As the world and his wife slurp their way through another mulled wine fest and champagne corks whizz past my ears, I figure there aren’t many advantages to being pregnant over Christmas, apart from maybe a seat on the tube. Except, at the moment, I could easily pass for porky rather than preggers so there are no offers forthcoming.
Reticence if one is unsure though is quite understandable. I once made the mistake of offering my seat to a woman who I, wrongly it turned out, guessed to be at least six months pregnant. “No thank you,” she said in a clipped, hurt voice, sucking her indignant stomach in with fury for the rest of the journey.
Oh well. Perhaps Father Christmas will stick a ‘Baby on Board’ badge in my stocking this year then kind commuters can be sure to avoid such faux-pas, while I can be sure of a seat.
Canapés are so delicious that you’d think the larger ones would be a good thing. But you’d be wrong. I discovered this to my detriment the other night at one of those networky, work-related dos where people talk up what they do to complete strangers then swap business cards.
Making small talk with someone you’ve never met in these sorts of settings is hard at the best of times, but when you make the mistake of taking an outsized chicken skewer dipped in satay sauce from a passing tray of canapés, it all gets a whole lot harder.
In a crowded room, with no flat surface to put things down on, a champagne glass in hand, and handbag cast over a shoulder, how does one eat a dribbly chicken skewer or a larger-than-mini burger while maintaining a sensible conversation and air of cool professionalism?
The answer is: one doesn’t, and that’s why any canapés (especially those featuring sauce) that cannot be picked up in one hand, popped into the mouth in one go and eaten in a matter of seconds should be most assiduously AVOIDED!
The arrival of wedding season has reminded me how much I love canapés. From the little circles of toast topped with crab meat to the mini egg tartlets, the seared tuna with dipping sauce or the classic smoked salmon blinis, there is something infinitely spoiling about being served these dainty little snacks and the excitement of seeing a fresh plate of canapés being handed round never fails to excite me. Unfortunately – though I could happily eat canapés all day every day – they do tend to be reserved for special occasions, so I feel it important to make the most of them when I can. Here are my golden rules.
1. Stand near the canapé point of arrival. This will allow you to swoop in while they are still fresh and (more importantly) plentiful.
2. Form a group. It is harder to bypass several expectant canapé hunters than it is a sole operator. You will also be less conspicuous in your greed.
3. Make a horseshoe. By creating a human u-bend, you give a clear sign to canapé-bearing waiters that you and your companions are receptive to snacks.
4. Keep your eye on the ball (the canapés). It is a mistake to get so caught up in conversation that you miss the latest plate of canapés being handed round, particularly if the canapés in question are honey mustard sausages.
It’s a Monday night and it’s raining, as it has done for the last week or more. It’s so unbelievably gloomy that I have decided to crack open that bottle of champagne, which has been lurking in the fridge since my 30th birthday a few months ago, and quaff a glass or two while watching Homeland on catch-up. That should cheer things up a bit.
Oh, and here’s a little doodle.
Click picture once to view at full size ©EmilyJenkinson