A few weeks ago I started my day by walking Alfie to school then went to do a swim squad. As I entered the pool the person on reception said, ‘Oh hi Alison, how are you? Looking forward to your swim?’ And I said, ‘Oh, sorry it’s not Alison, I’m Charlie’. And she said, ‘Oh, sorry, I thought you were someone else’.
I didn’t think much of it but when I was walking home from the pool a woman grabbed me by the arm and said, ‘Linda, it’s so good to see you.’ And I wasn’t sure that I had heard her correctly so I said, ‘Oh, sorry?’ And she said, ‘Linda!’, grabbing hold of me, ‘I haven’t seen you for ages’. And then with a slight look of doubt she asked, ‘It is Linda, isn’t it?’ And I said, ‘Oh no sorry, I’m Charlie’. And she said, ‘Oh, I’m terribly sorry, you’re the splitting image of Linda’.
Next I was off to the butcher. I walked in and Richard who owns the business said, ‘Oh hello Cherie, what can I get you today?’ Now I knew there was every chance he was going to call me Cherie. I’ve been through this with him a few times because he likes to learn the names of all his customers so ever since I began buying my meat from him he’s been determined to learn my name.
The first few times I went there he’d say, ‘And I’m feeling bad, I’ve forgotten your name again.’ And I’d say, ‘It’s Charlie’. And he’d say, ‘Oh, you’d think I could remember that.’ And then I’d say, ‘Well just remember the cartoon, Charlie Brown’. And then he’d say, ‘Oh, now you’re making it difficult for me. I’ll never remember that’.
So the next three or four times I went into the shop he called me Cherie. And I’d quietly say, ‘It’s not Cherie, it’s Charlie.’ And he’d apologise and say things like, ‘Oh, I should write it down’. But the very next time I was in the shop he’d forgotten and said, ‘Oh Cherie, how are you today?’
So when I was in there the other day and had been called Alison at the swim centre and Linda on the footpath and then Cherie by the butcher I just had no energy left. I let him call me Cherie and he’s been calling me that ever since. ‘Oh, Cherie, it’s so good to see you. What can I get you Cherie? Now Cherie, I think you’d like this rack of pork, but then again Cherie, you might like the rolled loin, you can have it stuffed or unstuffed. Oh, you’d like the steak would you Cherie, can I trim that for you Cherie? And what have you got planned for the weekend Cherie? Plenty of entertaining?’ And on and on he’d go.
And the bizarre thing is, my mother’s butcher also used to call me Cherie. My mother would gently say, ‘Look, I don’t have a daughter called Cherie, it’s Charlie’, but it fell on deaf ears because he called me Cherie for the next six years.
Hot Cross Buns
Degree of Difficulty: 4/5 - because of the time involved
Cost: Very inexpensive especially compared with what you pay for quality store-bought hot cross buns
- 7gms powdered yeast
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup warm milk
- 2 1/2 cups plain flour
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 50g cold butter, cut into cubes
- 1 beaten egg
- 1/4 cup water
- 3/4 cup mixed dried fruit
- 1/3 cup plain flour
- 1/4 water
- 1 tsp powdered gelatin
- 1 tbspn sugar
- 1 tbspn boiling water
In a small bowl combine yeast, sugar and milk and stir to combine. Allow to rest in a warm place, covered for 1o mins until frothy.
Sift flour and spice into a large bowl and rub in butter with your fingers until it resembles breadcrumbs. Make a well in the centre and add yeast mixture, egg, water and dried mixed fruit. Stir until well combined. Cover and leave in a warm place for 60 mins or until mixture has doubled in size.
Grease an 18cm x 28cm tin with 4cm high sides.
Punch down dough, turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 3-5 minutes or until smooth. Divide into 12 even portions and shape into buns. Place in tin 1cm apart. Cover and leave in a warm place for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
Pre-heat oven to 200C.
For the crosses: In a small bowl combine water and flour and mix until a smooth paste. Put into a piping bag and pipe crosses onto each bun.
Place tin in oven for 10 mins. Reduce heat to 180C and cook for a further 15 mins.
For the glaze: In a small bowl combine boiling water, sugar and gelatine. Mix until smooth.
Remove buns from the oven. Place on a wire rack to cool. Brush with glaze. Best eaten immediately!
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