I was going to give self the day off – it being the Sabbath and all (says the Irish Catholic, on a Saturday) - but the lovely comments yesterday have prompted me to put down the final half-glass of wine, step out of the black hole of Facebook, and throw something out into the ether.
We had quite a lovely day today – largely because it didn’t rain all day long (just for about half of it, with an intensity that made up for the earlier sunshine). We have family in town, and as of today old friends (of the Man’s; new friends of mine). Lovely people, with – sigh – the most gorgeously mannered children I have ever come across. Four boys– can you imagine? – each of them fun and lively and sweet and playful. The Boy fell completely in love – older boys! Who actually talked to him!! – and while I was enchanted by them, I was too busy being in love with the boys’ grandparents and – get this – great-grandmother. 90, just flown in from New York. A very large part of me wants to be just like her (and not necessarily when I’m 90).
Everyone came by and played in / by / around the pool for the better part of half the day, more friends and more kids joined in, and it really was a taste of Happy Families. The kids all congealed into a large rabid mess, and I pretended not to notice the SKATEBOARDING INTO THE POOL competition, nor the SCOOTERING IN THE POOL race. I turned a blind eye to the Boy eating a (shudder) hot dog, and to the Girl wading fully dressed into the pool (and later removing her sodden dress and continuing to swim in her knickers).
I’m coining this new form of parenting “abandonment parenting”, and while it has its merits, it can also have some unforeseen consequences (such as the effects of non-application of sunscreen to a child’s shoulders. Also, a mild hangover at 5pm.)
So now that I’m an expert on it, if you find yourself with a mass of people, a sunny day, a bbq and a swimming pool at your disposal, here’s what you do: Chill beer, wine and individual juice cartons; serve protein of some sort + ketchup in a bun; make a large potato salad; and produce 2 large boxes of Cornettos.
The good news is you don’t need sunshine or a pool to make a ton of potato salad – just a lot of people to feed. Perfect for pre - or post - Christmas entertaining.
(This doesn’t look like an awful lot, however that bowl – dragged to London from Morocco in hand luggage - is 2 feet wide and a foot deep. [If you look closely you can see the Baby under the potatoes.])
Christmas* Potato Salad
- At least 4 baby potatoes per person, scrubbed or peeled
- A large dollop of mayo
- A large dollop of salad cream
- Some chives, chopped
- A glug of olive oil
- A large pinch of salt
Boil the potatoes until they’re soft.
Add the rest of the ingredients to a large bowl, and mix well.
Drain the potatoes well, then add to the bowl, while still warm. Let them sit there for a few minutes – it makes the mayo mix more fluid – then mix gently with a large spoon.
If making in advance, leave to cool then put in the fridge until needed.
Eat while ignoring the fact that most of your children’s outdoor toys are rusting at the bottom of the swimming pool.
(*There is nothing remotely Christmassy about it, except that it’s late December; this however should not preclude you from making, or eating it, any other time of year.)