13th August 2013
Lynsey had the idea that we should have a goodbye meal before I leave the flat. I'd had the party, but that is recollected with the utmost clarity by all involved. Also, who doesn't love a dinner party?
I decided to make chilli, one because I love eating it, and two because I love making it. I'll give a slight rundown of ingredients, but I can't be sure of quantities because I just chuck them in, and they change depending on what I can find.
First thing I do is cook some chorizo until all the lovely fat has oozed out. Then I can cook the onions in that. Usually I'd add garlic here too, but I had mistakenly bought chopped tomatoes that already had garlic in it, so I had that to use.
In goes the mince to brown. The whole thing wasn't ideal, I was cooking for 8 people and with a hob where only two plates work. After the mince is browned the chopped tomatoes are added, along with a squeeze or so of tomato paste, then kidney beans.
Here is where my adding things here and there really comes into its own. First of all comes the chilli powder, usually a lot cause I like spicy, I tend to keep adding it as I never think I've got enough, then a whole load of cumin because it absolutely makes chilli for me. Along with some sugar, probably about 2 teaspoons, and a few chunks of dark chocolate. Worcester sauce makes an appearance, and then what is possibly one of my favourite favourite things ever, Viandox. Sorry for the French link for non French speakers, but there isn't much in the UK about it. It's a kind of concentrated beef stock or consommé, my mum has been using it for as long as I can remember in beefy, meaty dishes, and I absolutely adore it. You can't seem to buy it here in England, so on my last trip over to Nich's I picked up two bottles, to make sure I'd be set for awhile. I add a good few glugs of Viandox. Mmmm.
I'd started fairly early to let it cook itself into something delicious by the time people were there to eat. I had also bought some tortilla chips, ideally to go with the meal, but they were long gone by the time the food came out.
Here is one of the culprits.
The food was rather lovely, if I do say so myself.
Naomi got me a card I am instructed to carry around with me at all times in Canada, and some cake. LOOK AT THE CAKE!
Lynsey's job had been to buy pudding, and a caterpillar cake was perfect, though I fear we were all slightly too full to truly appreciate its majesty.
I had a completely brilliant night, and felt very sad that it had taken nearly 3 years for us to have a dinner party, and for it to be two days before I left London.
I have wonderful friends, thank you all so much for taking such good care of me over the past three years, over its many ups and downs. I'm going to miss you all so immensely that I'm just going to have to pretend it's not happening, because it's the only way I can cope.