Just in case you haven’t had enough Christmas food already, I’ve provided you with a little more; CHEERS!
It’s time for a bit of Festive fun, folks, and time for revenge for Sally Evans. Fancy a 20lb turkey anyone, a huge mound of sprouts and steaming vegatables, all follwed up by a venonmous christmas pudding on the side.
What else can I say but I hope you enjoy thestory, and oh yes, the video at the end
By Chris Wilson
“OK folks, what’s it to be tomorrow then? Turkey curry, turkey supreme, turkey á la king, turkey á froide avec sauce á la cranberry, or just la maison plat de jour-or what ever the chef can be bothered cooking!. Roll up, roll up, up all you happy Yuletide already overstuffed bleary eyed wedge-tailed eagles. Your road kill the corpse lies awaiting your instructions, and your oh so obliging Chef de Partie, is, as ever, oh so willing to please”
Sally Evans, looked out of her kitchen windows as dawn silently crept over the surrounding folds of the sleeping Malvern hills, and smiled. Her early morning work done, and with a few precious moments of silence to spare before cooking the family breakfast, she thought about the list of Christmas shopping in her handbag, and her festive preparations and duties to come.
Won’t cook, can’t cook, that was the motto of her husband and their two twenty plus year old children; and who was the muggings who had let them get away with it, she ruefully thought to herself, and who was the fool who had unwittingly, and unwillingly become their slave.
Never mind, she had her list. Everything would be in place, everybody would be in their places, and everyone would be just where she wanted; right under her thumb. She could see the list now in all it’s glory, and her smile turned into a grin. The medicinal 20lb turkey that tasted of disinfectant, the field of sprouts stuffed full of pale green flatulence, the break baking camel pulled cartloads of cranberries, and to finish it all of her personal favourite. Her hideously rich, brandy soaked, bomb of a Christmas pudding. A rare and seasonal delicacy, the recipe of which, had been handed down and refined through the female bloodline of her side of the family, and a gourmet dish which, unlike revenge, was perfect served both hot and cold
Yet amidst such seasonal fare and junketing, five small and humble items were of paramount importance, the cooks cut, her mother had once told her, that oh so special treat that was for the cook and the cook alone.
“ Sackfuls of treaties, dried up lumps of turkey, veggies all a sprouting, and a Christmas pudding to make ‘em all cry “
She found herself singing as she began to prepare everything for breakfast. She was going to have a good Christmas. Alone in her kitchen, and looking out over the garden, it was going to be her secret Christmas, which no-one else knew about, and which nobody else was allowed to enjoy!
“ How are we doing my dear, do you need any help out there
Sally just laughed to herself, and rammed yet another soggy lump of stuffing up the backside of the turkey.
Christmas had officially begun, Lord and Master had spoken, so now the official ceremony could begin. Her husband of 48 years was quite sweet really. Casting aside his slippers, he had done his duty by his family, and, as ever at this, if only at this time of the year, proclaimed himself as their king. He had girded his loins, or at least his long Johns, mounted his faithful steed of an old if battered Vespa, and become a proud if once a year hunter and provider, had gone up to the butchers and ritually slain the turkey. He had, through the sweat of his brow, and with Sally’s debit card, paid for the animal in question, so and now, with his empty and meaningless words sliding through the open kitchen door and, unbeknown to him, down the sink plughole, he could mount his throne with pride.
The fact that he had “killed” a turkey big enough to feed the five thousand was unimportant. It was irrelevant that Sally had to pay for, and always get, the damn thing from the butchers, and it was only natural that Sally, as his loyal queen and consort should have to stuff her arm up the rear end of the creature. That is just how things were every Christmas. It was natural law, God’s law, and by tradition, his family law, so who was he to change such monumental precedents, or God forbid, to allow the entry of anything new.
He was the hunter, she was the cook, and the homemaker. Sally knew he loved her, and in many respects stood in awe of her, but he was a spoilt only child of parents with a strong military background. Such values, albeit, in Sally’s eyes old fashioned values, had been drummed into him since early childhood, so she could easily see why he thought, nothing should change.
She shoved into the last of the sage, onion and chestnut stuffing, a loathsome mixture in her view, sealed the turkey, and thankfully loaded it into the waiting hot oven. Now all that was left was the mountain of vegetables, which, like carefully stacked timber in wood yard, neatly lay stacked to one side. Six different veg, and five types of potato; all served up with four increasingly dull and stodgy white sauces, none of which would ever come her way. That is what Adrian called a Christmas dinner, and a fitting tribute to his turkey, and God help if any member of his family wanted it any other way.
Six hours till service, this was her time now. A glass of sherry for the cook and one for the table, as her mother had always told her, and Sally poured herself a schooner of wonderfully dry Manzanilla sherry which, chilled to perfection, lay in an ice bucket by her side
“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock? She asked of the sherry as she held it up towards the sunlight pouring in through the windows. “Come to my lips, my Beamish boy! Oh frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
Six hours to herself as Adrian and the boys watched Christmas T.V, got half cut, and then crashed out on the front room sofa’s. Plenty of time to get everything ready, and, unbeknown to all but herself, plenty of time for her own, her very own, Christmas dinner which, very discreetly, she would keep to one side
She listened for a moment as a delicate uvula and soft palate vibration crept into the kitchen before swirling all around the room. Her piglets, as she thought of her family when they were resting, were asleep, and all the better for it. At present their snoring was pianissimo, all too soon it would be fortissimo, and then, ending with a stirring rendition of the ride of the Valkyries, the two normally oh so patient and loyal family labradors would arise from their own slumbers, and disdainfully leave the room
As she listened, she glanced at a plate of pigs in bacon, which, freshly prepared for later cooking, sat over to one side. Pigs in the kitchen, and her very own little piglets in the living room. All fast asleep, but all ready to wake up or serve their turn.
How would her living room piglets fare over the years to come, she wondered, as she watched and listened to their rhythmic snoring. Adrian’s future was done and dusted, and he would stay cocooned up until his last breath left him, but what of the two boys?
One day, she pondered, they would probably hitch up with a long term partner. Male of female was of no concern to Sally, as she had no preferences as regards their chosen sexual preference or lifestyle, but would they stay entrenched within their fathers groove? With the help of a partner, would they manage to give rise to a new way of living, and establish a new Christmas tradition of their own? Whatever they did, wherever they ended up, and whoever they ended up with, Sally just hoped that there would be less turkey and stuffing, far less mounds of steaming vegetables and far, far, less snoring on the side!
“We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep.” She muttered to herself, as once more she returned to her preparations.
“Why waste time dreaming about if-only’s, maybe’s, and other such vague possibilities!”Her mother had often reminded her. ” Concentrate on the present, and let idle fools dream of what is to come.
A very wise if pragmatic woman had been her mother, and Sally knew that she should be annoyed at the way her own organisational and culinary skills had been taken for granted. Yet, curiously, such treatment suited her, as, in her own way ,and in her own time, such a regime allowed her to live her life to the full.
Adrian thought he was her rock, a rock that she was dependent on, but in some respects he was wrong. Theirs was a good marriage, but while respecting certain rules and boundaries that both were happy to observe and live by, she had always determined to have a life of her own. Ever since childhood humanity had been both puzzling and amusing, and she loved to observe all that went on around her whilst standing to one side. Yet she never wanted to get fully involved. So it was a little odd that that nigh on fifty years worth of marriage had been shared between the pair of them, but looking back neither had many regrets, or at least regrets that they wished to share.
A quiet couple certainly. With few real friends and not many more acquaintances, but a couple who had learnt the value of friendship and companionship in marriage; two values which she hoped would keep growing in their marriage, and steadily mature.
“Marriages are not made by God, they’re made out of bloody hard work and daily compromise”
A somewhat pragmatic Aunt had once told her, and she was right, but with Adrian beside her, and two sons still successfully chasing degrees at university, she was happy to keep things roughly as they were.
She put down her now empty glass of sherry. The vegetables need preparing, and the sauces needed her attention. Time had been drifting remorselessly as she was enjoying her sherry, but now there was work to be done!
“Roll up, roll up, up all you happy Yuletide, already overstuffed, bleary eyed wedge-tailed eagles. Your road kill the corpse lies awaiting your instructions, and your oh so obliging Chef de Partie, is, as ever, oh so willing to please”
This was the moment she had been waiting for, and this was the moment, prior to her ultimate treat, that she looked forward to every year. Rising from their places of slumber, her husband and two sons rose unsteadily to their feet and myopically staggered towards the heaped and audibly groaning Christmas tables. Stripped of all their normal poise, and instantly transmogrified through the most peculiar of all channels of evolution, they, as ever at Christmas, were now akin to three ancient giant Galapogean turtles who, having stumbled upon 21th century civilisation, were somewhat unsure of precisely where to go. They knew they were expected to eat, even in their befuddled and sleep ridden state that was a given factor, but what they were to eat, and how much to eat they were momentarily unsure.
Not for long was such a quandary to puzzle them, for all too soon their still tired eyes focused on the overburdened table and the mounds of produce and turkey that lay in front of them. Stone cold sober, as Sally always was on such festive occasions, her heart and eyes rejoiced as all three men briefly recoiled from the table in front of them. None of them spoke, as the smell from the overfilled bowl of sprouts assaulted them, and not a hair was turned as the sauce pots sulkily shimmered on the side.
Yet not even they could hide from the turkey. That enormous dull as ditch water, white cardboard cadaver which, cooked to perfection, just sat there and leered. Come and get me, it seemed to say to everyone. Dig in suckers, whack on the cranberry, and eat me with a pile of goose fat sodden roast potatoes, and a disgusting mound of steaming malodorous vegetables on the side.
The best thing for Sally, and the worst thing for the rest of the family, was the fact that everyone knew that Sally would eat alone.
“ I’d love to join you, but someone has to do the cooking!”
They would hear from Sally, as in vain, they repeatedly begged her to join them.
“ You just carry on eating, and I’ll be with you as soon as I can. Will I have some turkey? Of course I will. Look, I have a plateful of Christmas dinner, but ovens wait for no-one guys, so I’ll just have my meal outside!”
Sally, now all alone in the kitchen, with her plate of food safely dispatched to the waste bin, watched almost crying with laughter as she watched and listened to the meal that was being consumed by the turtles. They were a game bunch, her family, but as she had cruelly under drained the vegetables, she listened to the chorus of slop, slurp, squidge, and gurgle, with glee.
They would do their best to honour her cooking, her poor little chair bound turtles, but all too soon their bodies would revolt in desperation, and then finally, nigh on screaming for mercy, their souls would begin to cry!
That is when she always swept in with the Christmas pudding. That venomous beast of an animal served up with an obscenely large bowl of pungent brandy cream, and that was when they nearly began to cry.
“ You know it’s lucky to have some”, she would sing out merrily, as their stuffed sweaty faces and bloated bodies painfully looked up at her. “You’re all big boys now, so a little bit won’t do you any harm!”.
Spoonful after spoonful of that God damn awful mixture, would be dumped into overly capacious bowls placed before them, all swamped by huge dollops of cream, yet this was her time now.
It would take ages before she had the pleasure of presenting the pudding, so, pouring herself another schooner of sherry, she prepared, and then began to eat her own Christmas meal.
Fresh bread and butter from her good neighbours who just happened to be dairy farmers; fine mature West Country cheddar, and a large jar of homemade pickled onions on the side
Bugger the Turkey, she thought to herself, and bugger the mounds of vegetables. This was her treat, and her Christmas dinner. Life was sweet, life was so simple, life was all about extra dry sherry, good bread, cheese, and pickled onions, and, with such joys before her, there was no need for anyone else to be around.