In any marriage, there are things that you might “borrow” which rightfully belong to your spouse. Sometimes it’s a well worn shirt. Or a jacket. Or a hat. Or perhaps, sometimes it’s not. Sometimes, you might just want to steal their relatives instead.
I grew up with a few cousins, mostly older, a few younger. We moved, they moved. In the “pre-facebook” days of the 60s and 70s, I never felt like I really knew those cousins. Some I haven’t seen or spoken to since I was a kid.
Grumpy grew up without any first cousins. None at all. His father was an only child, his mother’s only sibling died young. Really small family. His grandmother (mother’s mother), however, came from a big family. She left them behind in Newcastle, England. She, and then her daughter (my mother in law), were good about keeping in touch. Mary (my MIL) went over for a visit, and met some of her cousins and their children. This is how Grumpy and I came to know his (2cd…3rd???) cousins in the UK. And I stole them.
I didn’t set out to steal them. It started out with a visit from Hylton and his (new) bride Yve. They were great- the kind of people you have fun with right off. Then we stayed in touch through FB. This is where I met Allen. Allen and Hylton are brothers; and also very competitive, in a friendly way (ahem- right?).
Somehow or other, we started having intercontinental challenges. I’m not sure who started it, or even what the first one was. It might have been the Yorkshire pudding challenge. This one was the entry from Kelly, Allen’s daughter who lives down in Australia. My own entry was not so pretty. There was also the “Toad in the Hole” contest. This is basically a nice yorky pudd with sausages in the middle.
This here is the Toad in the Hole that I made. The toads (sausages) were burnt nearly to a crisp! It’s a sad thing compared to Kelly’s- all high here/ flat there, but it does pull off a neat height of 5 inches on the high corners(that’s more than 10cm there Kell!).
Here is a link to the official recipe for Mississippi Mud Pie from the Hairy Bikers Mississippi Adventure. It’s not like the ice cream one. It’s a decadent, rich, chocolaty treat.
My own entry into the contest is pictured here, but I’m clearly not going to win the award for best photo! Not sure what the problem was that day- must have been the camera, surely!
Somewhere along the way I really started looking forward to these food challenges. In between those times we found plenty to communicate about, getting to know each other as well as sharing jokes. I think Allen shares my fondness for jokes. I love a good laugh- life is just to precious to take seriously! Allen is a regular attendee at “Church on Sunday“. Click on the link there to read about it in his own words at Wibbleblog.com. On Sunday’s the guys get together at the Annfield Plain Cricket Club to watch the games. There’s probably a great deal of cricket (or football) cheering going on, but there is a bit of pint pulling in the club on a Sunday as well. The boys at the club have been bringing in a variety of foods (at one time Thursday was “cheese night”), following the goings on with the Hairy Bikers and the international foodie competitions among the cousins as well. I’m not sure they are all on Allen’s side, either!
Recently I was made an honorary member of the Annfield Plain Cricket Club. Me. Not Grumpy. And I couldn’t be happier. In fact, just today I received a gift from Allen: a memorial cup from the APCC centennial. I’m absolutely tickled pink! I’d like nothing more than to hop a plane out there and join them on a Sunday. I know less than nothing about cricket, but I’ll cheer for Newcastle United, or Sunderland (If they’re ever the underdogs) and I’ll bring my cup. I know it’s meant for tea- but it’s an official cup lads! It won’t hold a pint all at once, but it seems to have a promise of 2000 refills stated in the handle. It may take me a while to get through so many, but I’ll have a great time coming to know you all in person while I’m getting there! Thanks so much Allen and you fellas, for making me a part of the club and a fine gift of the cup. I’m aware it’s a limited edition (and commemorative of the championship) and I’ll treasure it. Thank you for the cup, and the honor.
Cheers Boys! XXX