In the spirit of a milestone birthday party, the big 5th, half a decade, I’ve prepared some virtual food. As they say, get stuck in, please enjoy, bon appetito, smakelijk, velbekomme, kali oreksi, selamat makan, douzo meshiagare etc.
On arrival pub patrons will be offered plates of beautiful homemade canapés (or ‘orsesdoovers). Nibble on small pancakes topped with smoked salmon, sour cream and caviar, melba toast with chicken liver pate, smoked trout and pickled water melon rind or baba ganoush. Gluten free homemade crisp bread is there too – all delicious.
Then there is the cheese board to peruse: French brie, Australian cheddar, Milawa blue and goats cheese and some more, the names of which I can’t spell or remember how to pronounce.
THE COLD BUFFET
With Trotter’s Ale, mystery pink drink, wine or whatever in hand move on to the cold buffet.
Help yourself to slices of double smoked ham right off the whole leg, fresh tiger prawns, Sydney Rock or Coffin Bay oysters freshly shucked, cold roasted chicken drumsticks, rare roasted whole scotch fillet and any of the many enticing salads (potato, coleslaw, mixed lettuce, homegrown tomatoes/cucumber/fetta/olive or tabouleh). For the vegetarians I’ve gone to a lot of trouble and made devilled eggs and a spicy lentil patty with so little meat in it you’ll hardly notice.
THE HOT BUFFET
Then waddle over to the hibachi in the new slightly enclosed verandah for smokers. The coals are ready for cooking. COOK YOUR OWN HOT FOOD. Just select any or all of the prepared meats on a stick. There is my fabulous malay satay (lamb), original beef kebab, chicken satay and more garlic prawns and scallops on sticks. For the vegetarians – sorry there is nothing so you are stuck with baba ganoush, devilled eggs and salad and cake.
There is no dessert. (I only do crepes but I used all the mixture up to make the little pancakes for the canapés.)
But there is a BIRTHDAY CAKE. In keeping with the pub theme this is one laced with brandy and sherry. It’s full of dried fruit, wholemeal wheat, brown sugar, butter, free range eggs, crushed homegrown almonds and another dash or two of brandy and cream sherry.. Yes, it is actually a rich fruit cake. I could have done my carrot sponge cake with strawberries on top but there are no strawberries and the fruit cake is easier to prepare ahead of time and I needed that time to get to the fishmonger for the oysters and seafood which are clearly of greater importance.
So here’s happy birthday to you – to be hummed with gusto and toasted with a glass of sparkling shiraz durif from a vineyard down the road from me (it’s bloody good).
PS: there is an excellent jug or two of percolated real coffee on the table near the cheese. Some drinking cups too if you must. But I’ll probably open another bottle of sparkling somethingorother ..….. hic.