There is much to be said for eating one's main meal at lunchtime. Particularly when the meal is shared with good friends.
"What time did you tell them to get here?" Mr
B wants to know. It is a sensible question but I am in the middle of peeling the spuds so my response is, shall we say, non-committal. The Youngest of the Darling Daughters can't bear to watch me peeling potatoes; she says nobody she knows hacks away at this
most humble of root vegetables in such a cavalier fashion. She keeps urging me to use a scraper-type tool but I simply can't get the hang of it. So I continue to hack away, wasting precious potato, removed and discarded with the peelings.
Once I have hidden my guilty secret (aka the potato peelings) in the bin, I consult the diary, only to discover that I have apparently invited our friends to arrive at 12 noon. It is now twenty to twelve and I haven't made
the pastry for my meat pie or prepared the strawberries for our pudding. What is more, I need to pay a flying visit to the shop to buy some soft drinks in case our guests forego the pleasure of vino. Mr B says I should have known better. It's difficult to
I rustle up the pastry. I am quite good at pastry, though I say so myself as shouldn't (as my dear Mum would chide me). I rather think, however, that this is because I always find myself mixing
the ingredients together at the last minute - pastry should never, but never, be over-worked. In my hands, there's no chance of that.
Next, the strawberries - but, hey, there is only one punnet in the fridge.
I could swear I bought two. Mr B says don't look at him, he hasn't touched them. It's not the most helpful of comments but for some reason it gives me the idea of checking the car boot, just in case they fell out of the shopping bag on their journey home from
Sainsbury's. Success! There they are, nestling in the company of the car rug, the red emergency triangle, a discarded cardboard coffee cup and Young James's Superman car seat. One day I will tidy my boot.
you ever noticed, by the way, the amazing transformation that occurs when a girl who could never find anything, even something right under her nose, becomes a mother. Suddenly she develops an uncanny ability to remember where her littl'uns left their hockey
stick, their English homework, their socks, their mobile phone charger. It is, indeed, one of the Mysteries of Life.
I tell Mr B that I am relying on him to make our friends welcome if they happen to arrive
while I am out buying J2Os. The lad behind the till at the garage shop tells me that he had forgotten how delicious J2Os are and that perhaps he will buy some for himself when he finishes work. They're a bargain at half-price, I inform him - maybe we should
change places and I should be working the till?
Phew! I reach home before our guests arrive. They have obviously decided that I really couldn't have been serious when I suggested a twelve o'clock arrival...
Lunch is lovely. I'm not talking about the food here (though Mr B says it passed muster) but our friends Bob and Val are the best company and we haven't seen them for ages, so there is a lot to catch up on. Neither of
them accepts the offer of a J2O but my sister is coming next weekend so it was worth buying them. Especially at half-price.
Now, much later, I am sitting comfortably and enjoying the fact that I don't need
to think about cooking dinner because we've already eaten like kings at lunchtime. Maybe something on toast a bit later - but we might not even need that. As I said, there's much to be said for having one's main meal at....