorrow night though - after everyone left apart from cleaning and washing up I decided to vaccuum and wash the floors (Enjo mops are fantastic if you want to do the floors quickly !) and now write and its past midnight already.

Suffice to say I met some people I hope we will be able to socialise with again. P and I enjoyed the post event roundup discussing the various couples and the social perspective as opposed to the Saturday morning soccer mum and dad view and it was quite favourable. Quite a few people mentioned that we catch up socially again as one couple are going to Melbourne for a year so it would be an opportunity to farewell them and maybe this time without the kids because it really was getting even more interesting finding out about each other when the smaller children started to crack up given the later hour.

To tell you the truth I sometimes wonder why we feel we do need more social friends I feel we have enough already on top of the family events - we are hosting P's grandmothers 90th next month plus Elliot's birthday, we have Gabriella's small birthday morning tea this month (thats 15 adults and 15 children as small as we could possibly make it) and two couples (and 5 kids between them) who are good friends coming over early November to play bowls and then barbecue (we live strolling distance from a bowls club so we sometimes combine them both). And a host of other promises we have made lately to various friends and family we haven't seen for some time to have them over too. Why do we do it? In the end it has to be because we love being the best hosts we can I suppose and seeing people enjoy themselves.


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