After Dinner

\"The End of Diner 1913\" by Grun
(“The End of Dinner, 1913 by Grun.” Poster available here.)

Do you serve coffee or after-dinner drinks? We’ve recently had the “sixth course” as a host referred to it: a beautifully arranged cheese tray, complete with walnuts, grapes and figs. It was a fitting accompaniment to the vintage port he is in the habit of offering.

The response I get most often to asking if anyone would like coffee is “no, thanks,” or, “only if it’s made.” If I do make coffee, the request is usually for “decaf.” Decaf? Hmmm. What’s the point I wonder?

I remember my parents serving after dinner coffee and drinks. But they also served dessert; which I don’t. I’m not much of a baker and I really don’t have a sweet tooth. The friends who are our most frequent guests don’t like any sort of fruit. That sort of limits me to lemon sorbet or purchased profiteroles and chocolate syrup with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Brownies in a box are never a success.

I love the idea of offering a cheese tray with grapes and figs to accompany a good port at the end of the meal. And I wouldn’t mind a cup of coffee, even if I’m destined to hit the rack in less than an hour.

The issue today is, of course, the drive home. The folks in the picture above would have taken a handsome cab or walked back.

How about you? What is your after-dinner ritual?

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