Although things got a bit messy yesterday and I have some sketchy old memories of some of the tavernas I was obviously compos mentis enough to clear the kitchen so that I didn't have too much carnage to face this morning. I hate it when you open the doors and are faced with the remnants of a good night strewn all over the place but happily I was not.
We are beginning to wonder what sort of hosts we had been by the time we got home as the mulled wine was untouched, the corkscrew didn't seem to have been put out - there was a bit of white wine drunk, the nibbles were still intact in their packages but the soup seemed to have gone down well although there were still pittas sitting in the toaster that hadn't been offered. Messages started tom come in from people saying they had had a great time which is good so we must have done ok after all.
We were lucky enough to have been invited to the Knips house with Mum and Dad today for an early Christmas Lunch. Phew it was nice not to have to be responsible for providing a lunch today and even better Klaus is a great cook so I was looking forward to it. No breakfast for us today as we had been warned that he had gone to town and we needed to come with healthy appetites. That we could manage - it is amazing how a few drinkies the night before can get the old gastric juices going - although a few too many drinkies the night before can get the old gastric juices going in the wrong direction!
We were not to be disappointed by the menu which greeted us on our arrival nor by the delicious mulled wine that we started our lunch with.
I have always said that meeting Sheila at the very first Ladies Lunch way back when was a fortuitous event for me - I made a friend, found someone who could show me how to create wonderful pictures using pastel pencils, got introduced to a great cook and then subsequently both she and Klaus have become friends with mum and dad.
Before eating our gourmet luncheon we were each given a gift from Sheila and Klaus. We will exchange our gifts to them on Christmas Eve when they are coming here for a meal - which should be apt because I think Germans normally celebrate Christmas Eve rather than Christmas Day.
Both Mum and I were very very happy recipients of a gourd hand carved and decorated by Klaus. If you have read my blog previously you will know that I was admiring one of these only the other week and the colours will go so well in the conservatory now that we have painted the walls. To me this was a priceless gift and and I thank them both very much for giving it to me.
Our meal was an homage to Gabors with lovely little touches and tasters. We started with a plate of delicious Horses Douffers - we had thought that we were sharing a plate so John and I sorted out the mushroom vol-au-vent which I ate with relish - only to be told we had a plate each and that Klaus had dealt with the non mushroom eating diners amongst us!
The table was beautifully laid with little place markers and serviette rings that Klaus had fashioned from parts of the gourds. We are lucky because by meeting up like this we are able to spread out our Christmas and have several celebrations.
It was a warm and convivial afternoon with lots of love and laughter around the table. Good food, good company and good friends/family who could ask for more - I only hope that I can produce something as good on Christmas Eve for them and then again on Christmas Day for Mum, Dad, John and I.
Mum and Dad returned home whilst it was still reasonably light. We felt somewhat stuffed and fit for not much in the evening. Looks like Boris felt the same as he slumped on the arm of the sofa and fell asleep in that position.
After this weekend I can truly say it is now beginning to feel a lot like Christmas at last.