Instead of Easter chocolate this year (because we get enough of that anyway) Rob got a nice bottle of Lemon Olive Oil and I got my first copy of the magazine Kinfolk. It is beautiful. Really it is a book, not a magazine, with lovely thick paper, gorgeous photos and essays. No advertisements, not even recipes, just well thought out words.
I can't describe it any more eloquently than their manifesto:
Kinfolk is a growing community of artists with a shared interest in small gatherings. We recognize that there is something about a table shared by friends, not just a wedding or once-a-year holiday extravaganza, that anchors our relationships and energizes us. We have come together to create Kinfolk as our collaborative way of advocating the natural approach to entertaining that we love. Every element of Kinfolk—the features, photography, and general aesthetics—are consistent with the way we feel entertaining should be: simple, uncomplicated, and less contrived. Kinfolk is the marriage of our appreciation for art and design and our love for spending time with family and friends.
Inspired by this lovely magazine, and by reading Stephanie Alexander's biography recently as well, we invited six of our friends over for Sunday lunch. Rob and I discussed the menu over the following three days, and changed it a few times but ended up with:
Oysters with Champagne
French onion soup with parmesan croutons
Roast rib of beef with potato gratin, stuffed tomatoes and a green salad.
Quince and pear Tarte Tatin
I admit that Rob did the cooking this time, whilst I cleaned the hut (no mean feat with two wet puppies coming in and out all morning), and set the table.
We got it all together just in time for our friends arrival. After a garden inspection we retreated indoors to enjoy our Autumnal menu and each others company until dark!
Pink Chrysanthemums for some colour, the table setting, discussing gardens I think, I smiled at the collection of Blundstones and Birkenstocks discarded in the breezeway.
Our menu for the rest of the week was a little less indulgent, but just as tasty. Pasta carbonara, vegetable soup, steak with broccoli and mushrooms, I made a large Spanakopita, and Rob made a nostalgic mince dish from his childhood. With the Anzac day holiday, we did some biscuit baking and on Saturday I was treated to marmalade and pecan muffins in bed.