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So, my hospital bag is packed. I can see it from where I’m sitting with my laptop. It feels like getting ready to go and have a baby: it’s that kind of bag, which I had to pack twice in my life before. Sans baby clothes of course. This is for the inverse of that. I am letting my womb go. At the dinner party on Saturday(a last one for a while I reckon) I said to two female friends that in a way letting go of my womb feels like letting go of space I have kept for my children’s return home. Completely irrational, I know. They are both happily settled with a wife and a girlfriend respectively, and haven’t lived with me for years. And yet it seems, in a way, that I have been waiting for them to return.

I had brunch out with them both today: a rare occasion these days. It was good to mark this last day of my womb with my two children. I sat there looking at the grown up men they have become, feeling really grateful to my body and to life which produced them. We talked about what was going on for them, and I smiled at the reminder that both of them are in the restaurant business. I idly wondered if maybe one day they will open a restaurant of their own. I hope they do. It seems right and fitting somehow that my sons both are making their careers in the food and feeding people industry!

I fed 8 people this past Saturday night. In a previous post, I wrote about my proposed menu. But since one guest does not eat red meat, I changed the main course to Salmon. And since I worked until late afternoon on the day, I changed the pudding to pavlova, having baked the meringues on the Wednesday before. I did not think I could pull off a clafoutis, which is definitely a last minute bake. And I could not find cherries. Blueberries and raspberries and strawberries I could, and the result was a wonderful looking and tasting pavlova.

I kept the  vichyssoise: I made that the previous evening, so it was perfectly cooled  when I dished up. All very eighties: pavlova and vichyssoise. The salmon got a more contemporary treatment: En Papillote. Norwegian Salmon fillets each on a bed of thinly sliced fennel, wrapped in individual parcels of parchment paper, with a dash of white wine.

And I made an old favourite: a white butter sauce to accompany the salmon. Multicoloured carrots, and green beans with toasted almond slivers completed the plate.

A guest took these pics:

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And the last guests left at two in the morning: three bottles of a favourite sparkling wine, a good sauvignon blanc or two, and a perfectly aged Chardonnay(with the pavlova) later!  A very successful dinner party, don’t you think?

I won’t be giving a dinner part soon: I have been warned that I should give myself the full 6 weeks resting time. I wonder though if I will be able to completely stay out of the kitchen for so long. Time will tell. I hope to be back writing here again very soon. When my appetite returns. I may even find something to write about hospital food!

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