This is turning into a diary blog for The Underground Restaurant...
Val day was great but the usual mishaps occurred.
I was on schedule, despite my van breaking down last week and having to shop online. My teen wanted to go to a party on Friday night. I drove her over there.
On entering the house, chaos, around a dozen teenagers running around hysterically and one clutching his head. He was drunk and had fallen over, hitting his head on a rock. I took a look and you could see his skull through the cut.
The mum of the house, one of those liberal ones, pleaded with me to stay with the other teenagers while she took the boy to the hospital.
Her son was freaking out "Will we get done for this? He's been drinking."
I googled it and drinking at home is legal for kids over five years old in the UK.
I do give my teen a little wine with her meals, or maybe a small glass of champagne. But these kids were glugging back whole bottles of vodka and gin.
My teen returned from her French school trip a week ago sneering at another child who blacked out after drinking about 6 inches of vodka.
"Huh, what a light weight!"
"I'd collapse if I drunk that much vodka" I told her.
Cue more sneering.
"Really, it can kill you."
I ended up babysitting in this house until almost 1 pm. A waste of an evening.
Luckily a young trainee chef, Charlie, came to help me on Saturday. He beautifully blanched the asparagus spears, dipped the cherries in chocolate and, being the son of a furniture remover, knew exactly whether an additional table would fit through the door.
This time the Daily Mail photographer came to cover the evening. He was quite useful. He opened the door for guests.
My sister and I kept getting the giggles as we were ladling out the soup.
"Is this the maddest thing we have ever done?" I ask her.
"Well there was the time that we were both vicars at Glastonbury and married people." she said.
"And the time when we did a stand up routine on food and astrology in a Camden town restaurant..." I added.
"But this is the maddest... yeah" she saysIn the middle of plating up the mains, a woman spilt red wine all over her white crocheted cardigan. My sister wanted to stop everything "Where's a bucket?" and help the woman.
"STOP IT" I hiss "Fuck her cardigan I don't want people's food to go cold"
I looked around the corner. The cardigan was hideous anyway. I bit back the impulse to say "Chuck it, it's vile". I do realise that a proper restauranteur would not say this. Only beautifully tanned top models can get away with white crochet. It looks shite on English women.
Later we got the giggles again. I'd miscalculated the amount of chocolate mousses. I needed one more. Hush hush I sent sister-woman out to buy one from the local supermarket, get like a 'Gu' high quality choc mousse.
My sis sneaks back.
"Bad news, I could only get the Somerfield version" she says.
We look at it. It's got fake whipped cream on top. The consistency of the mousse is blancmange, sloppy and pale coloured. I doubt there is any chocolate in it at all. People are slipping past us to smoke on the balcony. We are trying to hide the packaging.
We put the Somerfield 'mousse' in a Le Creuset ramekin. Still looks awful. We try to cover it up with chocolate dipped cherries. No better.
I take a deep breath and ask two of the diners, that I actually know, if they would mind sharing one. I fess up.
The end of the evening, eyelashes and minicab cards.