I had these disjointed, messy dreams last night and snippets of them keep coming back to me. My former boss with some new madcap schemes. A country road and a coastal path. Being stalked by some girl who wanted to collaborate with me, and getting off in an office with some other girl. Getting a message from a boy I kissed last summer and never contacted again; he told me he still liked me. I think I woke up feeling oddly guilty, and finding it hard to distinguish these memories from reality.
Prior to Saturday, the largest number of people I had ever cooked for was probably about six. On Saturday night I decided to host a dinner party, given that I have a whole lot of space in this flat and have pretty much settled in now. Since I invited people with only a few days’ notice, I figured lots of them would be unavailable. Instead, half the New Zealand expat community descended upon my flat, along with a handful of other nationals and a token German, and the grand total of guests was seventeen. Preparing for the event was somewhat nervewracking, but I was fortunate that the Berlin Welcoming Committee and my Belfast guest were around to help.
I’d have taken pictures but I was too busy and distracted. But I know you care, internet, so here’s the specifics. Dinner consisted of:
- Khobz with za’atar.
- Salad of rocket, tomatoes and pine nuts, with parmesan shavings also available for the non-vegans.
- Tortilla: so simple, and yet, so beautiful! I made several of them, so now I can officially cook it. I felt like a goddamned culinary genius for this one.
- Leek, mushroom & lemon risotto, with added pine nuts. I regularly cook this, but making such an enormous quantity of it was daunting. I was relieved that an Italian arrived early and offered to take over risotto duties while I dealt with other stuff.
- Vegan brownies, baked by a kind guest and served with strawberries and Black Forest gateau-flavoured ice cream.
I spent a while being awkward and nervous – many of the guests were people I’d only met once or twice, though it was hard to figure out what, if anything, I needed to actually worry about. It all turned out good, though, and the last guests left some time after 3am. Although there was drunkenness, it was way more civilised than the trainwreckery which was so characteristic of my life in Edinburgh. It’s like a whole new era! I had fun. I like talking to nice people. And I like not being a train wreck. Although, hosting visitors from Ireland and Scotland does, I’ve already discovered, tend to pose a threat to this new wholesome trend.