Ros and Nick, and Jane, came over for dinner tonight and to eat the meal that I had spent much of the afternoon preparing. I had been tossing up between a roast or aubergine lasagne for a while but in the end came down on the latter because you can get all the preparation done in advance and devote time to your guests when they arrive.

The downside to this plan is that preparing four aubergines for cooking is a laborious process. First you have to slice them and salt them and leave them and wash them, and then you have to fry them and you need the pan really, really hot for that and go through so much oil in the process. It’s a hot job, and a long job, and one that you can get bored of very, very quickly. That said, I must look up the latest aubergine news on t’internet because Ros was telling us that all that egg-plant preparation is no longer needed because they’ve changed the way they grow them now. Must look into this or else I might have to stuff my principles and look into the ready grilled, frozen variety.

Although I say so myself, the finished lasagne was one of my best. You know how, often when you make lasagne you get those annoying corners of uncooked pasta sticking out the top? Well there was none of that – just a deliciously creamy and cheesy topping. What’s more, the slabs of main course came out the dish and sat robustly on the plate. A perfect follow up to Em’s melon and prosciutto starter.

For desert we had profiteroles, made earlier from the St Michael’s Freezer Book (what did happen to St Michael of Marks & Spencer land?), with chocolate sauce. All very successful.

We had a lovely evening. They are all such nice people, they are a pleasure to be in the company of and friends with. And yes, Ros, if I do get Shepline Publishing going you can be Marketing Director and work from home from your office-cum-nursery. Oh, and Jane, how do you feel like being Commissioning Editor?