I am so excited. I started a new job a month ago and tonight I’m giving a dinner party for some people from work. There will be 5 of us all together. My boss and his partner, Sandra, the font of all knowledge and such a good laugh, and Roger from accounts. I have planned an easy menu so I can spend loads of time socialising. It’s going to be brilliant.
I’m doing a prawn cocktail to start – I know, a bit naff but I bought really expensive frozen prawns from the fishmonger and he said that the flavour is exquisite. I’m following that with roast pork and all the trimmings – trimmings pre-frozen but I intend to make them look a bit home-made. Finally, I am making ice cream – saw a really easy recipe on the internet and it had loads of good reviews.
Right prawn cocktail. I bought the seafood sauce from M&S. Think I’ll leave the jar on the side so my boss can see that I’m not scrimping on him. Ah, but what happens if he thinks I can afford to shop at Marks all the time. He might think he’s paying me too much. Ah ha, will put the prawns in the sauce now and they can do that marinade thing.
Ok, prawns. Holy crap. Why are they blue? I’ve never seen blue prawns before. Prawns are pink. Ok, it’s alright, fishmonger said they were exquisite. Obviously, blue prawns are superior. I’ll just google to double check and all will be fine.
Shit, they’re raw. What lunatic would sell raw prawns? He knew I was making a prawn cocktail. Breath. Breath.
Oh, it’s obvious. I cook them. Google how to cook raw prawns…
What the heck? Oh, still on images. Right, here goes. Ah, fry them in oil.
Panic over, I can do this. Oil in pan, heat, oil spitting, prawns going in. Oops, maybe should have got the last bit of ice off. Never mind, will just run cold water over my burnt hand. Ok, good, pain going.
Ok, this is going well. Yes, prawns turning pink and starting to look normal. Turn off heat. When cooled will put them in the sauce. Think my boss is going to be impressed with this.
What do I call him? When I started, I called him Sir and he just smiled at me and said no need. What do I call him at work? What do I call him at work? Oh, God, I don’t. I’ve never used his name at work. He’s called William. Can’t use that at a dinner party, too formal. Will? Will, yes, I’ll use Will. What happens if I get nervous and call him Willy? Mustn’t call my boss Willy. Oh, my God, that would be horrendous. Mustn’t call my boss Willy. No Willy. No Willy. Arrggg, now I’ve got Willy on my brain. Deep breath.
Ok, I’m calm. Just adding the prawns to the sauce. Throwing away the jar. Oh, God, should have recycled it. Bugger.
Right, boss will be called Will. Ah ha, will Will. Now what did he say his partner’s name was? His partner’s name? No, not partner. He said they were married. Oh, yes, they wore matching suits. Both wore a yellow rose as it was his mother’s favourite flower and she blessed their union on her death bed. That’s just so lovely.
AND HE’S SO EASY TO TALK TO. Shit, my boss is gay…
…and he’s bringing his husband. Or, is my boss the husband? It’s a marriage. There must be a husband and a wife. Ok, perhaps there is a natural role that married men fall into. Perhaps one is straight and one is camp. The camp chap is the wife. Oh, bloody hell, how can one be straight if he’s gay? OK, husband and husband. I name you husband and husband. Ok, must google this. Will just put the pork in. OH, my God, I’m cooking pork.
Right google, “how to address a gay couple?” Either guest first or alphabetical order. What?
Google, google, google. Bloody useless.
Think. I know. I will say, “William is such a great boss you must be very proud of him. I’m really sorry but I don’t know your name.”
Right, roast potatoes going in with the pork. Oh, God pork.
Right, I’ll stick loads of rosemary in it and pretend it’s lamb.
Lamb and apple sauce.
Ok, I have frozen cranberries and will mix them into the apple sauce. It’s going to be ok.
Ice cream, yes have the recipe here. Cream, vanilla pod, egg yolks and sugar. Mix them all together for a couple of hours and then serve.
Vanilla pod? Vanilla comes in a pod? Like a broad bean?
Why’s mine in a bottle?
Sod it, it’s all going in the ice cream machine. That I bought especially for this occasion. Not that anyone is going to give a shit. What the hell am I doing? Am I completely stupid? I’m still on probation. I won’t have a job after tonight.
And Sandra. Did she say she couldn’t take dairy? God, and that woman doesn’t know how to shut her mouth. She’s the biggest gossip going. Why did I invite her?
And Roger, with the wandering eye. Not wandering after the ladies. It just seems to go off in its own little world. How can I hold a decent conversation when all I’m going to be doing is following his sodding hypnotic eyeball?
I can’t do this. I’m going to be sick. I must cancel.
Yes, William. I’m so sorry. I have this awful stomach thing and feel dreadful. Yes, we must reschedule. I’m sorry for the short notice. Don’t want to pass this on.
Sandra, hi it’s me. I’m sick. I have to cancel. Oh, thank you. Yes, see you on Monday. Thanks.
Oh, God, I’m being sick.
Spent a lovely evening with Roger last night. He turned up with flowers and a bottle of wine so I really couldn’t turn him away. He didn’t know that raw prawns are blue either. We couldn’t eat the main as it was burnt to cinder but the trimmings really did end up looking home- made. As for the ice cream, well it completely froze and broke the machine. Roger was very sympathetic about my chaotic day. We both ended up laughing and he is sworn to secrecy.
He is taking me to the cinema next weekend and I am really looking forward to it.
As for his wandering eye. Well, once you get used to it, it’s kind of cute.