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I didn’t have much time to cook for the garden party lil’sis & threw for 50 people & 15 infants last Saturday. The plan was to cook all day on Friday, and have Saturday for organising & unpacking the Tesco home delivery before the guests arrived from 1pm. The plan upended when lil’sis had an accident at Bristol Station and we didn’t get home from hospital until 4am on Friday morning.

In the end I slept & mooched around in the day, & went for super simple food that took a total of five or so hours, spread between  a scant 3hrs cooking on Friday night & a couple of hours on Saturday morning, with chopping help from Miss P on Sat am. Sausages for the grown-ups, chipolatas for the infants, lots of salads and four puddings…

So Friday:  I grilled a large batch of courgettes, made two purees – a roasted aubergine & yogurt one, and a knockout garlic & chickpea one,  roasted & skinned long pointy red peppers, cooked a kilo of couscous ready for pilaf-ing in the morning, & then knocked up a fat Victoria sponge, a pound of paté brisée for fruit tarts, and a strawberry jelly with skinned & chopped white peaches for the infants. I also made two dozen scones but they were crap so I binned them.

On Saturday morning I made my apple cake with cinnamon crumble topping, prepared the ingredients for the couscous,  made tomato salads, a litre of creme patissiere, boiled new potatoes with mint, chopped up fruit for Pimms, and made cruditiés for the dips.

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Victoria sponge with double cream, strawberries & blueberries; tarte aux prunes
Strawberry  jelly with skinned white peaches; apple cake with crumble topping

Best comment of the day about the food after the event (found on Twitter):
“Honestly, all a bit of a gin-induced blur – I know I tried all 4 (puddings), and loved every morsel. Also, I stole the children’s fruit jelly.”

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35 comments

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Your guests seems to be very lucky 😀 and I would say they know it (considering the twittering comment).

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oh I’m lucky to have such great friends!

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All looks fab,love the cut glass jelly bowl!

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It was our grandmother’s…so lovely to be able to use it.

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Looks and sounds fab, LLG .

It’s very, very cheering to find something written by a fashionista who is also serious about food. And having now read your mother’s blog, I realise where you get your culinary talent from

And I really, really wanted a recipe for creme patissiere that was tried & tested for something I want to cook this week, so I’ll try yours. Thanks!

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What a lovely compliment. Fingers crossed the recipe works…x

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I love the comment from Laura the American – made me LOL! LLG, if you can achieve this when things don’t go to plan, what on earth do you do when all is straight forward. Looks amazing!!!

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@ Wannabe Goddess: I sleep!

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And so, dear LLG, what do you do in your spare time? Quite amazing & yum! Hope this lovely and successful effort means you are feeling all well once more.

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Cook!

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I must admit, I’ve never been to a garden party and i was quite wide-eyed about how la-de-da it sounded, especially when the formal invitations went out. I had mental images of Helena Bonham-Carter in period costume. But when I saw this beautiful food laid out, it all made sense. You were having a barbecue!

I’m going to play your “In England…” game. In Australia, we call this a barbecue. We don’t send out formal invites to barbecues. And all barbecues have sausages, bread rolls, salads and dessert. (Except for one I went to lately held by recent British immigrants which just involved copious amounts of charred kangaroo meat!)

You Brits are a funny old lot.

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@Sophie But wldn;t a barbecue imply, you know, a barbecue! These were cooked in the oven!

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