Nigella Lawson's entertaining essentials
Nigella's favourite entertaining essentials
1 An arrangement of these lovely nigella flowers -- of course! -- is the author's go-to for the table.
2 It's DIY at Nigella's house; she doesn't lay the table but drops cutlery into an old tomato tin and lets guests help themselves.
3 Cocktails anyone? Nigella loves to serve fizzy wine and lime juice in a pitcher.
4 Still or sparkling? Nigella likes her water on the quiet side, but offers both kinds to guests.
1 Do you remember a time when a dinner party or a recipe went awry?
NL Many times! Yes, I've put a chicken in the oven and then found my oven was broken and, in fact, I had raw chicken and had to make a quick big thing of spaghetti.
I've also had exploding ovens and burnt entrées. And the worst thing, which is when people walk in and they say they don't eat meat, and I've just made meat. I think you should just call in for a pizza instead of crying at the table because everything's gone wrong. I mean, generally speaking, I think that most errors in the kitchen can be righted. The thing is not to let yourself get flustered, because then your guests get flustered.
2 What about favourite serving pieces?
NL I've got some glasses that my grandparents bought on their honeymoon in Venice. I don't have a full set anymore, but I've got enough to do a dessert in them. I like to mix and match - I don't want the table to look themed, so I don't overwhelm it with one thing. I have some pieces from Mud Australia. They're very beautiful - I made the mistake of going into the shop in Melbourne and it was the most expensive mistake of my life! Then, of course, I'm an eBay addict, so I often get really nice little pieces online.
For cooking, I'm very, very fond of my Le Creuset shallow casserole. I can make a risotto in it, even though you probably wouldn't in Italy. Or I can fry chicken in it or do a baked pasta - I tend to use it for lots of things.
3 Can you cook in heels?
NL Yes I can, but I don't generally. In fact when I have people for supper I'm generally in a long dress and barefoot, because I want to feel comfortable. Plus, I hate the sound! I've got wooden floors and I get fed up with the noise I'm making when I wear heels. If I was to wear heels it would look like I was dressing up, and then my guests would wonder if they're under-dressed, and that's never a good feeling. So if I'm in a long casual dress my guests don't feel over-dressed, and people who are just wearing jeans don't feel under-dressed.
However, if I've gone out and I haven't eaten enough - and I'm really bad sometimes - I'll get back and make myself a bacon sandwich while in my high heels. And all I will say is how I don't burn things down, I don't know.