Julius is woken gently from his slumbers by the sweet and dulcet tones of his lovely wife Alice. It is time ( more than time ) for the ducks to make their way to Church for the annual Carol Concert. And it’s a chilly evening, so Julius is going to be very glad of his fabulous new Christmas jumper isn’t he?
Now where is that mince pie he was saving to fortify himself before going out into the cold? Let’s hope that there are plenty of mince pies and lashings of hot tea on offer for the congregation after the Concert is over.
After a hectic Summer which included celebrating their marriage (phew that was a party!) and going on honeymoon, Gerald and Duncan thought that they would get some sun on their feathers before the weather begins to pour turn.
They had always wanted to go to Barcelona to soak up some culture and also sample the nearby beaches and varied nightlife. Armed with a guidebook and a camera they intend to have the time of their lives!
In the last episode, we left poor Julius at the mercy of incomprehensible cooking instructions and his chocolate stealing ducklings. But perhaps all is not yet lost ..
In desperation, Julius rushes over to Duncan’s house to ask him for help (after all, it was his recipe). As luck would have it, Duncan has a visitor, his old pond mate Jack Monkfishroe, a cook known professionally as A Duck Called Jack. She has taken the opportunity to catch up with Duncan (along with her Small Duckling, SD) before flying off to the bright lights to promote her new cookery book. A popular figure in the Duck World, she has been known to shock the more staid readers of the Daily Guano with her tattooed feet. However she has won the hearts of thousands of cookery mad ducks with her no-nonsense tasty recipes that any duck can follow (and, just as importantly, afford). Mind you she has yet to meet our Julius …
Duncan and Jack follow a distraught Julius back to his house, where Jack spends the rest of the afternoon taking him step by step through Duncan’s “foolproof” recipe.
Success! Under her close supervision Julius produces a perfectly moist eggless sponge with (thanks to a quick trip to the shops by Duncan) a rich chocolate ganache icing. Disaster has been averted.
By the time Alice arrives home, the kitchen is neat and tidy and the cake displayed in all its glory on her best china stand. Needless to say, she is delighted (as well as somewhat surprised). The ducks sit down to have a nice gossip in the time-honoured way with a cup of tea and some of Duncan’s own excellent seed cake. All’s Well That Ends Well ..
What is that noise coming from Alice’s kitchen? The banging of crockery; the crashing of cutlery; the sound of a drake muttering curses under his breath?
Julius, with the utmost romantic intentions, has decided to make his beloved wife Alice a special cake for Valentine’s Day. However, he is discovering that there is more to this “baking” malarkey than meets the eye.
He starts off well by asking his friend and local cake expert Duncan for a recipe. “This one is foolproof!” Duncan assures him. What could go wrong? Poor old Julius is about to find out.
How do you “castor” sugar? How do you “cream” butter? ( Why not just use cream?) And how on Earth do you fold flour?? Perplexed by the unfamiliar jargon, Julius begins to lose heart. And this is before he discovers that his little Darling Ducklings have helped themselves to the “special” chocolate he needs for the icing, neatly replacing the wrapper.
It seems as though the odds (as well as the cake tins) are stacked against our intrepid chef. Will his efforts to bake Alice a delicious offering of his love come to fruition, or will everything (including the kitchen) go up in a puff of smoke?
All will be revealed in the next episode, in which we meet a Mysterious Stranger and her Small Duckling …
Random musings. Occasionally ranty representative of the "Diplomatic Corps" of radical feminism. Unapologetic Guardianista. Retired Navy veteran. Socialist,snarkoleptic and regular scorn pourer. Can be quite nice.