Caesar salad remains popular in spite of (or perhaps because of) the fact that it doesn’t have a high vegetable content; it’s basically lettuce with a rich dressing and a selection of animal products. (Cheese, eggs, bacon and anchovies. No wonder it’s popular!)
To make it more Christmassy (if a high-fat indulgence doesn’t sound Christmassy enough!), make star-shaped croutons by:
- taking slices of white bread
- cutting star shapes out of them with a small star cutter
- baking the stars at 180°C until golden brown (5 to 10 minutes)
- allowing them to cool.
And then put the star croutons into an airtight container until just before you toss the salad (which means that you can make them a day or two ahead of time, which is handy).
The guest list for Jeremy’s twenty-first is firming up: just about the only declines are his Sydney cousins. (Buenos Nachos will need a lot of sombreros.)
He has chosen a chocolate spice cake for his birthday so I’ll cook a big one in my lasagne dish and it should go round nicely, even with all of the acceptances. He said he’d like cactuses on it and I think I’ll be able to make those out of marzipan but I’ll do a trial run first. (I don’t want anyone asking why I’ve decorated with ogres.)
 The better the better.
 When Jeremy was four, I left croutons cooling on the kitchen bench and he ate them all while I hung the washing out, so we sat down and made another bunch together. I’m sure he wouldn’t have eaten plain bread if he’d found that – there’s something a little bit special about croutons.