Mrs. Christmas’s Lost Knitting Recipe

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One year, Mrs. Christmas thought some different tasting mince pies would be rather nice. She fancied a change from the usual sweet, sugary crust, juicy – inside recipes with far too much spice. Meat, perhaps ? or steak and kidney … lemon flan was as tasty as could be for Christmas tea. Problem was, Mrs. Christmas didn’t have that much money … so she decided on cheap apple pies, covered with a smearing of bargain honey ! She got started straight away, mixing, measuring and messing up all day.

She added a sprinkle of this and splatter of that (splashing a bit of icing sugar on the cat !). Of course, it was hardly any great surprise, that Mrs. Christmas’s kitchen quickly ran out of supplies. Soon, her fingers were so sticky, the pages didn’t turn over, as she was flicking, quickly ! Whilst stirring a spoonful of sugar into her tea – cup, Mrs. Christmas turned over the pages of her cooking magazine, becoming even more mixed up, (and the stickiest that she’d ever been !).

As she carried the heavy recipe book, taking care not to slip, Mrs. Christmas put her hand into the pocket on her hip. Her fingers were so very sticky, she picked up a chip in a ticky ! Holding the recipes tightly in her grip, naturally, the pages soon wouldn’t flip. Firmer than a worm on a fishing hook … it seemed that nothing could help the recipe book become unstook. Although she shook and tried to give it a chuck, nothing would budge the stuck recipe book. All that happened was that one of the pages accidentally came unstuck ! It fell out and floated like a paper aeroplane to the floor … when Mrs. Christmas reached to catch it, her hand, too, became stuck to the knob of the door !

She hadn’t wanted any of the honey, whatsoever, to go to waste … but even less intended her mince pies to be used as wallpaper paste ! All the gnomes were still waiting for a taste. Soon, her recipe book was rather soggy. It swished more than the saucer of milk by the door, on the floor, for the moggy (but she was being chased away by the doggy). Mrs. Christmas tried hard to glue the page back in, so she could finish her cooking and Christmas dinner could begin. “Where was Santa when you needed him ?”, she pondered perplexed. Her patience was fast wearing thin, as she wondered, considerably vexed … (outside, he was giving the sleigh a spin !).

Mrs. Christmas knew that there should have been a perfectly good page eight in the right place, between pages seven and nine, which could have been easily replaced (and not splashed with Christmas wine). Instead, there was nothing there, in place of page eight and the others pages were falling out all over the place, misplaced ! Mmmm. Mrs. Christmas considered the problem somewhat – what to do about dinner and keep the mince pies hot ? How to cook a pie when the page eight recipe couldn’t be got ! What else could she put in that slot ? Would it matter if the replacement recipe was a pie or not ?! Perhaps a leaflet or a pamphlet would be better, instead. Mrs. Christmas only hoped that another bit of paper would be just as useful for baking bread. To save the day, a Christmas card or even some junk mail that had been posted – would perhaps be needed to make sure that the turkey got roasted ! The fairy choir had music sheets (but if one went missing, as they were underneath the mistletoe kissing, so would some of the beats !). Rather than page eight … a page from one of Santa’s library books might be great (though, of course, the pies would still have to wait !) So, first, Mrs. Christmas checked in her notepad to see if there was a page spare – but there wasn’t a single tasty mince pie recipe anywhere ! She looked, next, in the news – but there were only headlines about Tom Cruise and a few unfinished crossword clues. Nothing much at all on tasty things to eat, only special offer shoes to wear upon your feet. There were recipes for chicken and colouring books that you could stick in. But not one page eight of a recipe book in the newspaper …

However, all was not lost (have no fear), Mrs. Christmas had a pile of wrapping paper stored away for emergencies at this time of the year ! Once all the Christmas food was ready and all the washing up was gone, Mrs. Christmas decided to check out her list of other jobs to be done – it weighed at least a ton ! Mrs. Christmas realised that she still had a Christmas stocking to make. Now that she’d finished her bake, she wondered how much more time it would take. Before going out and having some Christmas fun, usually, Mrs. Christmas knit one, pearl one, until a sleeve at a time was done. But, this year, something happened that was quite shocking … she couldn’t find her knitting pattern (maybe she’d dropped it whilst shopping !). That’s when the penny finally dropped (as well as the prices as she shopped !). She’d used her knitting pattern as a bookmark, instead – now there were plenty freshly cooked (or should I say, knitted) woollen socks to be eaten for the elves’ picnic tea in flowerbed ! Not many mince pies, or otherwise, all shared in the snow, with a few of the grotto garden greenflies.

© Jacqueline Richards 2008

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