In the Moment: with Mariella Frostrup
One of the things that's really nice to do when I don't have to be at work full-pace is to hang round the kitchen with my children (Molly, 9, and Dan, 8) and cook. I'm certainly not a domestic goddess and I don't think I'll ever win a Michelin star, but I like to give it a go. Molly loves baking and is much better at it than me - I'm hopeless at sweet treats; the only thing I'm any good at is crumble. I firmly believe that you need to be prepared for failure in the kitchen!
I love having friends around - I think a dinner party is a really nice, relaxed environment where you can have a chat and a proper catch up. It's always a bit of a scrum in our house, so I like to keep things simple.
I wouldn't really make a starter - it might just be as simple as a dish of roasted peppers in the centre of the table. I'll prepare a lovely big main course rather than a structured meal. I like the Italian approach to food: really good
ingredients but simple recipes. Living in the country, in Somerset, two-thirds of the time, I've become a lot more seasonal with my cooking. Now winter is here, that means pumpkins, squash and big stews bubbling on the hob.
I'm really impressed by people who have dinner parties and come to the door looking immaculate with their hair done and heels on. I always mean to have had a shower but run out of time and just slap a bit more make-up on top of what I applied that morning. I don't really like to dress up at home - one of the great advantages of entertaining at home is that you don't have to.
It's really depressing when you have friends to dinner and everyone leaves exactly two hours after they arrived. My idea of a successful night is when you're kicking people out at one thirty in the morning - you feel exhausted but quite smug because you know you've done a good job.
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