3. Learn to cook a three-course meal, and throw a dinner party to prove it.
It only took eleven and a half months of consideration (and procrastination) but I finally made a three-course meal for my friends.
For the starter, I had thought about making potato skins. Then I remembered that the last time I tried to make these, it took longer than you should probably spend preparing a main course. So I opted for garlic bread. I half-sliced the baguette so that I could apply the mixture of butter, garlic purée and mixed herbs, then put it in the oven for ten minutes.
I put the main course in at the same time: roast chicken, roast potatoes and carrots. Not a full chicken, I should add, and the roast potatoes were already prepared. So essentially I heated the different elements of the main course to produce a nice meal with a lot of help from Mr Marks and Mr Spencer. I even bought ready-made mashed potatoes (who stoops so low?) that I forgot to heat up, so these were shoved in the microwave as we dished up the rest.
My masterpiece was the dessert – a large chocolate brownie.
I got the recipe from the BBC website, only I mixed the dark chocolate with milk chocolate. I really want to try this using a chocolate orange or white chocolate chips, but my first attempt was not the time to experiment! I also didn’t bother adding the chocolate top as I made this while the main was in the oven, so there wasn’t enough time for the brownie to cook, cool and set if I topped it with chocolate too. It wasn’t so gooey that it came apart on the plate, but wasn’t really hard and cakey like you might get in a restaurant if it’s been defrosted. It’s hard to tell from the photo, but it was kind of perfect!
There we have it! The girls said it was all very good. I could have started from scratch with the main course, but you can buy some nice stuff pre-prepared. (Just be careful: I very nearly spent £6 on different kinds of potatoes because I was so tempted by them all.)
I’m not sure I’ll be offering to cook again any time soon, but I’m definitely going to make more brownies. And I can finally check this pesky goal off my list!