Prunella teaches you how to cook like a toff!
It’s not bit of good you groaning like that – little Parasol (or whatever outlandish moniker you have decided to burden the fruit of your loins with) will have been invited to, and attended, parties for every other little monster in their group at school. Ergo, when the anniversary of their own birth comes along it is incumbent on you to do the decent thing.
I have suffered through several of these occasions, before Rodney Junior and Caroline reached the age where they would sooner have their eyeballs plucked out than have a party anywhere near their aged parents, and I am feeling magnanimous enough to share what I have learned.
First. The invitations. It is neither cute nor funny to write the things yourself – most particularly if you elect to do pretend child writing. No. Get your local speedy print, or the geeky nephew of your daily woman, to make them and then all you need to do is pen the name of a child on the envelope.
Next. The entertainment. A conjurer no longer answers the trick (even if you can find one without a police record). No. A discotheque is the thing. For preference in one of the outbuildings and with a sensible mummy tasked to keep and eye on the deejay.
The Food. Ask yourself what children actually eat and prepare accordingly. Do. Not. Be. Fooled. By. Any. Popular. Cookery. Expert. Children really won’t eat couscous, raw vegetables with dips, hummus, homity pie, cupcakes (they eat the icing and attempt to murder each other with the rest), jelly, or any trendy little number whose texture resembles cold porridge. What they will eat is chips (fries if you are of colonial descent), burgers, sausages, chicken dippers, crisps (chips to colonials), chocolate buttons and ice cream. Therefore the plan goes as follows. The day before, assemble the actual burgers. They should be small, flattish and consist solely of minced steak (with a little breadcrumb and egg to bind). Place same in the refrigerator overnight. If you are lucky enough to be in possession of a large enough refrigerator, the burgers can be placed on lightly greased oven trays before refrigeration – thereby making it the work of but a moment to shove them in a hot oven. Purchase sufficient small bread buns in which to shove said burgers when cooked. The addition of a slice of revolting processed cheese will serve to convince the bloody little heathens they are eating ‘proper’ burgers and not pale home-made imitations.
On the day, place packets of crisps and ‘fun sized’ packs of chocolate buttons on a table and let the little darlings help themselves.
At the appropriate time shove the burgers in the oven alongside trays of ‘American fries’ (very thin chips) serve in cardboard boxes with paper napkins.
On No Account let the brats have salt, vinegar or ketchup. It is not worth the tantrums.
When the main course has been eaten/stamped into the floor/thrown up save the day with ice cream cones. Don’t be cozened into buying the expensive stuff from the local artisan place, or offering choice of flavour. You want soft scoop vanilla.
On the other hand you could make the Hon. Rodney put his big fat fingers in his wallet. (He was there at the conception (probably) and has had little to do with the brats since.) Take the tribe to the cinema where they can sit through whatever Disney has on offer, and then troop them all across the road to the golden arches where they can stamp their food into somebody else’s floor.
Note: this also has the advantage of you not having to provide gin and canapés for their dreadful mothers.
Look out for more tips on how to cook like a toff next week!