Caitlin was halfway through peeling the potatoes for dinner when the phone rang. It was Uncle Philip phoning to say that Great Aunt Philomena had died. Caitlin hardly knew her. Once or twice when she was a child her parents had visited Great Aunt Philomena and Caitlin was each time ordered to “behave like a lady”. Even back then Great Aunt Philomena was as proper as one could get, and now she was dead. It was no great shakes. Caitlin went back to peeling the potatoes.
The announcement of Philomena’s death brought back some vivid memories for Caitlin. The spinster aunt would sit in a huge armchair while Caitlin’s parents sat on the sofa and made small talk. Two or three times throughout the visit, Great Aunt Philomena would rise from her chair and grandly announce, “I shall be back shortly. It’s time for a little Coca Cola.” She would depart the room only to return a few minutes later smelling of gin.
Her death was five years ago. Throughout those five years, every time Caitlin peeled potatoes for dinner she thought of Great Aunt Philomena. That phone call had associated Philomena with potato peeling. Forever, it seems. Why can’t I think of something else when I peel potatoes, thought Caitlin? The association remained. There was no escaping it. Great Aunt Philomena and potatoes were inextricably bound. It was an existential annoyance. There was only one thing for it: Caitlin would have to give up peeling potatoes.
Of course, Caitlin peeled the potatoes only to be useful and “ordinary”. She didn’t need to do the peeling. These days one of the scullery maids does it. It helps that Great Aunt Philomena left Caitlin her mansion and all her millions.
Thank you so much for the wonderful Rum Balls recipe on your blog. I used it for the first time the other week and it was a hit. The family loved it. In fact I jokingly said that I wasn’t going to bake these Rum Balls ever again because they disappeared too fast!
The only change I made was that the recipe called for rum essence. I didn’t have any on hand so I used real rum. It worked a treat. So today I’m going to do it all again, except this time I’m going to double the rum and make it twice as good.
I wasn’t sure if rum went off, like wine, once the bottle was opened so I tried a wee sip and it seems to be alright. I careflea measured out the rum and it was the first thing I used because I dodn’t want hubby coming home and quaffing it down before I even added the flower. Yu can imadgine how I felled when I discovered there was only one teaspoon left in the bottle and you’re resipe cauled for too, so fourtunately we had some whiskey in the howse so I used that as well.
Then when it come to the frosting there was no whiskey so I used a bit of gin with a sprinkling of… of whatever that other stuff you said is called and it semed orright. Wee shell no wen hubby comes home and tacks a bight. Anyway I just wanded two tank you and say it is purfet. Its very layber intents so I’m thingking of havking it for the mane corse as well. The only thing is that to do that I will have to get to the shops to buy lots moore rum.