Dad, I never skimp on garlic. Yes I know garlic is awesome. Do I need more onion? Yes mum, more onion would be good. Can you get them please? No problem, I’ll get them from the garden myself. By the way, is this for the stuffing or the Solomon Grundy? I’ll take that nod as yes to both. Onion onion onion. Ooo, rosemary, thyme, basil and parsley. Better get them too. Wow, the chillies are coming along nicely.

Here we are. This is how you peel an onion and this is how you dice one. This is how you put it in the mortar. Not a glass one. No porcelain either. Has to be a stone mortar and pestle. Has to be heavy. Has to be solid. This is how you hold the pestle and this is how you grind. Crush and grind, crush and grind. Grind grind grind grind grind.

Remember to feed the turkeys. One two three four five six. Where’s Billy? I only count six. No matter. Have to wash your hands between tasks. Have to use warm water and soap. What day is today again? Ah yes, that’s right, it’s Saturday, dinner party is tonight. What was I doing this morning? I was saying the Rosary. That comes first, you know that. Yes, all fifty beads. Probably more like sixty to make up for the ones I didn’t say very well. Probably didn’t say those very well either. Still, the Icon didn’t look angry. Pardon? Check on the herrings? Of course. Herrings are resting nicely in the vinegar brine. Well, nice for us anyway. I think the Solomon Grundy will turn out fabulously. Yes, the herrings have been there since Wednesday. Hey, didn’t Solomon Grundy marry on a Wednesday? I know mum, I know it’s just a poem but that’s beside the point. Well, did he? So is being gutted and soaked in vinegar brine like getting married? Maybe just the wedding day with all its silliness, huh. Otherwise not so bad? I guess not if I was born thirty-seven weeks after your wedding and I have seven siblings.

Puleez mum, don’t get me started with what’s-his-name. He’s a tool. Yeah he’s good looking, pity about the lack of brains though. I think I’ll go get more garlic now. Besides, that Velázquez boy is much better. So where’s Billy? Why the vet? What’s wrong with him? Fine, don’t answer me then. Mmm … garlic smells so good. More garlic. More salt. More pepper. This is how you mix everything and this is how you grind. Crush and grind, crush and grind, crush and grind.

Mister and Missus Kin’s eldest son? Huh? I’m grinding garlic and herbs, don’t know what topic you’re on. What do you mean I’m not answering you? I’m just friends with Augustus. You shouldn’t say things like that. So what if he’s black? He’s a good boy, goes to church with his grandma every week. And no mother, I’m not thinking about the potential size of his sausage. What am I, a tart?! Anyway, this pasty mix is almost ready for the stuffing. Where’re the chickens? Oh look, dad’s back. Didn’t know he left. Dad, where’s Billy? What do you mean he’ll be home by dinner at—?

I think it’s time to update this paste with some chilli. Lots of chilli. Billy won’t mind. He was a hot-headed creature. Well, I’m guessing he longer has a head so I should say “fiery character” instead. Whoops, I dropped a few more chillies into the mortar. Let’s add more black pepper while I’m at it. And more garlic. And chilli. It won’t kill actually anyone but it will remind them that Solomon Grundy died on a Saturday and buried on a Sunday.