Jaqui's Daily Blog

Cooking, Conversations and the Meals and Wheels Club

I hesitate to introduce the subject of today’s blog, bearing in mind yesterday’s sad story of me and my lack of success in losing weight. You will remember, if you were kind enough to read yesterday’s blog, that I admitted to hardly ever losing more than half a pound a week, only to put the self-same half a pound back on again the following week.


You would have thought, therefore, that I might just have stayed off the subject of food for a day or two. But the thing is, today was the monthly meeting of the Meals and Wheels Club which I felt needed to celebrated by a special mention in the Daily Blog. Despite the fact that it is blatantly clear from the name of the club, that food plays a major part in its activities.


The Meals and Wheels Club only has four members but then that’s all we need really.  We meet up once a month, taking it in turns to host lunch. Whoever doesn’t provide the meals, uses their wheels to transport them to the host’s house. So the Meals and Wheels Club was born. I know I have probably told you this before but, for the sake of new readers (of whom there seem to be quite a few, judging by the latest website figures) I thought a quick resume might be permissible.


Today it was the turn of Mr B and me to cook and I had determined on a celebration of Southdown lamb.  If the poor little things had to die for us, then the least I could do was to make sure that they didn’t die in vain but were feted for their delicious taste and flavour by all members of the Meals and Wheels Club.  Mr B insisted on calling the dish “Lancashire Hotpot” which rather missed the point of the local-ness I was so keen to promote.


My other thought for the day was to produce food which could be prepared and then consigned to the oven for however long it took, together with microwaveable vegetables and a trouble-free pudding.  I know it is considered good form for the hostess to slave over a hot stove for hours on end when inviting friends to lunch or dinner – but if you do that you run the risk of missing all the conversation because you are too busy rolling out puff pastry, rustling up a spicy sauce or plating up a la Masterchef.  Despite all I have said about food and my stomach, if I had to choose between food and conversation, I would choose the chat every time.


A month between meetings is the perfect timing.  A lot can happen over the course of a month, there will always be new stories to tell, fresh experiences to share, news of former colleagues to impart.  Because we know and care about each other’s children, we are keen to hear about forthcoming births and marriages.  We never get tired of listening to the latest tale about the others’ grandchildren, knowing that they will listen just as attentively when it is our turn to recount the latest news about our eight - from Katie and Jack, the eldest two, right down to Young Faris and the Duracell Bunny. Two of us are obsessed with family history so there’s always some minor or major success on the research side to discuss while our partners look on with the kind of resigned, patient look that goes with the turf.


Today’s lunch went really smoothly, possibly because I banned Mr B from the kitchen on the grounds that it was my turn to cook.  I did involve him in slicing the potatoes, hotpot for the topping of, and I also delegated the Making of the Coffee to him. (This latter was due to the fact that I don’t actually know how to use his Super Duper coffee machine.)  


When Mr B cooks, he is forever summoning me into the kitchen to perform the functions of a Sous Chef / table layer / waitress.  Engrossed in conversation (see above), I never manage to respond quickly enough to his increasingly agitated summonses from the depths of the kitchen.  This not only adds to the stress of Getting the Food Onto The Table, but also means I often miss out on important chat because it is at the precise moment when the conversation is getting interesting / scandalous / downright hilarious that Mr B will holler from the kitchen with the information that the vegetables are getting cold and that the whole meal is on the point of being irredeemably spoilt on account of my tardiness.


Before we close each Meals and Wheels Club meeting we always consult our respective diaries and arrange the following month’s meeting. Today when we looked ahead a month there was one day which seemed to stand out – our anniversary. We had a choice: we could book a table for two at a fancy restaurant and spend an evening looking adoringly into each other’s eyes. Or we could enjoy yet another in a long line of lovely lunches with the long-standing friends who make up the Meals and Wheels Club.  I have put the date in the diary already, written in red felt tip pen as befits such a Red Letter Day.


June 4th – Meals and Wheels Club.

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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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