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I tortured or bored – depending on their perspective – my Fb friends on the weekend, documenting for them the six-course degustation (tasting) menu my friend and I prepared for Saturday evening.

We had made the drive out of the city and up the coast to the beach house of friends we’ve known for years. In fact, one of them remembers me from my job interview before I even moved to Wellington in 1985, and we then worked together for the next ten years, albeit sometimes in different countries. It was nice to get out of town, to enjoy their garden with flower buds and asparagus spears and spring freesias, and flowering herbs and bees and eels and one stray goose, and to walk along the beach (though we did get soaked as the squall we watched come across Kapiti Island caught us before we got home).

Preparing and eating the meal together was fun, and I definitely recommend trying it with friends. Divide up the courses, make things you can cook in advance (my lemon tart for dessert, or the beef tagine that was pre-marinated and just bubbled away in the evening till we needed it), or need little preparation (whitebait fritters, salad, or cheese board). Match the menu with wine, drink LOTS of water and make sure you don’t have to drive anywhere afterwards (we were overnight guests), size the portions accordingly, and take lots of photos.

We’re going to try it again, but might up our game next time, with a more adventurous menu – or not.

 

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