I’m Harriet Addison, I work as the Assistant Editor of Times Weekend (working on food, travel, health, fitness, celebrity interviews, lifestyle). I grew up pot-washing in my parents restaurant in The Lake District, and later at their wedding venue where I did canapes, starters, mains, puddings and the odd wedding cake.
I’ve found that I’m asked more for dinner party recipes than anything else, and even though I’ve hosted hundreds over the years, I still often draw a blank. My criteria for a dinner party are:
1. Cheap. Not budget meals per se, but that means not too much meat, and not too many ingredients
2. Easy-buy ingredients. I don’t have time to go and hunt out myrtle berries, nor the inclination to try. They have to be able to be bought on the way home from work.
3. Not fussy. I want to be with my guests, and I’d rather sacrifice the menu a little bit so that I can be getting them drinks, drinking myself, and generally having a lovely time. It’s my party too, and I’ll feel sad in the kitchen on my own.
4. Preparation can be done in advance. All and any of it. Either in the morning before work (I don’t start till 10), or after work (and potentially even after-pub).
5. As little washing up to be done on the night as possible. If I can get it all done before the guests arrive, and show off some imaginary domestic bliss perfect house no stress world, then much the better.
Send me an email if you want me to try any recipes: firstname.lastname@example.org