There’s a scene in my new (as yet untitled) novel where the antique dealers from Chipwell Barn Antiques bring everyone together for a Christmas drinks party. Fairy lights are strewn and tea lights flicker in little jars. Trestle tables are fully laden with Christmas nibbles, there’s a pot of mulled wine on the heat and the speakers are blaring Wizzard’s “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day.”
The thing is, I’ve always wanted to host one of those Christmas drinks parties, but never have. It’s always been too busy, or we don’t know enough people who are around, or it’s the last minute and nothing’s been planned, or someone else who knows more people has got in first. Plus, it’s usually so hot and the drinks party I have in mind calls for Christmas jumpers rather than humidity swollen ankles. Too much information?
Anyways, in lieu of being able to host the drinks party of my dreams, I wrote about it instead. Sad but true.
One savoury treat that I make at this time of the year that would be on my drinks party menu – if ever I were to host one – is Delia Smith’s mini cheese, onion and olive scones. Delia’s are the perfect one bite canape; mine, I fear, are a tad bigger. This is partly because I don’t have a teeny scone cutter and partly because I like them better this way.
The olives had that salt that is so good with drinks, and the pepper – don’t be shy with the pepper, these are meant to have a bite to them – a moreish piquancy.
Delia recommends spreading them with creamy blue or herb cheese and I agree with that. They are, however, just as good with butter – as, indeed, are most things in life. The recipe is here.