I just spent three days stuffing my face with foods I don’t usually eat in amounts I generally avoid. I would like to say the consequence is just feeling my pants a little tighter for a couple of days, but the reality is that I feel sick. My body is old enough to have learnt that food abuse must be followed by gastritis. But given that this is a food blog and not a medicine one, I’ll focus in the cause rather than in the effect. So here we go…
Day one was the Christmas party at the office. Last year was great, we had the usual drinks and nibbles (good cheese, crackers, chips, dips, etc.) in the office kitchen while we played Kris Kringle and then headed to a nearby bar with our “all you can drink” bracelets for booze and fancy finger food. This year, however, the budget seemed to be more limited because the party was held in the boardroom. The company supplied seafood, chicken, ham, and generous amounts of beer and wine. Staff members were encouraged to volunteer and bring something to complement the buffet table: a salad, side or dessert.
“Unfollowing” my tradition of trying a new recipe for each occasion, I brought a salad I had made not once but twice (!) before. Yeah, it’s that good. I copied the recipe from 101 Cookbooks a while ago for a weekday lunch and got hooked immediately. The recipe calls for farro but I made it with buckwheat and loved the result so much that I haven’t tried it with farro or spelt yet. The original salad has zucchini, radishes and fennel. This time I used yellow and green zucchini and added blanched asparagus.
Buttermilk buckwheat salad, adapted from 101 Cookbooks
Cous cous salad with corn, raisins, tomato and mint
Cabbage salad with red onion, currants and pine nuts
The protein supply was plentiful. As promised, the company provided ham, oysters, plus heaps of crab, prawns and roasted chicken.
Other staff contributions were dumplings, veggie fritters (not sure what was in them but they were awesome), salami and Lebanese bread with dips.
Delicious veggie fritters
Our office manager had the bright idea of centralising the list of dishes so that there were not too many of each category. Thus, we had a perfect number of desserts: just three, enough to allow for variety without giving us type-2 diabetes.
Choco – coconut balls
No-bake chocolate cake with cherries
There was bread too but I didn’t have any, it was more than enough with the rest of food. We spent a nice time chatting and watching funny videos featuring photos of some of the guys from the office. I don’t know where the guys went for drinks after dinner because I headed home to prepare the stuff for Saturday’s picnic (a.k.a. day two of mindless eating).
Oh, and Kris Kringle worked out for me nicely this year too (last year I stole a tea pot which I really needed), this year I stole a cheese board that comes with a knife, crackers, relish, chutney and mustard. The board will make its debut in our housewarming party (whenever we find a house!).