A bit of apres, a bit of sleep and back to work.

Stressed.
This menu ain’t planning itself. And it’s not a self-clean kitchen either. Where’s the kitchen porters when you need them.

I’ve pulled everything out the kitchen and put it on the dining room table (two long tables end-to-end to seat eighteen: which is full) degreased and anti-bacteria’d from head to toe (ceiling included) and put everything back, cleaning that too as it went. Long. Long, long, long. But done.

And so to finishing my menu. The brief: breakfast, afternoon tea, canapés, two starters, two mains, two desserts and vegetarian options for each course. On my own. For eighteen. Mmmmmmmmn. Sexy.

Thought I’d try a few things: for instance I’d heard that cake doesn’t rise at altitude. They were right; it certainly doesn’t. That was Thursday mornings little trial. Don’t try The Hummingbird Bakery’s “Chocolate Fudge Cake” the next time you’re up here. But do try it… It’s brilliant (You can cheat by buying your fudge, freezing it, then pulsing it in the blender). There: just saved you two hours of your life – thank me later. A quick phone home to a mate and I’ve got a fail safe ‘Altitude cake’ that uses yoghurt… And rises. Happy days. 

I’d heard sausages weren’t great here either: but ever the doubter and forever the lover of a real Full-English I had to try them myself. €4.60 for 6 chipolatas and sad to say they were right again. A Half-English if is then. Greasy and grisly doesn’t cut the mustard. On that: I did try blending them and adding Dijon, paprika and some dried spices and making some chalet-made Scotch Eggs (Chalet-made: See what I did there!) and although the flavour was good you can’t get rid of grease. Off the menu to be replaced by “Rilettes of Duck served with Yorkshire Puddings and a red onion gravy”. 

This afternoon the final manifest of next weeks guests came through. 5 vegetarians, a nut allergy and one person with a strenuous dislike of Goats cheese (How?!). Thanking to fuck that the nut allergy isn’t a vegetarian and can be in the same room as them (nuts not vegetarians): I’m ‘nut’ sure what else I’d do for Christmas dinner other that Nut Roast: so one less thing to worry about there, at least.

Yesterday… Drum-roll… I went skiing for the first time in two years. The elation of that first run is just insane. Everything, absolutely everything, was well worth it. The snow takes some searching and every other turn beckoned you onto sheet ice – and I ended up the wrong side of the mountain – and my boots were too small so so was in agony: but everything, absolutely everything was well worth it. A bit of apres, a bit of sleep and back to work. 

Pretty much completed the menu for the first few days so spent a few too many hours writing the ingredients list this afternoon.  

So final touches to the menu tonight before I head down to Super-U with my double side of A4 early tomorrow. I think I’ve blown the budget already!!! In fairness it does include: Port, Cointreau, Dark Rum, Brandy, Whiskey and three bottles of Burgundy. All for the food, I promise.

And so as I lie here prodding at the iPad, thinking of the menu that wouldn’t plan itself and the non-self-cleaning kitchen and with two days to go before eighteen guests arrive for the most important week of the year… I just hope I don’t fucking ruin Christmas!!!

Wish me luck.

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