• Gemma Catherine Malak

The Diary of Jenny McFluff: The Bake Off




Ahh, Christmas! The joyful, festive cherry on top of an arse of a year. Although, if this year is anything to go by, that cherry will be laced with Rohypnol and we will all wake up semi naked with candy canes stuck up our bums, tied up by a load of pissed up elves on shelves getting their own back for all the ridiculous shenanigans we’ve had them doing for the past month.


By the ghost of Captain Birdseye, I have blamed the elves for no less than thirteen mishaps this week alone. If one were playing family fortunes of the top ten questionable motherhood actions, I’m pretty sure the survey would start flashing the top answer of eating the entire contents of 5 year old child’s advent calendar in a single go. Of course, when Charlie discovered this catastrophe, with the elf sitting right next to the evidence, he was the obvious suspect—My bad.


The fact is, some mothers are questionable. I’m not even going to apologise for it, it will give the little scamp a fully rounded character. Having a mother who is a loop short of a fruit has its perks though—the little blackmailer got 5 costa coffee Terry’s chocolate orange hot chocolates WITH light dairy swirl (and marshmallow). I could get botox done for the cost of the f**kers! Due to this extortion, I feel like I redeemed myself for the advent calendar incident, but probably not for the forgetting Christmas jumper day at school, odd socks day, friendship week, children in need day or the very loose concept of ‘schooling’ during lockdown whereby Charlie’s mathematics section was to calculate how much gin I needed in my tonic (apparently, a friggin’ lot just wouldn’t do as an answer). I did however create a new event day, which was ‘wear whatever the f**k you want into school day’ (We were a week early for some ridiculous made-up fancy dress day where you have to donate at least a quid or be frowned upon forevermore.) Miss Miller, Charlie’s teacher did not look impressed when he turned up as Pete the Pirate, brandishing a cardboard sword and telling her she was a kraken and must leave the murky waters of Philadelphia spread or forever be cursed to the land of Pepperami.


So, today I am in best Mary Berry mode, with pinny and all. I am making mince pies for the school of nil sense of humour which I have been told I can do as long as I sanitise the Tupperware containers to f**k afterwards in case the ‘Rona is lurking on a lid. My personal defence of not succumbing to said ‘Rona is to eat a gin liquor advent calendar chocolate every morning, followed by a brandy laced mince pie at 11am, a glass of wine with dinner, and three glasses of baileys of an evening. They did say on the telly that alcohol kills the ‘Rona, and the telly never lies….well…apart from Boris and Matt and Rishi and the entire BBC….ok, maybe the telly lies a bit, but my bloody alcohol level is friggin’ marvellous!


I am pretending I am on bake off, with Noel Fielding and his pointy faced charm popping over every so often to have a cheeky chat and a flirt with me ‘oh ha ha ha Noel, I’m loving your shirt today…whats that? You love mine too! Ohhhhh stop it…….’ And then I casually flick my hair over my shoulder as I put the glaze effortlessly onto my showstopper, which of course wins, and both Noel and Paul Hollywood fight over who is going to take me out to dinner.


In reality, I am scavenging around my cupboards throwing things willy nilly like a toddler looking for its next Barny Bear fix. Trying to find ingredients for pastry is harder than it looks and I have already poured half a packet of 4 year old lentils all over the kitchen floor and a pack of broken spaghetti. Right, I’ve located flour, well, it is an unmarked container of white powder which I’m assuming is flour. I vaguely remember this container from some years ago when I attempted to make some variety of brownie in which one gets high.


One did, and proceeded to do impressions of Snoop Dogg, which if I remember rightly (and its fully possible my memory of that day was flawed) was pretty hilarious.


Candied orange peel, well who the f**k has that in! Certainly not me, so grated orange will have to do, butter is running a bit low….ah, this will do, Lard (I knew it would come in handy one day, one of those things that lurks at the back of the fridge with that 6 month old tomato.) Sugar, again running low, some Sweetex will do, couple of those bad boys would sweeten up the toughest old boot of a woman. And mince, this I actually went out and bought especially, finest organic beef mince to be precise. At least I’ve got one ingredient right.


I begin with a swig of baileys to set the mood, Christmas rap music is on which quite frankly is confusing. I’m not sure If I’m festive or angry but I’ll go with it. I make the pastry out of lard, white substance and an egg, swoosh it about a bit. That looks vaguely like pastry, it will do. I have another swig of baileys, have a little chat with Noel who is loving my vibe by the way. He so wants me, but I’m playing it cool. Anyway Jen, get back to the task at hand!


Next, I fry the mince and drain the fat, mix in the grated orange, Sweetex and add some spices by eye that I had in the spice rack. Noel gives me a thumbs up and Paul Hollywood says he’s looking forward to tasting my goods. Ooooh Er, pure filth Paul Hollywood, and you have to buy me dinner first (I tell him in my imaginary bake off tent.)


The Baileys is running low, well, it’s run out actually so I start on the Pernod and gin advent calendar chocolates. I seem to have reached day 25 a little early, ah well, it’s Christmas after all, the season of being allowed to drink at any time of day (though to be fair, that has applied to most of this year.)


I am aggressively assembling my pies to the Christmas rap music, which isn’t as jolly as I expected, apparently Santa is an A-hole—who knew? I am pretty much just flinging pastry around and then into the oven it goes for 30 mins. Ahh, I deserve a sit down while Noel Fielding feeds me peeled grapes infused with ouzo.


‘Oh, Noel, stop, you’re very naughty.’ I say, trying to playfully push him away, when my hand is met by fluffy Mrs. Tinkles the cat licking my face. I must have drifted off, I can smell the pies and dash to the oven. Phew, they aren’t burnt. I take them out to cool and just in time to go and pick up Charlie. I shove the pies in a Tupperware container, sanitise it to f**k as per instructions and dash out to pick up the boy.


It’s a good job I’m walking instead of driving, I feel a little bit like I’m swaying to Michael Buble tunes in which a Christmas unicorn could come and carry me to my destination in a delicate snow laden scene. Unfortunately, it does not, so I am walking half-pissed in the pouring rain instead clutching the tupperware full of mince pies.


As I approach the school door, I see Miss Miller. Perhaps a Sweetex infused mince pie will restore her to factory settings. I almost leap at her in excitement of my idea to find another expression to her face that doesn’t look like the raised eyebrow emoji.


I find myself brandishing a mince pie at her, masked up, feet on the social distancing line 2 metres away from the door, leaning over like the letter ‘L’. I look like a highwayman that needs to see a chiropractor, standing there with a meagre offering of pie. I hope she f**king takes one out of the box soon because my back is starting to hurt. Finally, she spots me, raises an eyebrow, and I’m assuming out of politeness tentatively reaches over for one and takes a bite.


Well, the expression has certainly changed from the raised eyebrow. She looks more like the red hot emoji and she starts coughing.


“Is that Cayenne pepper?” She splutters.


“Yes!” I smile, I added a few extra spices to the mix.


“And…meat?” She enquires, still spluttering somewhat.


Miss Miller doesn’t seem to be the brightest, it’s a f**king mince pie, of course it has meat in it.


“Yes, organic beef.” I say proudly just as Charlie comes out the class. Miss Miller runs off all of a sudden and I look at Charlie, who looks at me, then looks at the innards of the nibbled mince pie which has been dropped onto the floor.


“I don’t think she liked the pie.” I tell him.


“Erm, probably not the meat. Miss Miller is a vegetarian.” Charlie informs me.


“Oh…it must have been the elves” Is all I can reply. I quickly whisk Charlie away to find Michael Buble and his unicorn to take us to Costa Coffee for an extortionate Terry’s chocolate orange remedy, mine with a Baileys miniature poured in of course.


Merry Christmas. Chin Chin.


© 2020 Gemma Malak

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© 2020 Gemma Malak