What does the month of February mean to you? Valentine chocolates and pancakes perhaps? All lovely indulgent stuff, but the main event for me is the hosting of a Murder Mystery Party with my closest friends, or should I say fiends?
I held a Murder Mystery a few years ago as an excuse to get everyone together; now it's an annual event. But really, do you need an excuse to invite your friends round for good food and wine? Probably not, I have heard that staying in is the new going out.
As both the host and a 'suspect' it's important that I don't miss out on any clues that may emerge, so pre planning the meal ensures there are no further surprises on the night, plus I get more time with my friends. Preparation is the key; and cheating of course - not that anyone would notice!
Being lucky enough to work at Whitmore & White in Frodsham there are ideas aplenty on the shelves. So what did I come up with?
Sinful starters: Selection of olives, breadsticks, stuffed vine leaves and antipasto meats; no cooking involved, just the opening of jars and packets. We really are spoilt with their range of Mediterranean delights.
Murderous main: Albondigas. I added chorizo and lashings of smoky paprika to the homemade meatballs and stirred juicy sun-dried tomatoes into the sauce for extra flavour. Easily made the night before and re-heated in the oven before the guests arrive; served simply with crusty bread.
Devilish dessert: Sugar waffles, toffee sauce (bought elsewhere, but don't tell the boss!) accompanied by Cheshire Farm Honeycomb Ice Cream. Waffles quickly warmed up, a squeeze of sauce and a large portion of the gorgeous ice cream. If you haven't checked out the varieties of Cheshire Farm Ice Cream available at Whitmore & White then you are in for a treat - simply mouthwatering!
Fiendish fizz: What Murder Mystery wouldn't be complete without a bottle of Syn? Syn Shiraz is not what you expect, it's a bubbly redhead best served chilled - delicious. This really does bring to life the phrase 'I could murder a drink'!
And if you were wondering ... it wasn't the butler ... it was me!!!!!!