Dinner Gathering With Friends


Our next door neighbour friends came over for dinner today.  Since we moved to England, I haven’t invited people for a meal very often so even a very simple dinner makes me feel nervous now.


Our next door neighbours are a little older than us and don’t eat a lot and they also cannot digest dairy very well. When we were invited to a meal at their house they served just the main course without a starter or a dessert (other than fruits) and when we go to a restaurant with them they seldom order any starter or dessert either, so we served just the main today (and fruits as a dessert).


I have the impression that they mostly eat traditional English meals, so I chose to make Beef Casserole, which I thought that most people like and something which I feel confident with as it’s simple to cook.  I chose this recipe of a Japanese lady (Beef Goulash) and added some carrots.  Side dishes were new potatoes and green beans.  Our friends cannot digest wheat well so we couldn’t have served bread, so I also cooked carrot pilau rice.





I cooked the casserole for 2 and a half hours yesterday, then an additional hour today, but maybe I should have simmered 30 more minutes.  I’m always worried about over-cooking this sort of thing, because once overcooked it’s not as nice, and so I stop just a little before the ideal tenderness.  The one piece I tasted during final cooking was good, so I stopped.  Still, it was very tasty and tender enough.





I forgot to take a photo but we served strawberries, raspberries and grapefruit in honey for a dessert.



After the dinner, we moved to the living room and continued chatting over a drink or two.  From this weekend, they are going to be on a cruise for 3 weeks.  Apparently they used to go on a cruise quite often before the pandemic but this is their first time to cruise since.  Hope they’ll have a wonderful time.



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