Monday, 3 December 2018

If You Can Meet With Triumph And Disaster...

One unexpected triumph last week; we were going to our local Christmas Party for Baptist Clergy and Spouses [aka Bob, his mates and the other halves] Duncan and Barbara host this each year, and she efficiently asks each guest for a specific item for the buffet. I was 'a dessert'. I fully intended making something, but in the end stopped off at Makro and purchased their "Baked Cheesecake - less than £5 and it cuts into 16 fair sized slices. 
I put it on my glass plate, and added a few sliced grapes, and ½ strawberries [cut into heart shapes. So many positive comments - I did confess that it was purchased, and I'd just added the trimmings. I suspect this 'looks homemade, tastes professional' pud is going to turn up at my friends' Church Events before too long!
The disaster? Last year I made lots of chutney to give as Christmas gifts. I had some pickling spices in little 'teabags'. I popped half a dozen of these in the big pan as the chutney bubbles away. Then fished them out and poured the hot chutney into the sterilised jars, and added labels and hats. Whilst clearing up, I realised there were 5 not 6 bags on the draining board. Panic! I held each jar up to the light, couldn't see the missing bag. I really was too lazy did not want to decant and refill all the jars. So I simply prepared apology slips and tucked them inside the little fabric hats.[I am sorry if you find a teabag full of spices in this jar, take it out and discard. It will not affect the chutney-love Angela] So it was only a minor disaster
But here's the thing - what if somebody re-gifted their chutney? What would the next recipient think? 
The craziest part of all this is that there was some left, which I'd put into the smallest jar, and kept for myself, as it seemed too meagre an amount to give away. It got pushed to the back of the cupboard and forgotten. I got it out recently when we had a Ploughman's Lunch - and yes, my jar had the spicebag in it! All those apology slips prepared for nothing.
I have no problem with people re-gifting. If the gift is of little use to you, but can bless someone else, then by all means pass it on. But check it carefully first. I remember a letter in The People's Friend** magazine once which said "My aunt gave me an awful apron for my birthday, and I sent it to a friend for Christmas. She wrote and thanked me for the apron and 'the surprise gift in the pocket' - and I shall never know what it was!"
[**I am still far too young for the PF, but I used to read my Mum's copy occasionally]


  1. I quite like The People's Friend. I've read it a couple of times and it is so innocent, it is a refreshing change. I laughed at your picking sachet disaster! At least you got it!
    We've done something similar with desserts- for a Macmillan coffee morning, I bought a chocolate cake and decorated it with blueberries, raspberries and strawberries (I did confess) and everyone was v impressed!

  2. Your posts often make me laugh. I wonder what was in the pocket. The mind boggles.

  3. I don't mind regifted gifts, but once, someone gave me a wallet that had a note inside from the original giver! Check all pockets, etc., before you regift!


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