Jaqui's Daily Blog

My Best Laid Plans

Such a very good idea!


With half the family arriving for Easter Day She-Nanni-Gans, it made perfect sense to carry out all the preparations today so that tomorrow I can simply enjoy myself. Okay, I would have enjoyed myself anyway, given the company of Team Baldwin plus The Rascal and The Twinkles. It will be good, however, not to have to spend too much time in the kitchen.


This is no reflection, please believe me, on my dedication to the Culinary Arts. It's more to do with the fact that Young Faris loves to keep me company while I am cooking. His idea of keeping me company, moreover, is to empty out all the kitchen drawers in a bid to locate dangerously exciting objects such as (i) scissors; (ii) batteries; (ii) assorted cutlery (though he is only really interested in the knives of course); (iv) cocktail sticks - all those sharp, pointy ends, don't you know?; and (v) his Grandad's spare Clippa lighters.


Often my visiting family decides to take over the cooking for me, so as not to cause me too much trouble. This is perfectly lovely of them - but cooking for my family has always been an Act of Love to me. Even in the Early Days when the sausages were burnt on the outside and underdone on the inside. When my cakes had not just a soggy bottom but - even worse - a Sinking Middle. When my idea of a special pudding was a biscuit base made of crushed ginger nuts filled with Angel Delight and topped with a crushed chocolate flake.


Thursday tea time was always my greatest challenge in those far-off days of young motherhood. No more money till Friday payday and only what was left in the larder to play / cook with. The solution was invariably - pancakes! Reminiscing with the Eldest of the Darling Daughters a little while ago I was charmed when she said she remembered the pancakes for Thursday Tea and always thought I had made them as an extra special treat.


Mr B wants me to sit and keep him company while we watch the final of Celebrity Apprentice so time management is the Order of the Day. There is an Easter cake to bake and decorate. I need to cook my famous (well, famous in the family at least) Madras beef curry just as soon as the Man from Ocado (it's John, this week, in the Apple van - I thought you would want to know) turns up with the diced beef. Most importantly, I need to decorate an Easter bonnet for the Giant Penguin to wear out on the doorstep where he will stand to greet the visitors, according to Family Tradition. You can tell I have my priorities right.


Mr B thinks my cake is a triumph. He is too kind to say that it resembles every other cake I have made over the last year, apart from the Easter decorations on top. Keep it Sweet and Simple, that's my motto. KISS for short which is appropriate because once again ( as the Middle of the Darling Daughters will stoutly affirm) it has been made with best love. Mr B asks if there are any chocolate buttons left over now I have covered the top of the cake with them. I have to tell him I have used every single one. You can tell he isn't Feeling The Love.


It starts to rain. This is not meant to happen. Not with an Easter Trail in the garden planned plus the traditional Potato And Spoon Race. This is the first year The Twinkles have been old enough to enjoy the fun and I so badly don't want them to miss out. Even though they wouldn't know what they were missing and would be quite content playing Tala's favourite game (Guess Which Twinkle Can Run The Fastest) or Lilia's preference (Rugby Tackle Your Twin To The Floor).

Everything is ready. The curry is cooked, the cake baked, the Easter eggs hidden, the Giant Penguin adorned with a bonnet of quite startling lack of originality but colourful with it.


I'm sitting here thinking of my dear Dad's favourite poem:


"Come in the evening, come in the morning.
Come when expected, or come without warning.
Only - come,"


Welcome, my lovely family. I'm ready!

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Latest comments

26.10 | 14:21

Mmm, was it because there were '24 men kicking a ball' that it didn't end entirely satisfactorily???

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15.10 | 11:13

I don't remember seeing this first time round.... but thank you for sharing with me. You write beautifully, and brought a tear to my eyes. Lots of love xx

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10.10 | 21:37

Jaqui I think your grandchildren are very lucky. You have spurred me on to write a letter to Amelia who like Hazel is away from home for the first time. 💕

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03.07 | 22:43

Wouldn't have missed it for the world. xx

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