Chicken Curry In Snowdonia

It’s been a revolving door sort of weekend, starting very early on Friday morning when Son departed for school geology field trip to Snowdonia.  Cakes to “augment lunches” were required, the instructions stated.  Thinking my butterfly cupcakes wouldn’t do for a mini-bus load of 18-yr old boys, I suggest tray bakes.  Once I would have baked them myself but no more; there’s been a mutiny in the kitchen.  S dropped into supermarket on way home from Muay Thai on Thursday evening to buy some, along with ‘necessities’.  Alf (dog) went into a tailspin when he clapped eyes on the bag being packed on Thursday evening , sensing the imminent departure of one of his charges.

Having given in on the carpet clearing front, I’m warming to the abdication of responsibility theme.  Anyway, off he went tray bakes and all.

At about 8.30pm that evening, Alf shot bolt upright narrowly missing brain damage from the edge of the coffee table, and looked at me quizzically, hardly daring to hope.  “Was that my girl’s car I heard?”, his eyes asked.  Indeed it was.  Daughter, due home for an unexpected weekend, had asked if she could bring some washing.  “Yes, of course”, had been my motherly reply.  [Warning:  Do not agree to washing when vet student involved.]

Open front door and missile launches past me, bounding like a spring lamb, ears trying hard to keep up.  Squeals of delight accompany the high jumps as D alights from car.  A mutual love-in ensues.  Baggage is unloaded and sherpas (self and husband) carry in belongings.  Thinking I’ll get a head start, immediately ask for the washing.  Mistake.  They don’t give ‘bio security’ advice on the Aerial box.  Each item (lab coat, water proofs and overalls) has to be washed separately and at a minimum of 60 degrees.  I’m now worried about the old machine heating itself into oblivion.  Decide to leave offending items in their bags and start on the normal stuff.  D says she’ll do it but I’m in ‘clucking mode’ as she calls it, so carry on.  Now then, back to my bio security training…

Cross-infection and cross-contamination are words I haven’t heard since my nursing days (before the superbug era) but I don’t remember such high temperatures.  OK, I’d understand if we were talking twin-tub but things have moved on.  I know there have been two full ‘dissection days’ but, after asking previously and learning they’d been working on dogs’ legs, I now operate on a ‘need to know’ basis and I don’t.

Son’s due back at 6pm on Sunday so thought we’d have a family dinner until I discovered at 5pm they hadn’t left Snowdonia.  That went well then!  D leaves at 7.30 and S’s collected at 10pm.  There I was, asking about the geological features of Snowdonia and all he wanted to talk about was the cracking chicken curry he’d made.  They’d bought fresh spices sealed the meat, the full monty and everyone was raving about it.   A blow-by-blow account of each meal followed.  I’m puzzled – had he got on the wrong bus and spent the weekend with The Naked Chef, or something? All this is out of character.  Ah ha, the mists clear.  S’s mate is a terrific cook so they teamed up to do the cooking which meant no clearing or washing up.  Nifty move – he’d enjoyed cookery lessons plus reflected glory and avoided the donkey work.

Fast forward to this morning, S announces he’s making spaghetti carbonara at school and needs the ingredients.  In my new modus operandi, I say “you’ll have to go out at lunchtime and buy them then”.  I’m really getting a handle on this letting go thing.  He leaves for school and I locate bag and washing.  What do I find?  The tray bakes still in the bottom of the bag, unopened (probably couldn’t manage another morsel after the Indian delights) and, last but not least, a bottle of Jack Daniels – I’m not even asking.

  • Marion


  • BiancaTait

    Janet this story just cracked me up.  You do tell a good yarn girl, have you got any Irish blood in you? x

    • janetswift

      Hi Bianca.  Actually, four generations ago some folks migrated to Scotland.  They then blended with the English, so to speak, and here I am.  A lady from Estee Lauder once told me I had Celtic skin which, apparently is pale, thinner than full-blooded English rose and with a liberal scattering of freckles.  Yes, you sussed the Celt in me.  Thanks for coming over.