Friday, 9 May 2014


Special birthdays need special celebrations: those rites of passage of 18 and 21 should definitely be celebrated in style. And when one enters one's thirties, another rite of passage - for often by the time one may be married, settled, with a new baby, or one on the way - some kind of celebration is in order. And then there's the forties - a time when one perhaps feels well settled, in life, career and family and a party might be just the thing to stave off the dreaded "middle aged, middle class" ("we were wild in the old days" - Joni Mitchell)

Fifty is significant, no getting around that. It's a Big One, the half-century, the golden one. To party or not to party, that is the question? My Significant Other celebrates his half-century this month and was adamant there would be "no party". But not to celebrate seemed churlish, and so a low-key Sunday lunch with friends and family, which will extend into the pub with more friends and family in the evening, seemed in order.

Banana Tarte Tatin

Eight is about the most I can cater for comfortably without getting stressed - and we can't accommodate more than eight people around our dining table either. The gathering will be convivial and relaxed, and the food I am cooking reflects that. I'm also making two of my husband's favourite dishes - Banana Tarte Tatin and Lemon Polenta Cake.

Here is the menu for Sunday lunch:

Tapas & antipasti (chorizo, Serrano ham, Pissaladiere, Dukka & olive oil, homemade focaccia)

Chicken 'Marbella' with spinach, feta and pine nut salad, and new potatoes

Cheese & biscuits (Picos blue, applewood smoked Cheddar, goat's cheese)

Banana Tarte Tatin, Amaretti Ice Cream, Lemon Polenta Cake

And here are links to the recipes:


Chicken Marbella 

Spinach, feta & pine nut salad

Banana Tarte Tatin

Amaretti ice cream

Lemon Polenta Cake

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