I cooked supper for the first time for a group of girlfriends on Wednesday. I love doing a proper table, as I have endless cupboards of vintage glass and china, mostly inherited from my family, as well as lovely linen given to me by my mother, and the fabulous silver plated cutlery I recently bought on eBay.

In a moment of self-indulgent efficiency, I sent out invitations on Paperless Post, opting for an autumnal theme.

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I made a cannellini bean puree with garlic and a lot of olive oil, and served it with white & blue corn chips to nibble on whilst the girls arrived. Drink was Champagne both before and during supper. We also drank a rose: Chateau Leoube 2010.

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I made soup, basically because I wanted to use my step-grandmother’s Mason Ironstone soup bowls, with their matching saucers. (They also have little matching lids.) In keeping with my autumnal theme, I made butternut squash soup.


The main course was a mushroom ragout, (using chestnuts, white, porcini, shitake & oysters) which was supposed to be layered with wilted spinach and pasta leaves, and a mushroom sauce. But I completely ballsed it up by forgetting to make the sauce, and fucking up the pasta, which all stuck together. It didn’t taste bad, but essentially it was a plate of yummy buttery garlic mushrooms…so, no photos.

Pudding was a hot apple & currant compote, sweetened with Muscovado sugar, and given a lift with lemon zest, served in little glass engraved bowls my sister gave me. (And a massive plop of extra thick double cream.)


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I laughed out loud at ‘I completely ballsed it up by forgetting to make the sauce, and fucked up the pasta’. That sort of thing always seems to happen to me too…nothing to do with the champagne, of course.

Great pictures!

Helena xx


@Helena: oh nothing at all! I was also v excited to see my girlfriends…birdbrain! LLGxx


Yum. You can’t beat a home-cooked meal, and in my opinion a slightly fucked up one is even better: nobody goes home with inferiority complexes and you might actually be asked to somebody’s house for dinner yourself one day.

(I never get asked to dinner parties these days and I fear it’s because I set too high a standard at my own…? It didn’t happen like that in NYC, where people tend to be more ambitious and fearless (and also like to show off), but since I moved to the Mid-West nobody wants to feed me. It’s really weird.)


Now that I think of it though, I think it’s because in NYC (and London for that matter) people relish the opportunity to eat at home because so much eating is done out, whereas in a smaller city (such as the one I live in) it’s more customary to go some place for dinner than to invite people to your home, where you eat most of the time anyway.

(Yeah, I’m probably not as awesome a cook as I think I am.)


@annemarie: Yup, perfection is seriously over-rated IMHO. LLGxx


Gosh, this looks so beautiful. I would absolutely love to throw such party for my girlfriends. Thank you for an inspiration, Sasha! x


This post made me smile so much. I read it in awe of your wonderful table set-up, delightful crockery, and what sounds like a fantastic starter….and then the main course! Brilliant. I bet you all had a fab time.


I am hosting a dinner party this weds, making soup too for starters, hope it turns out as well as yours looks mmmmmmmm


@Lola: I do think soup is absolutely the simplest thing to cook for parties – esp cos you can make it the night before, and it usually tastes better for letting the flavours develop. LLGxx


such beautiful crystal and china. must have been utterly enjoyable. wish i could be there (says she, inviting herself). x s


I love cooking for family and friends at home and whilst I often moan that we don’t get return invites very often, my husband is kind enough to suggest that my cooking is so good as to intimidate others efforts!
Well, flattering though that might be, if anyone’s cooking for me, when i don’t have to do anything except be a happy guest is never a problem and always a treat!
I really love your glass wear BTW i would be scared to use it in my house everyone has the clumsy gene.
We had an autumnal curry night recently started with samosas etc and had massive dry vegetable curry and green thai chicken curry with plain rice, followed by a choice of lemon sorbet or coconut ice cream. All delish none of it perfectly presented but all eaten with happy greed lol Jx

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