A few years ago (pre-motherhood) I loved inviting friends over for a dinner party. We’d dress up, put on some good music and spend the whole evening eating and chatting and drinking wine. We’d probably then end up playing Rock Band on the Xbox afterwards because as much as we thought we were grown up, having a dinner party, there’s always time for Rock Band, right?
These days, dinner parties are
less frequent non-existent, which is why I loved the chance to throw one, a couple of weeks ago, with Jacob’s Creek. They asked me to think of a three course meal which evoked special memories for me (read more about why I chose each course over here) and they chose a wine to go with each course. Which was jolly nice of them.
It struck me, as I laid the table for my guests, how ill-prepared I am for a dinner party. I mean, back in the day when we held them fairly often, no one expected any bells and whistles. But now we’re proper grown ups, we should really have place mats and napkins (with napkin rings I guess, if we’re being dead fancy). So all of that has gone on my ‘I should really buy that one day’ list, and I went with a minimal look, with a simple jar of flowers adding colour to the table.
The light was fading when my guests arrived, and I took this grainy snap of me with my mum – both enjoying a glass of Jacob’s Creek Reserve Chardonnay. Then we sat down for our starter – scallops with pea puree and pancetta. This dish reminds me of my first wedding anniversary, when Mr P and I went out for a posh meal in London and then stayed in the Soho Hotel.
I’m not sure I did this dish justice, in the presentation stakes, but I don’t pretend to be Nigella Lawson, I’m just me! And it tasted good, so that’s what counts, right?
Our main course was steak with triple cooked chips. We served it with roasted Chantenay carrots (my favourite of the carrots) but I made a total gaffe and forgot about the Bearnaise sauce. Whoops! Actually, though, it was testament to the steak that we didn’t actually need the sauce. Mr P cooked it to perfection (medium rare for me) and we ate it with Jacob’s Creek Reserve Shiraz. It took me back to our honeymoon, when I ate steak in a treetop restaurant in Port Douglas, Australia.
Next came the cheese board… usually my favourite course of all and one that reminds me of the Neal’s Yard Dairy cheese that Mr P bought for me when I’d just had our daughter, because he knew how much I’d missed unpasteurised cheese during my pregnancy. But at the dinner party, by the time we’d eaten our steak, and finished the bottle of Shiraz, it was gone 11pm and we were all pretty full up! So we ended up enjoying the cheese – and some more Jacob’s Creek wine – the following day.
WIN 3 BOTTLES OF WINE
To help you create your own meal of memories, like me, Jacob’s Creek are giving you the chance to win three bottles of wine. To enter:
- Retweet this tweet (click through to RT)
- Comment on this post, telling me about a dish you’ve eaten that reminds you of a special time, or a family tradition. Include your Twitter name too, so that I can see you’ve done part 1!
This post has been commissioned by Jacob’s Creek and as always all views are my own.
There are all the usual dinners we had as a family, Sunday dinners, winter sausage casseroles and summe Bbq’s. However, my favourite meal of the year was, and still is, Boxing Day turkey sandwiches.
It reminds me of the joy of Christmas – that golden time in the run up to new year where life really slows down. Good doesn’t have to be fancy! Turkey sandwiches and a splash of ketchup… That’s my meal bliss!
My twitter name is @mrshumphreyjr my memory evoking dish is Iceland’s individual pizza’s which my dad would serve up nearly every Saturday whilst my night nurse mum was getting her sleep. The memories of these lovely dad and kids days was enhanced because both my brother and I would fall upon our foods like we hadnt eaten for days, but my dad would carefully add pickles, chutney and other condiments to his meal, but the time he started to eat, we would have nearly finished. Interestingly although during my childhood I hated all of these condiments, now I am the same, adding pickles and chutney’s to my meals….
@tedmauldisturb Dressed Crab , my parents bought it for us on holiday in Cornwall as a treat
Mine has to be beef stew and fresh crusty bread and butter, it reminds me of home and whenever I used to come home from uni my Mum would make it for me and it was so homely when I walked in the door. I now make it myself whenever I want something comforting
Forgot to comment my twitter name @twinfacelucy
i like roast dinners because it reminds me if how mum use to make hers x
my grandmas cheese and onion pie which she use to make all the time when i was little
My mum always made homemade meat pies, they were just the best and tasted so yum with a nice mash. I make them now and the smell always reminds me of my mum.
Lasagne always reminds me of my childhood, had it at any opportunity! Still love it now!
@loz09 my xmas dinners when i was a kid as my mum always let me have a babycham and i thought i was cool
On my Father in law’s 60th Birthday we ate pan fried fillet of venison which had marinaded in red burgundy for 24 hours. Unforgettable !
My mother used to cook a lovely Spaghetti Bolognese
@monkeymonk2012 lasagne reminds me of our first family meal out
Spaghetti bolognese reminds me of my childhood! @chells
Roast dinners will always remind me of my Mum’s cooking as she is legendary at them! Nothing is more comforting than roast meat, roast vegetables, yorkshire pudding and lashings of gravy!
@chiprocky My mum is the queen of pudding making and nearly every Sunday she would make us either a lemon meringue pie or a creamy rice pudding. The whole family including aunties, uncles and cousins would crowd into our kitchen eagerly awaiting their share.
My OH and I are huge foodies – with waistlines to prove it!
We love to celebrate all occasions with food and wine. So many meals so many memories.
I think the starter would be Tiger prawns in shells with lemon and garlic. First time we ate them abroad was celebrating my 40 the birthday – OH had a wine too many on board and tried to crunch the shells! We still laugh about it today. We celebrated our 25th Wedding Anniversary in New York and ate the tastiest steaks in Gallaghers Steak HOuse off Time Square – a magical, memorable evening. No meal is complete without one of my mothers steamed syrup sponge with custard – sadly she’s no longer with us but all her puddings are never to be beaten, hers were the best including Spotted dick and Jam Roly Poly. I never did get her recipes off her. That is my meal of memeories. I’m bluemoo17 on Twitter. Lovely comp and blog
Ah one of my three favourite men…
Jacob, Ben and Jerry lol
Christmas is (obviously) the biggie. We always stay away from turkey and these days do guinea fowl.
Sunday roast! Even when i left home i always went back for a roast on Sundays! We are to far away now but love to cook a roast for them when they visit us too 🙂
Lasagne reminds me of family times together.Esmax2015
roast dinners, especially Yorkshire pudding, reminds me of my nans
Greek salad to remind me of days pulled up in a a cove somewhere deep in the ionion
Homemade ricotta,parmisan and parsley tortelloni: it reminds me of my lovely childhood in Italy – My twitter handle: @moonray69
Gilla01. OH loves sausagemeat pie with lots of veg, and I once cooked him this on a boat on the Norfolk Broads for Christmas. He loved it.
@sharon25052015 – Its got to be Christmas dinner, very traditional, with the crackers, the hats and all the trimmings, its the only meal all of my kids will eat together and enjoy…. then comes the best bit the Chocolate Chesecake
Red Snapper and grilled pineapple. I took my Nana out for tea with my first wage packet when I started working properly after Uni. We had such a lovely night!
Egg and chips. Simple but memorable, as it was the first date-night meal my (now husband) cooked for me, and it was perfect!
Macaroni Cheese my mum always made this homecooked, it was delicious and so comforting in the winter.
Soup and dumplings always reminds of home on a wintery night!
Christmas dinner always reminds me of those we would eat cooked by my Nanna. We’d all be squashed around her little table and it was so cosy. I wish I could go back in time to experience it again. (@Natterjacktoad7)
Lardy cake reminds me of my late father who used to be a baker.
@mcmurphy72 – I had sticky toffee pudding for the first time since school days when I went up to visit my in-laws last week. I’m not saying they were trying to recreate that sitting outside the headmasters’ office kinda feel but it did envoke some uncomfortable feelings 😉
I think it’s old fashioned prawn cocktail starters which we only have once a year at the Christmas family lunch.
Twitter name @loveyourlifelive my favourite meal is a sea food platter… I have so many reason for this amazing dish and will choose it above any other choice on the menu…. To sample this gorgeous dish at home would be a real treat and would evoke some of my fabulous memories….
When I was 16 I work in a seafood restaurant and had so much fun…that when I came back from my travels in my twenties I worked there again to save extra cash… After meeting Mr p, we shared our very first seafood platter …. Still together 20 years later so this tasty dish brings back, fun times in my youth, happy times in my marriage and also reminds me of living in Australia.
It’s a simple meal, mashed potato, cheese and hard boiled egg all mixed in together.
It was the “close to pay day” meal in our house when growing up but we never knew that at the time. It was just a fun meal. Now realizing that makes me appreciate my parents even more
For me it’s Irish stew. My mum and dad’s first date was at the St Patrick’s Day ball so ever since I remember we have had Irish stew to celebrate on St Patrick’s day and heard the story! Now every time I eat it I’m reminded of true romance and happy family times. I’ll have to start telling my kids all about mine and daddy’s first date over milk shakes whenever we drink those too :). P.s you need to do more dinner parties, food looks scrummy!
Sorry I forgot, Twitter handle is @emymc
For me, it’s prob Steak Diane. It reminds me of a very special meal me and the hubster had at The Mad Hatter restaurant in Lyme Regis, on one of our early and best ever holidays.
For me, it’s prob Steak Diane. It reminds me of a very special meal me and the hubster had at The Mad Hatter restaurant in Lyme Regis, on one of our early and best ever holidays. @Blulu25
carribean chicken soup always reminds me of my great nan. she would cook it every saturday and we would literally lick the bowl clean it was that good. @teesimpson9
Chicken and Pasta. It was the meal my boyfriend (now my husband) cooked on our first date and we’ve now been together 16 years!
A dish I’ve eaten that reminds me of family tradition is corned beef hash
My Mum is Irish and used to make us huge pans of her version of Irish Stew, with corned beef. I used to love it and still do, although I’m veggie now, so I use Quorn pieces instead of corned beef nowadays. For afters, there was always lots of home-made baking, including her locally famous shortbread. She doesn’t bake as often nowadays, but I’m happy to say that she’s baked some shortbread for us today!
my mum makes homemade stuffing now every 2 weeks and it reminds me of childhood christmas’es
My mums homemade mince and dumplings, delicious and still is, it just makes me feel comforted and at home!
when i went to Lyon i had an amazing steak it was so juicy and tasty and reminds me of a fab holiday i had too
stew and dumplings remind me of many happy weekends with my grandparents!
lamb shanks with a mint glaze and mashed potato – reminds me of my wedding day meal 🙂
@catlovinkesh – twitter name
Mine has to be bannoffee pie, it reminds me of special occasions as a child as this was always one of the desserts my mum made and it is delicous the way she makes it
Any chicken broth reminds me of how my frugal mother used to make a fantastic chicken soup on Mondays after we had a Sunday roast chicken dinner!
My mum would make the most amazing Macaroni Bolognese – however many times I make it I cannot make it like her.
Cauliflower cheese and and chips. My mum always cooked it on my birthday. Happy memories.
@RowleyBeccyj3 The first time I tasted Moussaka in Greece reminds of a very special first holiday I had with my now husband.
@hardy88 Mine is homemade apple crumble and custard, always reminds me of home and family 🙂
Calamari reminds me of an amazing holiday in a Crete fishing village
My mum always cooked Goulash when we were younger and now my family enjoy eating too as easy to cook
A roast dinner cooked by my late partner, nothing has come close
We always have a fry up on Christmas Eve – a tradition started by my parents when me and my sister were very little and I have carried it on with my own children
Twitter handle – @beckywest82
mine is Bacon Roly Poly that my nan taught my mum to make and she taught me, and now my own family love it Twitter handle is @moonlightlady2
I love it when my Mum does a retro trifle, like when I was little. These days she does it all posh but I like it with tinned strawbs, jelly, swiss roll, set custard, cream and crumbled up flake 🙂
@kidsdogsandcats The first thing that jumped into my head was paella, unfortunately that always reminds of the time I got food poisoning from the prawns
lovely steak & dauphinois potatoes cooked by my husband for me (@emhus1)
Lasagne always reminds me of my childhood – my mum often used to make it on summer evenings after we had spent the day on the beach! Twitter – @Chrisbobfletch
Spaghetti bolognaise always reminds me of being a child and waiting eagerly for something to eat after school
Baby new potatoes always remind me of my late great granny <3 @KateDSB
Steak & liver casserole always reminds me of being a child. My mum makes the best one ever. The gravy goes really thick & tasty. Divine!
Slow cooked lamb, mash and peas.. Oh, those Sundays with family 🙂
Slow cooked lamb, mash and peas.. Oh, those Sundays with family 🙂 @dessallara2
Roast Chicken reminds me of all the special family meals we’ve enjoyed @sheridarby
For me it is lamb chops – when I met my boyfriend he tried to impress me by making me dinner. The chops were great but they were the only edible bit!
Chicken Fajitas were our family Saturday night meal and I loved them as a kid
a good steak and ale pie reminds me of my gran’s… @jamielmdjs
my special meal memory is a really tasty lamb shank in onion gravy with all the trimmings in a little restaurant in the town where we live now,it was when we were deciding to take the house we are in now by the sea its beautiful twitter is @walnut65
@laralalibela Steak inAmsterdam on a child free weekend
A Sunday reminds me of family times. A glass of wine in my hand and Katie Morag on the TV! @cazzabeet
Roast dinners hands down, its such a lovely family time and a tradition that just continues
@emmajlowe chicken roast dinner, me and hubby before married and children would always go out for sunday lunch
My most memorable meal was our last carefree/child free meal out the night before our elective cesarean section to have our first child. I was massive and could barely reach my plate. The next day out lives changed forever. I’m getting teary thinking about it
We used to always have black peas on Bonfire Night (still do now). Bit of salt and vinegar whilst watching the fireworks – yum! x
We used to always have black peas on Bonfire Night (still do now). Bit of salt and vinegar whilst watching the fireworks – yum! x Twitter: @DavuraLw
Spaghetti Bolognese reminds me of when I met my partner at uni – it was a staple on the menu cos we didn’t have much money or cooking skills back then! I’ve left my twitter link in the website box.
beef wellington was the first meal I had as we sailesd to New York on the QE11 .
First meal out with Hubby was at Pizza Hut (next to cinema where we were going to watch a film) Mustang Sally came on the background music system & he proceeded to sing it out loud as it’s his favourite song! Knew then what I was getting into 🙂 & I married him 9 months later. Kids always worry when we go to Pizza Hut as a family incase he starts singing.
Not a very glamorous dish- Boiled bacon and cabbage…but it always reminds me of visiting my grandmother in Ireland when I was a child
Spaghetti Bolognese was our favourite family meal when I was young, and now I’m marrying someone who loves to make it – hurrah!
Twitter = sammyhamster_
Sorry, forgot my twitter name @boo1003
My mum’s roast dinners always reminds me of happy times with my Nan. She used to come over every Sunday for dinner and we would have so much fun.
When I first started dating my fiance we did a four course cheese meal (really decadent, fondue, cheesecake etc). Now having a cheeseboard always reminds us of that date 🙂
Roast dinners always make me think of Gran. She did the most perfect roast dinners and i remember the beautiful smell filling the house.
Pasta with butter and grated cheese. reminds me of our early marriage when we were soooooo skint! @Grannybiker
Christmas dinner. It reminds me of the times 13 of us used to descend on my grandparents’ house (2 up 2 down) each year. We were so many that we had to have 2 sittings and we weren’t allowed to open presents (that were brought by aunts/uncles and grandparents UNTIL everyone had eaten, so there was no rushing off to open them. Great times, sadly no longer with us and now there are still so many of us that we would need about 5 sittings if we were to do it now. @STORMBAT (did it wrong first time round, sorry)
Sweet potato fries – remind me of my holidays to the usa – we started eating them out there about 10 years ago before they became popular in the UK
Pizza reminds me of a lovely holiday to Rome when we enjoyed delicious pizzas straight out of a woodfired oven and drank wine al fresco with views of the Acropolis on a hot Summer evening – unfortunately no pizzas have ever matched up in taste! @LindyHine
Lovely pork chops with mashed potatoes for my wedding meal in a lovely restaurant.
The meal which always evokes happy memories for me- homemade lasagne and chips with key lime pie for dessert. It was the first meal I cooked for my (then) boyfriend. 14 years and one wedding and two kids later we still have this on our ‘date night’s.
My meal of memories is everytime I smell or cook chicken breasts with bacon wrapped round them and onion. It bring so many memories of my Nan, who used to cook a loads of them for us, wrap them up in tin foil and give them to us for a long journey in the car. We always got them when we were going away and they were delicious! Even to this day the memories come flooding back!