I was on morning tea duty at work on Friday, and instead of mindlessly plonking down a tea bun from Baker's Delight, I decided to put a bit more effort into it. My colleague and I decided on an 80s Theme. My memories of 80s cuisine all revolve around my mothers' dinner parties. I'm not sure if this was just a small town thing or if she was just so inspired by her vast collection of Woman's Weekly cookbooks, but the dinner party was de rigueur, however you spell it.
The DP was stressful for all involved, because it was not about a nice meal and a drink with friends. It meant spending a frantic couple of days beforehand scrubbing and polishing the house and the carefully careless arrangement of magazines on coffee tables, to prove to your friends that despite working 50 hours a week, you were totally together and had the perfect household, perfect children, and perfect beef stroganoff.
Before the meal of course came the nibblies. This is what we recreated at work on Friday. Jatz crackers, French Onion dip, cheese, cabanossi. And of course, the cocktail onions, glowing red like a radioactive Rudolph.
"What if noone gets it? What if it's just a little bit too tacky?" I asked my colleague in a panic as I arranged a pile of lamingtons.
"Nonsense!" she said, skewering a piece of cabanossi with a gloriously kitsch Australian flag toothpick.
But it was a great success. Pretty soon everyone was laughing and munching and reminiscing about Allan Bond, the recession, Spandau Ballet, Challenger and hair mousse.
"Ahhh I remember that day in '83 when we won the America's Cup," mused my boss.
"Oh yes. I was in Kindergarten that year," I piped up.