We're having a celebration party tomorrow evening. To mark the anniversary on Tuesday. Not a huge party - I really don't like crowds of people - but about thirty of the people we're closest to should be coming. We ummed and ahhed for ages, first thinking about having some kind of party a few months ago, but as the weather got hotter I became less and less inclined to do anything about it.
However we'd mentioned it to our church house group so realised we had to do something. We thought about just doing something very low-key with the group, but we wanted to invite Richard's colleagues, and the people he used to work with who we're still close to, and a few others... at first we came up with forty names but managed to cut down to thirty. Plus a few young children who will probably be there, since we're starting at 6.00pm.
Food concerned me more than anything. We have plenty of space indoors and out, and there's certainly no chance of rain. Conversation won't flag: these are mostly people who know each other well, and we won't organise anything. But we didn't want to ask people to bring food (although one or two are going to anyway) - yet I definitely didn't want to spend a lot of time cooking! When Daniel had his 18th party last year, with about the same number of people, I did spent most of the day cooking. That was all right; it was in October, and the weather was cooler. But our kitchen is like an oven during the afternoons in July.
Still, there's plenty of fruit available. And people probably won't expect anything hot, so it's easy enough to buy crisps, nuts, grapes, watermelon, cheese and crackers, that kind of thing. I wanted to offer a bit more than that, though - folk are likely to be fairly hungry and want a full meal, not just snacks. So plenty of salads too: coleslaw is easy with a food processor, chopping up carrot and cucumber sticks is simple and we can buy hummus, tzatsiki etc. Plus there's a very easy (and scrumptious) dip which involves 500g natural Greek yogurt and a packed of dried onion soup mixed together. I can manage that much cooking...
Today we first went to Metro, our usual supermarket which is very close, and bought our regular week's shopping plus a few bits and pieces for the party. Then we went to a new (small) cash'n'carry type place that has a limited selection, but excellent prices on what they stock. Fruit juices in particular are extremely good value, and at this time of year people will need a lot of non-alcoholic fluid. However this place didn't have large bottles of Sprite or Coke, rather to our surprise. So as we weren't far from Chris Cash'n'carry (the newest of the big supermarkets in Larnaka) we decided to go there.
I'm so glad we did! It's probably the most 'British' of the supermarkets. It's laid out like a typical UK co-op, with wide aisles and low shelving. Much more relaxing than Orphanides, previously the biggest supermarket, and far more stock than Metro.
To my surprise and delight, we found what I think of as party food there. Not huge sizes, but the prices were reasonable for what they were. So in addition to several bottles of fizzy drinks, we left with some nice cheeses and sliced ham (etc), a quantity of frozen profiteroles which merely need to be thawed, and - wonder of wonders - some ready-made chilled quiches! I LOVE quiche, and so does Tim. We make them, of course, in the winter. But they're not something either of us want to cook in the summer, and never before have we seen them anywhere in Cyprus - other than one bakery which isn't near here.
I think we'll be returning to Chris cash'n'carry in future, though probably not every week. Their meat looked nicer than Metro's too, and they had more fruit and veggies.