I considered photographing the food last night but decided I’d prefer to eat it. Suffice to say, it was effing brilliant, the guests enjoyed it, and the kids, having almost totally ignored the homemade baked beans* I made for them decided to tuck into the pork too.

The pork, as recommended by Zoe, was doused in sherry, ginger and garlic and left overnight. Later I added star anise, cinnamon and a little balsamic vinegar. Then I followed the Bill Granger caramel sauce recipe, exchanging pepper for two red chillis, the red wine vinegar for more balsamic and the chicken stock for water (I didn’t want to send the Bloke to the supermarket for a third time), and served it in a jug. The slaw was grouse, fennel, wombok, green apple, celery, coriander and pea shoots with heaps of lemon juice and a bit of peanut and seasame oil. Lime wedges all round (the kids were very keen to do the squeezing). Beer was drunk, we recommend the Holgate Brewery Mt Macedon ale to go with the main, although any light ale/pale ale would be cool. The guests brought a very lemony lemon pudding, which was a brilliant accompaniment, and the whole lot was followed by some whisky. Did I mention the kids went to bed? And slept until it was time for our guests to leave? It was a good dinner.

Dinner party washup

Now all we need is a dishwasher.

*We generally don’t make separate kid meals, I just didn’t think I could get the pork cooked early enough and thought it best to avoid a hunger-induced meltdown. As always happens when I think I’m being clever, it didn’t work according to plan, there were no meltdowns though because the visiting toddler is the lad’s “bess frien” and “I share my toys wid him”. They even held hands while they had their nappies changed and got into jimmy jams, awwwww.