I’ll never forget the trifle. It was my father’s one offering to the Christmas dinner menu – indeed pretty much his only culinary contribution throughout the calendar year.
Shop-bought sponges, tinned fruit, jelly and copious quantities of cream were hardly going to make it into a Heston Blumenthal recipe book.
But yet the finished product was presented with all the pride of a caveman who single-handedly had taken down and cooked a woolly mammoth.
It was great, and so was my dad, also called Joe, but this year – like countless other fathers, mothers and children – the chair he sat in will be empty.
Ideally, Christmas is all about celebrating with our nearest and dearest, but the reality for many is that that…
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