In the scorching summer weather that Christchurch had to offer we found our Supper Club turned into more of a spontaneous long lunch club. The message often went out just the day before and to our delight people turned up! (How could they not though? Rose was involved!)
The new addition of some handmade outdoor furniture made this all the more possible as it meant fewer bums balancing on beer crates around the dining table that we dragged outside. Did I mention handmade? Dylan and I (mainly Dylan) spent a whole long weekend constructing our own table and benches for pretty much the sole purpose of being able to have people around for barbecues.
The good weather made feeding a crowd all the more simple. As long as you've got a bagful of corn and a well functioning barbecue, no crowd is too large to feed. In saying that however we were still limited by the number of bench and chair space we had so our lunches never fed more than 10.
All of our lunches this season centred around the barbecue. Everything from corn, to beautiful home kill sausages, to tortillas, to the most glorious chipotle skirt steak came into contact with our hot plates. Summer is also the season for salads and with the lettuce in our garden growing in abundance it just made sense to present our parties with large bowls of the good stuff to share.
To plan our feasts we often chose two meat based dishes and then three or so vegetable options to go with it. For example we threw a Mexican flared feast and we had skirt steak tacos as well as a wonderful marinaded barbecued butterflied chicken. To go with it we had lots of lettuce to go in the tacos plus a bowl of charred corn, a cheeky mango salsa and a big salad that I can't remember for the life of me what it had in it. For the vegos in the group we made sure our salads were hearty enough to eat solo but also one of our excellent guests had a tendency to turn up with treats such as haloumi and felafel to feed her fellow herbivores with (she now has a permanent invitation to everything). But at the end of the day you can throw whatever you want on the table and provided you've got a cool bunch of people sitting around it it is guaranteed to be a good time.
A great way to start off the food game while people are turning up is to crank out the breads and dips. They are easy to make in advance and are tasty AF. The favourite we made was by far the roast beetroot and feta dip, an idea given to me by a friend of mine. I've popped the recipe up so you can see for yourself. Also people love bread. People who say they don't are lying to you and themselves. Giving people an excuse to eat bread smothered in delicious toppings will only make them love you more.
Can I just say the great thing about throwing a long lunch is that often everyone is gone and dishes are done by 6pm and you can have a sleep. Also it means people are more likely to be able to come as it doesn't clash with evening plans so you feel way more popular. Also you can wear shorts and a t-shirt and no one will judge you for not making an effort to dress up. Have we sold you yet? Lunch is the lazy person's dinner party.
While summer has been a blast, we are looking forward to the cooler months (#winteriscoming) when we can start to feed our friends hearty pasta dishes and thick soups. Omg and more bread. Bread and butter and soup. It will be a dream! I am salivating at the thought.
I shall get DJP to tell me what is in his glorious skirt steak marinade so you can give it a hoon before daylight savings ends. In the meantime though make the most of the long summer days, invite some friends around, make it a pot luck if you CBF doing all the work yourself, enjoy the sunshine while its still around and the looks on your neighbours faces when you turn the music off at 6pm on a Saturday!
Happy lunching my friends,