My mother's Christmas Book is not merely about Christmas but includes accounts of other celebrations. The first of these in the volume is my 21st birthday party, held on 5 April 1992 for 42 people. My mother records the menu as follows:
Vichyssoise with croutons.
Salmon (cold, baked in foil - Delia Smith). 1 x 7 1/2 lb, 1 x 8 1/2 lbs (3/4 salmon left over).
1 6 lb topside beef roasted medium rare.
12 tiny poussins (roasted with olive oil & herbs).
Avocado salad 15 avocados - not enough! need 20)
Tomato salad (4 lb beef tomatoes - could have been 5!)
Green salad (1 x frisée, 1 iceberg, 2 bunches watercress - too much!)
Orange & lemon charlotte x 4 in big metal bowl.
Green fruit salad - Prue Leith - apple, grape, grapefruit & kiwi x 4. Made sorbet with leftovers!
27 bottles Champagne (special offer Sainsbury's extra dry!)
50 side plates, soup bowls, dinner plates, soup spoons hired from King's College Hospital.
Big bowls x 2, flat dishes x 4, knives, forks, spoons, glass pudding bowls borrowed off a friend.
I recall the embarrassment of having Happy Birthday sung to me, two speeches delivered in my honour, a poor speech in reply and my mother catching one of the waitresses hired for the day merrily chopping the avocados into the salad with their skins on. It was a good day.