Jaqui's Daily Blog

Dinner, Deadlines and Delivering the Donkey

If it was good enough for Delia, we decided, it was good enough for us.


I’m talking about Delia’s Cheat Boeuf Bourguignon which, served up with Auntie Bessie’s mashed potato and ready prepared veg would serve us well as we prepared to do Dinner on the Move.


Let me explain.  Every year about this time – it would have been our dear Mum’s birthday on Monday – we get together for our annual Brothers and Sisters Day.  This year it was to have been our turn to host the happy occasion but my sister-in-law is still recovering from a spell in hospital and isn’t up to travelling yet. So if she can’t travel to the dinner, well the dinner will simply have to travel to her. We would prepare most of the food in advance, transport it (carefully) to its destination where we would re-heat it, add a few Quick And Easy Accompaniments, and serve up.  Easy peasy.


Delia’s Cheat Boeuf Bourguignon looked simple enough on the basis that you just threw all the ingredients into a pot, added lashings of red wine and cooked for three hours.   However, half way down the list of ingredients and "Houston, We Have a Problem." We need something called borettane onions in balsamic vinegar, available (allegedly) from Waitrose or Sainsbury’s.  OK, some  of you are undoubtedly saying: “So, what’s the problem?” but hopefully the rest of you will be as flummoxed as we were.  It took us so many hours to (unsuccessfully) scour the shelves of the two named supermarkets for borettane onions, in or out of balsamic vinegar, that we could have made two non-cheat Bourguignons in the time we wasted.


In the end it hardly mattered. Mr B cooked up a storm while I was out and the resultant meal tasted fantastic. He forgot to use the lardons and the bay leaves and, to be honest, ignored most of Delia’s recipe, resorting instead to his own Hairy Biker style of cooking.  What about the thyme? I asked him. He said it took simply AGES.


I was very grateful to him for stepping up to the cooker and saving me one of many tasks on my “To Do” list.  There are just too many deadlines looming up. Monday is the Choir Concert and I still have to prepare our bright red files with all the words of the songs we will be singing typed out in large letters. This will enable us to look at our audience from time to time while we are singing, as our conductor, the Redoubtable Muriel, constantly exhorts us - rather than peering downwards at our words all the time. Worse still, I have until December 31st to complete my Great War Project case studies - which would possibly be fine, if we didn’t have Christmas at the end of the month.


Ah, Christmas! There’s a deadline, if ever there was one.  It is the Ultimate Deadline - poor, over-worked Santa knows that better than anyone.  Me, I am like one of his little elves, beavering away in the Winter Wonderland Workroom.  I always like to make at least a few Christmas presents, it gives me (and hopefully the recipients) considerable pleasure.  This year is no exception and I have two more knitting projects to complete, a play to write and the wherewithal for the Manufacture of Christmas Crowns to prepare.


Most of all, I must – I really, really must – knit a donkey. In past years I have knitted Nativity scenes for three sets of grandchildren.  Two include a donkey. One doesn’t. My Boy was quick to remind me last Christmas that the Little Welsh Boys were still without their donkey. I don’t think I can possibly get away without supplying a donkey this year. I have the pattern. I have found some spare grey wool. Like the Boeuf Bourguignon, I just need some thyme / time.  This is one deadline I can’t afford to miss.


Come hell or high water, I have to deliver the donkey....

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Latest comments

23.04 | 20:15

lovely and heartwarming - an inspiration to us all x

09.03 | 12:07

Love this story told as ever beautifully.x

10.11 | 21:31

What a super account of a special event. I loved meeting you last night and seeing your creation come together. I’m so pleased you got so much from the activity

07.09 | 13:17

I have broad shoulders x

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