come over for a barbie, mate…

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A little while ago I was tagged by Crazy Train To Tinky Town to host a virtual dinner party.
The rules guidelines are:

At your perfect dinner party you can invite:
5 guests + yourself, relatives allowed but it’s more interesting if it’s a public figure.
Dead or Alive
Any language.
Fictional characters allowed!

By direct association, my stomach constructed the first draft of the guest list. I was inclined to make up the entire entourage from my favourite TV chefs:

The Hairy Bikers

Matthew Evans, Gourmet Farmer

Simon & Maggie, The Cook & The Chef

But, I came up with many more combinations of 5: family, friends, famous, past and present. Then it came to me – anyone can dine with live people, I’ve invited dinner guests from the astral planes, none of whom I’ve met or are related to me. All of whom had a great impact on my life, in different ways.

Heading the guest list, in case I need her assistance to call up the others is Linda Goodman. Author of many astrological & esoteric books, such as Suns Signs, Love Signs and my favourite – Gooberz, Linda’s light led my way.

Followed by:

Bon Scott. My adoration of Bon is no secret. From the minute I heard Baby Please Don’t Go, in 1975, I was hooked on the music and the person. There was and is no other like Bon. I’d like to know what he was really like beyond the showman and the boozy persona portrayed by the media & PR.

Robert Atkins. Discovering Atkins was my first step in thinking for myself about food. I’d worked for a multi-national weight loss company, bought the profit-driven hype, and suffered the health consequences of a low fat, carb laden regime. He changed the way I look at food, made me question, learn and be informed.

M. Scott Peck gave me skills to navigate my life. Reading at the start of The Road Less Travelled, the words “Life is difficult” was a turning point. I stopped feeling entitled & wounded, and started acquiring the tools I needed to live life on my own terms. I’ve been enlightened and informed by his books, which are many and varied.

Ned Kelly. Although Ned’s story and life fascinates me, this pick is not so much for me, but for the G.O. as I couldn’t do the dinner party without him. In common expression “as game as Ned Kelly” and as an icon of challenging authority, Ned lives large in the identity of many Australians, and his cultural effect is significant.

Do I hear you ask “what do these people have in common besides having influenced EllaDee, that would make them interesting dinner party guests?” The answer: I reckon they could all tell a good yarn, and we’ll be up ’til the wee small hours…

My dinner guests are a mixed bag, and the only way I know to cater for this… a backyard barbie!

Following family tradition I’m putting out chairs & tables under a marquee dragged out from the shed & hosed off, lining up a few eskies of ice & drinks, and firing up the hotplate. Fairy lights draped through the trees and over the Hills Hoist sparkle as the sun goes down. To set an auditory mood, I face the speakers to the window, select random play and turn the volume up a little. The scent of burning citronella candles mixes with the fragrance of night blooms and aroma from an array of sizzling veges, tofu, seafood & meats (to cater for all tastes), while rounds of appetisers circulate.

For the evening’s menu, I’ve selected the best of backyard classics.


Spinach dip with cob loaf.

Corn relish dip with dipping veges & Jatz.

Baba Ganoush served with toasted Turkish bread fingers.

Bloody Mary Shots: original, virgin & oysters.

My guests warm to the evening & each other, and wander chatting with glasses in hand around the garden. As the night slips away, we dine & sip, and stories unfurl. We serve the main course barbequed by the G.O. and Ned, on platters, and help ourselves.

Vegetarian: eggplant, juicy red capsicum, zucchini, new potatoes, sweetcorn cobs, tofu & haloumi.

Seafood: local snapper filets, prawns & scallops.

Meats: chicken tenderloin, pork fillet, lamb cutlets & steak medallions.

Warm sourdough bread and butter or olive oil.

Dishes pushed aside, laughter drowns out the music and our sides ache. A few hours after midnight, we are still gathered under the stars, a little mellow from the company and fellowship of the evening.

A simple late dessert of fresh berries, good cream, laden cheeseboard embellished with ripe figs, along with small cups of sweet black coffee and shards of dark chocolate reinvigorate us, and the stories continue.

By the time astronomical dawn occurs our truths are told, then cups of strong milky coffee and green tea prepare the guests for their journeys. By nautical dawn, they are gone.

The G.O. and I, we sit among the detritus of the evening, share the dregs of the tea and looks of wonderment. As the sun rises, we go to bed.

I’ve tagged 5 bloggers who I think could come up with a pretty interesting dinner party, but if you’re not tagged, and feel like creating your own dinner party, feel free to do so. Similarly, if you are tagged, and it’s not your thing, that’s fine also:

The Wanderlust Gene

East of Malaga

Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

All Poetry and Creative Writing

Robin Coyle

Dallas, it’s taken me a while to get to this but thinking about it has been entertaining me since you posted “Your Mission Should You Choose To Accept It…, and I want to thank you – it’s been SO much fun  🙂

28 thoughts on “come over for a barbie, mate…

    Leanne Cole said:
    September 22, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    An interesting dinner party.


      EllaDee responded:
      September 22, 2012 at 4:21 pm

      Thank you. It was a fun exercise to do 🙂


    diannegray said:
    September 22, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    Wow – what an interesting evening you’d have! 😀


      EllaDee responded:
      September 22, 2012 at 6:21 pm

      Thank you. In the virtual world my dinner party guest list would be endless 🙂


    The Wanderlust Gene said:
    September 22, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    Oh my – wonderful menu, Ella (and such a clever way to ensure GO’s involvement), scintillating guest list, and what energy you all maintained! I’d better remember to take a nap in the afternoon if I’m to stay up all night. Thank you for the tag – you can be sure I’ll start planning immediately 🙂


      EllaDee responded:
      September 22, 2012 at 9:28 pm

      Before and after nap a definite requirement. The bbq is not my domain, but I believe Ned would be an in-demand dinner party guest in Oz.


        The Wanderlust Gene said:
        September 22, 2012 at 10:16 pm

        I agree – though I wondered what your other-sphere guests would have made of him to begin with 🙂


          EllaDee responded:
          September 23, 2012 at 8:19 am

          That’s the thing I love about backyard barbies, everyone wanders around & chats, and somehow it’s easy to find common ground 🙂


          The Wanderlust Gene said:
          September 24, 2012 at 5:14 pm

          Well, I’m sure Ned and the GO made everyone feel included 🙂


    philosophermouseofthehedge said:
    September 22, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    Oh, thanks so much for being included! I saw one of these on another blog and thought it was a cool idea. Promise to start the prep and try to set the table quickly…..there is some difficulty with the new pup pulling the tablecloth of-wait don’t bite the table….(maybe my guests should wear Kevlar shoulder length gantlets and comfortable hiking shoes…RC Cat is smugly repeating “I told you so”…actually there’s some secret truce between them…RC has undoubtedly suggesting mauling us is more fun than chasing her)
    Totally enjoyed reading about your dinner! Greatly appreciate the invitation. THanks


      EllaDee responded:
      September 23, 2012 at 7:56 am

      Thank you! Choosing who to tag, even with appropriate due diligence, is always a gamble. I’m happy you’re happy 🙂 Glad to hear RC and Molly have formed a stategic alliance.


    Vicky said:
    September 23, 2012 at 1:35 am

    That sounds like a wonderful experience.
    I love the idea of good company, the barbie, a few drinks and watching the sun rise. 🙂

    I’ve always fancied doing that on the beach……..perhaps one day 🙂


      EllaDee responded:
      September 23, 2012 at 8:00 am

      Thank you. On the beach would be lovely – I hope you get to do that. Me as well 🙂 I’m sadly lacking in formal dinner party skills. For celebrations we either go to a restaurant or congregate in a backyard, park… with eskies of food & drinks.


        Vicky said:
        September 23, 2012 at 8:26 am

        Hmmm, formal dinner parties are way out of my league, barbies are far more civilised 😉


    dadirri7 said:
    September 23, 2012 at 3:12 am

    what fun! i would quite enjoy your guests too, and the menu is smashing ….. and thanks for pointing me to a Linda Goodman book I have not read …. must look it up, thanks elladee 🙂


      EllaDee responded:
      September 23, 2012 at 8:04 am

      Thank you. The menu and location had me stumped for such an eclectic bunch, so I just went with what I knew. I hope you enjoy Gooberz. Linda gave us a great deal 🙂


    robincoyle said:
    September 23, 2012 at 4:00 am

    What a great idea! My mind is reeling over the possibilities for my dinner guests. It is almost too hard to limit it to 5. When things calm down around Coyle-town I will plan my dinner party. Thanks for including me!


      EllaDee responded:
      September 23, 2012 at 8:08 am

      Thank you. I’m happy to hear this, as I commented to PMOTH, choosing who to tag is a gamble. I agree, narrowing my guest list took more than several attempts 🙂


    Richard Guest said:
    September 23, 2012 at 6:59 am

    This: “barbequed by the G.O. and Ned” is hilarious – great post, EllaDee. 🙂


      EllaDee responded:
      September 23, 2012 at 8:11 am

      Thank you. If you saw the G.O. & Ned together it would be even more hilarious. There’s a lot about them that is alike 🙂


    ChgoJohn said:
    September 25, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    Such a great dinner part! Well, with that guest list and menu, how could it not be? Best of all, you’ve given me blogs to check out, books to read, and a bushranger to seek out. Everybody wins!


      EllaDee responded:
      September 25, 2012 at 7:09 pm

      Thank you. I hope you enjoy your discoveries 🙂 We all win in this little world. The Bartolini Kitchens has had a positive effect for us… I think now a lot more about the ingredients and how I make something… and the positive proof has been in the eating 🙂 Oh, and Max. I’d love to have a Max 🙂


    crazytraintotinkytown said:
    September 26, 2012 at 1:16 am

    Can I come? I’m glad you enjoyed it and you’re right it would be a very late night/early morning


      EllaDee responded:
      September 26, 2012 at 6:12 am

      Well, we do have odd numbers, and there’s a spare chair, oh and enough food to feed any army… of course. So yes, see you at sundown 🙂


    roughseasinthemed said:
    September 29, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    Ya should have tagged me. I have the class barbie tale to tell. But it will save.

    Nice menu, totally inclusive. Would have loved to meet Bon and Ned too. Oh, and you and GO of course 😀


      EllaDee responded:
      October 5, 2012 at 7:23 am

      Thank you. The hardest part of the exercise is working out who to tag. I had a couple of no-takers, so feel free. I would love to have a bloggers’ dinner party 🙂


    Kourtney Heintz said:
    October 8, 2012 at 11:07 am

    Sounds like a great group of people and wonderful food. 🙂


      EllaDee responded:
      October 8, 2012 at 12:06 pm

      Thank you. I’d love to extend it to a virtual bloggers’ barbie 🙂


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