Jaqui's Daily Blog

Cooking Up a Party

The Youngest of the Darling Daughters and I are both busy in the kitchen. Such a shame that we are not in the same kitchen, that would be much more fun. Nevertheless we are staying in regular touch via text and Facebook Messenger, so that we can keep each other happy and motivated.

This evening Our Jack kicks off his 18th Birthday Celebrations with a party for friends at home. Tomorrow afternoon, there will be a Family Get-Together. Nothing demonstrates the difference between the two celebrations more than the Making of Jellies. I have concocted a dozen Ready, Jelly, Gos (see the link on the left to my Cook Book) for the small fry attending the family "do"; Jack and sister Hazel, for their part, have concentrated their efforts on making vodka jellies for this evening's bash. How times change! their mother, the Y of the DDs mourns. Mr B much prefers the idea of the vodka jellies; I just know which kitchen he would prefer to frequent, given a choice.

As well as the traffic light jellies, I have undertaken to produce two dozen scones. For this task I have consulted not one, but two, cookery gurus. I am making Buttermilk Scones, courtesy of the Divine Delia, plus sultana scones, courtesy of Jack and Hazel's friend Connor (we call them Sconners in his honour.)

I have to say that the Sconners look much tastier than Delia's Buttermilk Scones so I make an extra batch. I run out of self-raising flour so have to make a dash for the shops. I'd have had plenty if so much of it hadn't ended up decorating the kitchen floor. It's beginning to look a lot like a White Christmas in my kitchen. Meanwhile my daughter is making the Birthday Cake which, from the photos she sends me, looks magnificent. Even the Birthday Boy concedes that it looks "classy." I wonder how messy her kitchen is and whether she has sprinkled flour all over her floor?

Ah, yes, that's my problem. My efforts simply can't be described as classy. Even though I have painstakingly cut out new black and silver letters for my my birthday banners, these are most definitely for the family party only. I Know My Place. The Birthday Boy let me down gently, kind lad that he is.

Mr B decides that we should experiment with the Hairy Bikers' recipe for Boeuf Bourguignon. Although the recipe is for six people and we are but two, we will make the lot (he says) and freeze what we don't eat today. It is a pity that my kitchen is already in such a mess, as a result of the preparation of the jellies and the scones. It is even more of a pity that the recipe will use up almost a whole bottle of red wine, leaving me with something like a quarter of a glass to accompany our meal. Those Hairy Bikers have a lot to answer for in my (cook) book. Mind you, they have taught me a new way of peeling the skin off baby onions, for which I must thank them. Never let it be said that I don't express appreciation when it is due.

While browning meat, preparing the onions, slicing button mushrooms and wondering whether the "bushy sprigs of thyme" I located at Tesco's are bushy enough, I contemplate on Parties To Which I Have Contributed. I like to think I always do my best. Many is the jam sandwich I have prepared for a (Not So Little) Welsh Boy's birthday. Many the carrot I have cut into sticks.

There have, I must admit, been Slight Disasters along the way, none messier than the time I transported sixteen Ready, Jelly, Gos in the boot of my car only to find, on arrival at the Y of the DDs' house, that most of them had wobbled into a woeful mess over the course of the journey. It was one of those occasions when I suspect my daughter, trying to salvage a jelly or two from the sweet and sticky carnage, could have done without me being quite so helpful. I need to ensure that there is no repeat of this sorry experience tomorrow but I am hoping that by using the packaging saved from two packets of yoghurts, I may just have found the answer. Time, as always, will tell.

The scones are cooked, the jellies are set, the present is wrapped, the card is written, the birthday banners are ready to be strung up.

In short, I'm ready to party.


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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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