Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Baptism of Fire
So I had my first party where I didn't know any of the guests. Twenty (20!) regulars from the excellent London SE1 community website were gathering in hostess Jacqui’s basement kitchen diner in Bermondsey for my first proper party. So far, so nerve-wracking. Then a couple of hours before the party, I had a call from the Managing Director of Tupperware UK to tell me that one of the world’s top Tupperware distributors was in London, and could she come to my party? I gulped. Then I thought about dragging that big black Tupperware trolley bag on and off the 21 bus. I agreed the distributor could come -- if she could pick me up and drive me to the party.
My guest Riita is a charming and charismatic woman from Finland, very senior in Tupperware. She gave me a pep-talk on the drive over to Jacqui’s. Unfortunately, the 7pm traffic was terrible, and Riita had never driven in Central London, and her sat nav thought we were going to a street with the same name in some far-flung part of London. I was wild-eyed and a bit shrill with stage fright, and before I even noticed we were flying across London Bridge in the wrong direction. We got there, but we were half an hour late. And Riita got busted for the Congestion Charge. And, as if my stress levels were not high enough, hostess Jacqui turned out to be a food writer and food stylist. But at least she didn’t tell me that until the end, which was sweet of her.
It was a rambunctious and fun party. Jacqui had prepared some ravishing food, but I got through the evening on adrenalin, water and one chocolate- coated cherry. At this rate I will definitely lose this pesky extra stone before my trip to Mauritius in July.
Jacqui had asked for a conventional cooking demo, so I adapted a lemon drizzle cake recipe for the Silicone Flower Form. The splash-guard on the big Bake 2 Basics bowl was handy, with Jacqui’s two young sons cracking eggs and taking turns with the electric mixer. The Citrus Wonder also slots into the splash guard for stabilized zesting straight into the mixture, so less washing up for me to do.
I knew from my last party that the silicone cake “tin” worked like a dream in the microwave, and I am glad to report there were also oohs of wonder when after 45 minutes in the conventional oven, the cake flopped out perfectly again. We drizzled it with a lemon juice and sugar mix which we allowed to ooze through the cake and form a crunchy topping.
Sales were buoyant, the guests were fun and interesting, and for hosting, Jacqui came out with rewards of £65 to spend on Tupperware, and three items of her choice at half-price.
I walked home, trolley bag in tow. 15 minutes.
Next is Julie’s birthday party on Thursday. Three of the guests were at my first try-out party, so for variety I will be putting aside my normal plain black bistro apron, and piloting my new camouflage patterned one (left).